Art Retreat Special, Buy this one, get one half off!

I was late scheduling my September workshop, From Scribble to Symbol, Personal Mark-Making, and now I need at least a couple of more people here for it to be fun (and profitable) for me and everyone participating. So for those who sign up for this workshop (including those who have already registered), pay for the September workshop before Sept. 20, and I'll give you a certificate worth one-half off the next workshop/retreat you sign up for here at El Cielo -- that's an $80 value. This offer is limited to the next four people who take me up on the offer, email me and then send the check! I also take PayPal.

A reminder of what we'll be doing:

In this workshop, start with simple sketches and doodles and end the weekend with an arsenal of new surface design tricks and tools.  Explore doodles and scribbles as sources of unique and personal imagery that will give your art quilts, wearable art, or mixed media work personal depth and layers of meaning. Any artist will benefit from these exercises, whether you make your mark on paper, clay, quilts, art cloth, metal or any other media that has an element of decorative motif or imagetic narrative.

Take a favorite symbol -- for example a heart, star, spiral, circle, leaf, apple -- and by taking it (and yourself) through a series of creative generative exercises, you’ll make something new and different to incorporate into your design, composition and surface design. Then develop something even more personal from the kinds of doodles and marks that show up on your notepads and napkins! Tools and techniques explored include paper lamination on fabric, large scale “mark-making” rollers and monoprinting -- also some hands-on work with some computer programs that you can download for free and use in your image generation process. (bring a laptop if you have one.)

Some examples of some of the kinds of mark-making that I'm interested in are shown below in these photos (the one at the top of the post was developed with a program called SCRIBBLER).

xs and os


Bird of Loss, from hand shape

Pomegranite image - a personal/ universal symbol I use often in my work

30 spokes wheel, symbol developed from a Tao saying

Hear, deconstructed screen print and stitch


Art Workshops at El Cielo, Summer 2009

I just realized I've not posted the new and revised dates for workshops this summer. Text on the Surface is all but full, as is The Shape of the Matter, but a couple more people could squeeze in if you're not too picky about where you sleep. If you're interested email me in the message block on the sidebar.

Workshops in fiber, ceramics, jewelry, painting and mixed media work

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. A spa and pool, and large screen media room are also available to participants. The fee for each work- shop retreat is $160 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. Call 210-643-2128 or email from the website comments on the sidebar.


May 22 - 24

In this workshop participants experiment with a number of different ways to use written language, letters and text on surface of fabric, for application in the making of art cloth, art quilts and art-to-wear. By putting ideas and personal vision/story into work, artists deepen their own expression of individual voice, using words that are important, using STORY in

a quite literal way,all can be part of that personal way of expression. Some familiar and some new techniques: sunprinting with foam letters, thermofax collage & printing, phototransfer print- ing with copier/printer, soy wax batik with text, mixed media collage. Participants will also see a wide variety of examples of the use of text in fiber and other con- temporary work, broadening their conceptual under- standing of using words in art. Optional Friday night pot luck, no additional fee.


June 17-19

How does an art quilt idea grow from a shape? Learn two-dimensional design skills though an investigation of paper-cut silhouettes, Japanese Notan ex- ercises, black ink drawings, stencil and silkscreen de- sign. Explore personal imagery, symbols and mean- ing as touchstones for de- signing for the decorative arts in fabric applicable to quilting, art cloth, garment design and embellishment, as well as learning techniques for simplifying and abstracting images to produce original designs on paper and fabric. Take home a journal quilt ready for stitching. Optional Friday night pot luck, no additional fee.


July 17-19 and repeats August 21-23

This year’s “Burning Woman Workshop”!
Participants design and make a small art quilt “altar” for kitchen or dining room using sun-printing, vegetable prints, fusing, hand and machine stitching and “found” fabrics from attic, thrift store or kitchen closet. We will recycle napkins, tea towels and other like objects and design a thermofax featuring a meaningful symbol, favorite fruit, icon, saint, culinary heroine, an- gel or other meaningful de- sign as the centerpiece for the altar. These altars can be serious or sentimental, comic or universal – it’s up to the individual artist. (This workshop has an additional $12 fee per person for the altar boxes that the quilts are stretched upon.)


Dates to be determined

Plan a weekend with your artist and should-be artist friends. Susie will design a custom weekend workshop with fiber, mixed media and creativity exercises with your interests and skill levels in mind. Possibilities: soy wax batik, art journals and hand-made books, art dolls and totems. This is the ultimate play date, with great food, the Texas Hill Country, a Saturday night rodeo or music outing (options, not in stone) and fun with “stuff.” Ttherapeutic massage services available from licensed masseuse. Minimum 4 friends, maximum, up to 8 depending on accommodation with shared rooms. The topics and techniques covered are up to you -- and any of the previous El Cielo Workshops can be adapted to your desires.