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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    Entries in art workshops (6)


    Fearlessly Sketched Torsos


    What a great weekend. Six artist participants and my co-teacher Sarah Jones and I spent the last  two and a half days in drawing heaven. Is there anything better than having nothing to do but draw? We worked in many media, from many perspectives, with lots of input and insight from within and without the room. The first exercise was a variation of a project from Jane Fasse, whose wonderful blog  delivers art quotes daily to my inbox. AND her art quote one day last week (a timely gift from the universe) was the exercise we started with this weekend.

    You can read her version here. We did the same, except I asked each person to stay with their own "claimed torsos -- 3 or 4 per person) for the entire hour and a half of drawing in response to visual prompts that were projected on the wall. The prompts were also from Jane -- a Pinterest board of figerative art.

    Other exercises we pursued were more about "realistic" drawing, but this one loosened us all up, and provided a wonderful visual feast to work from -- enlarging all of our ideas about figurative drawing. I'll share other results later this week, so stay tuned.



    More Text on Textiles



    Here are some details from a one of the pieces I am working on right now. I am hoping to finish this and a couple of others in time to submit them to the SAQA exhibit called "Text Messages"  -- submissions now online! Stay tuned for the finished work, which I will reveal AFTER I hear if and when any of these are accepted to the exhibit.

    If you are taking my More Text on Textiles course on Joggles, you'll find out all the details on how these pieces are created, step by step -- especially this one featuring some of my soy batik work. You can see the obvious influence of Sister Corita (Corita Kent) one of my art heroes. Her work in the 1960s was such a revelation to me -- art that combined activism, pop culture, text as shape and form, messages to the world in a wide and wild variety of media. I was fortunate to work alongside some of Corita's students at Learning About Learning Educational Foundation and I learned to make serigraphs from them, as well as hand-cut letters, batik techniques, eraser stamp alphabets and more. They shared the work they were doing with Corita at Immaculate Heart College in California with us in San Antonio. I still use the ideas, approaches and techniques that her work and generous students inspired.

    From the UCLA collection.

    Again, to take the class, check this link.


    Save the date...

    Coming to an internet near you:

    Text on Textiles online 4 classes (5ths optional and free) at JOGGLES. 

    And more specifically here.

    Start Date: Thursday March 15, 2012
    Class: Text On Textiles
    Instructor: Susie Monday
    Cost: $45/4 lessons

    This class is scheduled to begin on March 15, 2012.

    NOTE: This class requires use of an all-in-one printer/copier or desktop copier with the ability to enlarge and reduce printed images. The techniques used make use of copies and prints from such a copier/printer. Optional techniques included also involve use of a computer and digital camera.

    Have you ever wanted to incorporate a favorite word, poem or quote into an art quilt, garment, art doll or other textile project -- going beyond simply writing or embroidering the text? Or do letter forms and shapes appeal to your sense of design? This surface design/mixed media class will give you a set of process tools for making text and words an integral part of artfully designed fabrics that you can use in a wide variety of projects.

    Starting with design exercises that encourage a unique expression of your creativity and interests, you’ll learn three specific techniques for transfers of text, words and writing to fabric using ink-jet printing, polymer medium and textile paints. 


    Retreats and Workshops

    Just a little poke in ribs. Don't you think you need a treat! These are the next three workshops coming up at El Cielo Studio. And if I say so myself, they deliver a lot of inspiration, ideas, energy AND rest and restoration to all our artist selves for not-so-much dinero.

    I hope you can join us. Discounts for early enrollment!

    FIELD GUIDE TO COLOR November 12-14 Explore your personal palette while learning the "rules" of color harmony with hands-on exercises. This approach to color design is both intuitive and “scientific,” you’ll learn to trust your instincts with dye, paint and paper experiments while improving your success with color on cloth. We'll tackle a variety of dyeing techniques including low water painting processes and microwave "shibori" techniques. You'll take home work on fabric and paper that can guide a whole new series of work and imagery based on a specific color palette. if you have work that just doesn't work because of color issues, bring it along and we'll do triage! Whether your preference is for earthy tones, crayon-box brights, or soft pastels, you'll learn more about what does and doesn't work and how to bring more energy and excitement to your color choices.

    UFO WORKSHOP December 3-5 UFO, “unfinished fiber object.” Bring along work that needs finishing (perhaps a gift or two, or work that’s stuck for need of constructive critique). Enjoy the resources of the studio  -- thermofax machine at-cost, soy wax, dye, screen-printing tools and more -- and the advice and support of peers. We’ll customize the techniques to the tasks at hand. Almost any idea you want to explore can be tackled with support and concentrated time at this workshop. Send me your idea, and I'll tell you if we can support it with tools, materials and advice!

    ARTIST'S JOURNEY/ ARTIST'S JOURNAL, January 14-16 This workshop has become an annual tradition. Join me for a weekend of reflection, goal setting, and information about how the habit or journaling can benefit you as an artist -- and make a unique journal cover and artist calendar for a new year of creative work and inspiration. We'll be working with drawing (for non-drawers, too), collage, photography, copy machine printing, web resources and tools and more.  Building good habits for your own work. This workshop fills quickly each year, so if you want to be one of the participants, don't wait to reserve your space. Friday evening will include guided meditation after the pot luck supper. 

    Sign up early (at least 30 days in advance with a $25 deposit) for a $15 discount on the $175 fee. Email me for details. First come/first serve -- single bedrooms are in demand (accommodations and food for the entire weekend  $15 to $30)! Note that some of the recent workshops have been filling early. Workshops generally start with an optional Friday night potluck and fun activ- ity or two, then continue through 3-4 pm on Sunday afternoon. Most supplies included.