Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter Walk #2 - Painting again

OK, so I liked the lighter area at the top (shown yesterday as an organza overlay)
well enough to commit to it by painting the whole area with a white wash.  I also trimmed it up a bit - closer to the final desired size - so I can get the arrangement of the bushes right.

Then, I tweeked the bushes a bit more - getting close to the point of actually fusing these pieces in place.  I have  Mistyfuse already fused to the back of the silk organza and cheesecloth, so fusing them in position will be easy.

Winter Walk #2 Printed Organza Overlays

 OK, so now I try arranging the organza silk and cheesecloth pieces on the printed surface.
The organza and cheesecloth has been screen printed in browns / reds / and black.
The Thermofax screen is adapted from a photo I took of a lilac hedge in Harlotown, Montana.
I gotta say, I hate the way this looks (above).  Lame.
 Then I decide I need to make it look like there is some perspective here, and I liked the way 
scrub brush was arranged in a wandering line in Winter Walk #1, so I try to make that happen here.
It is much trickier, though in this tall narrow vertical format.
Looking at it - I get the idea that the grass in the distance should be lighter, foggier.
So I try that out by putting a piece of unprinted organza across the top. (below)

Better - I feel like I am making progress. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Walk #2 Printed

 For Winter Walk #2, I have pulled out all my pale yellow-green-beige hand dyes and have cut them up to create the collage I want for the background.  These have been overprinted with screen printing of handwriting from both my maternal and paternal grandmothers.  This time - I added some of my own, too.  The screen printing has been overprinted with block printing.

 I have an invitational show coming up - and the size requirement is 24" wide x 60" high.  I figure I may as well try doing this next piece in the series in this size.  Here is  the whole thing (below):
It has already been layered with the batting and backing - I did that part when I stitched the raw edge collage together.  Now I am looking at it on my design wall and thinking about what to do next.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter Walk Finished

Here it is.  All finished - bound and the hanging sleeve on the back.  I am happy with the way this came out and I am encouraged to continue working with this imagery.  That's why I am optimistically calling it "Winter Walk #1".

 I have mentioned before - one of my goals is to work in series......I am trying to figure out what that means, exactly.   Last fall when I started working exclusively with block printing I felt like that was a series.  However, when I had my work critiqued in the spring - the professional who did the critique said there was not enough continuity among the pieces (even though they were all done with block prints covering the surface and then quilted) to call it a "series".  OK, so now I plan to take this same idea of a winter landscape on the open range in Montana - and put it in a different size / shape to see if it still resonates.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

 Last May (2012), we visited this beautiful area in Colorado.  We visited early in the day - the air was crisp and the sky brilliantly blue.

 While driving through the park, it is impossible to see the canyon.  There are many parking areas with trails to overlooks. We stopped at every one of them - many nice brisk walks to the overlooks.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Quilting Details - Winter Walk #1

 I've used a variety of threads in various colors to create visual interest in the bushes as well as the background. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winter Walk #1

Here is the piece after I have colored in the white areas on the border deconstructed screen print.  I tweeked things a bit before the final fusing.  I realized the border was a little wonky, so I fixed that.  I gave up on the floating blocks and went with just adding fused screen printed cheesecloth and silk organza.  

After I finished this composition and stepped back to look at it - I realized it evoked winter on the open range in Montana.  I have long wanted to do a piece expressing the stark beauty of the winter grasses and bare branches that grace the landscape.  I have always enjoyed the very subtle color variation among the various types of native grasses in the winter.  I feel this piece successfully expresses that - and furthermore - it is a fitting outlet for my angst as I transition from summer activities into winter studio time.  The development of this (winter in Montana) composition was somewhat unconscious - I had something very different in mind as I began working on this piece.  I am really happy with the way it has turned out!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Coloring the white

I spent some time experimenting with different ways of changing the color of the white areas in the deconstructed print along the border.    This picture shows a scrap of fabric I used for experimentation. I tried using watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, fluid acrylics, and watercolor paint.  In the end I decided to paint directly on the quilt border with heavily diluted fluid acrylics.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

We have already had a wild turkey dining below our birdfeeders this morning.  These pictures were taken on the patio last March during breeding season. 

Screen Printing Organza

 Ok, so now I have decided to try adding some screen printed organza and cheesecloth to this piece, feeling that it might help with the composition.  I am printing a lot of this stuff - finding interesting effects when I layer several pieces for the printing - each layer turned out a bit more faint - which seemed good.
Here it is with a few pieces of the screen printed organza added.  Hmmmm.....I think the white resisted areas on the breakdown printed fabric are too glaring.  Gonna have to do something about that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Block Printing Overall

 So, I took this piece to the print table and overprinted the whole thing with block printing.  It has exactly the effect I hoped for! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mixing Processes

I have spent quite a bit of time auditioning various placements for some larger patches of the deconstructed print.  I am finding the contrast between the two fabrics in the background to be somewhat distracting.  I think maybe some block printing is called for at this point.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mixing Techniqes - Continued

My idea for the printed fabric I showed yesterday was to collage them.  And that's what I did!  Better than expected - huh? 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mixing Styles

 Moving on with my attempts to use the deconstructed screen printed fabric, 
I decide to try mixing my other printing techniques in.  I am going to use the 
brownish piece above (looks sort of treelike to me) to mix in with two 
hand dyed fabrics,which I have screen printed ( below).

I know this looks kind of crazy right now, but I actually have a tentative plan for this one!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Deconstructed Challenge Piece Quilting Done

 Well, the quilting is finished and I have done a bit of touching up with paint sticks.

I still do not like this piece - I have really worked at it, but it has been quite a challenge.  I have trimmed it to 16" high by 24" wide.  I originally planned to cut it down to 20 width so I could mount it on a canvas I have in the 20 x 16" size.  Right now I am thinking of cutting it in two pieces - and making two 12" squares out of it instead.  I am going to give myself some time to think about it before I do anything further with it. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Quilting the Challenge Piece

 I am going to find out whether or not I can turn this piece into something interesting by adding quilting lines......?  Auditioning thread above and below is a detail of the finished quilting.
By this time - I am calling this piece all kinds of names - "Quandary", "Challenge" - and "Torture" are a few of the names I have for it so far.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adding Printed Organza

 I am not sure what to do with this - I've added a line of screen printed text - I believe this is Blackfoot writing.  I got it on there a little wonky, so that doesn't help things much.  I decide to audition a strip of Thermofax screen printed silk organza placed across it, but this does nothing for me (I am really kind of bothered by the pink circle near the top - where I accidentally left a ring of dye during the printing process.
The darker lines on the deconstructed print do remind me somewhat of tree branches.  This Thermofax screen is converted from my photo of our chokecherry bushes in winter.  I like it better in the vertical position. (below).

I eventually realize the bushes look better right side up - and I feel this brings out the branch like composition on the deconstructed print.  I finally start to feel a little hope for this piece.  (notice I was able to make the annoying pink circle disappear, also!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adding a Strip

This piece of decconstructed screen printed fabric is kind of funky and I know it is a good workout for me.  I decide to block print some hand dyed pink fabric and add a strip of it on the edge.  Hmmm......don't really know where I am going with this!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Combinations

 Here is another deconstructed print selection - very challenging range of colors in this one with that pink.  I try to figure out if I can do anything with the pink.......

Monday, November 12, 2012

Design Wall Auditions

 I am playing around with the deconstructed prints.
Putting them up on the design wall - combining them with hand dyed fabrics that coordinate or blend or contrast.
 I don't really know how promising these are, but this is a good exercise for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Overprinting Again

 Continuing on with the same ideas - I try overprinting a couple pieces of chartreuse deconstructed prints.  I am using the same ideas of adding text and tree images - all Thermofax screens.  The trees and bushes are from my own photos.  The text is the handwriting of my maternal and paternal grandmothers.  I have printed the trees onto silk organza which is fused in place.  For the one above - I actually overpainted it with green silk paint so it would blend a bit more.  For the one below, I did not paint the organza so it looks white, but also slightly transparent - revealing some of the underlying print. I stitched around the edges with a big stitch in red pearl cotton.
I have these up on the design wall for a while but I can't get very excited about them.  Not excited enough to quilt them.  I have folded and refolded the edges to see if cropping helps.  But I am going to set them aside for a while.  Maybe I will come back to them later on.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stretcher Bars 20 x 16"

 Here is the final version of this piece.  I did a border of block printing and then wrapped it around a stretcher bars in a 20 x 16" horizontal format.  I decided I could use the other piece of deconstructed fabric (under audition for the background / border) to make another piece in the series.   I am satisfied with this one (although I don't think I will do the block printing on the edge again - not overly crazy about that) and now am encouraged to think I could use my deconstructed prints in this same way to build a series.  One of my goals for the year is to work in series!
Here's something I recently started doing with my work in order to evaluate whether or not it is successful - change the photo to grayscale in Photoshop.  If I see good contrast - darks, lights, and medium values - and there is balance - I feel it is successful.

Friday, November 9, 2012

More Layering with Orange Deconstructed Overprint

Back to auditioning the background again.  Do I need to do some printing on the background now?

Or should I just abandon the background and work on the orange?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Overprinting on Orange

I wasn't thrilled with this orange piece with the gold printing, so I decided to add some brown - the trees and my grandmother's recipe for War Bread are the same brown shade.  Then - I added some brown text to the green strip I wanted to place across the orange.

Both of these pictures were taken as I worked out the Thermofax screen printing on my work table.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Overprinting on Orange Deconstructed Print

 Continuing on with my challenge to find ways of using my deconstructed printed fabric - I turn my attention to this smaller sized piece done in orange and golden yellow.  It measures about 30" x 24".  I decide to do some printing with Thermofax screens.  I started with a screen adapted from a photograph of a lichen - thinking this will be sort of abstract and will diffuse the white.  I print some in gold - trying to mute those patches of white.  I am very disappointed with this - there was a lot more paint coming through this screen than I expected. I add some text in the same shade of gold.  I feel like this is only slightly better.  Sigh..... even though I am not thrilled with this - I am going to go forward with it because I can't change what I have done so far.  A good lesson (I think I should just throw that lichen screen away - it always ends up overpowering when I am going for subtle......)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Combining Prints - Audition in Orange

I am playing around with various deconstructed print fabric on the design wall.  Looking for combinations that speak to me.

I like this combo.  I think the white is kind of distracting, though - so maybe some overprinting.