Artist Journey/Artist Journal

Two weekends (each a little different from each other) are on target this coming year out at El Cielo Studios. Arrive Friday night for potluck and inspiration (optional), stay through Sunday with meals and lodging onsite.(See format below). Please email if you wish to attend either (or both) of these workshops. A non-refundable deposit of $25 is required to hold your place. Balance is due at the workshop.

January 20 - 21

$200 plus accommodations (see below)

This workshop retreat focuses on discovering AND developing personal voice and style. Think about it: What can you do from where you are now to push forward with making the strongest  creative work possible using your intentions, resources and visioning power to take the next amazing steps. Whether you work in textiles, paint, art quilts, mixed media, words or other media, this weekend will set your sights for the new year. Warm up with playful investigation in new materials and techniques and carry forward with planning the new year's creative journey. Each participant will make a prompt and info filled “Play Book” to map out a personal discovery/development journey for the next 4 months. Susie will hold once a month drop-in group studio consultations (can be in San Antonio or at El Cielo, place and time TBD by participants) for those who want to check in and discuss their journey, work and progress toward a personal style. Studio consultation for 4 months, $10 per month.

January  27 - 29

$200 plus accommodations (see below)

This retreat session is based on Julia Cameron's new book, It's Never Too Late to Begin Again. Whether you've participate in an Artist Way Circle before, or are new to this kind of guided creative journey, you'll find this weekend a great way to start with new rituals, routines and plans for the new year. Susie has led Artist Way (and other creative workshops) for decades, and while this weekend will take off from Cameron's work, she'll add her own techniques and exercises to help bridge the words on the page to the intentions of the participants. Purchase of the book (or bringing a copy of The Artist Way) is encouraged, but not mandatory. 


In the studio -- small group workshops...

In the studio -- small group workshops...

Nurture your creativity and explore newmaterials and techniques in surface design applicable to fiber, ceramics, jewelry, painting and mixed media work. Susie Monday leads artists’ retreats and workshops at her studio near Pipe Creek, Texas and in San Antonio at her new “cabin in the city.”  

 In Pipe Creek, spend a couple of nights and enjoy the 25-mile vistas from the deck and strolls down the country roads. You are welcome to bring projects in process for Susie’s critique and peer feedback. We’ll share meals, poetry and stories, music and advice for living an artist’s life.

Each weekend retreat is $200. Comfortable accommodations are available from $10 - $40 -- Couch, $10; Solo room, shared bath $30; Solo room private bath $40.  This season, Pipe Creek workshops offer a Friday night potluck option, with workshop sessions on Saturday and Sunday, ending at 3 pm.


Southwest School of Art

2578 | iPad for Surface Design on Fabric and Mixed
Learn to use your iPad or Android tablet to design fabric for at-home or commercial print-on-demand services, working from photos and from your own sketches and drawings. You'll get hands-on experience for both the design process using several tablet apps and for printing on a home printer and preparations for digital services via uploaded designs. We'll also touch on designing black and white images to use for screen printing and thermofax printing. Students must provide their own iPad or tablet; a list of apps you need to purchase and download provided one week before the class (cost will be less than $7). No previous experience necessary. See SSA website for a list of materials; please bring a bag lunch.

Level: New | All Levels
Instructor: Susie Monday
Dates: Sat & Sun, 2/4/2017 to 2/5/2017 | 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Studio: Gen Ed Classroom | Building: Santikos Building
Tuition: $160 | Members/Seniors (65+): $145


Big Bend imagery, transformed with drawing and special effects apps.


"It was Extraordinary!  Big food for the soul.   Lots of exciting art making.   

"We voiced (our art making intentions) and made it into art, more than writing it in a journal.  Susie asked us questions that gave us a path to our answers.  Almost everyone was pulled or pushed by some very strong need or desire to move forward in some specific part of our lives, to make a change, to heal something or  work through something .... to grow.  

And then she gave us projects to make art..... andmore projects to make art... and as we just kept making art.....you could see  what was pushing, pulling, or calling to us, because it just showed up.  And it kept showing up. Then at the end, after we had already put the big questions in our lives out there, both in our words and in our work,  she transitioned us to another place..... with playful abstract work. 

"I truly don't know how she got that much out of us in such short time, that much quantity and depth, because it always felt easy and relaxed.  She even prioritized time 1st thing in the morning in the studio for us to meditate, with a guided meditation ....before we began the artistic journey and work.  Susie is apowerful teacher.... I think maybe she has magic."

Junanne Peck, Ft. Worth, teaches and exhibits with Susie at the Temple Cultural Activities Center, 2016

Susie Monday 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. 

 "It was Big, deep and wide and great."   

“ 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.”

“Thank you for creating such a fun, yummy, comfortable, and inspirational experience...”

“A workshop at Susie’s is always money well spent. I learned techniques I have

read about but never tried ... I also now feel confident that I can make art quilts!”

“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.”

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iPad  for Artists Workshop in Fairbanks, Alaska, January 2013

iPad  for Artists Workshop in Fairbanks, Alaska, January 2013

For details on scheduling a private workshop for groups of 6 or more, contact me through the GET IN TOUCH page. If you would like to bring a small group out to El Cielo Studios for a weekend retreat or a one-day workshop, I can also  provide housing and meals, as well as instruction, with fees starting at $125 per person. For workshops in other locations, contact me for teaching and travel requirements, fees and availability on my calendar.

These are just a few of the workshops I teach at El Cielo and elsewhere. If you would like me to present a workshop for a guild or other group, I can customize these for on-the-road production. Daily workshop fees start at $600, lectures for $350, plus travel expenses.


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 through hands-on demos and examples, this workshop will guide your exploration of apps and 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), I teach a version that is demo and lecture only.


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 ofuniques and personal imagery that will give your art quilts, wearable art, or mixed media work personal depth and layers of meaning. take a favorite symbol -- for example a heart, star, spiral, circle -- 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. Tools and techniques explored include paper lamination on fabric, large scale “mark-making” rollers and monoprinting.


Embrace your inner goddess of summertime. Design and make a small art quilt “altar” for kitchen or dining room with tools and materials that depend on heat, sunlight and passionate delight: 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 relative, heroine, angel or other meaningful design as the centerpiece for the altar.


Let nature's colors, shapes and even heat inspire your surface design. The weather is perfect for dyeing, dye-painting and soy wax! Sketching from nature, and from collected natural objects (don’t worry, you can do it), we’ll design one-of-a-kind fabrics, silk scarves and mixed media pieces.


Face your fears of drawing head on, as Susie takes you on a sketch and draw adventure, with no failures allowed. You’ll try different approaches, learn so me classic tips and tricks, and find out how drawing is a learned skill, not something you had to master as a 6th grader who “couldn’t draw horse like your best friend.”


Making time to play with odd-ball materials; learning to focus upon artful tasks at hand -- sounds like opposite sides of the coin? At this exploratory and full-of-play weekend, we’ll explore the relationship between the time, play, art and focus. Where does time management intersect with open-hearted fun? Expect bubbles, playdough, sparklers, jello, yoga and seeing the world from new angles and attitudes.


Are you ready to kick your creative energies into high gear? Ready to go beyond other people’s ideas and patterns and into your own? Susie will lead you through a weekend of open-ended creativity exercises, exploring the sensory alphabet, playing with a wild assortment of materials, and challenging your understanding of your mind at work. Learn more about your strong suit as an artist, and how to work in your deepest and richest material, content and processes.

Usng a variety of simple materials -- abnd an even simpler vocabulary of a sensory nonverbal "alphabet", you will paint, sketch, make music, move, listen and explore in a freeing, open-ended framework of guided exercises. In addition to these "formal" explorations, that help you expand your vocabulary of media and approaches, the weekend will include practice and planning for building effective habits and rituals for approaching your own deepest work as a human and artists. As creative beings, we are called to express our unique stories -- as visual artists we may be shackling our vision by tuning too closely to the outside world. We hope that this workshop helps you tune into your inner voice and vision, making tiny changes, babysteps that take the fear out of finding your truest work.


This annual workshop has become a tradition. Spend the weekend in creative activities that help you set the stage for a year filled with productivity, imagination, focus and art. Using original and time-tested exercises gleaned from sources around the globe, we’ll banish procrastination, make a dream board, 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 and make Inspiration Cards, too. 


Move into art-making with some big scale and out-of-the-box creative exercises with paint, dye, music and more to wake up your imagination -- and then revisit work that has been hanging around the studio -- one or more UFOs (unfinished objects!). Share visions, critiques and techniques with other artists and take time in the studio to finish, remake or rethink work in progress.


Take iPad (or other tablet) design, drawing and paint- ing skills from zero to printed fabric. We’ll survey the options in apps, spend lots of time with hands-on tablet art-making and finish up by preparing and up- loading art to make your own fabric through a digital printing service (price of printing not included). This workshop focuses on using a variety of collage making apps, as well.