Michael Weisman, of Golden Eagle Art in East Hampton, told The Independent how he discovered the work of Cindy Mac, who was featured in February’s popular Artist of the Month gallery series, also featured online. “While updating my own Instagram art page, I routinely check out who the artists I follow are following, and that’s how I happened upon Cindy’s gallery. I fell in love with her work immediately,” he said.
“I think her paintings are exquisite and demonstrate levels of sophistication both compositionally and technically that set them apart from those of many other contemporary still life artists I’ve come across. Her style is intuitive and bold, but also maintains a sensitivity and reverence for her subject matter. She is truly a gifted artist,” Weisman added.
The source of that sensitivity and reverence was one of the first things mentioned by Mac. “From a very young age, I have been obsessed and moved by the beauty of nature, of flowers and fruit. I credit my European grandparents for this interest and gift,” Mac said.
“My mother and her father — my grandfather — were both accomplished painters. Unfortunately, she passed away from a sudden illness at the age of 27, when I was four years old. I have been determined my whole life to follow in her footsteps and become a skilled and inspired painter,” she said.
After graduating from the School of Visual Arts, Mac worked as a graphic designer and advertising art director in NYC for 15 years. “I loved it. I was honored, lucky, and grateful to have worked at some of the most prestigious shops, with some of the most creative minds in the industry,” she said.
She moved to Sag Harbor, where she met her husband and started raising a family, all the while continuing her graphic design and advertising work and also working side by side with her husband, the proprietor of Tom Mac Landscaping.
“Raising children and running a family business was wonderful, but hugely time consuming. I loved it. But I yearned to paint, every single day of my life. It’s always easy to find a reason not to paint. I decided I wouldn’t give in to that. I had been collecting art supplies over the years, so finally, I set up a studio in my dining room, right in the middle of my house,” she said.
She describes her work as “contemporary impressionism with a traditional, classical approach. But if I had to tell you what my work is about, there’s only one answer. Light. It’s all about the light.”
After about a year, she moved her studio upstairs to be near a large window with beautiful north light streaming in all day long. “I was so happy working there and things were going well.”
The turning point came, Mac related, “when out of the blue I got an email from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken with for years. In fact, it was sent to an old email account I rarely even used any more. This friend was part of group going to Tuscany to paint for 12 days and there had been a last-minute cancellation, and she was offering me a chance to fill the spot.”
It was a difficult decision for Mac. “There was a lot going on in our lives. I worried that it wasn’t a good time to go. But my family was so supportive. They knew how much I wanted it, and they encouraged me to go. My husband pointed out that there’s never a good time — so make ‘now’ the good time. Those 12 days were a definitive moment in my life,” she acknowledged.
“I swore I would never allow painting to fall on the back burner again. And I have kept that promise to myself.”
Recently, Mac’s work was included in Guild Hall’s 81st Annual Members’ Show and in floral themed local shows.
In January, Mac was admitted into the American Impressionist Society and her work will be featured in the group’s annual Small Works Showcase, at the RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX.
You can view Cindy Mac’s work at www.cindymacstudio.com or follow her on Instagram @ccmacstudio.