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Susan Shie - Turtle Moon Studios

Turtle Moon Studios garage door mural.  
8'h x 18'w     ©Susan Shie 2008. 

I'm an old hippie chick, born in 1950. I'm a painter who also happens to sew (that's the feminist in me, and my mother's daughter coming out.)  I did sewing, drawing, writing, and painting as intensely as a little girl as I do them now, always loving to mix my life into my artmaking.  I’ve developed very unique ways of working with my tools and methods, which I pass along to my students.

I got my BA in painting in 1981 from The College of Wooster, where individuality is really encouraged, and my MFA in 1986 from Kent State School of Art, where I taught drawing to undergrads and continued to revel in my hippiness.

I use brushes, airbrush, and airpen to create my images, and I do mostly simple machine sewing these days (thanks to carpel tunnel issues ... but it means I can work much bigger, like I did when I was a student.) I draw a lot, then put my sketches down and let 'er rip onto the cloth - that's one of my biggest thrills!  The sketches have helped me decide the direction I want the work to go, but I don't want to copy from them. The "working without a net" feels like flying, or what flying must feel like!

I make my living by selling the work I exhibit and by teaching my processes to adults around the country and in my Turtle Moon Studios, where up to 5 students live for a week and focus on learning brush painting, airbrush, airpen, and letting their self expression come flowing out.  I started teaching my art quilting methods "out" in 1989, and have held my art camps here in Wooster since 1994.  If you come and study with me, the main thing I want to do is to show you how to open your own door of creativity and forget about all the rules for that golden time of MAKING.
"Salt of the Earth"  ©Susan Shie 2008  60"h x 94"w
(full view of profile photo)

Mission:  I make diary artworks, which I think of as time capsule paintings. They are filled with personal and political stories, family news and world events, narrative images of the stories. The small writing all over the work has replaced the intricate hand sewing and beading I used to put into my art quilts, and it gives more meaning to the work.

Since I first used an airpen in 2002, the ability to tell complex stories has led me to care more and more about history and current events in the world.  Now I use my quilted paintings to chronicle issues like the earthquake in Haiti, the life of President Obama, and the flooding and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

As for "mission," I feel that I have one now, more than ever before in my life.  I'm making what I hope are permanent records of this time in our history and our culture, from my own specific point of view. 

I've never been as invested in the meaning of my work as I am now, and I never thought I'd want to record events as minutely as I do now. I have to make my work with the writing working just as texture, in case someone doesn't read any of it. But I truly hope I can bring awareness to at least part of my viewers.

My mission is about peace and healing, as it's been for a long time, but now it's really specific. My work will be focused on the human condition for a long time to come. I want to make a difference for the good, in helping to heal this Earth, in any small way I can.

 "Garden Hug #1"  ©Susan Shie 2009. 12.25"h x 15"w

Location: Wooster, Ohio, USA
Online store: Turtle Moon
Brick and mortar: Turtle Moon Studios, Wooster, Ohio.  This is where my Turtle Art Camp is held.
Blog: Susan Shie
Memberships/Links: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts   
Quilt Surface Design Symposium   
Art Quilt Tahoe  
Languages spoken: English

 "Katrina Blues" ©Susan Shie 2005. 45.5"h x 75"w

Tags:   Drawing classes, painting classes, art quilts, airpen classes, airbrush classes, social commentary art, diary, narrative art, Turtle Art Camp, storytelling art

1 comment:

“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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