Exhibit at Palo Verde in California

Here's a link to a local news article (almost correct says the curator!) about our Art Cloth Network exhibit in California:

> http://www.pvnews.com/articles/2013/01/10/arts_and_entertainment/a_e1.txt

ANd an excerpt:

The only theme of “24 x 80” is size, Weir said. Each of the artists from the Art Cloth Network began with a silk banner, then used dyeing, printing or laminating to create moving, eye-catching pieces alive with sparkling or reflective foils.

One of the fiber artists, Cindy McConnell, created a slide show to accompany the exhibition that follows the process of making one of her three-dimensional silk boxes. Along with the slides are a display of printmaking equipment and a selection of about a dozen different textile, fiber and mixed media items that people can touch.

It’s the tactile aspect that draws Weir to fiber art.

“The touch, the feel, the fluidity, the fact that it takes any kind of treatment appeals to me,” she said. “You can paint it, dye it, burn it, stitch through it or wad it up. It’s a medium that we’re all completely comfortable with. We all wear clothing and sleep on sheets. We don’t have to search far for inspiration or materials, they’re everywhere.”

If you would like to be part of the group -- a really rewarding experience in my creative life -- see the entry requirements and membership duties and fun on the website at http://artclothnetwork.com/join.html.

At our last Art Cloth Network meeting -- and yes, we do accept male members. Russ must have been taking the photo!

Palos Verdes Art Center

My work is part of this exhibition -- in the 24 by 80 Exhibit of Art Cloth. Art Cloth Network member Deborah Weir is the guest curator for the three exhibits. Please leave me a comment if you get to see it -- I'd love to know what you think! The exhibit is in California at the Palos Verdes Art Center in North Los Angeles.

My work is titled HUMMER, and was inspired by observing the black throated hummingbirds in the blossoms of the Century Plant. The exhibit features art cloth work unified by its 24" by 80" size by members of ACN. Art Cloth Network is seeking some additional members for its 30-member (max) national organization. If you'd like more info and a link to submission/application information, send me an email on the comment form or the contact form on the sidebar. 

Screen Printing Free Form Letters

This blog post is intended as a bonus for those enrolled in my More Text on Textiles online course that started on Joggles today. 

Now, it's not too late to join in the fun, so if you are interested in this 4-week, PDF based course (with an online forum during the next 6 weeks), head on over to this link for enrollment info --http://www.joggles.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=75_1235&products_id=24165

It's an affordable way to get your feet wet with putting words, quotations, pithy comments and other thoughts (yours and others) on your art quilts, art cloth, wearable art or mixed media pieces.

Using letter forms for screenprinting stencils is another way to use your cut letters. P.S. This post assumes you have a basic knowlege of screenprinting. If not, go to this site to see a demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wogKeYH2wEE. This is a demo that takes you through the entire process, making your own screen. You can purchase them ready-made at many art supply stores. This demo shows all kinds of stencils, and you will be using your cut letters as the stencil. YOU don't need a clamped frame, I just move my small screen over the fabric. 

Because these letters will be used as a one time stencil, then thrown away, I usually just use old newspaper or sheets of newsprint, or recycled copy paper. Newspaper is really great because it is really thin and adheres to the screen and wet ink really well.

Any thin flat paper will work, but if you want a reusable stencil, cut your letters with contact paper (backing side up, the sticky side goes against the back of the screen).

 You can use any clean silkscreen for your tool. Occasionally I even use one with defects or blocked areas, for a distressed kind of print.

 Free-hand cut your word or words from your choice of paper (instructions are in the first lesson of More Text on Textiles). Then use small folds of masking tape (one or two per letter only), and tape your letters on the back (bottom) of the screen. Your words should read correctly through the screen unless you are intentionally reversing them. This is a great time to teach yourself to cut serif letters or letters that enlarge some iconic type (like those used by Corita Kent in her work).

Screenprint onto ironed flat fabric with thickened dye (see the Dharma catalog for easy instructions and supplies), textile screen printing ink, or other inks. Use a padded surface under your fabric.

Use your word as a repeat, or as a one-time print. When finished wipe down the screen, remove the letters and wash. Let textile ink prints dry, then iron to set. Thickened dye prints need to be batched, as with any dye painted fabrics.









Traveling with Text

With my aquisition (thanks to birthday bonanza from Linda) of a NEW iPad with the camera, I am afire with digital imaginings. Here are some of my most recent experiments using several iPad apps one on top of another, as well as a few text-based Mixel collages.

The one above was a "physical" collage made with text cut from magazines (one of the exercises in my Text on Textiles courses, like that I am teaching on Joggles right -- and in the summer semester, too). I then photograhed it with the smart phone, sent it to the Cloud and my iPad and altered the colors with an app called PhotoPad (free, and a good photo editing tool). Then I drew on top of that saved image with some other tools and also erased part of the  image -- it looks to me like "Pollock takes on text."

Below is another physical collage that was altered, first with an iPad app called ArtistaHaikuHD that gives one a variety of watercolor effects/filters to use on photos.  Then I loaded that saved image into the PhotoPad App and played around with the colors. Que Cool!

Here's the watercolor versions in ArtistaHaikuHD:

How did I start? You can see the original here. 

 Or, rather the intermediate stage that was done on Mixel. The first product was actually this little 4 by 6 collage (shown here with two copies taped together):

WOW! It's amazing how these tools can morph one image SO MANY ways. I love to play with the possiblilities -- so the challenge is not in fluency, it's in when to quit and put my hands back on the wheel, so to speak. Where does what I can do only with hands happen?

Here's one way:

Print it with inkjet transfers on an old piece of tablelinen:





Exhibit at University Presby

I  have a small but, I think, quite nice, exhbit of work at University Presbyterian Church in the SOL Center. It will be up through Easter, and I will be doing an artist talk on the coming Sunday after services (noonish?).

The church is at Bushnell and Shook in San Antonio. And, as a born-amd-bred Presbyterian, it's an honor to be there -- there is something really satisfying about having more than one or two pieces of work in a public forum. It is a pleasure to see 15 or so pieces of work all on nice walls all in the same space. The work in the show is from 2009 to now, with quite a bit new work. I see it differently on a wall that is not my own.

I admit to having some misgivings about not being in a "proessional" venue with my work. There aren't many such available in this community; textile art is marginalized between art and craft. No excuses: I also am not the best at spending time and effort finding exhibit opportunities. Meanwhile, with the help of friends, this one came my way; the space is quite nice; I had lovely help hanging the show; it has an interesting and valued stream of people going through it for classes, events, church services and more. So if you get a chance, stop by. Ask at the church office if the Sol Center is locked. Ask for prices if you are interested in purchasing work -- 25% of purchase price goes to the church.

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. http://www.joggles.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=75_1235&products_id=23449

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. 

On to Philadelphia!

I wish! If I could do anything and money were no object, well, I would be there at the joint SDA and SAQA Conference and FiberPhiladelphia coming up in a couple of months. I am waiting for a sign from the universe that money IS no object, but it hasn't come yet!

One nice thing, though. I will be represented by a piece of work in the Art Cloth Network exhibit LINES AND NUMBERS, a combined exhbit of two juried shows, one determined by size and the other by the placement of a line in the fabric composition. Its just a treat to see how each artist handled these challenges, and each work shows the strength and voice of each individual.

If you'd like to see more, Barbara Schneider, one of the Art Cloth Network's team who has made this show possible (along with Dianne Hricko and Judy Langille, in particular), you can order a catalog from BLURB here: 

Lines and Numbers Two Exhibitions by the Art Cloth Network Barbara J. Schneider



Barbara says:

If you go to this link (above) it will take you directly to our book. You have options then as to whether you want your copy to be soft cover or hardcover or with a dust jacket. The ones I ordered are black linen with dust jacket for $33.95 each plus shipping.  Soft cover is 22.95. I would not recommend the IMAGE WRAP hard cover. If you are planning to order before end of January they have a $10 off code NEWBK2012 if you spend over $50.  You can decide on shipping which reduces the cost of you don't need it ASAP.

Here's the piece I have in the exhibit (exhibit originally titled 24 by 90, juried by Els van Baarle).

This is a second piece inspired by the same sunny day walk by my neighbor's century tree agave, swarming with hummingbirds.

and here is a detail of the first:

Both of these pieces are available for sale, if you are interested send me an email!

Meanwhile: here's how they were done.

Both are adaptations of the process that I demonstrate in my QUILTING ARTS DVD "Mixed Media Textile Art," using screenprinting with multi-color printing, over stencils (the ironed on shapes of the agave and blooms and the shapes of the hummingbirds. I cut the design stencils, iron them onto the fabric (in this case a rather strange one -- blackout curtain material fused to poly felt). Then I color  a blank screen, using water-soluble crayons, that I  then lay over the stencil and screen print with polymer medium or screen-printing medium from Golden until the colors release and transfer to the fabric. The background of the piece is mostly done with just a blank screen using the same technique with a variety of different kinds of crayons, and added to with light acrylic textile paint washes. I then screen printed the little squiggly energy marks, kind of short hand for the movement of the hummers. The textured leaves were printed with a thermofax made from a microscophy image of leaf veins, and screened over the stencil of the agave leaf shapes.

If you'd like the basics about this technique, you can still buy  the DVD from Quilting Arts at:


and see a sampler video at:




Coming up in Fiber Philadelphia 2012

Art Cloth Network will have an exhibit among the diverse, intriguing and far-flung offerings in the new year at Fiber Philadelphia 2012, a citywide two month long celebration of textiles. Thanks to member Diane Hricko, we will have two of our juried exhibits combined into one called Lines and Numbers, showing during the festival:

Lines and Numbers
White Space, Crane Arts' Old School
1417 N. Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Open Wed-Sun, 12-6pm

March - April 2012

FiberPhiladelphia is an international biennial and regional festival for innovative fiber/textile art. Exhibitions are planned for 40 locations including major institutions and independent venues. They will include work by renowned international artists and a new generation of artists breaking into the field. 

"In the past 20 years, the boundaries between High/Low art and medium specific recognition have been blurred. Unlike the other major craft media, textile artists have the freedom of transcending materials, unbound from tradition. Although many choose to continue to work with historic materials and methods, many have branched out to explore the infinite possibilities of materials and techniques. One can weave metal, clay, even light. Quilts are not necessarily bound by thread or cloth and vessels can be more than objects to contain physical matter; they can reject functionality and explore conceptual notions of spiritual and metaphysical containment.

"FiberPhiladelphia is partnering with InLiquid, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to providing opportunities and exposure for visual artists and designers."

Art Cloth Network artists whose work will be shown include:


Laura Beehler
Janet Hadingham
Sue Copeland Jones
Lisa Kerpoe
Dianne Koppisch Hricko
Judy Langille
Mary Ellen Latinio
Russ Little
Susie Monday
Barbara Schneide
Peggy Sexton
Jeanne Sisson
Priscilla J. Smith 
Katherine Sylvan
Connie Tiegel
Deborah Weir

The two combined exhibits include one that had a size requirement and another with both a size and a line placement requirment but all the art meets our groups' definition of art cloth

Art Cloth - It’s all in the process

 The Art Cloth Network is dedicated to exploring and promoting art cloth. Art Cloth is cloth transformed by adding or subtracting color, line, shape, texture, value, or fiber to create a compelling surface.

If you'd like to know more about FIber Philadelphia check their website at www.fiberphiladelphia.org/ and for more about Art Cloth Network, see www.artclothnetwork.com.

My piece in the exhibit (detail in the photo above) pushes the definition of art cloth since it's a strange combination of painting, screen printed stencils and watercolor washes on black-out curtain fabric, fused to a poly felt background. I used the multicolor screen printing process to make the hummingbird and Century Plant images That process is one that I teach in my CLOTH PAPER SCISSOR DVD Workshop video and one we'll be playing with during the February workshop at El Cielo. I love the feeling of individual hand and spontaneity that this process gives a piece.

Here's more about the DVD:"Making use of a fun and accessible screen-printing method, Susie shows how to design a screen with water-soluble pigments, and then how to print the image using a polymer medium. Complementary fabrics are designed using stencils, water-soluble crayons, and textile paints. And next, using simple fuse-and-stitch layering and piecing, Susie demonstrates how to construct a colorful, improvisational piece of fiber art. Further design elements are considered and added, including painted details and another layer of screen printing. Finally, Susie shares strategies for turning the piece into a three-dimensional piece of artwork, by wrapping and attaching it to a wooden frame (such as a house shape). Hand stitching and embellishments can be added to personalize the piece."

Mark it up as Success/FUN/Beautiful


Last weekend's Markmaking Workshop at El Cielo took us all on a path to beautiful, deconstructed screen-printed fabrics. Each of the participants worked from a visual motif, developed in a half day of cut, paste and draw, then adapted it to different tool-making and technical processes.

And of course, we ate well, swam, set and looked, walked dogs (at least Linda and I did!) and talked and shared our lives. Thanks to Margaret, Heather, Mary and Ellen for all the creative energy flying through El Cielo. 

Here's just a few photos from the weekend. (Don't you love these panoramas, created by Linda with a new app on her iphone 4.)





Art Cloth Network Call for Members

If you're a creator of art cloth, consider joining Art Cloth Network. The group, which is limited to 30 members, actively promotes and exhibits art cloth. We will be meeting this fall in Florida (attending the first meeting is required for new members). Here's the official info about applying: 

Art Cloth Network Membership Information and Application Process

Thanks for your interest in becoming a member of the Art Cloth Network. Those of us who are members find that the opportunities for community, conversation, sharing of techniques, inspiration and resources benefit our art and creativity. We have recently increased our membership limits to 30 members in good standing, including those on formal leave. When the number falls below 30, we accept new member applications. We currently have openings for up to 6 new members.

While some of us also make art quilts or mixed media work, the group is focused on art cloth and its specific surface design techniques and approaches.  This includes making lengths of cloth, rather than small samples or fat quarters. Please read the information about art cloth on our website and look at examples, to make sure that you are interested in this field.  Only those artists who submit examples of art cloth that meet this description will be considered for membership.

We meet as a group every 9 to 10 months in different regions of the United States, usually between August and October. Since these meetings are critical to our growth and vitality, we require attendance at 2 out of 5 consecutive meetings.  Membership begins with the first meeting attended. Members bring and discuss their work at these meetings, and we share other professional concerns and opportunities. Previous meetings have been in Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, California, Georgia, Arizona, and New Jersey. The 2011 meeting will be in Florida.

We also produce a new exhibit annually, with a call for entries each year. Since opportunities for showing art cloth are limited, this is an important membership benefit. Members are required to enter two of five calls for entry in order to maintain their membership status.

Only applicants who can and will attend the next meeting will be accepted into the Art Cloth Network during this membership call period. That meeting will be in or around St. Petersburg, Florida on either October 13-16 or November 10-13, 2011. Full details about the conference and this financial commitment will be mailed to those extended a membership invitation.

The current deadline for membership applications is March 15, 2011, and you can send in your application materials at any time prior to the deadline. You will be notified by April 15, 2011 whether your application has been approved. 


Send a request to susiemonday@gmail.com in order to receive the POSTEROUS application site address.

Text on the Surface at SWSchool

Coming this spring to a school in SA:


2560 | Text on the Surface

Susie Monday

Learn to embed text messages into the surface of your art cloth or art quilts, with the form holding as much importance (and as much of the “message”) as any literary element. The words might disappear, remain legible, or become a surface texture; find ways to add letters and text with innovative materials. Some techniques to be explored include soy wax scrafitto, stitched paper cloth with word collages, direct printing on fabric with an inkjet printer, sun printing with letters and words using dye and paint, and making your own stamps and thermofaxes with words, collages and favorite quotations. The course includes handouts and other resources. A supply list will be posted on the SSA website.

Mon, Jan 31 – Feb 28 | 1:00 – 4:00P

Surface Design Studio | Navarro Campus

Tuition: $170 (Members: $155) | 5 weeks

Quilting Arts TV New Series Preview

Here's what Pokey and team say about the new season (I'm on it in the previewed show, after Jane, but it's not on the preview-- but my name is!).


In addition to covering contemporary quilt design, free-motion quilting, machine embroidery, thread painting, and fused appliqué, this season we explore soy wax and flour paste resists, screen- and gelatin-printing techniques, unique finishing techniques for small quilts, and introduce a new, fun and informative segment: Save My UFO (UnFinished Objects).

Embellishment topics include designing with zippers, 3-D fabric flowers, and incorporating grommets in patchwork totes. Surface design techniques include stenciling, resist painting, gelatin printing, stamping with soy wax, screen printing fabrics using water-soluble crayons and polymer medium, designing fabrics with thickened dyes, and creative masking and stenciling techniques with oil paint sticks.

Projects include a Winslow Market Tote, 3-D floral appliqués that can be used as quilt embellishments or as brooches, soft-sculpture fabric birds, a colorful journal cover, a 3-D ornament, quilted boots, and fabric-collaged animal portraits.

Plus, Sharon Morton discusses the purpose of guilds and how they can help with quilting, and Pokey explores quilting from the eyes of a 7-year-old girl to get her unique perspective.

There is something for every art quilter and mixed-media artist, beginning through advanced levels.

The Series 600 guest list includes: Liz Berg, Andrea Bishop, Jeanne Cook-Delpit, Jane Dunnewold, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Karen Fricke, Terry Grant, Mary Hettmansperger, Carol Ingram, Liz Kettle, Kathy Mack, Lindsay Mason, Linda McGehee, Susie Monday, Diane Nuñez, Jennifer O’Brien, Luana Rubin, Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero, Terry White, and many more.

Join us for another season of 13 inspiring episodes!

And here's the preview on YouTube:

Meanwhile, this month's Quilting Arts magazine includes a profile I wrote about French artist Sylvia Ladame.


Inspiration and techniques! Thread sketching; needle felting; hand stitching; recycled sweaters; 3-D embellishments; batik with soy wax; Dunnewold on design; circular quilts; “Inner Animal”; and more!  Continue thread sketching with Susan Brubaker Knapp, with a focus on texture. Learn Jane LaFazio’s techniques for creating colorful and unique fiber art that encompasses needle felting and hand stitching. Discover how squares from recycled and felted wool sweaters serve as the base for Morna Crites-Moore’s embellished art quilts. Explore soy wax batik alongside Melanie Testa. Use fabric-covered wireform mesh to create sculptural elements. Learn about the inspiration and techniques behind Victoria Gertenbach’s wonderfully graphic quilts. Take a sneak peek at Jane Dunnewold’s new book: Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabrics. Check out Laura Wasilowski’s method for creating small circular quilts with colorful fused appliqué and quick-wrapped edges. Gain insight from Jane Dávila on taking commissions. Enjoy more inner animal reader challenge results. Get to know art quilters Geneviève Attinger and Sylvie Ladame. Read about the smokestacks and factories featured in Elizabeth Barton’s industrial landscape quilts. And don’t miss Goddess Robbi Joy Eklow’s recent home décor adventures.



Order from Jane's Corner

Here's a note that Jane Dunnewold, my friend and mentor, put on out on one of the online lists this week. If you plan to order Jane's new book ART CLOTH -- an update and reworking of what is certainly one of the classic resources of the surface design field, COMPLEX CLOTH -- then do her the favor of ordering from her Art Cloth website. I certainly will. And, even better, add my name to the drawing for one of Jane's wonderful pieces of art.

"I was dismayed to go to Amazon and see how deeply discounted my new book will be - even before it has been released. I know that's the way of the world, but it led me to some serious thinking about how to compete with discounting while offering value to those who are committed to sticking with and supporting artists by spending a bit more - rather than going for the discount. With that in mind, I've decided to host a "raffle" of sorts - to thank those of you who are willing to support artists first hand - without the middle person, like Amazon, involved.

Anyone who pre-orders my new book on my website - complexcloth.com - will automatically be entered in a drawing for two of my larger works of art. The pieces are yet to be determined - I need to get some work back from Interweave before I can make the decision about what to offer, but they will be GOOD pieces. The drawing will occur on June 1, 2010. Anyone who has already pre-ordered from my website is automatically "in."

Please feel free to pass this on to other lists and friends. I am not
against Amazon at all, but am interested in leveling the playing field so that I might actually be able to hold my own against big business! And may I say, while engaging in a little fun with an outcome a couple of people will really enjoy!

(Is Amazon the equivalent of an on-line big box store? Am I the local corner artist?)


and yes, every copy ordered on the website will be personally signed."


Surface Design Technique: Polyester Film Transfers

Polyester film transfer on cotton, "Century Plant

I am doing some transfers of photos using polyester film (it's a wet media product made for graphic artists) with my ink-jet printer and then adding gel medium or fabric medium to melt and blend the photographic images-- which also makes them permanent (if a bit stiff). This spiral piece also has a thermofax screen print ontop (the charcoal dotty stuff).



This is a logical progression from some of the screened water-soluble medium work that I also have been doing lately.

And what is it with the nature imagery. I hope I am not turning into the quilt art equivalent of a boring bluebonnet painter....

Let me know what you think. Should I quilt these as whole cloth quilts?

Open Studios Online

Ran across this online invitation today, and I thought it would be fun to participate.You might want to, too.

Be Part of Our Online Open Studios Event

The theme of the Fall 2009 issue of Studios is Open Studios, so we're kicking it off with a virtual tour, and you're invited to participate. Here’s how:

Step 1.  Take pictures and/or video of your studio. Maybe your studio is a large, dedicated space or maybe it’s just a corner of the dining room. It doesn’t matter—we want to see it! And don’t worry that it isn’t perfect. Art is not about perfection. You can clean it up, leave it in its natural state—it’s up to you.

Step 2. Announce the tour on your blog/website and include the cover image of the Fall 09 Studios, linked to our website.

Once you’ve posted image and link, leave a link to your blog/website in the comments section of the In the Studio with Cate editor’s blog anytime before October 2.

Step 3. On October 3, post the images/video of your studio on your blog or website with a little commentary describing your creative spac and what makes it special to you. Leave the post up through October 4, or as long as you like.

The first 25 people to join the tour (i.e. leave a link to their tour announcement on Cate’s blog) will win a door prize from the Studios storage closet (books, fabric, craft bags, art supplies, and more). Everyone who participates will have the opportunity to share their unique workspace and get ideas and feedback from others.

So, join the fun! Any questions? Contact Studios Editor Cate Prato at cprato@interweave.com.

And it will get me to clean up my studio, at least a little, before I take off on the first of three event journeys to Houston.

Here's what's on the agenda:

Federation of Texas Fiber Artists Meeting -- Houston's HAFA hosts this year's events, held every two years among the four member "chapters" of the organization -- Austin, Dallas/FW, San Antonio and Houston. Here's what I'll be doing:

 Studio tour, Workshops on Photoshop and various facets of art business and professionalism and gallery visits -- Gallery stops at the ArtCloth Network's exhibit at Archway Gallery and the Federation's show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (nope, my entries were not accepted for either show, better luck next time, right?)


International Quilt Festival, the big one at George Brown Convention Center, all four floors!

I'm teaching, demoing, lecturing way more than I expected. I sent in some proposals last spring, thinking that the way they worked would be to pick three, maybe four of my options. I was asked to present seven different programs. Good thing I am traveling up and back to the Houston Federation event, so that I can take some of the supplies then and leave them at a friend's house. I am excited, but a bit apprehensive about all the activities -- suspect I won't be doing much for fun except teaching. But, I am signed up for Ann Johnston's dyeing course, one I've wanted to take for a long time. This will be the lecture, demo version, but I am certain I will learn a tremendous amount. Ann is the dye guru in my book!

Here's my teaching ,etc. schedule, in case you get a chance to join in. Last time I checked I had openings still in all of my offerings. Workshop registration includes one admission ticket to the exhibits, trade shows, etc. For more information go to www.quilts.com.

The International Quilt Festival in Houston will be
held October 14- 18 (earlier than normal this year only).
Catalogs are now available for classes and workshops
from Quilt, Inc. Several Texas artists are included as
instructors and lecturers. Susie Monday will be lecturing
and teaching (# from the catalog): For more information,
visit www.quilts.com
#368, Wed, 4-5pm, $8
Lecture: Nurturing Creative Kids (and Grandkids)
#411, Thurs, all day, $83
Workshop: Rainbow Prints with Water-Soluble Crayons
#540 Friday Sampler, 10-noon, $30
Demo: Zapped (almost) Instant Silk Scarves
#605 Friday 6-9
Workshop: The Sensory Alphabet, $43
#749 Sat. 10-noon, Mixed Media Miscellany, $30
Demo: Rainbow Prints w/Water Soluble Crayons
#756 Sat 2-5, $50
Workshop: Shapes and Silhouettes
#804, Sun 8-11, $45
Workshop:Inspiration is in the Cards
#Sun, 11:30-1:30
Demo: Stories on Your Shoulder

And third:

ArtCloth Network Meeting

This is a group of (up to) 25 artists who have a special place in the repertoire for art cloth. Right now there are only 20 members, so if you are interested, check out the website for the group and send me an email. We will be opening up for applications sometime later this fall. The meeting is largely a Show-and-Tell with some fun gallery visits, business meeting and lots of fun with friends who I've met through this closeknit group.


Going Far Enough

Detail, Eve Leaves, 2009

In your work.

One of the principle differences I see between "beginners" and seasoned artists is the willingness to go far enough with an idea, a material, a vision, a technique. It's a fact of cognitive psychology that we humans have a interesting condition for learning. We need to have a certain degree of familiarity, safety. And we have to have something that pushes us into new territory, a little risky feeling, an edge of the unknown, a bit of discomfort -- it's called cognitive dissonance.

Sample, watercolor crayon print

This past week I took a journey into cognitive dissonance. I spent the better part of the week exploring and pushing myself in a familiar arena, using watercolor crayons with gel medium to produce multicolor images -- one of the techniques I've been using since I began working in this field. I had two reasons for the task: I am teaching a one-day workshop at the International Quilt Festival in Houston on Thursday, October 15, "Rainbow Prints with Watercolor Crayons." I wanted to be up to speed with some new media and have some fresh samples and examples to share. (There's still room for a few more participants in this workshop, you can find out how to register by going to website, www.quilts.com.)

Secondly, I am attending a meeting right after Festival of the Art Cloth Network, a small national organization of  about 25 artists who spend dedicated time and energy investigating and creating art cloth, or, as Jane Dunnewold, calls it "complex cloth." Sixteen years ago I began a serious pursuit of my life as a working artist in classes with Jane (and her faculty) at the Southwest School of Art and Craft. My entry into art quilts, where I spend much of my energy now, came after I began making and learning about complex cloth, and I continue in that world with art cloth pieces, and in the surface design that I use for fabrics that become part of my quilts. But over the past few years, I have found myself less myself in my art cloth than I am in my art quilts. I have felt that though my work can be strong, it doesn't have the depth of expression or the true individuality that I think I have found in my art quilts. Much of the art cloth I make ends up being cut up to use in my art quilts, not a bad end for it, but kind of a denial of the art cloth "movement," which promotes the creation of beautiful, artful and meaningful cloth as a end process, not just something to be used for something else. So, I thought that if I took a technique and an image I love, worked with it towards art cloth, I would actually have some fabric I ws interested in to take to the conference for our show-and-tell!

If you are still with me, forgive the long introduction -- but sometimes its good to pinpoint exactly where one is in the process. So the week of work, it worked!

Not only do I have some new interesting media that proved to be easier to use (especially in the IQF setting without cleanup sinks!), some adaptations that make the technique even more interesting and varied, but I also had a breakthrough for my art cloth work. I have discovered a  new direction to follow  for my art cloth that seems to have a relationship to my art quilt work, in that it is more narrative and more "imagetic"  than what I have been doing. You've seen the warmups in samples as you've read this diatribe and here are the first two lengths of art cloth (I confess, I might want to try making a whole cloth quilt with one or the other someday -- also something I've never tried). These are, I warn, Works In Progress. Neither is completely successful as a final art object, but I learned an enormous ammount simply pushing myself into a new realm of work. One question that arises: when does a piece of art cloth become a painting on cloth. Or does that matter? What do you think?

"Eve Leaves," Art Cloth, 2009, mixed media, watercolor crayons, screen-printed"Hummingbird and Century Plant" 2009, Art Cloth, mixed media , watercolor crayons, screenprinting

I've also completed a handout about the technique of using watercolor crayons and polymer medium that I'll use at the Festival. It goes through the basic process and tools for this technique and you are welcome to download it here.  (Link is yet to be figured out. coming soon!) Email me for an attachment pdf to be mailed to you.


Art Cloth Before and After

Jane Dunnewold, who as anyone who reads me regularly knows is a mentor, friend and shining beacon in my life, has published a new blog as the venue for an art cloth challenge she issued last year. From a pool of "applicants" she chose a group of us to develop a piece of art cloth from a two-yard challenge piece that she sent-- all identically dyed with mixing blue with a series of small bound-resist circles down the middle of the length.The site is at: Art Cloth Challenge 2008 <http://artclothchallenge.blogspot.com/>

Now the results are in and up on-line at site. Scroll down near the end to find out more about the piece I made, after you've taken time to read the others! Warning: this is a return-to site. There's so much to learn about approach, process, the creative journey, the paths that different artists take from the same impulse and materials. I'm still reading and enjoying!

Vintage Inspiration & Accidental Collections

Vintage tablecloths are, I guess, one of my accidental collections. I first started buying them with the idea of overdyeing or cutting and piecing, and found myself hoarding them instead, unwilling to cut up any but the most tattered and stained.

And now, surely it shouldn't come as a surprise, I have learned  (from a sweet blog called A Charmed Life) that vintage tablecloths are quite collectable and that you can even find catalogs and lists and galleries with names, dates and manufacturers! Oh dear, another web-based fritter awaits me, as I try to track down the provenance of these lovelies. I must have about 50 now, and I still find them at quite affordable prices at thrift stores, flea markets and the like.

What's the attraction?" Some of it is purely visual -- the funky designs and colors, the outrageous tropicals and holiday prints. And some, admittedly, is because I was there then -- in the 50s and 60 when every bridge table had its lovely cloth for parties and tea and holiday open houses.

And, yes, sometimes a cloth finds its way into my work, often on one of my small studio or home wall altars.

Accidental collections are those assortments of things you never really decided to collect, but one day you look around and your home or studio or desktop or garden is full of them. Accidental collections have a kind of natural growth that usually has more to do with liking something than it does with investing in it. And whether you think your accidental collection has anything to do directly with your art or not, it probably has something to do with your strong suits and inclinations in the sensory world.

What are your accidental collections? How do they inspire you?

(Remember, if you comment, you will be entered into my raffle for a free copy of New World Kids, The Parents' Guide to Creative Thinnking)

Change of Date

In case you've been reading last month's posts, I've had a change of plans for my artist's reception (and a short artist talk) at my exhibit at Northwest Vista College. It's now March 18  4 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (And, it no longer causes a conflict for all of my friends who also want to attend the grand reopening of the larger new FiberArts Space at Blue Star with an inaugeral exhibit by Houston artist Liz Axford.)

Northwest Vista College is located near Sea World in San Antonio, North Ellison Drive at 1604 on the city's far northwest side. The reception and the exhibit are in the Lago Vista Room in the Cypress Campus Center which is on the east campus side of the little lake in the center of the campus. You can find a map of the campus and other directions on the college website here.

Don't worry! I probably remind you again!

Exhibit at Northwest Vista College

My solo show went up mid-January Northwest Vista College -- and finally the dates are set for a reception for my friends and family members, as well as a couple of "appearances" as a resident artist for the college. The exhibit, I'm honored to say, is the first in a new multipurpose room in the newest to open building on campus: Cypress Hall, where the bookstore, admin and cafeteria share space on the ground floor overlooking the lake at the heart of the campus.

The room is lovely; exhibits share space with beautiful views, and unlike most art galleries, it is truely a multipurpose room, hosting several faculty and student events each week. I've already received quite a number of kind comments about the show from faculty member friends of Linda's (she teaches Communications at NWV).

An artist talk and "guided tour" of my work, my working process and showing a slide show of processes, inspirations and my studio will be presented on February 11, with a lunch reception and the talk from 11:30 am -- 1:30 pm (the talk will be 12:15 - 1:15  more or less, and it is open to the public.) Then on March 5, March 18 I'm hosting a short reception in the room for friends and the general public, from 4 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. -- and I hope you can come! I plan to send out a few email invites and maybe some postcards, but if you're reading this, you are invited. I'd love to meet you and have you see some of my work in person.

On March 25, at 3:30, I'll be on a panel for Women's History Month, discussing with other artists the place and changing role of women as entrepreneurs in the arts, as artists, as well as comparing our personal histories as artist/business women. Again, the panel presentation, part I believe of a full day of events at the college, is open to the public.

All of these activities will be held in the multipurpose room off the cafeteria in Cypress Hall -- follow the signs to the closest parking lot when you get to the college. Parking can be a bit iffy, so if you attend, you might want to carpool and let the hardiest walker  in the group drop the rest of the attendees off at the entrance!