Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, October 12, 2012

Seasonal Transitions

Just one week ago, we returned home from a 9 day trip to the west coast.  It was a wonderful time for visiting with family and returning to some favorite special places.  While we were away, the first snow of the season arrived in Billings, Montana and it was still here when we got home.

It is such an adjustment!  Temperatures were in the 90's when we left.  The air was full of smoke from wildfires.

Fall has arrived.  I hear the Beartooth Highway has closed early due to snow, so that means the last hike we hoped for will not be happening.

It is time to make that difficult transition to winter, and I have to admit I am feeling really grumpy about it.  We had an especially good summer.

We backpacked 53 miles (3 trips)!  We did an additional 50 miles in day hikes. (most of these were with my dear husband and daughter, Michelle) 
We had two really great family excursions to Hot Springs (one at Thermopolis, WY the other at Fairmont, MT).
We car camped with a niece and nephew and caught a few trout.
We walked on the beach - Pacific Ocean.  We climbed a peak in the North Cascades!
I finished  building two levels of terraces on the front landscaping and got the flagstone patio laid.
I planted over 150 new irises, 80 grape hyacinths, and 50 daffodils.  (something to look forward to in the spring!)
We did complete renovations on four office suites in our commercial office building.
Joe and I took a wonderful trip through 8 National Parks and Monuments in Colorado and Wyoming in June.  We took another wonderful trip through Oregon and Washington in September - taking in two National Parks on that trip.

Wow!  It is hard to come down from all that intense activity and get busy with the routine tasks that tend to take over my life when the cold weather arrives.

It is time to get busy in the studio, but I am finding it difficult to go there and stay on task.  I am feeling adrift and unfocused.  I feel like a failure as an artist and am filled with self doubt.  This happens to me every year until I find something purposeful and engaging to do.  Two years ago, I got my rhythm back by kicking off my Mail Art Project - in which I created and sent a new postcard to three family members each week (I sent my last one out in August - 100 in all!).  Last fall, I started working a new way - building up a fused collage background and covering the surface with block printing - that series was very engaging and kept me going all winter. 

This year, I thought I would try working with all those Deconstructed Prints I have been making.  It is a huge challenge . . . the fabric itself is a work of art - and I want to be able to elevate it to a higher level in a quilted wall hanging, but my attempts so far have been most discouraging.  Furthermore, I've received a disappointing rejection from Quilt National.  (I know I am in good company, but that does not quiet the inner voice of self doubt).

I am starting to think about working with another medium to get my creative Mo Jo back.  Three years ago, I got into journaling in a big way and did a journal page per day. . . .

What to do, what to do?      Stay tuned - I don't know what's next!   Meanwhile, here is one of the pieces that was rejected.  Everyone who saw it told me they really liked it......but now the voice in my head is asking why I bothered making it or entering it......

It measures 51 x 51".   Two details below:

This piece is called "Heat Wave II".   Tomorrow, I'll share my process for making it.



tiedyejudy said...

Wow! You really have had an activity-filled year! No wonder the trasition back to day-to-day is difficult... as for your entry into the Quilt National, you're the second person I follow who has been rejected and both pieces (hers and yours) are fabulous! I hope you don't let that deter you from the wonderful work you have been doing, but perhaps a sojourn to a different medium is a good refresher for you right now! If you follow Connie Rose, you will see that she has been doing just that recently and is making some wonderful books using a lot of her beautiful Shibori cloth and collages. I have a stash of new products I plan to delve into soon (2 more shows this year and then I'm done!) I look forward to seeing what you get into this winter, and I really look forward to your spring garden with all the lovely blooms in your newly terraced beds!

Jill said...

Always look at your posts, don't often comment - too overwhelmed by the scenery sitting in suburban UK!!! What a fabulous summer you've had. Looking forward to reading more about your quilting process.

Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studios said...

What a wonderful year you've had. I can relate to the highs and lows of summer and winter - weather n all. It's sometimes hard to say goodbye, until we are forced to {hello snow!} Cynthia, this piece happens to be one that I like more than others... although I like them all, this one has a special glow and appeal for me, personally. Apparently it's time wasn't for Nationals... but it has a special spot somewhere! I'm sure of it. Put that nagging voice of self-doubt on vacation (or better yet at the bottom of one of those lakes you've hiked to!! LOL