SHOESCAPES.com

About the Artist



A seminal event
in my adult creative development was a three-year stint selling ladies shoes. Interacting with thousands of women, hearing their stories, and learning the great range of feelings that shoes invoke germinated a lifelong creative seed. The first creative outlet was a sort of false start in writing. The discipline of writing eluded me and my enthusiasm waned. I returned to the University of Texas at El Paso to take some graduate courses and that lead me back to painting. I studied there under Jim Quinnan and began to develop my current themes.

I'm a latecomer to the art community, but it didn't begin this way. I showed early promise, winning a city portfolio contest as a High School senior. As a University I did well but could not form a vision for myself as a career artist. My own immaturity, coupled with a lack of artist role models led me to follow other interests. I graduated in 1979 with B.A. in Latin American Studies.

The degree proved ideal preparation for my career as naval intelligence officer. I served in a variety of units until 1993, when I resigned my commission. The highlight of my military career was serving in Desert Shield/Desert Storm on the U.S. Navy staff in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I took watercolor materials with me and painted plein air as often as possible. I also looked at many photographs from the air, giving me a visual point of reference I explored in some paintings at the time.

After the military followed 3 difficult years in computer sales. To augment my income, I took a second job selling shoes at Hecht’s, a May Company, in one of their larger stores in Virginia Beach. In 1996 I returned to El Paso as a teacher and in a short time returned to painting.

I have studied art and painted throughout my life. While all of my recent work is executed in oils, I've worked in watercolor, acrylic, ink, printmaking (intaglio, relief, and serigraphy), wood carving, and metals.

In November of 1998, I held my first exhibit, a studio opening and reception in the Texas Building in downtown El Paso showcasing my “Shoescape” series. Subsequently I exhibited in local venues:  “Sojourns”, “Oseye” Gallery, and “Collage”. In 2000 I presented a workshop on breaking artists’ block for the Ysleta Independent School District. In the summer of 2001, an oil painting titled "Tom Lea Park" was exhibited in Cambridge Massachusetts as part of the prestigious Cambridge Art Association Juried show.

I moved from El Paso to Dallas in August of 2001. Moving away from El Paso light changed my work significantly. Many of my new paintings are interiors and the light is just not the same in the North Texas haze. In 2004 my work came to the public in Dallas through an alternative gallery show at Avocado Tree on Knox Avenue. Exposure there led to a collaboration with Krista de la Harpe, a Dallas shoe designer. I executed four paintngs of her shoe designs for a show at her studio in May 2004. While the show was only three nights long, they were devoted to The Dallas Fashion Group, The Theater Center Guild, and the Downtown Art Walk  respectively. A Shuz Magazine piece on the show attracted the attention of a shoescape fan an earned me my first commission work. Thank you Joni!

In July of 2005 I mobilized with the National Guard for a deployment to Kosovo. I spent all of 2006 in the Balkans and had the opportunity to view Thracian, Hellenic, and Roman antiquities firsthand. I did a little painting plein air in oils but had to put painting in the background. I anticipate a new series of paintings that borrow from ancient icons and images. In January of 2007 I moved to San Antonio Texas for a job that kept me very busy for two years. A deployment followed in Iraq during part of 2009-2010. 2011 finds me in Atlanta, GA and a long way from prickly pear and yucca.
My web site, http://www.craigschneider.com, had been active for four years and has seen over 5,500 visitors. In 2005, I swapped with another Craig Schneider, an artist and filmmaker. He swapped me for www.shoescapes.com  at that time.

 

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