Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cooking Over the Campfire

My dad turned 86 this week.  Here he is cooking pancakes for his grandkids over the campfire.  He slept in the cabin.   It was a special time.

Painting Inside the Lines

 I put some black fabric paint on a plastic plate and used a paintbrush to fill in between the lines I drew from the overhead transparency.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Transferring Images

I had a number of thoughts about how to best create a large image of a wind turbine on this piece.  I considered doing a fused applique or something like that, but in the end decided I would just blow up transparencies of my photos using an overhead projector.  I plan to paint inside the lines.  Seems a bit risky, (what if I drip paint somewhere?) but it seemed like the best way to go for my style of working.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Central Montana Wind Turbine Inspiration

 There is a large wind farm near Judith Gap, Montana.  I pass through it every time I drive up to visit my parents.  It never ceases to capture my attention.  When I heard it was going to be built, I thought I would hate seeing it, but actually - the view of all these wind turbines rotating in unison across a large expanse of the landscape is awe inspiring.  I have long wanted to do piece about these wind turbines.

This is a beautiful valley between the Belt and Big Snowy Mountains, with the Crazy Mountains off in the distance.  Do these wind turbines ruin the view?  They certainly change it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gold Screenprinting on Sunset Collage

 Well, here I am screen printing with gold screenprinting ink.  I considered using a few different metallic inks, but in the end, I liked the way the gold looked, so this is the color I used on the entire surface.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Eath Stories - Back in the Studio

 I am back in the studio, working on a piece for a SAQA exhibition called "Earth Stories".  The idea of the exhibition is that the pieces will depict some organization or group or event that is bringing benefit to our planet.  We are required to identify an organization, and mine is  This online forum offers pro and con arguments for controversial social, cultural, and economic issues from reputable sources. 
We are being asked to create something to fill a space 72" square and I plan to make a single very large piece.  To do that, I painted many pieces of sunset sky fabrics, fused the backs with Mistyfuse and created a fused collage that is 75" wide.  The piece is eye popping, and had me sort of stymied.  
But there is a deadline, so I created these Thermofax screens from text I lifted off the website regarding the controversy surrounding alternative fuels vs fossil fuels.  This is a very relevant subject for me, since I live in Montana where coal and oil are being pulled out of the ground every day.  There are also a lot of alternative approaches to creating energy.   Water and wind are being used for electricity, as well.  All of these sources of energy have environmental impact.  I am trying to create something that is striking in both the appearance as well as the message.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Exquisite Moment Book Published on Blurb

The Blurb book for the Exquisite Moment exhibition is now available!

Check it out here.

My piece in this exhibit is "Winter Walk II".  Size is 24 x 60"

Detail of "Winter Walk II".

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Glacier Lake Wildlife

 These tiny butterflies are probably only 1/2 inch across.  I do not know their name, but I always love seeing them.  I have never been able to get a photo of them before!
There were a lot of large cutthroat trout cruising the shoreline in small schools.

Since I am talking about wildlife - we also saw a large bear scat that was very fresh.  We met someone on the road who had seen the bear, but we didn't happen to see it.  Black bear. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Glacier Lake Hike

 Last week, we took our second Beartooth hike of the summer.  We went to Glacier Lake, a steep, but short 2 mile hike.  The picture above shows me pausing near the highest point of the trail.  This trail climbs up and then you hike down to the lake, dropping about 200 feet.  The lake is at 9,800 feet elevation
 We were the only people at the lake for the entire time we were there.  We only saw two others on the trail - a father and son who were backpacking out.  We met them as we were going in.
 Here is a view down the valley from the lake shore.  The small pond below is a place where trout sometimes get trapped and when that happens the fishing there is great!
Snow across the trail near the lake.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Prickly Pear Blossom

We have Prickly Pear growing up on the hillside near our house.  This one was blooming and I got some good pictures.  I noticed a lot of buds so I knew it would bloom more.  When I returned a few days later - all the flowers were done.  I missed the big bloom.  I guess this is why I don't have many pictures of cactus blossoms.  They don't last very long!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Five Springs Waterfall, Bighorn Mountains

 We stopped for lunch at the Five Springs Campground.  It is a short walk to the waterfall and well worth the effort.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Last Look at Medicine Wheel

 Here, my two daughters, Michelle and Elizabeth are standing near the gate used by local Crow tribal members who come here to do ceremonies. 
 Elizabeth is far out on the rock in the distance in this picture (above).  She went there to do her meditation near the Medicine Wheel.
 The walk from the parking lot is about 1 mile long and is a significant part of the pilgrimage to Medicine Wheel.  Since Michelle has a broken foot, we were allowed to drive up this road.
 Offerings tied to the gate shown in the first image.
This is the rock outcropping nearest to the Medicine Wheel.  It is my favorite spot at Medicine Wheel.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Getting "smudged" before entering the sacred sight

 Elizabeth brought a sage stick so we could all be "smudged" before entering the sacred Medicine Wheel site.  This was the first time I had been smudged - basically the sage is lit and the smoke is wafted over your body from head to toe to purify you.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Driving into the Bighorn Mountains

 These pictures were taken from a viewing area along the highway.  The view of the valley is really stunning!
My two daughters were taking pictures too!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Medicine Wheel Historic Site, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

This pre-Columbian structure is located at 10,000 feet in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming near the peak of Medicine Mountain.  I have made the pilgrimage to this site numerous times, most recently with my two daughters and grandson.  It is about a 2 hour drive from Billings. 

What you see mainly in this picture, is the fence that surrounds the Medicine Wheel to protect the site from potential damage by visitors.

People frequently leave offerings tied to the fence.  Most of the offerings are made of fabric or feathers that blow in the wind.  It is really very moving to visit this place even though it doesn't look like much in this picture.

Below are a few closer images:

The wheel is constructed of loaf sized white rocks (found nearby) that form an 80 foot diameter circle.  It is intersected by 28 spokes radiating from the center.  There are 7 separate cairns built around the edges.  Two of them intersect with the summer solstice and others line up with the rising point of several stars.  It was built between 1200 and 1700 A.D.