Cindy Revell

Yesterday, after several years I finally got to meet, face to face, with an under-appreciated Alberta artist whose work I have adored for years. Cindy Revell is from Sherwood Park east of Edmonton, and is best known for her whimsical paintings featuring fantastical creatures and richly patterned tapestries. Cheerful, bold colours, exquisite brushwork, and a bit of humour makes her work playful, fun, and quirky enough to stand out.

In a world of decreasing options and generic sameness, the uniqueness of her work is enough to make Cindy’s work attract attention, but the paintings are expertly executed as well. These paintings are for the dreamers, the poets, the adults who refuse to let go of their inner child, and the bold who embrace difference.

During our conversation, we talked about the struggles of not being mainstream…..of being uncommon. Our society has become so trained to sameness and lack of choice, that it isn’t always an easy road when you choose to go against the norm. The artist’s life is a struggle at the best of times, but then adding in quirky often makes the climb even steeper. But Cindy has climbed over the roadblocks to have a successful career as an artist, teacher, and mentor.

Speaking of mentoring, Levelling Up Mastermind groups will be starting a small group mentoring session with Cindy in the near future. I can tell you, if you are on the artists path, this is one session that will provide valuable guidance you won’t soon forget. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain the experience and knowledge of one of Canada’s most under appreciated artists. (No I am not being paid to say this!)

Best of all, from our all too short of visit, is that we now are the proud owners of Night Whispers by Cindy Revell. The painting featuring a red deer and blue bird in conversation on a rich tapestry against a backdrop of leaves, is so absolutely perfect for our new home. The stories and connections this painting invokes are many.

From the memories of deer sleeping outside our windows on the farm, to the bluebird houses hung around the property, to my love of textiles and past work in the fibre arts, to our move to Red Deer, and to how the first night in our new home I marvelled at the sound of the leaves whispering outside the bedroom window that night (and many subsequent nights). We were even talking about our days raising sheep and the 2 am visits to the lambing pen to check ewes, and how I missed those night sounds. The Night Whispers, that only those who sit in the quietness of the night know.

Cindy, we are overjoyed with this painting!

Swept To Sea

Mouse and Hare thought they would escape the fire by floating down the river. Mouse in his walnut shell boat. Hare in the washtub. But the river went too fast and they soon found themselves swept out to sea. Hare got really scared, like scaredy hares tend to get.

Swept To Sea

Forest Friends: House On Fire

It had been several months since Mouse had been released from hospital but he was still very weak and needed care. Summer had been good though. The friends had been able to have socially distanced visits with their family and friends. The warm weather and sunshine made everything better and the enemy was quiet.

But as the days grew shorter, the enemy started it’s attack again. Bear was scared. She was having trouble concentrating and getting motivated. Then one day she noticed some smouldering embers in the forest. The Forest Council was called and asked to put the embers out, but they said “It will soon snow and the embers will go out on their own”. By the time the snows came the embers had grown into tiny fires here and there. The snow couldn’t put them all out.

The Forest Council was again called to help, but they couldn’t agree and did nothing. It didn’t take long for the whole forest to explode in flames. The Friends gathered but didn’t know which way to go to get out of the fire. They vowed to stick together and do everything they could to stay safe, and hoped they could get enough of the other forest dwellers to work with them to fight the enemy, and put the fires out.

Forest Friends: The Beginnings

Meeting Of Minds
Meeting Of The Minds

The friends first met on a fateful day in a flower strewn meadow far from the mountains. They had each been going a different way. Bear was going west back to the mountains. Fox was going north because he could only catch mice if he was facing that direction. Hare was going east to hide out in the salt marsh until his coat turned brown. Mouse was going south for no reason at all. It was quite by accident they all arrived at this exact spot at the exact same time and became automatic best friends, which they remain to this day.