Wednesday, May 12, 2010



Aries, acrylic on birch and beadwork

It started with the music. I innocently went to Pam Aries' blog, Aries Gypsy. As I began to read her post, a bohemian guitar played softly in the background followed by the exotic sound of an ancient violin. The music took me to places I know I’ve been before. It was the kind of violin that tears at your soul. I began to feel as though I was being transported from my chair at the computer to a place where a distant memory taunted me.

This feeling of teleportation is not new to me. I had the privilege of hearing Flamenco while in Madrid, Spain. Something peculiar happened to me as the dancers raced across the stage In chaotic frenzy, all the while vibrating with the exotic sound of the guitar. I watched as the audience became enthralled, excited. Many were jumping from their seats and screaming in ecstasy. Others seemed to be in a kind of trance. I must say, I was almost as energized. The music spoke to my very soul.

Zigana, acrylic on birch with encaustic wax, Hungarian name means gypsy

I learned that the soul wrenching music I was listening to on Pam’s blog is by a group called Emusici. I ordered not one but 3 of their CD’s. That is when the trouble began. I became addicted! I would turn on the CD first thing in the morning and end my day with it. The music filled my brain and no matter what I would do, it played on and on in my head. Sometimes, I was given to dance frantically around Woodloft, my home. As I worked in my studio, all that I wanted to create were gypsies. Pam’s efforts didn’t help either. On one of her posts, she chose a u-tube video of gypsy music, caravans and of gypsies dancing around the campfire. The music accompanying it is mesmerizing. I love this post.

I was to learn that Pam considers herself to be a gypsy of sorts. She leads a lifestyle that many of us envy.She feels the call of the wild and follows her bliss wherever it takes her. She thinks nothing of selling her belongings and moving on. She tells me that she now is in search of a gypsy wagon. I can’t wait to see what she finds, or should I say, what finds her!

Sofika, acrylic on canvas with beads. Ukranian name means wisdom

The definition of gypsy is:

1. A member of a people that arrived in Europe in migrations from northern India around the 14th century, now also living in North America and Australia. Many Gypsy groups have preserved elements of their traditional culture, including an itinerant existence and the Romany language.

2. One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.

Even though I don’t quite fit the definition, I always considered myself to be a gypsy at heart. Not because I moved from place to place but because I traveled for over 30 years to art shows up and down the east coast of the US. I was on the ‘show circuit.’ By that, I mean,I exhibited my work with 2 different show promoters, Sugarloaf Shows and Clyde Gilmore’s Craftsmen. I literally would pull in my driveway in my long van and unload all my empty Rubbermaid tubs that had been filled with my work, dash into my studio, work for 5 days straight in sculpting. I would reload and unload my kiln and refill those same tubs. I would then reload my work back into my van and I’d be off again to my new destination. You get the picture I'm sure. It was an exciting, adventurous lifestyle but I missed being here at Woodloft, my home.

I’m not sure where this music will eventually take me, and I do thank Pam for introducing me to it. Here are a few of the renderings I’ve been compelled to create.

I’ve named the first one Aries, with Pam in mind, and was inspired to write her story:


A storm was brewing. The winds of change were struggling to free themselves once again. She knew she had been too long in one place. The roots of that place were starting to wrap themselves around her being, pulling and tugging at her once more.
She knew it was time.
Moving on meant transformation. It meant leaving possessions, friends and sometimes family. She was no stranger to farewells. And, with each move,she knew she was leaving a part of herself behind.
Even though painful, she knew that once again she must pull back her shoulders, as if she were an obedient soldier. She then must wrap the blanket of memories around her and begin her journey as she had done so many times before.
She knew she was Aries. Strong, vibrant, resilient and constant. She must begin...again.

Katrya, meaning pure in Ukranian. acrylic on fresco with encaustic wax

Aries, Zigana and Sofiya are for sale. They are orginals and are 8”w x 10”H. I have priced them each at $100. You can view them on etsy by clicking each name. You can also purchase them from etsy if you prefer paypal or you can email me to purchase directly from me. I take all major credit cards including MC, Visa, American Express and Discover.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. Cheryl there is something very compelling about
    your gypsy women. As a young girl I was fascinated (obsessed really) with anything to do with gypsy lore and I always wonder where
    that came from. The music is also very compelling and twigs deep chords of emotion.


    Back to your pieces, I love the textural elements, ie. the beading that you have added to them.



  2. Cheryl, I could totally relate. I've been hooked on a band called Gogol Bordello which are "Gypsy Punks." I dance around the house everytime I put their cds on and the only bad thing about it is I wish I was 30 years younger so I could go see them live! I feel the same way about Lizst's "Hungarian Rhapsody." Maybe I have some gypsy in my blood too.

  3. Blogging is amazing. Seeing you and Pam (one of my glitter sisters and best friends) connect is surreal. How wonderful that you named one of your girls with her in mind. I'm sure she will be truly touched. She's a good gypsy woman, that Pam. :) And your ladies are absolutely breathtaking as always.

  4. OMG!! Cheryl !!!!!!!!!! THese gypsies are totally incredible! I a m so excited.! Can ya tell..hehehe. To have inspired you t o create these humbles the same time I am honored and thrilled that I inspires this gypsy spark!

  5. OMG, Cheryl! Your gypsy women are amazing, and wonderful, and exotic! Stunning pieces! I took a quick hop over to Pam's blog. When the music began to play, I swear I could smell the smoke from a campfire. My Mother (who's Croatian) swears her family was part gypsy (in the old country). Hugs, Terri xoxo

  6. Oh these are so amazing- I LOVE the eyes in each one and the poses you arranged them into are wonderful as well. Also, thank you so much for always including the background stories- they are as heart touching as the visual works.

  7. I know what you mean about hearing flamenco music in Spain. The art form camptivates all who experience it. While in Granada, we sort of got lost in an area of the foot hills where many "gypsies" lived. Vibrant colors and guitar music filled the air in that neighbor hood. It was intoxicating but dangerous at the same time. Your new pieces capture the gypsy spirit

  8. You have made lots of beautiful new art lately and I too am greatly influenced by music, travel, cultural nuances- you name it. Your work flows with the spirit of the gypsy!

  9. Beautiful, beautiful work. You have the gift of making your art tell its own story.

  10. Isn't it magical the way inspiration finds us? Amazing how, even if you aren't calmly sitting and waiting for it...IT finds you?
    I feel that way about my life and all it's included. You will be the answer to a dilemma on a very special, small gift...sooo glad (I) (You) found (You) (Me)

  11. Katrya is my new favorite!

  12. I am starting to recognize your style -- all of your female faces have such exquisite mouths. (I find myself wishing that you could draw a new one for me, LOL.) I love their stories.

  13. Oh my, I love your gypsy women, they are all so amazing.

  14. I am SO trying to catch up here. I can't believe it's been so long since I visited. So instead of writing multiple comments which get lost in the bevy of comments from previous posts, I thought a long one would have to suffice.

    I was thrilled to take the Open Studio Tour with you. It was so much fun seeing all these lovely artists' pieces that I would never get to see in the midwest. I was especially in awe of the "polychrome assemblages" created by Mary Burtch. I went to her blog, but she doesn't have any information there about them. They are stunning, though.

    Speaking of stunning, your Lady in the Labyrinth is just that. And the use of those old bottle caps, rusted and flattened over time, were the crowning touches to this beautiful painting. My kind of art, that's for sure.

    And finally, I am in LOVE with Aries. The face and beadwork are simply beyond words. The wow factor is truly there. All the other paintings are exceptional, too, but Aries just drew me in. What a great collection.

    Thanks so much for all this lovely eye candy this morning. Loved it all and was totally inspired by it.

  15. love, love, love the gypsy women! especially katrya, the way you use wax with acrylic is amazing - I'll have to experiment. if I can find the wax:) thanks for stopping by and commenting - love what you said about regular people - ha!

  16. All of your gypsy women are gorgeous. I can relate to the gypsy life and I have moved so many times I can not even count them...I'm sure more than 30 times. I even get the urge to move on now.

  17. What a great post Cheryl. It brought back happy memories. I've always adored anything to do with Romanies since my mum made me a wonderful fancy dress costume when I was 4 (with a tambourine - how I loved that!) In our City museum there is an original Romany horsedrawn caravan ( Victorian). I always have to take a peek inside! Your creations are just stunning as always, and I love the Eastern European names you have chosen too, so beautiful and evocative. I'm off to look at Pam's blog now! x

  18. Thank you for stopping by my blog. You have such a beautiful blog and your artwork is gorgeous!

  19. Cheryl you captured such feeling in your Gypsy's eyes. I just love them,how lovely they are.Your so creative and talented.
    I enjoyed everything in this posting so much,really interesting.
    Hugs,Laura. xoxx

  20. Its so wonderful that music can inspire you to create such beauty! I see a resemblance in their eyes to yours.

    I used to do the show curcuit too, We did 36 shows in one season. That was the year I called it quits and built my studio. Its good to be home!

  21. Cheryl your Gypsy inspired pieces are gorgeous, your writings speak to the soul and I just love how you create, beautiful my friend, glad to see you back and hope all is well - hugs to you and yours xxx

  22. I really love your art and your enchanting blog. I also have always been fascinated by Gypsies and their lifestyle, so I named my blog after them. Pls do visit my blog whenever you are free.


If convenient, please leave a comment. I read every one and thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts.