Born in Minnesota, and raised in Kansas, Cyndy Carstens currently lives and works in Phoenix, AZ. She won her first art competition at 6 years old – a summer scholarship to the Minnesota Art Institute. An intense desire for pursuing a life in the arts ensued. She developed entrepreneurial careers as a graphic designer, art director and muralist. Fine art, however, is her driving passion. Working in a range of mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media, her work has won a number of awards and competitions including The Chairman’s Award at the Peoria Arts Council Annual Juried Exhibition, The Wichita River Festival Poster, several Arizona Artists Guild Best of Show Awards, and has been honored with an Artist of Distinction Award from Stillpoint Gallery of Brunswick, Maine.
The purpose of my work is to help people create environments where they want to be – whether at home, work or play – while inspiring a sense of hope, peace and healing. Art choices are an extension of our self-identities. Art adds value to our lives. My work has the possibility to transport someone from the chaos and constant noise of modern-day life to a magical place where they can find a sliver of tranquility, solace and harmony.
On a personal note: My paintings are a reflection of lessons painstakingly learned over the last few years, while caring for my ill mother – the brevity and sanctity of life – how important it is to heal our wounds in the present. The wide-open spaces and expansive skies represent an ultimate freedom of the soul tempered by images beckoning sensations of breath and struggles, rest and trials – contemplation hope.
Composition and color are the initial basis of my large-scale paintings, capturing the eye with striking swathes of energy. However, it is the imagery and use of multi-layered color bars that exude an essence of solitude and compassion – simple yet complex – personal yet universally understood. Caring for my mother who was afflicted with dementia, it became even more graphically evident that who we are as individuals is the culmination of our life experiences. The geometric color bars represent the ‘parts that make a whole’ – the memories which make us each unique.
To the words of Edward Hopper, ‘If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint,’ I would add, ‘I paint because it is too painful not to paint – and I want to share my journey through healing, hope and awareness . . . in respectful remembrance of dreams lost and passions found.’