Painted Cloth Diary Books

In this three day class, you’ll start a small book, exploring hand brush painting and line drawing with markers and airpen on white cotton fabric, to create diary paintings and turn them into quilted book pages.  Then you’ll bind them, if time permits.  Figure on making two finished paintings per class day, and on getting started on “crazy grid” quilting the pages during class, depending on your own speed.  The books will be around 5” x 8” in size.

Each class day will begin with private writing and drawing in your sketchbook, to get centered, before moving on to working on the day’s book processes. And you’ll end each day with a short show and tell of  your progress that day.

For making books, we’ll draw freehand on Kona cotton with black permanent fine tip markers, then brush paint in the colors, and finally use the markers again, as well as airpen (if you like using it) to write freehand on the surface, creating a verbal texture over the images in the story.  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, except for making a few sketches to work out your thoughts.  This spontaneity is what makes naïve art and children’s art so appealing to the viewer and so healing for the artist.

During the class, Susan will demonstrate how she works with an airpen, and then do one-on-one instructions with each student and the airpen. (You don’t have to try it at all, but those who do, often 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 had your private lesson.  Three airpens will be going at once in the class.  You may get lots of turns to use the airpen, if you like it.   And 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 will show you how to turn two paintings into a quilted book page with her very different sewing methods, which are very easy to learn. The real purpose of  Susan’s classes are to bring out your freer inner self, and to get your creativity really flowing out again.  She tries her best to get you to ignore rules and just let the ideas come out in a smooth stream of consciousness.  Your personal book theme will naturally evolve out of your diary experiences.  No need to preplan a theme before coming to this class.  Everyone will be giving show and tell presentations of their work in class each day, so everyone will know what else is going on around them during the class.

Susan says, "I don’t need for your work to look like mine.  I want you to be able to really get it though: 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, work hard, 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 get centered again."