Three More Workshops, and That's It for 2013

Artist's Journey, iPad for Artists and Fearless Sketching

Wouldn't one of these upcoming El Cielo Workshop/Retreats make a wonderful gift? If no one you know has asked what you really want, perhaps your inner artist needs a restoration, recreation and renewal gift just from you! 

If you have meant to make it out here to the Hill Country studio before, now's the time to make the commitment --I've decided to take a sabbatical from the El Cielo workshops from May 2013 through April 2014 in order to spend more time in the studio, and to consider other ways to teach and share my approaches to creativity. I will be teaching online, teaching private workshops, and I also anticipate teaching at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2013, but for this year I won't be an instructor at the Southwest School of Art or holding any other workshops here at El Cielo after these next three.

Early spring (and that often starts here in mid-February!) is a wonderful time out here on the ridge, so check your calendar and shoot me an email if you are interested.
Limited spaces, as usual, are available, as each of these special events is designed for a maximum of seven participants. The fee is $180, but I am offereing a discount for all who send a deposit before the year is out.
Out of town participants are welcome to book an extra day or two of private work and consultation for an additional fee. As usual, first come, first choice on accommodations -- there are three private bedrooms ($30 for both nights) and a couple of comfy couches (free) as well as the sleeping porch (also free) and a cot-sized bed and private bath in the studio. The meals are great, the company inspiring and the views spectacular... and the hot tub is ready to go!
 

Artist's Journey/Artist's Journal

How do you make your time and space as an artist work for you? Where are you on your creative path? What do you want more of and what do you need less of? This retreat offers a beginning-of-the-year chance to look at and share your creative accomplishments, make plans for the future and put in place some new tools for reflection, renewal and re-creation of your artist self. The workshop is a combination of journaling with fun mixed media materials, using your own photos for art inspiration, and planning ahead for 2013. All supplies except for a sketchbook or journal are included and you'll take home a large calendar filled with artist dates and your own plans for the year.

Ipad for Artists

If you've recently acquired an iPad, this workshop will help you take it into your world of creativity and art.I've explored dozens of sketching tools, art journaling, collage and photo apps and this workshop will take you through some hands-on work -- then into the studio to print, make thermofaxes and use what you've done on the tablet for fabric printing to use in your art quilts, mixed media or other work. If you don't have a tablet yet (and are trying to decide what or if to buy), you may still want to attend, I'll have a try-out table that one or two participants can share (yes, we are a two iPad family!). This El Cielo workshop retreat will take place March 1-3 (optional Friday night potluck) ending about 3 pm on Sunday. The workshop fee, including most supplies, is $180.

Fearless Sketching

April 12-14 at El Cielo Studio we'll be attacking that sneaky little fear that so many of us carry into our work from early days in school -- when someone else drew the best faces or people or horses. Whether you consider yourself a talented textile artist, colorist or quilter, you may have a secret lurker within who disparages your drawing skills. I know I do! A couple of years ago, I made a conscious effort to address my fears and to start a fearless sketching practice. I'm still not a master draughtsman, or even "skilled" at drawing, but I am no longer afraid to draw, no longer hypercritical of my abilities and that makes me open to improving my skills. 

You can get there, too. And this workshop can be your first step-- we test piloted this workhshop in September and all the participants really improved both skills and attitudes about drawing! My friend Sarah Jones will be co-teaching this workshop. She is amazing and fun and so will be the retreat!

You can find the entire newsletter here at this link.

 

Onward Artist's Journey

The weekend's Artist Journey/Arthist Journal workshop was, again, a wonderful gathering.  We each made posters 9with many differnet sizes of prints to take away) of a slogan, motto or theme for the upcoming year. (Mine, above). With a spattering of writing exercises, some short meditation sittings, a bunch of great meals, and deep conversation about our acomplishments, challenges, work-in-progress and life in general, we left the workshop renewed and with direction and intention. What more can a teacher/facilitator ask?

 

 

The photos here are just a bit of our work. First, Pat's notice to herself:

JULIA'S MANIFESTO

My cool calendar, above (each made her own version).

Pat's artist trading card size verison of her SATISFACTION poster (as shown during production in a screen shot.) an

PS As a little subnote, anyone who wants more information about why I opposed the current legislation before Congress dealing with internet issues may want to watch this TED.com video explanation of the proposed legislation PIPA/SOPA:
http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

It looks as though the bills are tabled for the time being.

Are You Still Blank?

Your journal I mean? The blank book syndrome I call it. We artists often get these lovely gifts of blank books. They can stay that way without conscious effort. I am the last to guilt trip anyone into using a sketchbook or journal. I am erratic, to tell the honest truth. I am frenetic about sketchbooks at time and absolutly immune to their charms at others.

The key, as I noted in a previous post, is to have a reason. Whether its to make an artful record of one's crative life, or simply to have one spot in which to record, paste, glue, stick and stack all the bits and pieces that float in and out of consciousness (that's usually my approach), a blank book can be your friend.

Here are a few more ways to approach the use of an artist's sketchbook, blank journal or all-too-precious book of emptiness:

1. Glue in every scrap of loose paper you can find in your purse or backpack. Alter the papers (unless their content is crucial) with paint, crayons, colored pencils, cutting and wrinkling. See what you can make with nothing.

2. Save a book to designate for a trip journal. No trip on the horizon. Start planning the dream trip of your artistic creative life. It might even come true. Paste in internet printed documents, research ticket prices, look on AIrBNB bfor the best possible place to stay. Instead of watching another mindless TV show, start planning the dream reality trip of a lifetime. Who knows?

3. Take a magazine picture, cut it in half, glue it down on a blank page, draw and color the missing half your own way.

4. Cut colored paper shapes. Glue. Tear out the page, cut and glue again.

5. Cut and glue a NOTAN a day.

Other ideas? List them in comments. Thanks

PS. Still need help? consider coming to El Cielo this next weekend for Artist Journey, Artist Journal. Or one of the other workshops this spring....

ARTIST JOURNEY/ ARTIST JOURNAL JANUARY 20-22
(optional Fri. night potluck & critique session)

This annual workshop has become a tradition at El Cielo Studio. Spend the weekend in creative activi- ties that help you set the stage for a 2012 filled with productivity, imagination, focus and artistic goals. Using original and time- tested exercises gleaned from sources around the globe, we’ll banish procras- tination, make an annual love letter, work on a goals and artist date calendar for the year, and find ways to remind us of what really matters in our artistic lives. Meanwhile, you’ll work with mixed media and surface design techniques to start your artist’s journal.

FROM HEART TO ART; PERSONAL MARK- MAKING
FEBRUARY 10-12

(optional Friday night potluck & heart-centered gentle yoga session)
In this workshop, you’ll start with common and familiar symbols -- like the heart shape of Valentine’s Day for example -- and through a series of creative genera- tive exercises, you’ll make something new and differ- ent to incorporate into your design, composition and surface design. And then, in honor of the season, make some one-of-a-kind Valentines, too. Tools and tech- niques explored include paper lamination on fabric, hand-cut stamps, and gelatin plate monoprints.

CALLING ALL ARCHETYPES
MARCH 23-25
(optional Friday night potluck & work-in-progress critique)

Spend some time thinking and working on using your inner crew for work and support. In this workshop we’ll explore archetypes, inner voices, gut reactions and their influence on your art and art-making with lots of improvisational exercises to loosen up your approach to art. Make a small artist's altar using fabric and mixed media techniques including mono-printing, collage and digital printing on fabric to remind you of a practical and sacred part of your life. (artist altar frame, $10 supply fee) 

April 13-15, FROM COMPUTER TO CLOTH.
And at Southwest School of Art: FINDING YOUR 
ARTIST VOICE, Monday afternoons, Feb 6-March 26

 

Artist Journey/Artist Journal

What is it we want in our creative lives? Why bother with art? Working as an artist, whether as a full-time vocation, a parttime avocation or an occassional when-I-can-fit-it-in whimsy takes some measure of commitment. It's far easier in this era of consumerism, digital distraction and financial pressure to sit on the sofa or under the covers with one or more devices pouring words, images, sounds, stories and distraction into our brains. Easier, that is, than using our hands and minds to make words, images, stories and sounds of our own. I don't make judgements about the tools used or the media -- paper and pen, digital camera and keyboard, cloth and dye, paint and canvas, tabletop and kitchen stove -- any will do. 

But I do think we all need to keep our creative selves alive and thriving. That some part of us withers and dies without exercise. And that takes a plan. That's why its become a tradition around El Cielo Studio to offer a workshop each January to allow me (and those who come for the facilitated experience) time to reflect, plan and set goals. Make calendars. Imagine what's needed to make it easier to get to the studio. 

I confess, my January calendar-making reminder forms don't often make it through the entire year (but I know one workshop participant who has been a faithful adherent to the format she set last year), but I do know that even a few months of on-target, on-track creative work gets me off to the start I need for the year. GIves me momentum and reminds me to keep at it. Whatever it is.

In preparation for the January 20-21 workshop (see the last post for the full calendar), I thought I'd share one of the exercises that has proven helpful and insightful for the process.

Where I am right now - Make a circular pie chart of your life as you are living it now:

1. Start with a circle on a large piece of paper.

2. Divide the circle into equal wedges for WORK, PLAY, ADVENTURE, CREATIVITY, BODY, MIND SPIRIT. (OR any other set of categories you prefer. (Or make two different circles if that makes more sense to you)

3. Draw, write, collage fast images from magazines, add colors, lines, patterns to each wedge. 

4. Put a dot, star or sticker in each wedge describing how satisfied or how much time and attention you spend in that sector of your life -- the closer to the center, the less satisfied or less time/attention; the closer to the circle edge, the more satisfied, the more time and attention you spend. You might even want to do these as two different dots or stars, if time and attention is not aligned with satisfaction (oftenr the case). Then connect your dots with a bold line. What shape are your dot-driven circles? How wobbly is your life? 

5. On a separate paper, or on the areas of the paper outside the circle, list 5 things you could do in the  coming year to even out your wobbly circles. 

I don't think our lives are always in balance in the short term. I don't even think they should be -- sometimes work or family or adventure takes over. But in the long term, we want satisfaction in each of these areas. And it takes work -- mostly attention --  to keep the wheel round, the circle spinning.

 


 

Artist Retreats at El Cielo Studio

 

Coming to a workshop near me!

Finally I have determined my winter and spring workshops and looking forward to resuming these this January. I took a break during the fall -- partially for family duties, partially because I had some exciting contract work to do. But I'm looking forward to seeing a group of friends and artists here monthly and hope you'll be among them. If you want a downloadable copy of the flyer, click on the file on the sidebar (it will be up by the end of day!)

Here are the workshops in short:

"Nurture your creativity as you come away from a weekend with renewed energy, new  materials and techniques in surface design applicable to fiber, ceramics, jewelry, painting and mixed media work. Susie Monday leads artists’ retreats and workshops throughout the year at her studio near Pipe Creek, Texas, about an hour from downtown San Antonio. El Cielo Studio workshops are designed with the needs of the participants in mind;  free time is scheduled throughout the weekend for reading, reflection and personal work in the studio. You are welcome to bring projects in process for Susie’s critique and for peer feedback in an environment of trust and respect. You’ll share meals, poetry and stories, music and advice for living an artist’s life. Enjoy the 25-mile vistas from the deck and strolls down the country roads. The fee for each workshop retreat is $175 for a 2-day event with discounts for early enrollment. Comfortable accommodations are available from $15 -  $30 per workshop. Most workshops offer a Friday night potluck option. Limited enrollment. Most supplies included. 

To register, call 210-643-2128 or email susiemonday@gmail.com

Susie has taught creative process and art techniques to adults and children for more than 30 years. Her art is in numerous private and public collections around the world.

ARTIST JOURNEY/ARTIST JOURNAL

JANUARY 20-22

(optional Fri. night potluck & critique session)

This annual workshop has become a tradition at El Cielo Studio. Spend the weekend in creative activities that help you set the stage for a 2010 filled with productivity, imagination, focus and artistic goals. Using original and time-tested exercises gleaned from sources around the globe, we’ll banish procrastination, make an annual love letter, work on a goals and artist date calendar for the year, and find ways to remind us of what really matters in our artistic lives. Meanwhile, you’ll work with mixed media and surface design techniques to start your artist’s journal.

FROM HEART TO ART; PERSONAL MARK-MAKING 

FEBRUARY 10-12

(optional Friday night potluck & heart-centered gentle yoga session)

In this workshop, you’ll start with common and familiar symbols -- like the heart shape of Valentine’s Day for example --  and through a series of creative generative exercises, you’ll make something new and different to incorporate into your design, composition and surface design. And then, in honor of the season, make some one-of-a-kind Valentines, too. Tools and techniques explored include paper lamination on fabric, hand-cut stamps, and gelatin plate monoprints.

 

TEXT ON  TEXTILES

ONLINE course at JOGGLES.com

MARCH 15- APRIL 12 includes 4 fully-illustrated weekly lessons, plus a bonus week, $45

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? 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, you’ll learn three specific techniques for transfers of text, words and writing to fabric using ink-jet printing, polymer medium and textile paints. 

 

CALLING ALL ARCHETYPES 

MARCH 23-25

(optional Friday night potluck & work-in-progress critique)

 Spend some time thinking and working on using your inner crew for work and support. In this workshop we’ll explore archetypes, inner voices, gut reactions and their influence on your art and art-making with lots of improvisational exercises to loosen up your approach to art. Make a small artist's altar using fabric and mixed media techniques including mono-printing, collage and digital printing on fabric to remind you of a practical and sacred part of your life. (artist altar frame, $10 supply fee)

 

MORE WORKSHOPS: 

April 13-15, FROM COMPUTER TO CLOTH.

And at Southwest School of Art: FINDING YOUR ARTIST VOICE,  Monday afternoons, Feb 6-March 26 

 

WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAY ABOUT SUSIE’S CLASSES & WORKSHOPS:

“ The exercises we did this weekend were freeing on the one hand, but will also help me focus.”

“This workshop was a fabulous, uplifting, nurturing environment to create in. The journaling was particularly helpful, I would definitely recommend it to a friend.”

“This weekend was totally awesome! I am humbled by Susie’s talents, her teaching abilities and her hospitality. I will come back as often as possible.”

www.susiemonday.com

210-643-2128

3532 Timbercreek Road

Pipe Creek, TX 78063

Read Susie’s blog at http://susiemonday.squarespace.com

Cool Cards, New Year, Good Prayer

If you live anywhere near a Half Price Books, look for these amazing popup cards designed by  David A. Carter and published by Random House. The artist's website is at www.clarksonpotter.com. 

We used the cards as a little intro on the year at this last weekend's Artist Journal/Aritst Journey workshop at El Cielo. Six of us renewed, rejuved, reconnected with each other and our artist selves during the Friday to Sunday look at the past year, planning for the future, with journaling as a key tool for artist survival. 

We also watched a couple of TED Talks, first:  Brene Brown's about vulnerability

 We also watched The Three As of Awesome from Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things. Neil savors life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk from TEDxToronto, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome. (Recorded at TEDxToronto, September 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Duration: 17:33)

And, also, thanks to a NWV faculty retreat that Linda attended that was facilitated by Parker Palmer, we read and absorbed some wonderful poems. Here is one by Ted Loder from one of his books of prayers (I've already ordered it to add to the collection that I draw from before our El Cielo communal meals):

Thanks for Those Things That Are Yet Possible

At the beginning of this new year

we give thanks for our time

and for those things that are yet possible

and precious in it:

daybreak and beginning again,

midnight and the reassurance of routine,

the taming of demons in the dance of dreams;

a word of forgiveness

and sometimes a song,

For our breathing...and out lives.

 

We give thanks

for the honesty that marks friends

and makes laughter;

for fierce gentleness

that dares to speak the truth in love

and tugs us to join in the long march toward peace:

for the sudden gust of grace

that rise unexpectedly in our wending from dawn to dawn:

for children unabashed,

wind rippling a rain puddle,

a mockingbird in the darkness,

a colleague and a cup of coffee:

for music and silence,

for wrens and Orion,

for everything that moves us to tears,

to touching

to dreams

to prayers.

We give thanks for work

that engages us in an internal debate

between reward and responsibility;

for our longings,

our callings,

our lives.

T. Loder, Guerrillas for Grace

 

Loder is a retired United Methodist minister, and,

true to the wonderful ways of the web, I found his blog -- though he appears s to have quit posting in

October of 2010..