Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Year of Abstract - GEOMETRIC SHAPES - Lesson #3

Here is the same piece I showed last week, but with some more layers of paint.  Below, the same painting again, with more adjustments to the colors.  (not sure this is an improvement!)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Auditioning with Vintage Silk Collage

Now that the background is printed, I am satisfied that this additional layer should be put in place as previously planned.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Screen Printed Japanese Calligraphy on Silk

The printing looks sort of pink right now, but it will darken as it sets up.  Once it is heat set, the whole effect will soften and darken.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shaving Cream Screen Printing

I want the printing to appear muted, so I went to a method I used a lot back before I invested in a huge selection of screen printing inks.  I am using unscented shaving gel, which dispenses thick and foams up with stirring action.  This mixes well with any type of paint.  In this case, I am using Jacquard Lumiere.  It gives a more subtle, less intense, less distinct print. 

The other really nice benefit is that that screens wash out super easily because of the shaving cream in the printing mixture.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Silk Collages Continued

I have a number of collages I have put together from the vintage silk kimono fabric.  They are in various sizes and most have been quilted with diagonal stitching to create a diamond pattern.  The silks are fused.  Above, I am auditioning a piece of lining fabric that is very sheer.  It has been screen printed with Japanese calligraphy and Chinese painting style floral branches.  I am thinking I will do a layer of calligraphy printing on the dark background.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Year of Abstract Studies - GEOMETRIC SHAPES

 Exercise #3 is an exploration of GEOMETRIC SHAPES.  The first lesson involves drawing rectangular shapes on a page.  The instruction is to underpaint the entire page with a dark color, but I just painted the lines......(above).
I filled in the geometric shapes with primary colors of paint.  I like this one, although I do see that my technique needs some help....or maybe I need some better paint brushes! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Abstract Painting Exercise - Variations in Shape #2

 Last week, I showed my VARIATION IN SHAPE exercise piece, but here is another version from the same exercise.  This time, the instruction was to work with larger shapes and cover the page......
I don't know what to say......!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The 100 Fundraiser for American Cancer Society

I'm proud to raise funds for the American Cancer Society
as an invited artist for "The 100."


Introducing my donation for this fundraiser! 

The event opens on February 4, 2015 through Virginia Spiegel's website.
 Link here:

 Detail of "Vintage Silk and Pearls #4"
Full image of "Vintage Silk and Pearls #4".  It measures 9 x 12"

materials: vintage reclaimed kimono silk, acrylic screen printing ink, cotton thread, freshwater pearls

techniques: fused collage, Thermofax screen printing, machine quilting, hand stitched genuine freshwater pearls.

Donate $100 on February 4 and you will receive a wonderful small piece of fiber art from one of the 100 participating artists!  Go to

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Screenprinted Binding

 The binding has been printed to match the quilt.  Once the screen printing ink is dry, the tape is pulled off.
I feel this makes a really effective finish to each small piece.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Preparing to Print the Bindings

Some of these pieces have all over printing.  To make the binding blend in, I will print it to match.  In order to protect the quilt, I apply masking tape along the edge of the binding. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Vintage Collage Mini Group

Here is the group of six.  All have machine quilted backgrounds and they have been bound and have sleeves for hanging.  There is more to far, so good.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Abstract Painting - VARIATION IN SHAPE

 The next step of this exercise is to outline all the shapes on the page with a dark marker.  The instruction was to then paint between the shapes.
However, I decided to continue with the marker and draw lines between all the shapes.  The finished piece is shown below:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Abstract Painting Study - Exercise #2 SHAPE VARIATION

 This exercise involves exploring variation in shape.  The instruction - begin by covering the page with splashes of color in various sizes and shapes. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Embroidered Branches on Vintage Silk

I have used several different colors of embroidery floss to build up the branches. 

Below is one of the collages after the machine stitching has been added as another layer over the hand embroidery.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hand Stitching on the Vintage Silk Collage

I have already layered and machine quilted the six silk collages.  Now, I want to add dimension to the branches by adding some hand stitching across the branches.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Machine Quilting Vintage Small Collages

I have done overall quilting in a Sashiko diamond pattern.  Next, to add detail stitching.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Screen Printing the Vintage Silk Collages

I am printing these with a variety of Asian images.  I am using Japanese calligraphy and peach blossom prints.  I am using iridescent pearl and copper screen printing inks.  Each one is slightly different.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Vintage Silk Collage Series

 I am creating a group of smaller silk collages from the vintage kimono silks gifted to me by a friend.
 There are six in this size - each one is around 9 x 12".  I figure I can crop them smaller, if necessary, but I want this group to be all approximately the same size.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Year of Abstract Painting Study - Exercise 1, Part 2 / SHAPE

I was happy with the result of the first exercise, so I thought I would try a variation. It is suggested to try the same thing using more neutral colors.   OK, so here are the colors I squeezed out:

And here is the result....... Much less successful, I think.

Too much scribbling / scratching - I know, but it was really just too dark to begin with and the composition - nonexistent.  Ah, well.  This is a learning process.......

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Year of Abstract Painting Study - Exercise #1

 The first group of lessons in the book addresses working with SHAPE.  The instruction is to cover the paper with a number of large expressive shapes .  Then, when the paper is covered, scratch into the paint while it is still wet. 

I am working in a spiral notebook of mixed media paper that can take wet medium.
The size I am working with is 11 x 14" . 
I don't have very much experience working with paint on paper or canvas, but I like the effect of this first exercise.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 Abstract Art Study

 Over the past several years, I have committed to some kind of daily or weekly artistic discipline for myself.  2014 was a daily mixed media junk mail postcard - and I happily created 365 mixed media postcards.  This year, I am going for a weekly abstract art challenge.  I plan to use exercises from Rolina van Vliet's book:  Painting Abstracts as my inspiration and guide.

There are 65 exercises in the book, more than enough to do one per week.  I will plan to do at least one per week, if not more, and I will post my progress each weekend through 2015.


Thursday, January 8, 2015