CINDY INMAN IS ODD. Not catch-the-coodies-if-you-sit-next-to-her odd, but
ocean-breeze-dancing-through-the-Mojave odd. She’s unexpected and refreshing.
Photographed by Katie McTigue
As the winner of Flaunt 2013’s Best in Show, I imagined her as a goddess of arts who always painted with a mystic metaphor in mind. Cindy has a couple of giant portraits of lemons against an unapologetically bright background of red and bluish-green hanging in her kitchen. The lemons don’t have anything to do with capturing the essence of sunshine or challenging the notion of quantum physics as it relates to the power of cosmic pancakes. She painted the lemons because she likes bright colors, saw the lemons and wanted to paint them. Refreshing. Cindy has painted since the age of 12. As a teenager in Texas, she won first place in an arts show when she created a portrait of an older gentlemen using a motley mix of bright hues instead of the usual natural tones. What kept her from winning Best in Show was one judge’s disbelief that anyone so young could capture wrinkles so well. She only remembers the story because her father loves to retell it. Cindy really doesn’t think about art show wins and losses; she simply enjoys the process of painting. Being able to make a comfortable living out of art is the cream cheese frosting on the cake. As I sat with her at her kitchen table, she kept staring at a painting of sunflowers hanging next to her back door. Now and again, she commented on how it was unfinished. The background could be deeper and more vibrant, the petals of the flowers brighter and more pronounced. I looked at the same painting and I saw something I had neither the patience nor the will to create – a gorgeous largerthan-life interpretation of flowers that seemed to vibrate against a dream of a landscape. Cindy felt that she could improve the painting, perhaps consult Dick (her über-talented, classically-trained artist of a husband) to get it right. I got the sense that she felt that way about most of her work, though she is particularly proud of an alligator she has hanging in a back hallway. She joked about the need to make a living and how holding onto her artwork didn’t get the bills paid. But, she also said it was better for her to get her paintings out into the world because the longer she kept a painting, the more she felt as if the work was