Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Heading West

Photos from our last visit to the St. Charles Oceanfront Property
I am starting to get pretty excited. Joe and I are leaving on Thursday morning for a west coast loop. We will be visiting family in Seattle and Portland, with a stop at the primitive oceanfront property that has been in the St. Charles family since the 1960's.
We love visiting this magical place.

It is very remote and primitive and difficult to get to. The roads and bridges leading into this area are mostly washed out. It takes over three hours to drive there from Seattle, some of it on a winding labyrinth of abandoned logging roads.

The property itself has eroded away over the years. A cabin that Joe's family used when he was a child has been eaten up by the coastline many years ago.

The trees grow like weeds and the forest is very dense. Very alive.

The waves are wild, strong, and very cold. We don't get in the water here. We just behold the overwhelming power of nature.
I have been to lots of beaches. All over the world. There is nothing else like this place. It is magical. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Heat Gunning

When I learned that the fiber content of the tulle is nylon, I decided to try blasting it with a heat gun. I took it outside and also put on my respirator.

Here is what a small flocked piece looked like after a second or two of heat blasting.This tulle has been embroidered with rayon thread. The thread didn't melt, but the tulle began to shred right away. This seems to create some interesting possibilities for using this stuff.
I am taking my Beaney and Littlejohn books to the Gallery with me today to study up on their techniques for combining stitch and heat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tulle in the Mail and on the Web

A while back, I posted about a piece I was constructing with multiple tulle overlays in many colors.

This post apparently caught the attention of the owner of a Website devoted to thousands of uses for tulle and net (see link below picture)
This person contacted me about my work and indicated they plan to establish a new category - Tulle in Art! They are interested in featuring my work on their website!

Furthermore, I received a big box of samples from a manufacturer of tulle, tricot, and organza, etc. It arrived yesterday! What an amazing array of supplies!

Oh, the possibilities!

For those of you who also work with tulle, I do think they would be interested in learning about your work. There is a contact link on the website.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Something Fishy

Rainbow Trout

One of my favorite summer activities is trout fishing. I am not so interested in catching the fish or eating them, but I love seeing them in the water!
As the weather warms, my thoughts have turned to trout, and so - I've begun a series of trout quilts.
This first one - is a bit of a disappointment. I actually finished it a week ago, but was so unhappy with it that I balked at posting images on my blog.

I decided to try some detail images and have found this piece much more interesting cropped.

All the fabrics were hand painted. The plant is Tyvek.

I've got another one in the works.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Into the Woods

Into the Woods
I have been messing around with these two versions the entire week, off and on.
I started out with a really nice golden piece of hand dyed cotton and a similar color of hand dyed cheesecloth.I hoped I could stamp a background that would read woodlands, but I wasn't thrilled with my results, so I overpainted, changing the color completely (and also dulling/muting it quite a bit).
Then, to make the tree bark appear as I wanted, I overpainted and scrunched the cheesecloth so that it dried with stripes.
I have fused these tree trunks to the background fabric, so I am stuck with what you see here.
I didn't want to spend too much more time overthinking it. I felt like I had already done plenty with all my layers of stamping and overpainting.

Now to decide whether either of these is worthy of the time investment for quilting.

I am contemplating hand quilting with embroidery thread, perhaps . . . .

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Weatherman Draw

Weatherman Draw
Joe and I took advantage of a beautiful day and took a day trip to the high mountain desert.
We drove about 60 miles south to an area of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) known as Weatherman Draw.
This entire region was once the bottom of a sea. When the sea disappeared - there was a lot of salt left behind in the soils and rocks.

Moisture brings these salts to the surface and leaves them as white alkaline deposits, seen here around this stream and as markings on the rock wall (below). We climbed to the rock wall beyond the stream to search for pictographs.

Sometimes the effects of erosion are darker colored as seen in this enormous rock. Parts of it have broken away to reveal rich color variations. This rock was probably 20' tall.

About half way up, we came across an overhang with some very interesting pictographs.

We think this is a buffalo. Note the line that appears to be going from the mouth into the belly of the animal.

This is what's left of a bear pictograph. The rest of the bear (which was very large, probably 4' tall) had disappeared due to erosion. It was evident that portions of the rock wall had fallen away.

This one is my favorite. It is a buffalo - most of the head / face is missing. I think the stomach has been drawn (similar to the other buffalo picture). I love the bird creature that is indicated within the boundaries of the buffalo figure.

Love this little horny lizard that crossed our path.

This rock is huge - probably 12' across. You can see Joe nearby for size reference. Erosion. I love it.

This area had clearly been the site of a raging river and waterfall. There isn't a drop of water in the area now but the effect of water on the stone is dramatic.

More water erosion in the same area.

Water erosion at Weatherman Draw.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


new work - new approaches.
I am working on a new series. The focus is the five Elements of Fire, Earth, Water, Wood, and Metal. I hope to develop a number of ideas I have for expressing these concepts.

I've not worked with tulle much before. This painted piece has been layered with 10 different colors of tulle cut into rectangles and placed randomly with lots of overlap. Wanting to maintain the transparency, I did not fuse the tulle (as I have in the past).

The subtle shifts in color and shadow don't show up much in the photo. I'm contemplating using paintsticks to create more subtle shadows and light. I'll probably trim and bind it later today. It is about 59" wide.

We have beautiful sunny mild weather today and I think I will set up for fabric painting outside! I'll indulge my muse for the afternoon!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Elements Gallery Debut

Elements Gallery opened May 2.
Business hours will be 10:30 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.
Or by appointment.

We received a lot of encouraging comments from our guests.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

I had a lot of positive feedback on my work.

Our eclectic mix of fine and functional art is colorful and complimentary.

The display of wearables got a lot of attention.

We hope to keep our place filled with colorful, interesting works of art. We plan to focus on keeping unique pieces on hand and sponsoring artists who work in a contemporary style, New Age, OutsiderArt, Fiber, etc. We will keep a steady supply of smaller items like pottery, jewelry, journals, scarves, dolls, etc. on hand to generate the kind of sales that will pay the bills. That will make it possible for us to take more risks as far as what we hang on the walls. This community has nothing else like what we've created. I am very pleased because it has sprung up very quickly, and is very much in line with my vision for the space. I am sure as word gets out, we will attract more artists who's work will fit with our style.