Cynthia St. Charles Store

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Closer Look

Here is a closer look at one of the pieces in the series.  Just a little assessment before going forward.....You can easily see what I have done with all of the layers I have shown so far.  The mark making is now barely visible.  The music and text parts are covered by paint and print.  The magazine paper is now an element in the background...The block printing speaks, but not too loudly.  I continue to be happy with the way things are going on this series.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blue on the Mixed Media Collage Series

I got a little off my color idea with the red, but now I am back on track with blue.  This time, I used a studio acrylic - a thicker paint.  So it is a bit more opaque.  The blue introduces the color of the sky to my color palette.  I am using the colors of early spring in Montana.  Browns, Ochre, and blue.  The red is just a fantasy.....but I do crave color!  (and the red is a compliment to the blue).  No changing it now - on to the next thing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Next Color - Red!

Back to the collage series work in progress.....I decided to warm things up a bit with some red.  I used a fluid acrylic, brushed on and then I lifted some of the paint with a hand carved stamp (row of circles).  I printed onto another area of the paper with the color that had been lifted.  So far I am happy with my color choices and process.  (I seem to always be happy when I am using a printing process!)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Flashback

This is the only Easter family photo of all five of my sisters with our mother.  I suppose Dad took the picture.  Happy Easter!   I am in the back - short haircut ad glasses.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Adding Ochre Paint

For this next step, I have added the colors of the dry grass that is all around outside, right now.  I have a mix of Indian yellow, Ochre, and white.  The paint is brushed on and then lifted with a printing block and/or another sheet of paper (which I will use to make collage papers).  I want the paint to add color, but also reveal whatever is underneath.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Adding Color Strips

Here is the series all laid out on the floor of the wet studio, where they will stay until they are dry and I come back to add the next layer.  I decided to try for a neutral color scheme.  I was thinking about the colors outside this time of year.....Lots of brown everywhere, but a little color starting to show here and there.  So - brown strips of hand painted/printed papers and magazine pages are now collaged in place.  I have a dozen in this series.  I will do something similar to each one of the series. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hand Made Collage Paper Organization

 I have been making papers to use in collage.  I especially like using old copy paper that has been printed on - old emails or documents that are no longer needed.  Junk mail, magazines.  These all go into one pile in the wet studio and these are the base for further painting and printing and mark making.  Once I have a batch of them - they go into file folders according to color or type and these are filed in a filing cabinet drawer.

When it comes time for some "one of a kind" papers - I have lots to pick from.  I find I like working with my own papers far better than using magazine pages.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Adding Black and White Collage Parts to Series

Here are two of the pages now that I have added some collaged papers from my stash.  I now keep everything and am also mining old piano books, letters, magazines for interesting bits.  I am attaching with gel medium.  I really like the Blick gel medium, but I have run out and am now using the Utrecht Artists' Acrylic Medium - Matt.  I bought both together to do a comparison - the Utrecht being the recommended brand.  But I am not a fan of the Utrecht.  It reeks of ammonia.  It has a great flowing texture that is very nice indeed - that is why it was recommended.  However, I can't deal with the odor, so next time I will just order a half gallon of Blick Gel Medium - affordable, and no odor.  The Blick product is a bit thicker, but I think that is a good thing for my process. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Beginning a Collage Series with Mark Making

 I have spent the past 5 months deep in renovations to the buildings that pay my bills and allow me to do art.  My schedule gives me little time for art and honestly, I have not done anything with fabric since the scrap quilts I made last fall!  Instead, I have turned to mixed media art on paper.  This is something I can spend a few minutes per day with.  I can set it aside to dry and go about my day, returning the next day to add another layer with another medium.

I am working on a heavy watercolor or printmaking paper.  I am gravitating to a square format.  I have been cutting large sheets of printmaking paper into squares and working the entire group in a series.  I am working in 12x12, 10x10, 6x6 and 5x5 sizes.  I have a couple of larger pieces - 20x20, but they are more challenging.

I am in the middle of a series now.  This is the fifth or sixth series I have done in this style / medium and I feel confident enough in the process to take pictures of each step along the way.  I really don't know that this series will be successful, but I always hope my work will be reasonably decent in the end.  I have learned a lot doing these and I am loving it.
I begin with some kind of mark making on the paper.  This time, I have used a new permanent marker I am trying out.  I hate Sharpies - they reek.  I find Pitt pens - India ink - should be permanent - they are not supposed to smear, but they do.  These markers are from Office Depot - the Office Depot brand.  So far so good.  They do not reek like Sharpies do.  Will they smear?  Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Butterfly of 2016

I was out cleaning up iris beds last week on a very mild day and spotted this first butterfly of the year.    I am nearly finished with the yard clean up.  I overdid it and had to give myself a day off to heal up and then the weather turned unseasonably cold and wintery.  This poor creature is probably dead on account of night time temperatures dipping down into the teens. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Muncho Lake Provincial Park, BC, Canada

 This was one of our most beautiful and favorite camping spots.  Muncho Lake Provincial Park.  The weather broke briefly so we caught some great images of the sun going down at midnight.
We fished late into the evening, too.  I am not really a night person, but who can sleep with this kind of scenery and fish jumping in the lake (no - we didn't catch anything). 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Liard Hot Springs

Liard Hot Springs was a stop we really looked forward to.  It is a very special place.  The pools are natural with a flat gravel bottom.  The water is always moving because it is a natural spring with a heavy flow that makes a good sized creek.  Apparently there are many flowers that grow only here - especially some species of orchids.  It was raining during our time at Liard, but it was fun to be all warm and steamy and having the rain falling down on our heads.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wood Buffalo

I had no idea there was a species of bison other than the Prairie Bison we see in Yellowstone National Park.  The Wood Buffalo is actually a sub species of the North American bison and is native to this part of Canada, apparently.  In fact, there is an entire Canadian National Park devoted to this animal.  Wood Buffalo National Park is located in Alberta and is the second largest National Park in the world!!!  We did not drive up to the National Park (would have been hundreds of miles out of our way) , but we did enjoy seeing the many bison grazing near the highway as we drove along.  They look a bit different from the bison we see in Yellowstone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sign Forest

Watson City is a traditional stop for anyone driving the Al-Can Highway.  The sign forest now contains 80,000 signs (according to the lady at the visitor center).  We stopped at the library in Watson City to get online for a few moments and people we spoke to here were all remarking on the unusual rainy spell that had been going on for days with deluges that were causing all kinds of problems for the locals.  This big storm system was our constant companion for the last two weeks of the trip.  It seemed to be traveling right along with us.  There was a brief break in the rain for us here.  Joe found a semi-dry spot to sit and eat an apple.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


 Somewhere along the road in Yukon, we made a pit stop and had to have our pictures taken with the Sasquatch carving (for 9 year old grandson who is fascinated by mythical creatures).  This little shop had all kinds of literature about Sasquatch.  I can't even remember the name of this place (maybe no community name at all, actually).  It was just a store along the highway.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tombstone Provincial Park in Canada

 I was thrilled for a brief moment of sunshine while we were stopped at a scenic overlook in Tombstone Provincial Park.  We ate lunch here and soaked in the views.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tombstone Provincial Park, Yukon, Canada

We could not resist the opportunity to visit this stunning Provincial Park in Yukon, Canada. 
There are some good hikes here, and we hoped for a break in the weather as we drove the long gravel road to get there.

Alas, cloudy, rainy and quite cold the day of our visit.

 The scenery at Tombstone Provincial Park was stunning in spite of the weather.  We felt it was well worth the extra driving.