Friday, October 2, 2015

Artist Profile: Cynthia St. Charles

Cynthia St. Charles
Billings, Montana

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you?  I find a square is a bit more challenging from a design perspective, since much of my work is abstract landscape.

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it?  My primary work table is massive, and that is the best thing about it!  It measures 45" x 120"!  I also have a 36" x 48"  Teflon ironing surface, and I use this a lot when working with fusibles.  My print table measures 36" x 48".

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on?
This piece includes fused elements in the foreground (the larger wind turbines).  My work is primarily printed in layers, but for this particular piece, larger elements needed to be fused on the top surface to create perspective.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it?  I work out design and construction issues by working on a smaller piece.  Occasionally, I will do several versions before settling on a specific solution.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time? I work on many projects at once. 

6. What do you hope people take away from your work?  I hope people find my work thought provoking or interesting, but I am really working for self expression without a lot of thought for my audience.
7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts?  I very much enjoy the design process, particularly when I am exploring something new.  I am a very visual person, and I take my greatest gratification from the visual aspects of the work.

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to?  I am the founder of a local art quilt group called WAV (Women of Artistic Vision).  I have been a SAQA member for many years and am also a member of the Quilt Alliance.

9. Do you have a preferred color palette?  Why?  I seem to lean toward earth tones for my most recent work, which tends to be inspired by nature.
10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey?  Eleven years ago, I walked away from a very solid and stable career as a School Psychologist.  I gave up the security of a paycheck, a meaningful professional life, and health insurance for the adventure of exploring my own artistic path.  I have no artistic training, yet my work has been acknowledged and embraced throughout the world.  It is incredibly gratifying and quite surprising!
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