Focus on Fiber - Florida Style

 Yes… this is the sign that greets you! You just  know you are in for a great time!

Yes… this is the sign that greets you! You just  know you are in for a great time!

 Susan demonstrating her fabric painting technique.

Susan demonstrating her fabric painting technique.

 Susan Shie's art posted on the classroom walls

Susan Shie's art posted on the classroom walls

The classes were only part of the experience. We each had a private room with a bath. Chef Tom prepared 3 meals a day for us. We got to sit and mingle during meals. And… after class time we got together to talk, drink wine, share stories and experiences. Each of the teachers shared their skills by giving an informal presentation to whomever was interested.

I've taken classes from a few really great quilt artists, but it took Focus on Fabric to allow me to feel like an artist. To feel like I belong. I hope to be able to return next year, and to stay for the retreat!

I will post pictures of my finished projects when I finally get them done!

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Each year Mary McBride hosts a retreat for fiber artists at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach Florida. I'd heard of the amazing synergy between creative minds, artistic skills and free spirits that spontaneously happens. This year, the incredible Susan Shie was one of the teachers. Susan Shie! And I sooo wanted to take a class with her that when I heard there was an opening I did the Happy dance and sent my deposit in! Of course that now meant I was committed and I could not take a class with Susan Lenz, or The Pixieladies, or Marianne Williamson, or Wendy Smith Wood. All classes that were equally enticing.

There were only 10 of us in the class. 10 Very unique and creative individuals. (I guess i have lumped myself in that category. I totally felt like an artist during my stay there.) Susan was a wonderful person, an impassioned teacher and a willing life coach! She shared without holding back and made sure that we understood the potential hazards of the materials (heat set paint). We practiced a journaling time to center us and to release us from our inner critics. Then we were off… painting, adding text, using the paint pen. Our 10 very unique efforts were just amazing!

 Susan Rienzo with a work in progress using Susan Shie's approach

Susan Rienzo with a work in progress using Susan Shie's approach