Past Exhibitions

Cynthia Spillman in Currents

CSpillman_Gut-HunchesCynthia Spillman
b. 1959
Aptos, CA

For years, I have embraced a passage from a letter written by Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille, regarding the artistic path. Now, I am experiencing it. In particular: …”because there is only one of you in all of time, this (your) expression is unique… keep it yours clearly and directly…You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open”. These paintings came from urge, instinct and openness to the truth of me. From intersections of consciousness- a colorful and recurring childhood dream; from missing my teenage son; from the muffled despair I felt from one school shooting after another, and from the question ‘what can I do?’
I imagined black paintings with angry deities, but what came through, was sweetness, wonder, and acknowledgement of our inherent innocence.
What can I do?
Remain open to the pure, guileless condition at the truth of who we are.

– Cynthia Spillman

Cynthia Spillman is an Aptos based painter, mother, teacher and voice artist. She grew up in Manhattan Beach, CA.  In 1998 she began taking painting classes at Santa Monica College, and after a year, was invited to attend the College of Design, Art and Architecture; an art school based upon Cedric Morris’ “free rein” approach. Inspired by the self-determined and iconoclastic environment of the DAA, she set about forging a style and way of working that simply came from “who she was” and the pure activity of painting. Her approach is rooted in the Japanese aesthetic, Wabi Sabi as well as in the New York “Action painting” movement of the 50’s. Her life-long dedication to eastern philosophy, nondualism and Zen informs every piece and mark, and speaks to the directness and confidence in her expression. Cynthia teaches workshops on the connections between truth, fearlessness and creativity as well as day-long self-inquiry practice retreats.

Image courtesy of the artist