Cynthia St. Charles Store

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coloring a Screen Print

What am I working on these days? Well, mainly home improvement projects and entertaining visiting family members - and the hiking trips that I have shared.

However, I did create a Thermofax screen from some drawings I have of the upper Yellowstone River Valley. The drawings are in a home made book (long pieces of paper glued together years ago by my paternal grandmother). Everything is fading and the glue has yellowed, but I have found them workable, anyway.

The artist was William Henry Holmes. He was part of the Hayden Survey - done in 1872. I am certain they are copyright safe for me to use in my art - I doubt they were ever actually published in a book. I think they were loose and my grandmother just put them into the book as a way of storing them safely.

The book my grandmother put together contains drawings of about 5 different mountain ranges in Montana. These are all relevant to our family history. She has marked on them - the locations of the family homesteads, which were settled very early. I am a 4th generation Montanan - my relatives arrived here during gold rush times and as the gold petered out - they turned to other means. One distant uncle was a shoe cobbler. Another became the manager of the state mental asylum. But my great grandparents tried their hand at farming until their farm was claimed by Ennis Lake when a dam was built on the Madison River.

At that point, they shifted to ranching - with land on higher ground that they received in exchange for what was lost under the lake.

I chose this mountain range to start - because it shows the part of the Yellowstone Valley where I used to live - the tallest peak on the left is Emigrant Peak, which I looked at every day for nearly 10 years.

So - anyway - I printed the screen onto a piece of indigo dyed fabric - using black ink.
Then, I thought I would try adding a bit of color and found my pastel dye crayons most effective.

Not sure I like the results well enough to use this piece in any finished work, but I wanted to show you that I am doing a little bit of art this summer!


Michigoose said...

Wow! My mom is a 4th generation Montanan too! Like you, I have some watercolor sketches that O. C. Selzer did for my grandfather (they were friends in Great Falls). They too were in a book, although one really nice one of a fantail goldfish he did for a Graham & Ross Feed store catalog was glued into a scrapbook!

Marybeth said...

Love it that you are back "doin' the art stuff". Could you bring this piece to WAV/TAGY in Sept..I would love to see the drawing and then what you produced!! Glad you enjoyed the BH Canyon!! DH is on the board of the Friends of the Big Horn Canyon...we love that area!! See you in Sept.. Mb