Cheryl Ann Boc-Chidester
Hi, I'm Cheryl...
For as long as I can remember, I have thought of myself as an artist and have strived to stay connected to that part of me. The creative process has been an integral part my life while life experiences; travel and nature have influenced my art. I enjoy spending time in museums and historical buildings as well as outdoors and numerous activities including rowing, skiing (both downhill and cross-country), kayaking, golfing, swimming, fishing, running, gardening, hiking…well, you get the "picture".
Recipient of a 2022 State of Michigan Council of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Grant (MCACA). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 594 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2022 funding.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
More about me and what I do
After attending Eastern Michigan University and earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree (and, later, a Master of Science Degree), I’ve held a number of art-related positions – graphic designer, gallery manager, art instructor, muralist, set designer, architectural historian - and currently serve as the curator of the Argus Museum and am the proprietor of Cheryl’s Creative Custom Art & Framing. Beginning with the 1981 Michigan Watercolor Society exhibit to much more recently being honored as one of the artists chosen featured in a Detroit Institute of Arts-sponsored event - the 2019 Canvas Pontiac project - earning a second place award - I have exhibited my work throughout the Midwest.
Realizing Common Threads of Eclecticism
Although my art can be described as eclectic, it shares common themes and is often inspired by nature, my travels and experiences, and by my love of history. While places, people and cultures, offer unique perspectives and experiences, there are universal ideals and shared history, knowledge and spirit that transcend time and place. I strive to touch upon these connections, these common threads. Although I work in a variety of media, employing textures, light and color to convey my impression of a place, culture, moment or memory is evident throughout my art. I appreciate exploring materials, methods and ideas, while staying true to them, as they guide me to a finished piece of art.
My Inspirations and My Art
Artist specializing in nature, travel, architecture and cultural-inspired paintings and photography
This is a watercolor and encaustic work on Claybord. After spending, likely the last day of the season on a Lake Michigan beach, and before climbing 100-plus stairs back to the resort, I took a moment to appreciate my surroundings. My memories of that moment inspired the painting.
This Wycinanki artwork was created with freehand cutting so no two are alike. Wycinanki ([vɨt͡ɕiˈnaŋkʲi]) is the traditional decorative art of Polish papercutting. Wycinanki originated using shepherd’s sheep shears to cut designs out of tree bark and leather, Shapes, objects and colors have meaning and sometimes tell a story. Wycinanki vary by region. Techniques include cutting, clipping, punching, tearing, and carving of paper, as well as nalepianki in which multiple layers are glued together.
This painting was inspired by a late summer afternoon on the pond and the telltale signs that autumn will soon be upon us.
Meandering through Venice at dusk is magical with another-worldly light. The ogee arch invited me to venture to the art gallery on the other side of the alley. The scene is painted with watercolors with touches of a water-based gold wash.
I began this painting when the news of the COVID 19 outbreak in Italy, one of my favorite places to visit, made headlines. As an architectural historian, I appreciate the well-preserved Renaissance city of Lucca. However, there was a three-week pause of working on the piece when I contracted the virus. With this watercolor, I strived to convey the textures, colors and memories I have of this beautiful place and experiencing its culture.
This painting was inspired by my visit to Ostia Antica, the archaeological site near Rome, Italy. The textures, the patterns and designs, the history and the concept of inside/outside all intrigued me. The beautiful Sunday I experienced taking in the sites and history of the ancient port city not only inspired the artwork, but also its metaphorical title.
The view of geraniums inside a shallow glass oriel window was inspired by a recent visit to Segovia, Spain. The wrought iron of the windows and the way the light fell on the elements influenced the "feel" of the piece. This watercolor, painted on handmade paper.
This watercolor painting reminisces of Michigan's small towns' porches where people still sit, relax, invite neighbors to join them and watch the world go by.
Venice’s light is like no other in the world, and even modest details of small residences offer inspiration. The work was created on handmade watercolor paper using watercolors, powdered charcoal and Gesso.