Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nude in Taffeta - Putting Closure on an Unfinished Quilt

Well, this piece is a work in progress. I started it last summer by painting some synthetic taffeta I brought home from my mother's place when she was moving.

I wanted to sketch a female figure with thread on this fabric. Don't ask me why - it was just an idea that I came up with. I loved the colors and shades the paint left on the fabric and I wanted to preserve that as much as possible.

When it came time to do the thread work, I was scared and overwhelmed - paralyzed. It has been pinned on my design wall unfinished for months, so today I decided I would give it a go for better or worse. It needs to move off my design wall so I can move on.

Here is the result of today's stitching. Better than I thought it might be, but not exactly as good as the mental image that started me on this piece. I wanted to keep the image sketchy and somewhat impressionistic, but it seems to be lost on the fabric (and the face looks unhappy ... . er . . . demonic!). I am contemplating going in with another layer of paint, crayon, paintstick, or colored pencil - to either darken the figure or the background or to add shadows somewhere.

Any suggestions?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Gelatin Print

Autumn Sunset

I love the process of gelatin printing. It has been a struggle, however, to come up with ways to use them to their best advantage. I really love the intricate texture of a gelatin print and do not want to hide that wonderful texture with a lot of stitching. This time, I used embroidery floss in hand stitching to enhance the gelatin print.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Player


This piece will be donated to the Big Sky Quilt Retreat for their silent auction. I plan to mount it on matt board and frame it.

Here is the link to this event:

The dates for the Big Sky Quilt Show and Retreat are March 7 - 10, 2007 at the Shrine Auditorium, Billings, Montana.

This year, they are featuring Montana quilt teachers!

Year Long Challenge

This challenge was proposed to our small art quilt group, Women of Artistic Vision, by member Kathy Lichtendahl. The plan was to make four quilts over the course of the year. Participants were to choose a noun or concept and represent it in the quilts using different interpretations to communicate the concept or word.

Theme - a subject or topic or artistic representation. This was to be the most realistic of the quilts.

My theme word is Baby, since the arrival of my first grandchild has been a most earth shattering event for me. For this piece, I used images of my grandparents, mother, daughters, grandson, nephews and nieces to create this photo collage of babies. All the images in this collage have personal significance for me - including the Alice in Wonderland Duchess at the center. She is to represent me - the reluctant grandmother / babysitter.

Allegory - A story in which people, things, etc. have a hidden or symbolic meaning.

This piece is not very allegorical, but I did use manipulated images of Leonardo da Vinci's sketches of a fetus in the womb to create the screenprint. I screened onto hand dyed organza, which was stitched in place over hand dyed cotton. Then I overscreened in metallics.

Canon - Any law or decree/ an established rule or principle / a body of rules, principles, criteria.

For this piece, the object was to come up with several rules based on the theme word and then follow those rules in the development of the quilt.

My rules were to use only materials associated with a baby for the construction of the quilt. For this piece, I painted babywipes with yellow and red Setacolor, then overpainted strokes of blue in a style to indicate writing or language.

I call this one Babywipe Grafitti.

This piece was to be a combination of the three previous concepts.

I decided to use the painted babywipes again, and I decided to stick with the colors orange and blue. Blue to represent the liquid state of the embryonic fluid. Orange to represent the life giving and spiritual force of the mother. The quilting stitches were done in small circles to represent cells. The orange was too bright, so I toned it down by rubbing the surface of the quilt with a copper metallic paint stick.