Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Glue Gel Resist

Rainbow Buildings
43 x 59"

I've been working on quilting this piece for about a month. There have been a lot of stops and starts on account of problems with my machine and a lot of other things on my plate.

I've been doing a lot of architectural pieces these past 9 months or so.
Why? I think there is symbolism here and a correlation with my artistic life.
An artistic life that I am building. Constructing. Trying to create in a structural way.

I expect I used two or three bottles of glue to create all the resist lines in this piece.
Before washing out the resist, I painted it, then block printed it. I was thinking about trying to create a city that was covered in colorful graffiti. Not sure I accomplished that, exactly, but I have a different idea for the next piece in this series.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Color Therapy

Quilting Arts Magazine Issue 37 February/March 2009
page 54-59
Color Therapy - Glue Gel Resist

by Cynthia St. CharlesAncient Echoes 20 1/2 x 13"
I am delighted to be able to announce the publication of my article on glue gel resist!

Here are the images that have been featured in the article.

PopArt Roses 35 x 28"

Don't Worry, Be Happy
16 1/2 x 10 1/2"

Village Green 21 1/2 x 21"

Color City 20 x 21"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Growth Thru Art

I was invited in as a guest artist at Growth Thru Art. The spacious art studio is located in downtown Billings and is sponsored by the Human Resource Council. Morning and afternoon open studios are held four days a week, and many disabled adults from the community regularly visit during their scheduled session. Some come daily, others twice a week.

Most of these artists arrived by special transit. Many needed assistance holding the paintbrushes, etc. After I gave my instructions, they all seemed to have very clear ideas about what they wanted to do. Above, Susan and Carl really got into the project.

I provided Setacolor paints in primary colors (diluted 50% with water), cotton fabric, and foam board foundations for a worksurface. After painting, they had the option of adding salt or crumpling up the fabric to create texture. The girl in the foreground (above) is Jessie.

Bill (above) and Arys (below). They loved having their picture taken.

I went in two afternoons to work with two different groups. Next week, the artists will be able to see their finished work. After that, I will bring the fabric home and make it into something for their fundraising auction in November.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Powell Rotary Art Fling Acceptance!

Three Trout
I have just received notification that my work has been juried into the Art Show and Auction sponsored by the Powell Rotary International. The auction will be held on March 7th in Powell, Wyoming.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby Quilt

A new grandson is expected - due April 3. He will be named Breckin - Erin's baby.
I already made a diaper bag for her, but decided Breckin needs a quilt made by Nana.
I have a stack of Kona solids languishing in a drawer in my studio and decided to try using them to create a bold colorful baby quilt.

Here are the blocks on my design wall. I am trying to settle on an arrangement before I start sewing them together. Maybe I will finish it today.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Surface Art Association Entry 12" Square

This one is also gallery wrapped. I'd show you the back but it looks exactly like the one in the previous entry.

I plan to enter three of my 12" pieces in the Surface Art Association Small Works Exhibition in Los Angeles.

Friday, January 9, 2009

12" Square Art Quilt on Stretcher Bars

Bamboo IAlign CenterI have been working with the constraints of a 12" square. Challenging for me. Not so much the size, but the shape. In my previous entry, I showed this piece and complained that I felt it was too busy. I decided it needed a border to create some negative space. I ended up trimming it down considerably so it would fit on the background that is a separate quilt that has been stretched over stretcher bars.

It doesn't really show in the pictures, but I am pleased with the extra dimension created by the smaller quilt placed over a background.

I am also satisfied with the process I came up with for stretching the quilt. I sewed a folded strip of fabric along each edge (2" strip folded to be 1" wide). This gave a nice finish to the edge, reduced bulk, and gave me a firm edge for stapling.

More 12" Squares

Ok, I admit these look messy. This is a process I have been using a bit lately, in which I print on hand dyed fabric with my hand cut blocks, followed by screen printing with a Thermofax screen. I print with a lighter color of paint and again with a darker color to give it dimension. I have been doing this on recycled scrap paper.

I made a new Thermofax screen of bamboo that I was really excited about, but I see now that the final image is just too busy and chaotic. Hmmm . . . . any correlation to my life in real time?

Chaotic, messy and too busy?

I have been thinking these pieces needed a focal point, but now I am thinking what they really need is a border - something to offset all that busy color and texture. Maybe they would be smashing mounted on stretched canvas?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

12" Squares

There are a lot of calls for entry with a size of 12" square.
This is a rather challenging shape and size for me.
I have been trying to focus on using some of my favorite surface design fabrics
for some smaller pieces in this size.

The top piece is screen printed with a digital photo of cottonwood trees in the Pryor Mountains taken during a hike last fall. The red and yellow fabric was a deconstructed screen print, and the border was hand dyed.

This bottom piece is rust dyed fabric that has been screen printed with a Thermofax screen from a digital photo of petroglyphs at Painted Desert National Park in Arizona. The border fabric is hand dyed and block printed with a handcut block.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Salvaged Threads - Fly Free

It has been an eventful day for me. A big change - upsetting, but not necessarily all bad. I am not really ready to talk about it, but suffice it to say that I am now relieved of a big obligation that was taking over my life in ways that I wasn't ready for.

Very liberating (maybe I will be able to sleep now) and I was able to begin working it through with this piece, which I will enter in the Salvaged Threads challenge. The salvaged fabric for this piece is an old green place mat that I bought at a garage sale for my daughter. She didn't want it, so I got it back and stashed it in the studio. Earlier this week, I painted it with swirls of yellow and red. Then, today, I hand printed it with a rubber stamp I cut by hand.

The butterfly image is a Thermofax screen I created using a photo I took during the Llama Beartooth Trek.
I had printed it onto a scrap from some fabric I printed using a deconstructed screen printing technique.

Sushi Conveyor Belt

Big fans of sushi that we are, we could not resist this new fast food sushi restaurant in Puyallup, Washington. (Breckin enjoyed the colorful sights here, too!)

While seated at your table, the conveyor belt passes by with a variety of small sushi plates. Each is color coded according to price, and contains 3 pieces. This is a great way to sample new things without having to commit to a whole roll!

If you want something you don't see - you just holler it out, and it will appear on the belt within minutes! Fun!
I really want to do a sushi quilt someday!