Cynthia St. Charles Store

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beartooth Inspirations - Into the Studio

Beartooth Wilderness GraniteMuch of the Beartooth Wilderness lies above 10,000 feet in elevation. More than three billion years ago, the granite here was uplifted in a huge lava flow. That means much of the Wilderness area is above the tree line. Without a forest to obscure the igneous rock that made these mountains - hiking in the Beartooths is a special visual treat.
Although I have been hiking in the Beartooths for many years, this time I found myself quite captivated by the rocks. They are wonderfully colorful. I'd not previously made a mental record of the striking shades of pink and salmon in the granite. Since I hope to do a body of work related to this particular hike, I took a lot of pictures of the rocks for reference when I got back to my studio.

The day after I returned, I put some raw silk and cotton sateen into the dye pot.
Today, I took the dyed fabric a step further by screen printing with screens made from a photos I took on the trip. See below, one of my attempts to capture the essence of the pink granite on cotton sateen. This piece was also painted with a natural sponge.

This picture was snapped on the trail on the way out last Friday.

This is a piece of raw silk that has been dyed, sponge painted and screen printed.

This piece of cotton/poly has been painted with Setacolor paints. It was manipulated while still wet and sprinkled with kosher salt.

Here are the small rocks I brought back in my pack. Next step in the studio - adding lichens to the rock fabric.

This fabric has also been painted with Setacolor paints, manipulated and sprinkled with salt.

Am I getting close or should I start all over? Remember, I am going for "essence", not necessarily exact replica. At the same time, I want it to say "stone" when someone looks at it.


sion said...

they look great to me. I *really* love the last two pieces, but I suspect I'd be rapt in the overprinted silk in person too - especially if that's what you're adding lichen to.

kathy said...

I think you're VERY close...these last two are subtle but identifiable as granite. The salt addsa lichen look (too bad you couldn't add green dye to the salt first? And I've really enjoyed all your photos of the Beartooth Mountains...thanks for a glimpse of another part of this beautiful land.

Charisse said...

Hi, The first two fabrics look like mud cracks to me. That could be just a matter of scale. It is hard to tell what scale you are going for in a piece of fabric and mud cracks look very similar to granite that has been mechanically weathered. Very pretty.

Leiah said...

I love these pieces. I very much get the "feel" of the granite - how are you going to use these pieces? Would be incredible in a landscape 'portrait' of the mountains!
Leiah in Golden