Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cyndi Girardet---Watercolors Nov. 4,-Nov 25, 2012

Cyndi Girardet---Watercolors  Nov. 4,-Nov 25, 2012--reception Nov. 4, 1-3 PM    refreshments served
see facebook: Gourgaud Gallery for pictures by Cyndi Girardet

            Cynthia Barten Girardet studied watercolor painting with Finis Collins in San Antonio, Texas for two years and with Erica Hoyt in Columbia, South Carolina for four years.  In the early 1980s, her paintings were displayed in shows in South Carolina and in western New York.

            Upon moving to Cranbury, New Jersey with her husband, Wayne, and their two children in 1982, she took a short hiatus from her painting to restore their c. 1826 home, teach music at Princeton Montessori School, and sing with Princeton Pro Musica.  In 1992, she reentered the art world with a one-person, sell out show at Tucker Anthony in Princeton.

            In 1995, she retired from teaching to concentrate on saving their historic home by moving it to a new location in Cranbury.  With the completion of that project, she again began dividing her time between her watercolors and her musical activities.

            In the late 1990s, her artwork hung in Holsome Teas & Herbs on Nassau Street in Princeton for eighteen months.  Most recently, she has displayed paintings in Garden State Watercolor Society shows, the University Medical Center at Princeton, at the opening of Princeton Fuel Oil’s new headquarters and at the International Headquarters of Johnson and Johnson in New Brunswick.

            Since moving to New Jersey, Ms. Girardet has participated in workshops with several prominent artists including Earl Lewis, Robert Sakson, Gail Bracegirtle, nationally acclaimed watercolorist, Don Andrews and most recently Lian Zhen.  She has also done a number of works on commission.  Her specialty is painting old houses, farms, and buildings with a voice from the past.  When not singing or painting, she enjoys gourmet cooking, gardening, traveling, needlework, and playing the piano.  More importantly, she takes great pleasure in spending time with her five grandchildren and their parents, as well as her husband of 43 years.

Quiet Dignity

Thoughts of the Artist – Cynthia Barten Girardet

It is unfortunate that we in this country have become so materialistic over the last fifty years.  There is beauty in simple things and we miss that beauty when we are so absorbed in attaining material wealth.

Perhaps that is why I have always been touched by the plight of those less fortunate than I am.  I feel there is often a quiet dignity in the poor – not dignity in being poor, but dignity despite poverty.  I first tried to portray that dignity in one of my early paintings, “Pride and Poverty.”  I saw that pride during my childhood in my aunt and uncle who owned a small dairy farm in western New York.  I saw it again in many of the poor when we lived in the South.

I guess that’s also why I’ve always loved painting old, dilapidated and worn out buildings with a voice from the past.  They speak to me of courage, struggle and stories untold.

When we visited Russia a few years ago, I saw that same dignity in the faces of the Russian babushkas, despite their plight of poverty.  I have tried to capture that intangible spirit in my series of “Babushka Paintings.”

Last winter my husband and I spent two months driving around South Africa.  We observed this quiet dignity throughout that beautiful country, especially in the townships and among it’s poor.  (My next artistic journey is to try and depict the dignity of the Black Africans we met during our visit.)  We also spent hours observing South Africa’s elephants and were overwhelmed by the quiet dignity those gentle giants exhibited in their relationships with each other.  My most recent endeavor has been to try to capture their majesty in my paintings of them.

It seems that throughout my life I have had a burning desire to express something inside me that I can’t verbalize.  Maybe it is the beauty in simple things.  Maybe it is an appreciation for the past.  Maybe it is a desire to move past materialism into a more simple, uncluttered pure existence.  I’m trying to capture that “something” in my artwork.  I would be so gratified if even just one of my paintings would speak to you.

The artwork is for sale with 20% of each sale going to support the Cranbury Arts Council and its programs (see Cash or a check made out to the Cranbury Arts Council is accepted as payment.

The Gallery is located in Town Hall- a Town Hall, 23-A North Main Street in Cranbury, NJ: and is free and open to the public Mon- Fri from 9 AM. – 4 PM the first, third and last Sunday. You can meet the exhibiting Artist(s). Refreshments are served at the Artist Reception. Anyone wishing to exhibit at the Gourgaud Gallery can obtain an application at the Gallery or at For information on upcoming programs and events, LIKE us on FACEBOOK: GOURGAUD GALLERY, and at the Gourgaud Gallery blog: . If you are interested in CAC membership or participating in any way, please email us at