In this five day class, you’ll explore hand brush painting and line drawing with markers and airpen (optional) on white cotton fabric, to create diary paintings for quilting. Figure one finished painting per class day, and you’ll get some of them “crazy grid” quilted during class. Your paintings will be about the size of a fat quarter, 18 x 22”, give or take a little.
You’ll draw freehand on Kona cotton with black permanent fine tip markers, then brush paint in the colors. Then, if you like, you can write over the painting, as little or as much as you choose. While Susan writes a lot on her work, you can choose to have no writing or a little, relying on the imagery alone to tell your diary stories. You’ll be drawing like you did as a child, in relaxed wonder over your abilities, and writing off the top of your head, just like when you write a letter. No planning ahead. This spontaneity is what makes naïve art and children’s art so appealing to the viewer and so happiness-making for the artist.
During the class, Susan demonstrates each process, including how she works with an airpen, and then she'll do one-on-one instructions with each student and the airpen. (You don’t have to try it at all, but those who do may love the airpen!) You will be able to work with it enough to see what it’s like, but you’ll still have to take turns using the airpen, once you’ve gotten your private lesson. Susan will have two airpens going at once in the class. You may get lots of turns to use the airpen in this long of a class, if you like it. Susan will teach you how to load and clean it out, if you think you’ll buy one for yourself later from Silk Paint. Don’t buy one ahead of time, since you’ll really want to see if it’s something you want to own.
Susan also shows you how to make a unique self-bordered quilt sandwich and then do crazy grid quilting, so you can start quilting this way, which is different. It’s very simple and certainly not what you’re in this class to really learn, as you’ll pick up the method very fast. You already know how to do this easy kind of sewing, but you haven’t tried something this easy for making quilts yet, because you probably don’t know how to let go and make art with gleeful abandon! Not YET!
The real purpose of Susan's classes is to bring out your freer inner self, and to get your creativity really flowing out again. She will try her best to get you to ignore rules and just let the ideas come out in a smooth stream of consciousness. As a group we’ll create a list of possible themes for our works, and then vote in one theme each day of class. You don’t have to do the theme if you don’t want to. But whatever you do, you’ll be giving show and tell presentations of your work in class, so we all know what else is going on around us during the class.
Susan does not need for your work to look like hers. She wants you to be able to really get it, that it’s healthy to get away from our social mores and let ‘er rip sometimes, especially in making art! You’ll learn a lot and have a good time, too! There’s much less stress when you’re not judging your work so much, and in that state, you’re helping your body to heal.