Cynthia St. Charles Store

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rituals Artist Interview

 "Rituals" is an invitational show.  The prospective artists are invited to submit a piece with certain dimensions, oriented to a specific theme within a timeline.  The curators then act as jury and determine which works will travel with the Quilts, Inc. shows. 

This is my piece for this show:  "Sunset II".  I have always revered Montana sunsets.  Growing up in the Gallatin Valley, I would climb up on the bed to look out the west window to catch a glimpse of the winter sunset, and in the summer, I would sit in the grass and watch the sun go down.  I feel blessed to have a great sunset view from my current home in the Yellowstone Valley, as well.  We have stunning sunsets here and they always inspire me.

Yesterday, my artist interview for "Rituals" was published.
Click here to read my interview on the Dinner at Eight blog.

Tomorrow, I will blog about my process for creating "Sunset II".

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Casa Riconada in Chaco Culture National Historical Park

 Casa Riconada is the largest known Great Kiva in the park. 
A kiva was a gathering place for ceremony and possibly for commerce.

 The sun was starting to go down and the sky was filling with clouds as we visited this area.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cactus Blooms at Chaco Canyon

 We don't visit the desert often, but most of the cactus flowers I have seen are yellow.  We were surprised to see these red blooming cactus.  We did not see a lot of these around, but there were a couple.  This plant was located near a wall of petroglyphs.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mail Art Project #88

Collaged hand dyed fabric, block printed, screen printed and hand painted flowers.

This week's quote:
"The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven't thought of yet."
-Ann Landers-

Sunday, May 27, 2012

100 Foot Square #21

Last week's Foot Square was the other half of this screen print of a sketch done by the Hayden Survey party that visited Montana in the mid 1800's to survey the land.  This Thermofax screen was created from a sketch that I enlarged.  It was printed in black and colored with watercolor crayons.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon

 The wonderful thing about visiting this remote park is the opportunity to tour at your own pace. We had a guidebook that explained what we were looking at, but otherwise, we were completely on our own.  There were not many people there, so most of my pictures show the ruins without strangers in the pictures!  I did try taking a few of Joe to give a sense of perspective (and to prove we were really there!)

Pueblo Bonito was the center of Chaco society.  By 1050, Chaco was the ceremonial, administrative, and economic center of the San Juan Basin with a large sphere of influence.  Roads linked dozens of Chaco Canyon great houses to over 150 great houses in the region.  Pueblo Bonito was a gathering place where people converged for ceremonies and trade.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chaco Canyon Historical Park

 The Chaco Culture Historical Park is located in Northwestern New Mexico.  This park is very remote.  It is nearly an hour and a half from the nearest town of Bloomfield, and getting there involves driving 20 miles on a dirt road.  At a visitor center in Chama, we were warned that the road to Chaco becomes impassible in rainy weather, and thunderstorms were predicted.  We decided to take a chance and head that way - over 100 miles ahead.
 We were so glad we did!  The dirt road was not bad at all - a bit of washboard here and there, but it was wide and flat and dusty.
 This particular pueblo I am showing here is Pueblo Bonito.  Construction began in mid to late 800 AD. and continued until the 1100's.
 This particular pueblo, the largest in Chaco canyon contained over 600 rooms, covered 3 acres and had 4 to 5 stories. 
 You can see (above) the holes where they set the poles for the ceiling / floor between stories. 

 This is a broader view of the ruins, some of it has not been excavated yet and is partially buried by soil.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Great Sand Dunes National Park

 I really love the clouds in this picture of the great sand dune!

This is the end of the gravel road in Sand Dunes National Park.  There is a trailhead here, and also a campground.  People were clearing out - the wind was making it rather unpleasant.  We didn't spend much time in this park.  We had other places to explore, so we headed on down the road.  Stormy weather was threatening, so we dipped down into New Mexico, where the weather promised to be nicer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Great Sand Dunes National Park

 We did a bit of traveling through the state of Colorado recently and we enjoyed the opportunity to view many peaks over 14,000 feet.  Two of the peaks in the picture below fall into that category.  We caught sight of them just before Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
 As we arrived, we took note of the fierce wind streaking down from the mountains.  It carried a lot of low clouds with it and we quickly understood how this great sand dune is formed.

It really was a brutal wind and we did not brave it to go walk on the sand dune.
Instead, we toured the visitor center and drove to the end of the road.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Garden of the Gods

This is a city park in Colorado Springs!  After I finished taping my demonstration video for Quilting Arts Workshop (in Loveland, Colorado), we took a few days to travel around the state.  We have traveled through this state many times, but never stopped to take in the sights.  There are many national parks in Colorado and many very tall mountains and many scenic highways. 

We spent the night in Colorado Springs near this park and enjoyed visiting it as the sun was going down.  The light was not very good for photography, and the clouds were filling the sky, but this is my best picture from Garden of the Gods.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mail Art Project # 87

This week's mail art postcards are a gelatin print of leaves with rubbings from a Ginko leaf plate made with paintsticks.  Then, I stitched over painted Tyvek which had been cut into ginko leaf shapes.  I melted the Tyvek slightly by touching it with an iron (parchment paper between the iron and the Tyvek).  This was actually a small art quilt that I felt was unsuccessful, so I cut it to 4 x 6" size for postcards.

This week's quote:

"Today you are you!  
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive
who is you-er tan you!"
-Dr. Seuss-

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Foot Square # 20

This sketch of the upper Yellowstone River Valley was created by the Hayden survey team that visited the area in the mid 1800's.  I enlarged it to create the Thermofax screen.  Then, I colored it in with watercolor crayons and painted with water to create the washed effect.  I lived in this valley for 10 years.  The tall peak on the left is Emigrant Peak.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On the Set for Quilting Arts Workshop

 Here are a few more images from taping day at Quilting Arts Workshop.  This is not the Quilting Arts TV series where the artist is sharing the set with a host.  This is just me teaching and demonstrating my technique all by myself.  Above, we are deciding whether I should be standing or sitting for the taping.  They have to set up the camera for one or the other.
 Here are the smaller pieces I brought in as details for the technique.  The floral piece in the upper right corner is the project for the demo.  Below, the next two photos show the wall hangings I brought for my background.  The cottonwood piece on the left and the seedpod piece on the far right have not yet been shown on the blog (I expect to get around to showing the process for them at some point).  Some of you may recognize the red and yellow piece in the center that was one of the first pieces I did in this style.

We ended up deciding I should be seated for the taping.   I really do not know when the DVD will be available for release.  I am sure they have to edit and prepare for production.  I'll keep you posted as I learn more!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Filming for Quilting Arts Workshop

 Last month, I was invited to submit a proposal for a Quilting Arts Workshop DVD.   My proposal was accepted and I went to Interweave headquarters in Loveland, Colorado last week to tape the video demonstrating my technique for hand printed quilts.  Here are a few pictures of me on the set.
 The finished DVD will be about 1 hour 10 minutes in length and I demonstrate all the steps involved in creating the block printed quilts.
 The DVD includes painting the background fabric, carving the printing blocks, a discussion of fabric paints, and finishing techniques including the fused and quilted binding I have been using with this style.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Demolition #3

 Here is another fabric screen printed with the same screen - it reminds me of the shards of rotten wood we have been removing from an outdoor deck at one of our commercial buildings.  I have used the other two pieces from this screen as whole cloth, but I am bothered by the distinct grid on this piece.  The grid comes from the individual screens that were printed in a row, close together.  I decide the thing to do is to cut this piece into squares cut on the diagonal.

These squares (below) are cut to 10".  I think this looks much better.
Here it is all sewn together with a Thermofax screen printed strip inserted. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Demolition #2

I like the way this hand dyed red compliments this particular piece of deconstructed screen printed fabric.  This one is a bit challenging because there was bleeding of the red dye during the washout and there are areas of pink where it should be white.

I like the way this expanded Thermofax image looks printed in gold on the red hand dyed fabric.
Is the pink area noticeable?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Travel Log Tuesday - Jasper Lake Otter

Last summer (2011) we backpacked 7 1/2 miles to Jasper Lake in the Beartooth Mountains.
We arrived in time to do some fishing after we had set up camp.
We soon discovered we were not alone at the lake.  We never saw another human the entire time we were there, but we did spot this otter on the island in the lake.
 The otter stayed on the island the entire time we were fishing and posed for many pictures.