Cindy Lass burst onto the art scene ten years ago when she was invited to contribute to an exhibition at the Ebury Street Gallery on the strength of her first painting - a vase of flowers for her mother. The exuberant colours and high voltage energy apparent in her work soon attracted the attention of other gallery owners. Her first solo exhibition at the Coningsby Gallery was a virtual sell-out, setting the pattern for her career so far. Over the years she has acquired a fan base of admiring art lovers, including celebrities such as Elton John and Victoria and David Beckham.
A former student of the Corona Academy in west London, Cindy left school with an Equity card and aspirations to act. Hand modelling, radio voice-overs and acting jobs followed, but it was her mother's request for a painting that led her to turn her hand to art.
Beryl Cook, with whom she shares many parallels, has been an inspiration. While neither have any formal art training, they both have an enviable ability to paint direct from the heart. The late Professor Stan Smith, who nominated Cindy to join the Chelsea Arts Club, recognised the integrity in her work and the completeness of her own style, advising her never to take an art class.
A self-taught artist, Cindy believes passionately that painting should come straight from the heart. The work she produces is to satisfy herself, not art critics or even the general public. The fact that they are so highly sought after is flattering to her, but also largely irrelevant. Even after a decade of success, she is sometimes caught off-guard by other people's enthusiasm for her work. "You paint happy paintings" is a typical comment that gives her great pleasure.
Bold forms and energetic colours are her signature, but what drives her to paint comes from deep inside. As she says: "If the colours in my paintings give a lift to someone's heart, then I feel I have achieved something". For Cindy herself, financial gain, fame or even the growing respect of her peers are all secondary to painting itself: "The best thing for me is coming into the conservatory where I work, putting some music on and switching off. It doesn't matter whether I am happy or stressed - art is my saviour”.
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Cindy donated her painting ‘Anne had No Time to Blossom’ to the Anne Frank House. The painting shows the famous chestnut tree that Anne Frank could see from the attic window of her hiding place. The painting was handed over on 3 May during the events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Anne Frank House as a museum, in the presence of Eva Schlöss-Geiringer, the stepdaughter of Anne’s father, Otto Frank. Cindy Lass and Eva Schlöss are friends, and both live in England.
The Anne Frank House is extremely pleased to receive the painting, which has now been given a prominent place in the organisation’s offices where it can be seen by all employees and visitors.
Besides the painting is a caption by Cindy Lass, which reads: “When I first saw Anne Frank’s tree it looked bare and unwell. It reminds me sadly that Anne was never given the opportunity to blossom and grow. I wanted to paint the tree in full bloom to show that we all have the right to blossom. Please enjoy this painting and appreciate our life together and be kind and understanding to all. Love Cindy”.