Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ready for Spring

 These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, right after I finished cleaning out all the dried up iris leaves and did the first round of weeding.  It looks pretty bare, but it is possible to see all the rocks I have laid up over the past few years.  I have a few small areas left to finish up - rock garden areas to install.  I planted several hundred new iris last summer as I finished up the rockwork.  I am really looking forward to seeing them grown and bloom!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Watercolor Blocks

Derwent Inktense Blocks.  I have been rubbing these over my mixed media pieces to emphasize the texture.

As an example, below is a piece of junk mail that has been gessoed and overpainted using a putty knife to create texture.  

This is how it looks after rubbing it with the red Derwent Inktense Block.  Now it is ready for the next layer! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Full View of Primary Mixed Media 15 x 20"

OK, so since I had a couple of comments on this piece as I shared it in my previous post - I guess I should share the full image.  Here it is - all 15 x 20" of it.  What I showed yesterday was a photo that was cropped top and bottom - which I found more appealing, so that is what I posted. 

What do you think of it now?  Should I follow my instinct to lob off several inches from the top and bottom and make it a horizontal landscape oriented and smaller piece?  This one is really out of my comfort range, but your comments encouraged me to give it another look. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mixed Media Primary Colors

I am not really proud of this one.  I hoped it would be done by now, as I have worked it an reworked it a couple of times and I just can't find a happy place with it.  I have learned a lot doing it, though.  The main thing I learned was the way collaged magazine pages can wrinkle and buckle and mess everything up.  I discovered I hate seeing the edges of the collaged paper.  I removed some of the buckles and bubbles with a blade and pasted them back on and overpainted them.

I think my lack of love for this piece comes down to two things.  The color palette and the composition. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mixed Media - Green

This is the beginning of a piece I hope will be a floral.   I have collaged a map, screen printed text, and painted with fluid acrylic.  I have plans for this one. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recycled Art

This is a back page of a sketch pad - thick cardboard that was painted with gesso, then painted, screen printed, block printed, collaged.....A work in progress.  As you can see - I am in the middle of a lot of these pieces.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Print Table

My 3 x 4' print table is covered in Yupo paper - a stiff synthetic art paper.  I have a big roll of it.  It makes a great work surface and when I am finished using it - I plan an using it for collage or some other kind of art work.  Time will tell.  So far - nothing is sticking to it (except the paint, anyway) - so I will keep using it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Controlling Postcard Wrinkles

Today, I thought I would show you how I manage the tendency of mixed media postcards to buckle and wrinkle as they dry.  I am clamping stacks of postcards in progress between two very stiff sheets of cardboard - cut to size.  I am using the clamps I have been keeping around for years - they are bit rusty from all the fabric processes they have been used for.  They work great for getting and keeping the postcards (made of a variety of materials - most of them recycled mail art - and very unpredictable when exposed to glue, layering, paint, and print.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Work in Progress - 10 x 15"

Here is another work in progress.  I am really not happy with the silver marker lines, but I am sure I can turn it around.  I just need to work intuitively and not overthink it.  Stay tuned!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Three Square 9" Collages

Here is another group that is a work in progress (I think).

This group began with the a torn strip of foil from a chocolate bar wrapper.  If I turned all these pieces a quarter turn - the foil strip would line it's way across all three boards.

Next, I screen printed the recipe in black.  Then, I printed the circles, bubble wrap, and more recipes in gold.  After that, I painted the red lines and circles with crimson paint.  Lastly, I washed the boards with fluid acrylics.

Are these done?  I am not sure.  These are waiting for a decision.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Works in Progress - 10" Squares

These two are works in will give you an idea of my process. 
Steps shown here:

1. gesso the illustration board surface and edges
2. screen print text (Grandma's recipe) in black
3. block print circles with metallic paint
4. collage found images
5. collage tissue paper
6.  ? 

I am not sure where these two are going, either.....I know I will figure something out.  I will be sure to take pictures as I proceed and will post them here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mixed Media Steens Wild Horses - Work in Progress

This one includes photographs I took of the wild horses in the Steens Mountain Herd.   This piece is not finished and I am only showing a portion of it here.  More to come, as I make progress.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Four Five Inch Squares

These four five inch pieces might be done, but I am not sure, actually.  The picture is kind of funky because it is possible to see the surface between these small pieces.  I am thinking I may do some ink work on these - I feel like the circle block prints need a bit of emphasis. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Work In Progress -" Rocks and Water" Mixed Media

 This piece is unfinished at this point.  It is sized 10" x 15".  The layers to this point have been:
1. seal illustration board and edges with gesso.
2.  screen print text (Grandma's recipes)
3.  print with bubble wrap and metallic paint
4. paint layers of Golden fluid acrylic, and letting the paint drip down the board to create linear details
5. collage a mountain scene onto the board at the horizon line
6. collage tissue paper using matte medium (diluted)
7. screen print a mountain scene sketch with gold metallic paint
8. collage another layer of found imagery - water overflowing a lot of rocks.
9. collage over with another layer of painted tissue paper.
10.  Rub with pastels to emphasize wrinkles
11 - ?  I am at a pause on this piece.  I really like it so far and I am not wanting to ruin it.  I am waiting for final inspiration. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Carrot People #4

This piece is also finished and is the largest of the "Carrot People" series.  It measures 20 x 15" 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Carrot People Mixed Media #1, 2, 3

I have been working with mixed media the past several months.

 Because the process involves adding layer after layer - with lots of drying between layers - (usually at least half the day), I decided to work in series - keeping with similar color families and design elements for the entire group.  To do this, I cut my 15 x 20" illustration boards into smaller sizes.  This group of three is sized 9" x 5".  I did not take any pictures of these in progress, so you are seeing the finished pieces here.  At least, I think they are finished.   The final layer - the screen print of the carrot people petroglyph gives them their name - "Carrot People #1, 2, 3.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Circle Printing Blocks

 I am working a lot with circles and horizon lines these days.  I have created a lot of printing blocks for this series - using the blocks on postcards and working up to larger pieces. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Painted and Hand Printed Tissue Paper

 Here are some examples of the painted tissue paper that I am using for my mixed media art.  Some of it has been screen printed and block printed, also.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Painting Tissue Paper

I have shifted my focus a but to working with mixed media.  Paper, paint, print, and recycled materials.  Here is what's on my print table today - I am painting tissue paper.  I place a sheet over waxed paper and paint with watercolors or diluted fluid acrylics.  When dry, I peel away the waxed paper and add it to my collection.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Radical Elements Exhibition Opens

Radical Elements SAQA Exhibition has just opened at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, Maryland.

My piece, "Zinc" measures 22 x 36". Selected artists were asked to interpret an assigned element from the periodic table.  I used zinc sheeting, woven sheer nylon, screen printed and heavily stitched by machine before melting away between the stitched areas to create a supportive web.
 The artists were asked to keep the pieces under wraps until after the opening.  Two detail images below: