Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, September 27, 2013

Malfunction Situation

My laptop has crashed and because it is still under warranty - will be going off to the Toshiba repair center somewhere distant.  Meanwhile - I do not have access to my photos and am limping along with an old laptop that has a non functioning screen (working with a monitor attached to it now) and freezes up repeatedly.  This old thing is super noisy, too ...... pretty unbearable to use.

I am sorry I am going to have to break from my daily blog posts until I can get my tools back in order.  Thanks everyone for your should only be a couple of weeks, and I'll be back.

Meanwhile, I am doing a lot of DEEP cleaning in my studio.  Uncovering piles in corners and under tables that have not been cleared for years!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hayden Valley Bison On the Move

As we drove slowly through the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone Park, we enjoyed the hundreds of bison scattered all over the valley.  Seeing this group swimming across the Yellowstone River was a real treat - even though it was very hazy from all the smoke in the air.
 These pictures were taken out the window of our car.  Bison were traveling on the highway and behind them, you can glimpse the bison swimming the river.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Zinc Cell Structure

Full view of the experimental piece - Zinc Quilt!
I may be adding a bit more color.....or something, but no firm decision as I post this today.
Next - I will try this same thing working in the 22 x 36" size required for the exhibition.  This piece is about 17" wide and 22" long.  I will try to make the next one a bit more colorful, also.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Melting the Fabric Away

 Here are a couple of detail shots of the piece after I spent a few hours melting away the sheer fabric between the stitches and between the zinc squares.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Printed and Stitched Zinc Piece

 Here is the piece after Thermofax Screenprinting and stitching between the zinc pieces.
At this point,I am considering adding more color.....or using a heating implement. More experimentation is called for.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More Artistic Experiments with Zinc

 I am still in the experimental phase of working with the zinc that I wish to feature in a  SAQA show called "Radical Elements".  This will be a fairly good sized prototype.  I have hand painted some very sheer polyester fabric.  I have put Mistyfuse on one layer.  Below, I am arranging the zinc squares on a grid - then I will iron them to the sheer fabric with fusible web.
That worked well, so I moved on to the next phase, adding a top layer of hand painted sheer polyester.  This has no Mistyfuse on it, but it will bond with the fabric below it that does have fusible web.  The top layer just covers the zinc squares.  This makes it as transparent as possible, but it should be quite strong.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Zinc Batting

Here is my little experimental piece after I have played around with it a bit.  I pieced the four fused zinc/polyester squares together, then I machine quilted the area between the metal.  I also tried stitching on the metal.  The thread broke.  I am not so sure the metal needs to be stitched, anyway.  I used markers to color in some of the cells, adding nuclei and such - more color.  All the while, I am formulating a plan for the next experimentation!

I need to be thinking about things like bindings and sleeves, and shipping, hanging, - as well as the visual impact and the artistic message and keeping it in my own voice.  This is very challenging!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Late Summer Storm

 The pond is a giant mud puddle.  I have no idea if the fish survived the storm or if they were washed away in the deluge.  I've been running the pump and waterfall since the electricity was restored and the water is not clearing up at all.  The super fine silt that washed down the hillside is practically dissolved in the water!  I guess I am going to have to drain all this water out of the pond and start again with fresh water!   A project for another day.

This wrought iron bench was pushed across the patio and tipped over by the powerful winds from our Saturday (Sept. 7th) storm.  This is a very heavy piece.  One person could not tip it back up - Joe and I had to do it together.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Destruction from the Storm

 There is a 500 foot drop from a sandstone cliff above our home.  Water rushes over that cliff and down our property in a flash flood when a lot of rain falls in a short period of time. Once before (only one time in 11 years at this place) we had a severe storm of this nature that brought down a lot of silt.  This time, our new landscaping and driveway were not well enough established to withstand the force of a waterfall!  The local weather announcer said the rainfall was falling at a rate of 6" per hour in our area that night.  No wonder there were flash floods.
 A lot of large rocks were washed down and deposited where our driveway used to be.  A fairly large portion of our driveway was washed away. 
There is a huge ravine below our place (probably drops down at least 150 feet) and this is where all that water and gravel from our new driveway went.  We are lucky that we didn't just get an enormous deposit of mud and water, as some people in the area did.  Instead, it was washed away.  There was mud about 4" thick on our back patio and garage pad.  We spent the two days we were without electricity shoveling the mud up and hauling it away.  The driveway and retaining wall will be a longer term project.

The iris I had planted in this retaining wall bed are all quite submerged - most under about 4" of silty mud - some as deep as 8".  I am going to have to dig them all out and replant them.  They won't grow at that depth.  Sigh.  (I have started on the iris digging and it is backbreaking work - I was only able to do about 15 feet yesterday before my back was hurting and I had to stop).  It will take a couple of weeks to get things back in order  here.

 I have planned all along to plant some native grasses and wildflowers on the raw slope to control erosion.  Based on my research, I learned the time to plant such native species is fall - after the first frost.  I will be planting for erosion control after I get things put in order here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Extreme Thunderstorm!

Saturday evening about 9 pm, a violent storm struck our area.  We got about 2" of rain and hail in a matter of 45 minutes.  Lightening was flashing like a strobe light and there were winds in the range of 80 miles per hour.  The power went out and I really could not see well enough to see what kind of damage the storm did to our property.
These pictures were taken the following morning, when there was still a lot of hail laying around.
Most of my plants were just shredded.
We were without electricity for 40 hours!  It just came back on yesterday!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Zinc Quilt

 The 25 foot roll of 3" wide zinc is being cut into 3" squares.  I was stalling on this step, because I was contemplating doing something with long strips of the stuff.  After working with the cell structure imagery, I have settled on the idea of working with squares.  I am planning to use the zinc as the "batting" between two pieces of very sheer synthetic fabric (below), which has been screen printed with the cell structure imagery.  I've used Mistyfuse to hold everything together.
This is truly a mixed media piece now!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cell Structure Whole Cloth

 So this piece of cloth is now finished (I think).  The paint is dry and I like this one also.  I think I prefer the look of the first one, though - there is a bit of overlap in spots where the screen prints are not lined up just right.  Maybe this creates visual interest.....  not sure, but it doesn't really matter much at this point.  This is going into the slush pile for the future. 
What I really need to focus on is incorporating the zinc into my design.....!  That is next on my schedule!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Whole Cloth Painted Cell Structure Screen Prints

A while ago, I showed you this whole cloth piece in which I printed a single screen successively, turning it to create patterned imagery.
For this one, I painted the (white cotton screen printed with black) - using colors that might naturally appear in a plant that is zinc deficient.  Remember, this whole thing is really an exploration for a SAQA show I need to make a piece for!
 After painting it, I sprinkled some rock salt in the "centers" - which were also painted with the lighter shades of Pernod Green and Lemon Yellow.
 Now, to wait for it to dry!