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about cindy


About Cindy Wheeler

Pastel painting of the American River

Growing Up

I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville, in a tiny town called Tuxedo. My younger growing up years were spent on a mountaintop, overlooking the blues and greens of the Smoky Mountain foothills. The love of light and landscapes–whether east coast, west coast or around the globe–comes from a lifetime of being face to face with nature and its colorful moods.


My professional artistic career began with a BFA degree in Graphic Arts from Auburn University. I subsequently moved to NYC to illustrate and write children's books professionally for Random House, Viking/Penguin, Alfred A. Knopf, and other major publishers in New York City for the next 20 years. My books can still be found on And Random House recenty contacted me to let me know that two of my books, Sally Wants to Help, and Bookstore Cat, will be made into e-books!


In 2001, I moved to Marin County in California and began to learn how to translate my artistic background into my newest passion, landscape painting. I fell in love with the golden hills at sunset and the dramatic coastline, Point Reyes, Drake's Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, Bolinas Lagoon, and most recently, Gold Country–the topics for many of my paintings.

Hemmingway the cheetah and me

South Africa

In October 2006 I left for South Africa to work as a volunteer with a cheetah conservation group, called Cheetah Outreach. I have since settled in the Sierra Foothills, where I work as a Graphic and Web designer and weekend painter. I slip away from the computer and the easel occasionally, to visit my favorite US cheetah, Tango, who lives at Project Survival in Fresno, CA.