Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Series - Leaf Prints

While in the mountains last month, I was inspired by the varied vegetation along the forest trail. So much wonderful texture and color!

While in the mountains, I spent some time photographing various plants along the trail - and these have been converted into silkscreens. I spent many hours over several days mixing colors and printing these.

It ends up being kind of a slow process because of the required wait time for drying of each layer.

I put the group up on the design wall to evaluate before moving on to the next design phase.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Block Printing New Series

More block printed fabrics for my new series inspired by a recent backpacking trip in the Beartooth Mountains.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Block Printing a New Series

I was inspired by many things during our 4 day backpacking trip into the Beartooth Mountains. The water in the lakes along East Rosebud Creek are a rich color of blue green.
Not really trying to create something realistic - I hoped to create something representational in the studio.

I painted the background panel using Setacolor Transparent Paints. Once the paint was dry, I was ready to block print using my hand cut rubber stamps. I used a combination of transparent and opaque Setacolor fabric paints to achieve the undulating pattern of wind on the lake.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Starting a New Series

I started on a new series that is inspired by my time in the Beartooth Mountains.
I painted three background panels in three color families.
The orange - gold - brown panel.

The pink - purple - blue panel.

And the blue - turquoise - violet panel. These must be dry before I can proceed to the next step. I used Setacolor Transparent paints, highly diluted and painted on 100% cotton ecology cloth (natural).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Making Faces - Polymer Clay

Since my first doll pin prototype was satisfactory, I decided to make some more faces - I didn't have any more in the correct size.
3 year old grandson, Airus has played with my collection of polymer faces since he was very small. They always interested him, for some reason and he could be entertained for a very long time - just looking at them.

Anyway, he was here one day last week, and this turned out to be something we could do together. Age three seems pretty young for a kid to be so interested in modeling with polymer clay, but he asked me if he could make one - it wasn't my idea.

His paternal grandfather is a professional bronze sculptor, as is his biological father as well as several paternal uncles - all very talented (between them, most of the bronze sculptures in the area have been done by members of the family). No doubt, this is something Airus has in him. He is remarkably skilled with the plastic tools and he loved pulling the formed faces from the mold. He made a lot of colorful faces, while I tried to make mine somewhat flesh toned.

Airus did not want me to bake his faces, preferring them to remain soft and pliable. I suppose he will be recreating them again next time he comes over.

I rubbed some acrylic paints over the surface to emphasize the features. These are now ready for a body!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More for the Growth Thru Art Fundraiser

I had a few strips left over from the journals and I decided to try making something from the colorful remnants. I had a box of polymer clay faces I made several years ago, so I thought I'd try making some dolls that could be worn as a pin.

I borrowed a few ideas from the latest edition of Cloth Paper Scissors - an article explaining the process of converting a pipe cleaner into a decorative embellishment inspired the arms and legs of these dolls. The hair has been stitched in place using a big fat needle.

These were successful enough that I think I will try making a few more. But I am out of faces, so will need to make more faces as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Growth Thru Art - Fabric Journals

I have had a hard time focusing on a big or serious project, so I have been finishing up odds and ends around the studio. Trying to find things I can do with a broken arm! I decided to use a couple of the fabrics painted by the Growth Thru Art folks for journal covers. I layered the fabrics over Timtex and did some stitching and couching. Then, I cut them to size for covers for these spiral bound sketch books.

After stitching around the edges, I applied glue and pressed them under weights to dry. I think these should be popular items for the Growth Thru Art fundraiser.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Inspired by the Beartooths

A first attempt at expressing my impressions and feelings from our recent backpacking trip to the Beartooth Mountains. This is the rock fabric shown in a previous post. The evergreen screen print is from photos I took during last month when we spent 4 days in the wilderness. Not sure it is worthy of of quilting, but I will keep it under consideration for the future.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Indigo - The Last Hurrah!

I really love the way this french terry tunic came out. I think I'll be wearing it this fall as the weather cools!

This raw silk jacket and skirt were dipped together in order to insure they would be coordinating. I think this outfit will go into my closet to await some appropriate occasion - maybe an upcoming gallery opening . . .

Ok, this should be the last of the indigo dyeing for me for 2009. After this last group of fabrics and garments were dipped a single time each, the vat died what seemed like a natural death. The 5 gallon bucket will be sealed and retired to a corner of the workshop and we shall see what can be done with it next spring!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rock Fabric

The granite in the Beartooth Mountains has a broad range of colors, but the most striking is the pink, salmon color and gray granite. I tried my best to duplicate this - or at least come within striking distance of this look. I have a plan for a new series and I need some fabric to represent the granite in the Beartooth Mountains.

This fabric was hand dyed cotton broadcloth - the first color on the fabric
was pink and charcoal - MX dye. Acrylic paint
was screenprinted from a Thermofax screen from a photo I took of some dried mud. I overpainted with with Setacolor Transparent paints in several shades - Sienna, Black, Ochre. Then, I created a gentle pattern on the wet painted fabric by scrunching it with my hands.
After that I sprinkled the surface with rock salt and left it to dry.

The photo above just shows a detail about 12". The piece I painted was about 1 1/2 yards. I have a large library table 4 x 6' that is a wonderful work surface.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pale Indigo

More cleaning up . . . it had been 2 weeks since I used the indigo vat. Last time I used it, I thought I was finished with it and had skimmed off the "flower" to evaporate so I could use the residue as a pigment paint.
I thought I would try setting the vat in the corner of the workshop for the winter to see if it could be revived next summer. (I hate to dispose of all those chemicals if they can be used again!).

Well, when I peeked in the vat - I was surprised to see it was still active! Hmmm . . .
Another creative task I could do with a broken arm!
So, I scrambled around for a few items I'd be able to dye.

It was tough getting a rubber glove on over my brace, and I ripped one doing so.

Surprisingly, this group of items yielded a much paler shade of indigo. The two yardage samples above are from left Ecology Cloth (natural cotton) and Cotton Broadcloth (bleached and mercerized. Below, I have included a yard of the Ecology cloth I dyed in July - so much darker!
Each of these were dipped only once.

This cotton cable sweater was purchased from the clearance rack at Target.
The T-shirt below came from my brother-in-law during a visit last spring.
It was ripped around the neck and he gave it to me as a paintshirt. I decided to alter it a bit before dipping.

This turned out to be a very comfortable summer top - I've already worn it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Growth Thru Art - Birds

I love my time in the wilderness. It inspires me and feeds my soul. It keeps me going through the long Montana winters when I am stuck indoors and the mountain roads are closed due to snow.

Still, for all that inspiration - I find it difficult to transition.
I am back , but it's hard to focus on creative processes. I am home, my studio is waiting, but I don't quite know what to do with myself.

This is a good time to tidy up, and in that process - finish up those projects that are laying around cluttering up my workspace.

Last winter, I worked with Growth Thru Art, a creative workshop for developmentally disabled adults. We painted fabric, which I was then charged with converting into something marketable for their annual fundraiser.

Thankfully, the members of WAV pitched in to help with that, and I have been collecting some really wonderful items for the fundraiser.

I started these birds at the suggestion of Patricia, who left a comment and a link after reading about all the fabric on my blog in this entry. I was not thrilled with them, and was not liking the tedious task of stuffing them.

However, this seemed like something I would be able to do with my broken arm.
Viola' !

They will be arranged on branches to create a mobile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Heading Home - Beartooth Backpacking Trip

The hike out was scenic, and downhill nearly all the way.

Even though we'd seen this scenery before - since we were headed the other direction, it looked different.

Additionally, the light was a lot different - morning light and slightly overcast for our departure.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hiking out - Beartooth Mountains

Early Morning Departure
A last look at our camping spot.
A last look at Rainbow Lake. The trail drops off sharply to the lake.

We trudged along another mile to Rimrock Lake, where the trail also has a very steep drop off to the lake.
A last glimpse of the falls that feeds Rimrock Lake (faintly visible in about the center of the picture above)

Rimrock Lake outlet (above) and the bridge across (below)

The view of the lake from the bridge.

A final look at Rimrock Lake. 5 more miles to the trailhead.