Multi Media Artist
Cecil Herring has exhibited her paintings, sculpture, digital
art, wearable art in the U. S., Europe, Beijing, China, Germany,
Spain and Norway and globally by the internet and her website
Cecil began her formal art studies at 21 in her home town Miami with art Instructor Pat Delong. She continued study at U. of Florida, private bronze and steel welding study with Eugene Davidson, Brevard Com. College for ARC, MIG, TIG and oxyacetelene welding with George Gaich, Univ. of Tenn., where she studied electroforming with Stanley Lechtzin, Metals Chairman at Temple U. and Seminole Community College, she studying Paper Making with Jane Edison.She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1983 cum laude.
To fund her expensive studio equipment, Herring found work as a reporter, feature writer, photographer with the byline Cecil Herring. She became quickly indispensible filling the entire front page with her products. She loved it all despite the low pay scale of $90 a week, she also wrote stories and sketched trials for Florida Today, Melbourne Times, Fairchild Publications and Miami Herald. This led to her being badged to cover the Apollo Manned Space program at the amazing vantage point of 2.8 miles from the launch pad at Cape Kennedy. Thundering living fire gave her art fire and inspired her to focus on space art. She was reminded of her father Cecil's stories about life on Mars as written by Edgar Rive Burroughs and "A Princess of Mars." She became a space artist. Later she received the Penney Missouri Journalism Award fort the Today Newspaper. In 1997 she posted her website having established as her domain http://www.spacescapes.com
The site is still in operation and Herring is still its webmaster.
In 1986 She received a BA at U.C.F. in Humanities, the Arts, Painting, Sculpture, Music, Theatre and Creative Writing in 1986. She also studied privately in California, Florida, France, Greece and Europe. She began digital art studies In 1988 Brevard Community College, later studying at McFatter Technical Institute in Ft. Lauderdale a certified in digital art - Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark and Painter .
Cecil has won many awards and in juried and invitational shows in Ohio and in Cologne, Germany exhibiting digital works on a 30 foot wall at an old munitions facility where thousands saw the works http://www.erichfritz.mynetcologne.de/E-Energy_Show_art_fair_2004.ht,
Ohio, Some Awards are: 1st in sculpture at Gasperilla Festival, Tampa, Indialantic, Festival of Lights, St. Petersburg, 1st portraits, Coral Springs, FL, awards at Festival of the Masters, Winter Park and Cocoa Beach. She won second place in the National Kodak Large Format Digital Printing.(comprehensive list available on request).
80 inch St. John's River in 2 parts was selected for Florida Biennial
2008 shown at Florida Museum.
Selected collectors include First Lady Betty Ford, wife of late U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, for her hand constructed sterling silver eagle pendant located at The Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, MI., Orlando Modern Art Collection, purchase award, Kodak Collection, Rochester, N.Y., purchase award, City of Titusville, U. of Florida Medical Library with a 5 ft. steel sculpture called "The Family" commissioned by U. of F. Dental Guild. Cecil welded 7 bronze altar pieces for Orlando's St. Charles Cathedral, Processional Cross with Christ on the bronze Cross, bronze Host Cover, and Easter Vigil light and 4 welded bronze altar candelabra for the Orlando Cathedral, She created two 6 foot digital murals for Heart of Florida United Way, Orlando. A 7 foot bronze welded "Man with Three Arms is on exhibit at Crealde Sculpture Garden in Winter Park, FL and works in private collections.
She was advisor creating the Digital Art Institute at Stetson University and taught the first class in 1996-97. She also served on the Art Selection Committee for the Fifth District Court of Appeals Building in Daytona Beach and has served as art judge at the Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Deland, Heathrow and Amelia Island Art Festival Fernandina, Florida.
Visit her current Retrospective Show at Riverhouse Pottery and Gift Gallery, 118 S. Palmetto Ave., Sanford, FL 32771 contact gallery for summer hours 407-323-9272 or for special appointment. Director Kim House will be glad to answer your questions .
Visit her website http://www.spacescapes.com
Cecil Herring painter and sculptor
" discipline is the most important quality an artist can have... "
How were you motivated to choose your particular field?
I have trekked down many blind alleys, tried many technologies for my space art. Welding, electroforming, spraying vinyls, painting, recycling space junk, casting plastics. I have experimented for decades. I never quite understood my drive until now, as we approach the Millenium, plan space colonies and stations. The puzzle comes together in a magical way!
My early memories are my Father, Cecil J. Darby, pointing out constellations and stars to me, reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars, The Chessman of Mars for bedtime stories! He would point to Mars and say, "See that red star? We'll go there someday." I remember thinking of the colors, strange shapes and having vivid dreams every night!
I'm sure I got my love of space and space art from him. He was a dreamer with a car garage, welded and built racecars. We went everywhere. Pan American World Airways Clipper Ships took off from Dinner Key in Miami, my home town. We watched the big planes taxi out on Biscayne Bay and takeoff. We went to air shows where planes did looptloops and dives all over the place. Somehow it all got jumbled together my passions for art, metals, space and technology. I studied art and breathlessly watched the space launches on TV.
In 1965, we moved to Brevard County where there were weekly launches. By 1967, I was a space writer - photographer for the local paper. Then, I got to watch every awesome launch from a press site three miles away. I got to meet astronauts, Dr. Wernher von Braun, and climb around in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Press and famous people were everywhere. We all had stars in our eyes! It had a huge impact on my art forms!
I began welding steel and 'space junk' armatures I got from area junkyards and sprayed polyvinyl chloride (a material used to mothball Navalfleets) over the welded armatures. I added electrical wiring so they would light up! That is how my Spacescapes© came to be. They are lightweight, other worldly, holey, curvilinear shapes, covered with a spanable cobweb material, built up into a durable hidelike covering. Using a diesel compressor and a pressurized spray system sprayed the molasseslike liquid that floated over the armatures, leaving holes. I painted them in swirling dayglo colors.
Some had black-lights blinking and some included moving parts. Naturally, they all had spacerelated names like Crater Craft, Cool It Charley A Lunar Experiment, Take Me to Your Leader. They were shown in black rooms, illuminated with a pulsing black light system I synchronized with synthesizer music of eery screams. roars and thumps sounds of outer space They glowed in the dark! They were a hit at my onewoman show in New York in 1971. I called the show Spacescapes©. I was even invited to be on ABC Eyewitness News Channel 9 there in New York City.
For 30 years,
I've kept the name and spacey imagery going through some tough
times. I don't weld or use metalforming methods now. I got
very sick in the early 80s with metal poisoning. My lungs were
black. Give it ALL up or die, several doctors said. I thought
I was through as an artist. All metals, solvents, chemicals, plastics,
even oil paints became toxic tome. I thought I was through as
an artist so I went to college, EVEN LAW SCHOOL! That was a 10year
down period in my life! I was glad the Digital Art Age came around
in the late 80s, just in the nick of time for me! It is cleaner
and safer, believe me. Now, I recreate three dimensional art works
in a two dimensional medium, using many of those old space images
I stored on CD Roms!
What can you share about your creative process?
I am at the process of making art all the time, refueling my visual tanks with movies, trips to museums, circuses, shows, theme parks, the Space Center, real action stuff. Then I dream a bit in my orchid garden, play loud classical music, make paintings or drawings for practice works or try new digital techniques, doing things a little differently each time.
I may print a digital print of a new work. Then, I laminate it to a gessoed masonite board and apply layers of special ultraviolet inhibiting varnish (important to reduce fading), embedding computer-generated transparencies (printed on transparency film) in the varnish. Then, I cover the work with plexiglass, painted on the inside with enamels, plus brilliant stain glass glazes. I frame the layers together. This will give me my favorite effect of seeing images through colors, or iridescent stained-glass effects. Sometimes these techniques are modified, with additions of metallic powders, cut stencils, sprayed straight lines and areas in the plexiglass paper, or pieces of thin metal.
Or, I may paint
a painting on canvas or watercolor paper and layer that with the
above techniques. I am able to print beautiful archival prints
using my big 36" printer, on canvas or watercolor paper.
But I find a greater challenge in making EACH work one-of-a-kind
in some way. Spraying the inks with water to get droplets and
then over painting it with oil paints. I want a work that SPEAKS
TO ME every time I look at it. Sometimes, that takes months. I
rework endlessly, have huge failures. It's difficult to say what
I might try next. I DO TRY TO SHOW UP for my working hours! I
guess discipline is the most important quality an artist can have
and having the courage to change.
What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
It is one thing to make art on earth and quite another to actually have 'enduring' art on a distant planet. Shipping big sculptures or paintings to Mars is impossible unless you can call the Internet a spaceshipping service! But there IS a way to have ART on that distant Planet. God loves artists! Soon after I began my digital art studies (1989) I heard about the Internet. Art online became a reality. 1995, I got a web page and started having 'conversations' with other artists in Hawaii, California and Colorado, even South Africa! I made my own web site and started 'shipping' art 'files' around the globe or at least to a service bureau for printing.
For art on a Mars Millennium Project, a file transfer protocol or other derivative software easily could transport digital art to liquid crystal display screens that show the latest 3D or other imagery, animations, 'still' art or perhaps manipulated photo images on colony walls. We already have the technology. Using digital cameras, software programs, and computers, we might have a digital art exchange program between Earth and Mars. Some of the first Mars inhabitants might get homesick. We could beam up a view of their favorite scenes.
Images may be created by the 'force' of the artist, by thought, touch or voice. There are materials to be used on Mars rocks for lasercarvings, etchings, Mars Dust Art. Artists could collaborate, with the entire space community networked and collectively creating. That is called Renga, (Linked Images) similar to a Japanese form of poetry collaboration or 'Linked Verse.' It creates a new image that has no author.
I cannot imagine Martian colony art in the traditional 'enduring' sense. The digital art world is electronic, not concrete. That's what makes it so workable for a Martian Colony. Technologies we already have are Caves Virtual 3D environments. Sculptures would be perfectly 3D. Virtual walking through art environments such as I designed 28 years ago is completely possible and easily transportable! Once a base is operational, technology no doubt will develop media to inspire permanent works beyond our conception now. Remember form follows function.