Susie Monday

Artist, maker, teacher, author, head cook and bottlewasher.

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The art I make is the result of a life-long love of pattern, texture and color. How I teach is a skill honed by experience (I started teaching creative arts to younger kids when I was 12). After earning a B.A. in Studio Arts from Trinity University, I helped lead an internationally recognized educational foundation, designed curriculum exhibits for schools and other institutions, wrote and edited for a major daily newspaper, opened the San Antonio Children's Museum and then, a dozen years ago, took the scary but essential (for me) leap to become a fulltime artist and art teacher.

About This Blog

This weblog is about the maker's life. The teacher's path. The stitching and dyeing and printing of the craft of art cloth and art quilt. The stumbling around and the soaring, the way the words and the pictures come together. Poetry on the page and in the piecing of bright scraps together. The inner work and the outer journeys to and from. Practicalities and flights of fancy and fearful grandeur, trivial pursuits and tactile amusements. Expect new postings two or three times a week, unless you hear otherwise. 

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    Artist Statement

    Susie Monday

    hhands1_1.jpgWhat grabs me are conversations between color and texture, and the drama of pattern in everything I see around me: the wind in the cedar trees below my windows, the Guatemalan and Mexican textiles in my studio drawers, the angels who come to me as I work. I make art quilts and art cloth, stacking up short stashes of the latter in order to make the former.

    My art quilts tell the spiritual and metaphysical stories that are unfolding in my life and the lives I observe of other women around me. These goddesses, saints and angels are less about religion than they are about everyday occurrences: our hopes, dreams, frustrations, foundations and the resources we call upon in the secret spaces of the heart.

    I have come to this work after decades of artwork and other work. Like most women, I haven't chosen a linear path though life or career. As a young art student, I sewed paper bags into installations. As an arts educator, I made banners, flags and costumes with children as my audience, collaborators and inspiration. As a newspaper journalist I practiced the art of storytelling and listening, in words rather than images. As an exhibit designer, I filled space with layers of meaning and experience. Throughout all these incarnations, I've had to be a maker-- putting my hands on "stuff" and turning it into something new. I hope the work I do now puts all those years to good use.

    At this point in my artist's life, I want what I create to have consistency of style, to share a personal vision, and to find a home on someone else's wall. I like working within the world of fiber arts because that world, more than any other, allows me the use of more of my interests and acquired skills: painting, printmaking, embroidering, building, layering, embellishment and collage. Techniques I incorporate include hand-dyeing, stenciling, stamping, screenprinting, fusing, machine and hand embroidery and quilting. Rather than take a purist's approach, I will cut up and use anything that comes to eye -- recycled skirts from the thrift store share space with Indian silks, dyeprinted damask tablecloths, pieces of Oaxacan hiupils, baby clothes and designer scarves. Nothing is sacred and everything is.

    Working in fabric and working with these sacred women images bind me to generations of other women, literally and figuratively. These are the connections I honor and celebrate in both content and form.