Born in 1986, Cheryl grew up in Northern California with parents whose love of music and the outdoors fed her passions for expression and exploration. She sang in musical productions throughout childhood and spent free time drawing and tending to the pets she would make of small wild animals. She moved to Arizona in 2000, where she rooted into art studies and soon became a mother in 2003. She received a BFA in Painting from Arizona State University in 2014. Thereafter, she worked as an illustrator in the EdTech industry developing curriculum for K-12 online classes. In 2021, she left her job to pursue painting full time. Presently, she lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her 19 year old son and is working in her studio in Downtown, Phoenix.
For the last several years, evident history has been a point of focus in my work. I have painted subjects that are storied by time and their journey up until that moment. Wondering about the process that brought a canyon to form or the time and events it took for a car to become a dilapidated ruin motivated my study. Portraits and figures have been a vehicle for this curiosity as well.
In early 2022, outside of the studio, I began to dig into my interest in photographic vernacular of the past. I was pulled by the feeling of peering into a moment in time that was unselfconsciously and unwittingly part of a history that would later become known. The intimacy in some of these everyday pictorial moments connects me to the sense that my human experience has been shared by countless others across time.
Allowing this intrigue to bleed into my work, I began to search within my own past, before my birth, for moments of pivotal importance. A couples motorcycle club that my grandparents belonged to. The infatuation that drew them together. The hospital stay after the birth of my mother. The beach near their family home. I wanted to stand with them in those moments.
I felt it was important to depict these imaginings at life size and in a visual style that related to the time in which they happened. For this, I employed influences from the illustration of the early to mid 20th century, rhythms and shapes that describe forms with efficiency, and a limited palette with less modern pigments.
This focus on personal history has opened the door for me to explore narrative within my figurative paintings. Since those first few large scale paintings, I am moving into less personal and more broad behavioral and situational concepts. As of 2023, I am exploring themes of movement, time, and change through the human figure.