This year instead of my usual trip to the Quilt capital of the world, Paducah, KY., (my words) I decided to try a new adventure. I received my March/April edition of Machine Quilting Unlimited and noticed a picture of a work by Judy Coates Perez. Remembering the CREATE Retreat (2009) I attended in Chicago, IL. and the class I took with Judy, I began wondering what she was doing now. I visited her website and found that she was coming to the East Coast- New Smyrna Beach, FL. in April for Focus on Fabric. I couldn’t believe it! I went to the Focus on Fabric Retreat site and much to my surprise there was ONE spot left in her class. It would be mine- Awhaha (evil laugh)!!!
Focus on Fabric is annual retreat at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA). I arrived at ACA on April 11, met my classmates, enjoyed an incredible dinner by Chef Tom and moved into my private room with full bath. The grounds were heavily wooded, secluded, peaceful and yet filled with wonderful architectural buildings and sculptures one might expect to find in a large city. The next morning, after an awesome breakfast by Chef Tom, we started our three day, Acrylic Inks class with Judy Coates Perez. The class was filled with excitement, inspiration and creativity. The first day and a half we dyed lots of fabric with acrylic inks using many different techniques. The remaining time was used to build layers of art work on our beautifully dyed fabrics. The creativity of the other art students and Judy was amazing. I was overflowing with creative ideas for the future using new skills, techniques and tools!!!! To see detailed pictures of our class, our student work and the Focus on Fiber Retreat, go to Judy Coates Perez Blog by clicking here..
I enjoyed the experience so much that I couldn’t bare the thought of leaving the ACA after Judy’s class . So I registered for the next class which began 2 days later with Susan Shie. I had observed Susan working in another studio during our class and decided that her Art Therapy class would be helpful for me on many levels. Susan’s class was also a 3 day class and she taught us how to journal on fabric. Writing in a journal has proved to be enjoyable and calming for many of my friends. Personally, I have never found writing in a journal to be anything other than an overwhelming task. However, the thought of drawing my feelings and using little text to convey my thoughts was thrilling. Susan began her class by having “library time” which was 10 minutes of no talking, and drawing your thoughts in a large sketch book. Later, we would use the sketches as inspiration for fabric paintings and recording our thoughts, ideas, feelings and emotions. It would be the start of my journey in using a sketch book to work out the “stuff” in my head at the start of each day. It has been a very useful tool to help me prioritize my day, focus and become more productive as I have continued “library time” at home. You can find out more about Susan Shie at www.Turtle Moon.com.
I am posting a few pictures from the retreat and my work at the retreat. I hope you enjoy the pictures and they inspire you to create YOUR ART.
Express Yourself by Creating Art,
I am an artist and my preferred medium is textiles. I currently teach traditional quilting however, artistic manipulation of fabrics and fibers is my real passion.
I have won awards for several quilt piecing techniques and art quilts, including thread painting. I love to paint, dye, and color fabric using fabric paints, inks, screen printing, mono-printing, rust, sun activated dyes, sun printing, air pens, etc... .