Class Descriptions

Susan Shie


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Lecturing about my new piece Rain Garden. ©Susan Shie 2012

Above: I gave a talk about my piece "Rain Garden: Ace of Pyrex Cups in the Kitchen Tarot," at Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, Ohio. I continue to make my large, airbrush drawn and painted, and airpen written-on art quilts. But I am now only teaching freehand drawing on paper, in every class I teach: in my Turtle Art Camps, my Lucky Drawing online classes, and my classes at arts and crafts schools, art centers, quilt guilds, and museums. Drawing freehand, letting it flow out of you, is what I teach best, and what most people are terrified to think of doing. But everyone can draw freehand, and their personal style is wonderful, when it's allowed to flow out naturally! You, as a small child, did it, and now you can do it, but you've forgotten how!

Teacher of the Year 2008 - Professional Quilter Magazine

I received the Teacher of the Year 2008 award from Professional Quilter Magazine. You can buy a copy of the Spring, 2008 issue # 103 of Professional Quilter, which contains a cover story about my teaching philosophy from the magazine's website.

Note to quilt guilds: I really enjoy teaching around the country for guilds, and can easily make my freehand drawing-on-paper classes into 1 to 5 day classes for your group. Quilters are notorious for thinking they can't draw, and I can help them re-learn this natural skill. Each quilter will find personal ways to incorporate her new-found drawing ability into her own body of work.

Studio Blessings OM 1. ©Susan Shie 2012.

Above: "Studio Blessings OM #1." ©Susan Shie 2012. 12" x 12." This is my donation for the SAQA online auction 2012, and it's an example of my personal style of drawing and how I put my drawing into my own quilt. We don't work on cloth in my classes now, but you can easily transfer your new-found drawing ability to your own cloth later, after my class. Getting up the nerve to draw on ANYTHING is what's hard for most adults, and I'll get you there!

The emphasis in all of my classes is no non-judgmental and very intuitive art making, on finding ones innocent artist voice, which has been ignored for so long. I nudge students into more intuitive ways of expressing themselves in their artmaking.

In 2017 I switched all of my in-person teaching emphasis to teaching drawing, as a serious, end-in-itself art form. I feel that this process allows for the least use of time in teaching how to use materials, and so, it allows me to really focus on teaching students to open up, stop judging their art abilities, and learn to dump the art rules and just purely create. I am really not interested in teaching other processes now. I just want to cut to the chase and get artists to understand their inate ability to DRAW! I see so much digital transfer to cloth, of photos, which tells me that the artists don't think their drawing skills are good enough for the images in their art. That's too bad, and I am on a crusade to bring out the drawing skills in all of us who could be drawing!

After you study freehand drawing with me, you'll be able to go back to your cloth work, such as quilt making, and incorperate freehnad drawing into your new work, without having to use digitally transferred photos to make your own images. Or maybe you'll use it in ceramics, or painting on canvas. Or you can just keep drawing on paper!

The thing I'm really good at is getting people to find out that they can draw really well, and to respect their own personal style, which is waiting inside of them, where they left it, when they stopped drawing, as a child.

Please contact me for scheduling, etc. NOTE: My format works fine for classes that are longer or shorter than five days, but five days is an ideal length. Naturally, I prefer longer classes! But I can teach as short as one day classes and as long as four week ones. I will make you a syllabus and supply list for any length of class you'd like to talk about.

My fees and expenses:

My fees are $700 per day for my class teaching stipend, $500 per lecture, as well as all expenses, door to door. These expenses include travel, such as mileage for airport trips, airline tickets, baggage fees, taxis if needed, as well as all room and board expenses for the trip. I need to arrive at least one day before teaching starts, and leave no sooner than the day after teaching ends.

Every class I teach, including my Turtle Art Camps here at my Wooster, Ohio Turtle Moon Studio, is about freehand drawing on paper. Here are the classes I offer for teaching at YOUR place:

The Riverwalk - San Antonio. ©Susan Shie 2016.

"Riverwalk in San Antonio with Susie Monday, May 11, 2016" is a drawing I started on the airplane, coming home from teaching in San Antonio in May. Yes, I juggled my big hardbound sketchbook in my little airplane seat, not letting it disturb my seatmates! If you want to draw bad enough, you find a way! I drew this with my Rubadub black line marker, freehand, from memories of the magical experience of discovering the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, the night before. I started to color it in the airport, waiting for my connecting plane back to Cleveland, and I finished coloring it, even adding more stuff to it, later. It's 14" x 22", ink, colored pencil, gel pen, and a fortune selected at random, that says, "You have an unusual equipment for success. Be sure to use it properly." I always select the fortune at random, when the drawing is done, while I try to focus on the drawing, as I reach for the fortune in my bag of them.

Freehand Drawing on Paper Classes:

Here are two new classes I've designed to help students learn to enjoy making narrative art, working on paper, so that the emphasis is really on the imagery, much more than on learning the technique. If you can't come draw with me at a Turtle Art Camp in my home in Wooster, Ohio, and you can't take an in-person class with me somewhere, you can come study drawing with me online. See my Lucky Drawing Class Information. What I really want to do NOW (starting in 2017) is teach the way I do online, also in the classes you hire me to teach at your place. I'm convinced I can get the same really good results out of in-person class students, that I've been getting with my online students for three years now!

Below here are the drawing clssses I'm now offering for my in-person classes, and I hope you will choose to have me teach up to a five day class with large, hardbound sketchbook work of developed drawings soon!

Sketchbook drawing for Sweet Jane. ©Susan Shie 2012

Above: This is a sketch I made for my "Sweet Jane: 9 of Potholders (Coins) in the Kitchen Tarot" piece, in January, 2012. It's done with Rub-a-Dub laundry marker and blue Bic Round Stic pen.

Class #1: Drawing on Paper

One to five day class: Learn to love to draw - celebrate your own style and attitude! Instead of trying to learn to draw realistically right now, you will learn to really embrace the drawing style you already have, which is probably not quite as “good” as how you drew as a child, if you had stopped drawing. Your current style is really probably much like the look of drawings by children or outsider artists, and I’d like for you to open up and allow that style to now shine, instead of you being ashamed of it. AND, the more you draw, the more you will improve your drawing, if you think it needs to improve!

We’ll use markers, ballpoint pens, colored pencils, and crayons on paper and pounce on our drawings the way a child does, with gusto and brilliance, with the real joy of creating! You are such a genius! Making art can be a very satisfying, even healing process, if you are happy when you’re doing it. You cannot be happy when you’re busy judging your work. You must embrace it and learn to wallow in the joy of creating, in whatever style you are naturally working now. We should dance and wiggle around, while we make art, to keep our energy flowing sweetly!

If you like, you can study later, to become a more realistic drawing artist. But for now, you will gain happiness and feel more alive by drawing naturally and being proud of what you make. I will teach you how great of an artist you are right now! And I will teach you this in all of the classes I am offering here.


Eva as a Mermaid. ©Susan Shie 2012

Above: "Eva as a Mermaid" is a drawing and painting I made in my sketchbook, while Eva was here for a week, and we were experiementing with different brands of cheap watercolors, so I'd know what to have my adult students bring. This piece has Rub-a-Dub laundry marker, Prang and other watercolors, crayons, and yellow overliner marker, and I did it in my 8.5 x 11" hardbound sketchbook, so the piece is 11"h x 17"w. I promised to get Eva a fancy sketchbook like this for her eighth birthday, but we just gave her two other sketchbooks, so she can fill them while she waits a few months! :)

Class #2: Drawing and Paining on Paper

In a one to five day class, we'll work with pens, markers, colored pencils, colored inks, and watercolors on paper, the way children do. Wake up to how joyful painting is when you thrill to what’s coming out of you, instead of thinking it has to be perfect. Let your brush saturate the work with the flowing energy of vivid and magnificent colors!

Children and outsider artists are proud of their artmaking. They know it’s perfect as it is. I will help you relax and bring out your joyful creative voice. You will laugh and also work hard, but not feel it as hard at all, because you are growing like a plant that’s finally being watered and fed good stuff!

We will choose themes together, but you can use the themes or other ideas you have! We'll make several paintings on paper in one day. Then you can later use them to inspire your own body of work, in whatever medium you choose


Susan Shie bio:

Shie portrait sewing with Libby. ©Susan Shie 2012

Above: Hand stitching the border edge of my "David Wax Museum: 3 of Potholders (Coins) in the Kitchen Tarot" piece in June, 2012, with Libby supervising.

I live in Wooster, Ohio with my husband Jimmy Acord. We both have studios in our home and are fulltime artists. I was born in 1950, and hold an MFA - Master of Fine Arts degree from Kent State University School of Art [1986] and a BA from The College of Wooster (1981, Phi Beta Kappa.) Both degrees are in Painting. My medium is stitched narrative paintings, a form of art quilts, which are time capsules of current events and my own diary musings, often created within the context of my epic Kitchen Tarot project (1998 to 2024.)

I've received two NEA Grants (1990-1 and 1994-5), four Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grants (most recent in 1998) and Artist in Residences in New York City, China, Ireland, and Alfred University in Alfred, NY. I received a $50,000. Major Artist Fellowship from The Ohio Arts Council and NEA in 1990-91. She won the "Best of Show" award in 1987, at the first of my 13 Quilt National exhibitions. I was given the Teacher of the Year 2008 award by Professional Quilter Magazine. Look for her Episode #1013 on The Quilt Show online, if you're a subscriber to that marvelous program!

In my narrative art of diary, current events, and historical commentary and in my teaching, I hope to have a positive, uplifting effect on those who see my art around the world. My work has been in many national and international art exhibitions since 1980, as well as in many articles and books. Along with founding and maintaining the GREEN QUILTS world project (which officially ended in 2004, after 15 years), I help organize and develop local art events and projects. I see the making of art as an integral and important aspect of healing: balancing, cleansing, and unstressing. When people learn to really bring their artmaking process from their intuition, unjudged by the rules they've learned, they make their most exciting work. This genuine creativity is very centering and healing. This is the emphasis in my class teaching: showing students the way back to creating from their hearts and souls.

In 2017, I made the decision to only teach freehand drawing in all of my classes: at my home studio, online classes, and when I travel to teach. I continue to create my own art quilts with airbrush, airpen, and mostly machine sewing on my large-format, drawn and painted pieces, but am no longer teaching those processes to others. My gift in teaching is really all abotu getting students to really understand that they can draw freehand quite well, if they can suspend thinking about art rules and judgment. Each of us naturally drew quite well as a child, and then most of us were civilized into thinking that our drawing wasn't good enough.

It is my mission now to free as many artists as I can, so that they can draw wonderfully again. Enjoying drawing is a good medicine for healing the body, mind, and soul.


Turtle Moon Studios

Susan Shie

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Copyright 1997 Susan Shie and Jan Cabral

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This page created by Susan Shie, September 5, 2017.

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