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Cindy Elder Has Followed a Winding Path


Life has led new Anderson Artists Guild member Cindy Elder down a variety of paths.

After earning a paralegal certificate, she worked for a Georgia law firm for six years until she needed a change.


When she got a job doing actuarial work at a menswear company, the top executives noticed her. “They liked the way I put my own clothes together and asked me to evaluate new clothing lines,” she said. “Then one day I was wearing a complex jacket with all kinds of zippers, and they asked if I could draw it over the weekend.” They liked the result so much that they fired their existing designer and hired Elder instead. Her duties included creating designs, selecting fabrics, having prototypes made, doing presentations to the sales forces, and attending trade shows.


Another job was as the general manager of a paint booth manufacturing facility. A paint booth is an expensive piece of machinery in which cars are painted.


“Everything I’ve done was the result of taking a right or a left by chance,” she said.


When her husband’s health deteriorated, they moved to Florida. “I wanted a place on the lake so he could see the water,” she said. They later moved to Anderson to be near friends and family. Elder was widowed last year.


Now retired, Elder spends much of her time painting with oils, which she began using in 1992. She likes their blendability and depth of values and the fact that they’re so forgiving.


She paints a lot of still lifes, as well as florals and seascapes, working on several pieces at once. “They all speak differently to you when you paint them,” she said. She calls her style part structured, part impressionistic.


She has studied with Elizabeth Robbins, James Sulkowski, Jeff Legg, Kelly Folsom, and many others. “Painting is my passion,” she said.

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