Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mixed Media Daily Postcards January 1 - 6

I have decided to commit to a daily art project, 
and I have settled on working with mixed media in a 4 x 6" postcard size.  
Here are my first six.
January 1 and 2
 January 3 & 4
 January 5 & 6

 I am using a variety of techniques:  paint, print, photos, collage, markers, colored pencils, doodling, fabric, stitching, etc.  I don't have many rules for these other than the size.  I am sort of using them as an art journal of sorts - I hope they reflect what ever else may be going on in my life at the time.....I am using junk mail, scraps of lists and receipts, favorite photos, journaling a little bit on some of them.....I am recycling some of my failed artwork.......a lot of random stuff that I hope ends up being interesting as a whole once I have 365 of these done.  At this point, I have finished 31 of them for the month of January.  I am not sure I will post all of them on this blog.  I know some people create another separate blog for their daily art.  I don't think these are interesting enough to warrant their own blog at this point (and I feel like that might take the fun out of it for me - too much pressure to create something blog worthy)!  I will post the mixed media postcards I made for January over the next couple of days.  Let me know what you think! 

I will be taking supplies with me when I travel (to Mexico in a week or two) and I will be working on these every day.  This will be part of my "Morning Pages" - daily art meditation as I revisit "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recipes In White

 I've proceeded with white printing of my grandmother's recipes.  I do think this is a significant improvement, but I am not sure I like it, really. 
 At this point, I could peel away all the colored squares.  Those places are not yet quilted.  
I am undecided about this one, also.  This has been really interesting - going back to work begun two years ago and trying to finish it now.  I had hoped for a better success rate, but I am learning as I go.  Abstract is challenging for me. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Block Printing Over Color

Here is the full piece on the design wall after block printing with metallic paints.  I am feeling discouraged.  Not liking this much.  Not seeing it as any sort of improvement over what I had before.  I could give it up and toss it in the trash, but I rarely do such things.  I am thinking over my next step.  My choices are limited because it is already block printed and already quilted, too!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Muting with Metallic Block Printing

Many of the fabrics I fused on this piece are already block printed, but I feel like the colors are still too strong.  I want the added color squares to be a bit more muted and to coordinate better with the underlying neutral block printed collage of natural fabrics.  Block printing with metallic gold and silver paints seem like the thing to try to achieve that (these are the same metallic paints I used for printing the natural fabric collage two years ago - so this seems like the most sensible choice for pulling this together).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Evaluating the Fused Colors

It is up on the design wall now and I am trying to decide whether to rip all these fused color squares off or just go forward with it somehow.  If I am going forward - where am I going?  Not sure, actually, but I can fall back on my grandmother's recipes and see where that takes me.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fusing Color Blocks

OK, I have fused a few color squares onto this piece and am stepping back for a look.....I realize the pieces will just peel away if I decide I don't like the way this is going, so I am playing fast and loose with the colors.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Design Gamble

This seems sort of insane, but I feel like I have nothing to lose with this gamble.  I am cutting the fused binding strips into squares and am fusing them onto this block printed and quilted fabric collage.  This piece has been sitting around for two years.  I always thought I might trim it down and use it for multiple 12" squares or something, but now I am thinking color.....too much white outside in January in Montana.  Color it is!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sorting Fused Fabrics

I keep all the leftover strips from my fused bindings in a 2 gallon ziplock bag.  It is now so full I cannot zip it.  Time to do something with these.....and I am thinking maybe some of this color needs to go on my bland natural fabric collage that I showed you yesterday.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Natural Dyed Collage

As I work through my stack of unfinished pieces - I have come to this collage of naturally dyed silk and cotton fabrics that was overprinted with metallic paints and block prints, then quilted. 

I made this piece about 2 years ago and never took it any further than the quilting and final trimming.  It did not inspire me.  I felt (and still do) that the darker fabric around the edges is distracting.  It just looks very bland to me. 

Those naturally dyed fabrics are precious, though and I hate to think of just tossing this in the trash.  I will see if I can improve it with some additional layers.....not sure what I will do, but I am going to dive in.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trimmed Purple Collage

I've trimmed this piece and am now evaluating it on the design wall.  I am not sure it is even worth binding.........?  Maybe it is just my winter mood.

.....Still, I feel it is leaps and bounds more interesting than what I began with (below). it better trimmed and rotated?

(I think this might be better if I can even up the blue printing so the color shift lines up horizontally on either side of the yellow circle).  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quilting Done

The quilting is now finished and I am looking at this piece on the design wall.  I am really on the fence with this one.....I do not love it, and am not sure I should finish it.  Is it worthy of binding?  I will at least trim it and take another look before I decide.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blue Quilting

 I've used a very loose stitch (moving the quilt really fast under the needle) and a variety of threads to build up visual interest in the blue area.
I did not enjoy the quilting on this one.  I am accustomed to doing swirls and waves.  Straight lines and messy and overlapping felt foreign and was boring.....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Primary Colors - Stepping Back

After printing a lot of different colors and screens, it is time to put this piece up on the wall and take a step back.  I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out.....I am less than thrilled, but I am going to go forward with it.  Quilting is next.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Red Detail

 Here is a closer look at the red screen printing over the black text printing over the purple collage.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Red Over Purple

 The other side of this piece is printed in red - again, darker shades of red on the outer edge, working toward the center with lighter, brighter red.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blue Over Purple

 The next phase of printing is to add blue.....darker / Navy blue on the far end, gradually moving to a brighter blue towards the center.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Yellow Glow

 Back to the print table I go with this piece.  I have decided to print a glowing circle in the center of the piece.  I want to use the complimentary color to purple - Yellow!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Progress with Printing

 Above - the first layer of printing is done.  I have created a lighter area in the center using lighter fabrics (some fused peach hand dyed and fused natural silk organza), followed by screen printing with white.  I have enhanced the darker areas by using black ink for the printing on the sides.
Here is how it looked before the printing.....I think it is always interesting to compare.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Recipes in Black and White

 OK, so the recipes have been Thermofax screen printed in white in the center of the piece, and I've switched to black ink for the rest of the collage.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Creating a Lighter Center on Purple

 I have studied this collage of hand dyed fabric and have decided to create a prominent lighter area in the center of the piece.  Above, I am auditioning fabrics from my fused fabric drawer.  Below, the fabrics have been fused in place and I am ready to further lighten the center area with screen printing.
I am using white screen printing ink and again - my grandmother's recipes.  This should be another piece in the abstract series - "Learning to Cook".

Friday, January 10, 2014

Purple Collage Challenge

 Two years ago, I was just easing into the process of block printing and screen printing on a fabric collage.  I was doing this exercise by using up scraps that were fused to the batting and then the raw edges were free motion zig zagged to secure them.  I did a big stack of these collages in various color combinations in anticipation that I would finish them off quickly.

Life got in the way, though, and I did not finish them off quickly.  For two years, the stack has been occupying a favorite upholstered chair in my studio.  This winter, I am challenging myself to work with these foundations.  This purple one was about 58 inches square.  I studied it for a while before deciding to cut it into two parts.

I have decided to try the smaller one first.  It measures about 28 x 58.
Horizontal or vertical?  Hmmmm.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Quilting In Progress

 I have enjoyed adding various colors of, blue, variegated turquoise to red, and dark blue. 

 Below - the full piece with most of the quilting stitches done - I have just a few more areas needing dark blue, I think.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Evaluating Quilting Lines

I have been stopping periodically and putting the piece up on the design wall to evaluate the effect of the stitching and to make decisions about proceeding.  There is a lot of stitching on this piece - I am stitching inside each cell three times to build up a heavy layer of thread.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thread Choices

 I am hoping the quilting brings this piece together.  My plan is to stitch on the inside of each screen printed cell with a contrasting color.  I want the paint to show, so I do not wish to stitch over the top of the printed lines.  I am going to start with a very pale tan variegated thread.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Making Printed Patches

 I had the forethought to print some fabric for the binding while I was printing the quilt.  There is more than I need for the binding, so I plan to use the rest of it to build up the collage a bit more.
Above, the audition of the additional fabric on the end.  I think I will use this to create a more balanced piece.