Photo Feature Wednesday: Portrait of an Artist

box of pastels

She arrived ten minutes late, apologizing profusely while she pulled out a large canvas from the back seat of her car. “I don’t mind,” I said. She looked frazzled. She had just come from the print shop. “It took longer than I thought,” she said. She also stopped by the post office to send paintings off to the people who loved them and bought them from her. She was experiencing mild separation anxiety.

“Can I help you?” as she fumbled with the canvas and her supplies. No. She had it. I got the feeling she was used to scrambling.

We walked from the parking lot into Wedge studio, down the hall to her tiny studio space that she shares with a sculptor. The sculptor wasn’t there–only Cheyenne and me.

She set down her things and I pulled out my camera. While I fiddled with my equipment, Cheyenne turned on soft piano music in the background. The studio, the music, the paints changed her demeanor—calming her anxiety.

She had painter’s clothes on. Jeans and clogs splattered with paint and an olive green shirt faded from multiple washes. No makeup, though her hair was neatly combed. She drank coffee out of a Spiderman mug.

I spent the next three hours watching her work with modest supplies- No. 2 pencils, pastels, paints out of squeeze tubes mixed together in a tin pan. We talked along the way. I heard about her life as an artist- her schooling, her teachers, and her inspiration. The natural landscape–created by God– speaks something deep into her soul. She names her paintings with titles like: He Restores My Soul and If I Kneel Down and Wait Will You Paint my Spirit Gold? Her heart speaks to God through the paint.

I was struck by her humble beauty–the lack of pretense. No look-at-how- great-I-am or how-wonderful-my-paintings-are (which they ARE, by the way). She simply worked, creating something beautiful in the mundane out of the overflow of a pensive heart.

Documenting Cheyenne and her art through pictures was one of the highlights of my year. Not only because her work provided beautiful photo opportunities, but because I got to see her as an artist and a person. The camera captured a REAL LIFE in action.

Real life in pictures with real people– that’s the beauty that speaks to my soul.

Cheyenne Paints

painting signature

**Cheyenne’s website is under construction, but in the mean time find her on Facebook @ Cheyenne Trunnell Ethereal Landscape Paintings.

  • marcellamcmanus

    capturing art in action = glory. love it.