Give me a beauty which is not quiet!

Through figurative art and portraiture I explore the human spirit — our mythology, spirit, desires — on what is essentially true about us and our time.  My paintings confront the essence and beauty of the sitter directly, usually showing the subject with little artifice or ornamentation, and often little sense of pose. While you look at the subjects, they look back at you. They do not exist as objects alone - they are active and engaging. In the words of the French Romantic Eugene Delacroix, "Give me a beauty which is not quiet!"

Classical Technique

To achieve this vital sense of beauty, I use classical, Renaissance painting techniques. Following the Florentine school tradition of my teacher, Master Ben Long, my work is guided by the naturalistic philosophy and techniques developed in Italy starting in the 14th century. This pre-modern European tradition originated with Masters Raphael, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Titian, Botticelli, Lippi, and Leonardo. Their techniques have been passed down from Master to student through the centuries.

My painting surfaces are prepared according to the traditions of the Renaissance Masters. Oil pigments and finely woven linen stretched over birch board are my preferred materials. I often use the traditional method of glazing, superimposing thin layers of semi-transparent colors to create a glassy surface. With this ancient technique, rarely used today, light seems to radiate from within the painting itself.

In one significant way I depart from traditional techniques: I use color combinations that are modernist, or even postmodern in modeling the faces and figures. My non-traditional interpretation of color provides a highly energetic vocabulary for speaking the language of the human spirit. It is this combination of traditional techniques and the postmodern application of color that distinguishes my work.

Give me a beauty which is not quiet. Because beauty matters. It is neither superficial nor meek. More than something we simply see, beauty is something we feel and understand. Beauty affects us on a deep level. The experience of beauty tells our story.
— Cindy Shute