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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 Mountains. The love of light and landscapes –whether east coast, west coast or around the globe – comes from a lifetime of living with nature and its colorful moods.


My professional artistic career began with a BFA degree in Graphic Arts from Auburn University. I eventually 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

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 had little time for painting, but came back to the US with a unrivaled appreciation, respect and love of Africa – the people, the animals, the art.  Once back on US soil, I settled in the Sierra Foothills for a few years, where I worked as a Graphic designer and weekend painter.

Back to Asheville, NC

Now I've come full circle, back to Asheville, NC., with a new palette of blues and greens to replace the golds and violets of CA. Stay tuned for new paintings soon.