Cierra G. Rowe
Kentucky, United States
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Styles: Expressionism, Impressionism, Abstract
'The Existence of God' © Cierra Rowe --- Search all you want. Gain what you may. An enigma as ancient as night and day. It seems that the search for God is endless. It seems that the devotion to God is confounding. Painted on 14 x 11 inch canvas panel, using acrylic paint. Still available.
''Anybody can become angry, that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way -that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.'' -Aristotle
''Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.'' - Mark Twain
''If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.'' - Vincent Van Gogh
Favorite Books: I really enjoy reading short story collections, especially Stephen King's. The assortment of stories and their suspense always psyche me up. It's hard to pick a favorite but Everything's Eventual was a great collection of stories, as was Nightmares and Dreamscapes though I enjoy reading books by other authors aside from King and I'm lucky when I can happen across a new collection. From time to time I also like snuggling up with a terribly grisly true crime novel. I found Darcy O'brien's Two of a Kind to be remarkable, especially with the detailed viewpoints of the individuals involved in the investigation and the capture of the murderers. Zero at the Bone by Bryce Marshall and Paul Williams was another interesting find because I wasn't familiar with the crime or the victims and was both intrigued and unsettled by the accounts and unfolding story of what happened and what the suspect's family endured - This also applies to The Woodchipper Murder by Arthur Herzog, though this particular crime was, to me, more vile and disconcerting. The author did an excellent job of piecing the story together, even though it's still probably one of the most horrendous crimes I've ever read about. Tropic of Cancer and Sybil are a few more but there are countless others and I tend to ramble about them. When it comes to books, I am a suspense junkie.
Favorite Movies: The Blair Witch Project, Arachnophobia, Michael (2011), Mulholland Falls, Boy Interrupted, The Gift (2017), Calvaire
'The Hopeless Man' © Cierra Rowe --- To arrive in paradise there are things to be done but does paradise exist? This isn't paradise. Something feels wrong. What happens when the pleasure and happiness you desire so much becomes the very thing that drives you over the edge? Painted on 8 x 10 inch canvas panel, using acrylic paint. Still available
In the countryside where the hills roll and the clouds roll, and the locals roll their eyes. I am surrounded by inspiration : Life. My paintings are the ears that I tell my secrets to. My thin flat confessionals. Art allows me to convey the thoughts which tangle and shame my tongue. I can be who I am without worry. I've been painting since I was a young gal, and through the years I've gained a dependence on and a respect for art. I now sell my paintings to whoever fancies buying them and smile at the opportunity to share them with people who can appreciate my efforts.
First experience creating
At an age where ''fitting in'' meant everything, I failed. Try as I might, it just didn't happen for me. I did not blossom, on the contrary I most certainly felt as though I was wilting. I was so full of angst and anger that it overpowered me and I didn't know how to cope, which led to me ''coping'' in a very desperate and unhealthy way. I ended up seeing psychiatrists and being put on various medications, all of which deadened me a little bit more than the first had. I felt like less of a human and more of a candle, surrounded by this impenetrable darkness.
It was during this time that I began experimenting with art. I had frequently doodled in between classes while in school, but hadn't given much attention to painting. At first I drew things here and there, like people or pictures with poems but eventually I found that painting was a much better outlet for me. From then on I'd paint my thoughts as often as I could. Every word had a shape. Every emotion, a color. I continued painting my feelings, dreams and thoughts until I gained clarity. I am still gaining clarity. and still growing as an artist.
Music and Art
Lately I've been really drawn to dark ambient music. It's tranquil and it tends to stifle the racing thoughts. Not to say I don't enjoy other genres of music, but frequently when I paint I don't like hearing words. Noise and Harsh Noise is also a wonderful way of blocking out your surroundings, when need be and if you listen closely you can always find odd sounds and erratic patterns. However I don't turn the volume up too loud - I like to keep it at a minimum with any sounds I happen to be listening to while painting.
'Tears of the Lonesome Chilli Pig' © Cierra Rowe --- If the eyes are the window to the soul, what does a lonely soul look like. How would you reach such a person, when the loneliness has distanced them, so far, from life? Painted on 8 x 10 inch canvas panel, using acrylic paint. Still available
Do you have a job besides art?
I'm a house cleaner, I get to sift through dust and pretend that it doesn't aggravate my allergies or give me headaches but at the end of the day when I come home from my job and my husband comes home from his, I'm content. I've also had the pleasure of meeting some very kind folks along the way. It's an uneventful job and sometimes quite messy but I don't mind getting my hands dirty.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
My intention is to convey my experiences, my thoughts and my feelings. Sometimes I treat it as a diary and other times it's just a free flow of expression on an empty and willing canvas panel (or canvas). I'm always intrigued by what people perceive in my paintings and enjoy hearing what they gather from them. My art tends to be mercurial because, like me, it's moody. It's dependent upon what I am feeling or experiencing at the time of creating. I guess I'm just trying to convey my surroundings and my perceptions.
Typically, if an idea for a painting comes to me (depending where I am) I quickly jot down the details that are to be featured within the painting on whatever I can find, be it napkins, newspaper or coffee filters. An example of this would be : ''woman, blue flowers, sunset'' and once I am able to begin the painting I gather my colours and grab an available canvas panel. Sometimes money is very very tight, and I run out of supplies, which unfortunately delays the painting, sometimes for weeks but if I have everything I need I can begin the painting and just follow my thoughts. It sounds simple but it can be an onerous process depending on what's going on around me.
I rarely ever finish a painting in one sitting, I try my best to paint at a pace that doesn't overwhelm me, and If I am painting I also take frequent tea breaks so I can approach the painting with unstrained eyes. (plus the tea is delicious and I can't resist). Upon completion, the painting will be left to dry for about an hour and then, depending on what time it is, the painting will be photographed in daylight. I then list the finished painting on my site for order. After a painting has been listed I put it in a plastic cello bag to ensure that it does not get damaged.
Usually it's dreams, fears, facts, people, sex and questions. Sometimes it's all of this and other times it's subtle ideas of romanticism or anger. It just depends on the day. There have been times where I'll wake up in the middle of the night, frightened half to death, covered in sweat and unable to go back to sleep. It's nights like these that inspire me to paint, so I begin another painting based on the dream I've just had or the feelings fueling that dream (or nightmare). There have also been times where I've been so depressed and so nauseous over the constant nonsensical brooding that painting seems to be the only option, though this too is in inspiration, a bittersweet one but an inspiration nonetheless.
Depending on the day, I am inspired by a profusion of things, especially the quiet, desolate countryside. For the most part I think I'm safe and on the right track with painting what is personally significant to me and content with being inspired by meaningful stories from my life and personal experiences, it can be quite comforting. In the past I have tried to let current events inspire my art but this proved futile and sadly frustrating. There is so much happening in the world from one day to the next, says the square television, that I find it rather worrisome being inspired by those things regardless of how they affect me. Some things are so blurred that their topic leaves no image to convey, but rather a messy splash of vivid opinions and questionable views with no room for beliefs that don't resonate with the majority. Because of this I tend to dig deep, keeping my art intimate and close to my bosom.
'The Black Death' © Cierra Rowe --- A darkness which is certain. An abstruse existence and a passionate relationship with death. The darkness that surrounds her is a permanence and haunting reminder of difference. Painted on 14 x 10 inch canvas panel, using acrylic paint. Still available.
Have you had exhibitions?
I have had no exhibitions, though it's something that I have always wanted. Sometimes I feel that no one is interested in what I am painting but I try to stay positive and focus on selling my art, which can be even more of a frustration but I'll keep trying. I am sure that there are people out there who would like my paintings but finding those people and getting that exposure is definitely not an easy feat for me.
Have you sold any of your artworks?
Yes I've sold several of my paintings in the past, but none recently. It's sometimes a hard pill to swallow with all of the effort that I put into my paintings but I understand that just because I see them as something worthwhile, others may not, patience is a virtue. Previously, I sold my paintings on my blogger site, www.cierraroweart.blogspot.com . Buyers would choose a painting and make payment to me via Paypal in the amount listed including the shipping & handling. After payment had cleared I'd wrap up their painting(s) safely, ship their order out to them and email or message them the tracking details. I like to keep the lines of communication open and would usually receive a reply in about a week regarding the arrival of their painting.
With commissioned paintings, I would received a message explaining to me what the person wanted painted. I'd respond and ask them what size they'd prefer and if there was a deadline. Once I knew the details of their painting and discussed price and deadline with them I'd get to work on the commission. After it was finished, I sent them photos of their finished painting and was sent payment. I'm now trying to sell my paintings on my site cierraroweart.com and Big Cartel.
Online Art Promotion
The internet can be a strange and increasingly tiresome place to navigate. Frequently I'd resorted to googling and clicking a plethora of links about art sites that promised exposure for my art, many of which left me discouraged, overwhelmed and deeply sour. A few years ago I tried Facebook. I made a page for my art and even joined art groups. I tried to share my art everyday on there but I didn't find those groups to be helpful and was rather disappointed at the negativity that was tossed around. Instead of seeing encouragement and respect given to fellow artists, I saw childish insults and competitiveness.
I ended up leaving those groups and deleting my facebook page after a while, and tried my hand at blogger, google+ and twitter. I had been able to connect with a few people on Google+ and Twitter who took interest in my art and even bought several paintings from me in 2015 and 2016, after I shared my blogger link around. I was also fortunate enough to be commissioned for a couple of paintings and some illustration pages for an author as well in mid 2016 .
I'm still currently trying to share my art on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as best as I am able, without seeming like I'm spamming or overcrowding. When on Twitter I tweet links to my Big Cartel shop, I tweet my website link, I tweet any new photos of paintings along with details regarding them and try to hashtag it without running out of characters. I also tag other art sharing accounts in my post so as to reach a larger audience but again I don't want to seem as though I'm drowning these accounts with my art and don't want to bombard the user. I share the same links and images on Facebook and Instagram. It's a different world, social media.
Sometimes it can be nice, even surprising but other times it seems like my paintings aren't pieces of art at all, but rather common images, or posts that someone's strolling through, which will most likely be forgotten once the next post passes on the screen. I don't want to base genuine appreciation on the amount of ''likes and favorites'' that my art may or may not receive, I'd just like to be in contact with mature people who care about what I'm painting, who would enjoy having my art in their homes and would be able to afford purchasing my art if that was something that they wanted to do.
One thing that I have encountered online is people who contact me about my paintings and expect me to decrease my prices exponentially for them. I've also had a few upsetting experiences with individuals who approach me for commissions but aren't willing to pay once I finish the painting. I tend to keep away from people like this for obvious reasons because they make it very clear that they have no respect for me as an artist.
All in all I take the good apples with the bad and try to shimmy around any barriers and share my art as often as I'm able.
My influences are my feelings, dreams, fears and thoughts. Art has always been a method that works for me. I can be erotic with art without removing my clothes. I'm able to relieve myself of malaise while simultaneously venting with my paint strokes. It's important to me, that I keep my paintings personal.
Please recommend another artist you admire
The only artist who I can genuinely say that I admire is my husband, because I know him and I've seen him create on countless occasions. Years ago he showed me some of his paintings, there's only about 3 or 4 but I was in awe of all of them. As majestic as they were, he hasn't painted anything else recently. He now tends to keep his focus on the audible end of art and though it is sound, he still possesses the talent to paint remarkable stories and increasingly peculiar tales with it, which is something that I can wholesomely appreciate, admire and respect.
I find myself very impressed and fascinated at his cleverness and he continues to be a huge inspiration to me. He does noise and experimental music under the moniker Harsh Noise Movement.
Tell us something interesting in your life
A few summers ago I met a ''psychic''. I was attending the state fair and this woman, with her zany clothing and colorful hair walked up to me and said ''I'll give you a reading.'' I asked her what she meant and she told me that she was psychic. I told her to go ahead, sure give me a reading. She took my hand, placed it in hers and said something loud in an foreign language. I was startled by how loud she said the words and quickly snatched my hand away and ran to the other side of the fair. I played a cat and mouse game of avoiding this woman because the car was parked near where I encountered her. Eventually I made it to the car and drove off forgetting all of the cool prizes I had won, including a goldfish. I never ever want to see that old woman again. haha, She scared the daylights out of me!
Any embarrassing moments?
Once when I was out buying groceries with my husband I leaned against a huge rack of potato chips and they went everywhere, I tripped and fell on a couple of bags and they burst. There were crisps everywhere! I was very embarrassed even though my husband and I were howling with laughter. I've always been sort of clumsy and once knocked over a Christmas tree on two separate occasions.
Would you do anything differently?
There are times where I think to myself ''Gee, Cierra you really screwed up there, you nitwit!'' but the things that I have done and experienced have shaped who I am, both as a woman and as an artist and as difficult as it's been to conclude, I think I'm ok with that. So no, I wouldn't do anything over.
Any future plans for your art?
I'm always thinking up new paintings and enjoy experimenting with new subjects, so new paintings are imminent. Recently I decided to begin a charity painting, so I posted a poll on my Twitter asking followers which type of painting I should paint. I've always wanted to do a charity painting so this is something that means a great deal to me. All of the money from this painting will be donated completely to a reputable charity to help someone in need. If this painting can help someone who needs help I am more than happy to do that and hope that it goes to a good home. Aside from the charity piece, I plan to keep creating new paintings while updating my site and listings, I'll also continue sharing my art around In hopes that I find folks who can relate to it or who can genuinely appreciate it. I'm hopeful that my finished paintings will also sell.
Any good advice for emerging artists?
emerging artist myself, I think the best advice I can give is to paint what you feel and not what others expect you to feel. No one can ever paint the way I feel because I (and only I) am me. likewise no one can ever paint the way you feel because you (and only you) are you. Your art matters and the effort you put into your art matters regardless of if everyone or no one agrees. Most importantly, always remember to believe in yourself because you can do it, just push away the doubt.
Cierra G. Rowe
Instagram - @cierrarowepaintings