Monday, May 2, 2011

Cynthia St. Charles - Billings, MT

1.  What do you call yourself - art wise?  Textile Artist
2.  How do you jump start your creativity when you are in a slump?  I clean up my studio.  As I start handling my materials, I start to see them differently and new ideas start to flow.  Often I don't finish cleaning up because I get sidetracked starting a new project.
3.  If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your art?  I would donate even more of my work to organizations for fundraising.
4.  Do you keep a sketchbook, journal, etc.?  I am a doodler, and I usually doodle on random scraps of paper.  These get pasted into a sketchbook so I have a reference.
5.  Where can people see your other work this year?    I am currently writing an article about a unique surface design process I have developed and it will be published in Quilting Arts Magazine this summer.  I have work traveling with IQF's Tactile Architecture, and Text on Textiles 2010.  Sacred Threads 2011. SAQA:  A Sense of Adventure that will be shown at Festival in Houston in the Fall.  I am the First place winner in the Alliance for American Quilts contest in 2011.
6.  Do you teach?  where?  I retired from a 25 year career in education, and do not teach currently.
7.  Is there a particular artist who had influenced you in your art life? and why?  I grew up on a ranch and the value of hard productive work was instilled in me from an early age.  Art was generally considered a frivolous activity, and was not encouraged.  So, no - I have not had any influental artists in my life.  Even now, I struggle with my identity as an artist.    I am still trying to figure out what it means to be an artist!
8. Where or what show do you hope your work will be in someday?   I have been so fortunate to be able to show my work in many prestigious shows .  I would love to be in a Quilt National someday, however, I do realize my style of work is not typical of the work in that venue.  Even so, I will enter whenever I have something I feel might be worthy.
9.  Describe your studio workspace.  My studio is located in the walk in basement of our home.  It includes a modest wet studio equipped with a sink, a dedicated washing machine, microwave, Thermofax machine, and toaster oven.  The main workroom  is generously sized about 30 x 15'.  The workroom is furnished with salvaged Hallmark store drawers and the vast countertops were salvaged from a TJ Maxx remodel.  It is not beautiful, but it was free and works efficiently with lots of storage and lots of  horizontal workspace.  My design wall is 8' square and I have floor to ceiling bookshelves and a cozy fireplace.
10.  What 3 tools could you not live without?  Camera, pencil and paper, and sewing machine
11.  What drives you to make the work that you do?  My  drive is internal and intangible.  My art feeds my soul.
12.  How do you balance your life?  Having a dedicated studio space in my home allows me to walk away from work in progress with the ability to pick up where I left off at any time.  This gives me the flexibility to work in small bits of time - sometimes as brief as 15 minutes, while also managing the rest of my busy life.   Spending time in the mountains - hiking, backpacking, fishing - helps keep me centered and balanced.

1 comment:

  1. "cleaning up your studio" ... another great idea to jump-start your creativity ... that I never thought of. (Which you would know if you ever saw my studio!)
    Linda in San Antonio


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