Susan Purney Mark Teaches at 2019 QU

Susan Purney Mark is one of our internationally known teachers who will be in Ann Arbor for the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild 2019 Quilt University (QU).  Susan is well known in the art quilt world for her work with mark making and creative textiles.

As a textile artist, Susan has embarked on a life transforming journey into the world of color, design and pattern. Working with textiles and a variety of surface design techniques in dyeing, painting, screen printing and image transfers has become her method of self-expression.  Influenced by an extensive study of line and pattern, Susan is now working on a series exploring repeating images overlaid and intersected by contrasting colors and stitch.

We asked Susan what a student can expect in her classes and her response follows:

“An insatiable curiosity is the primary drive behind my art – a sense of ‘what if’ keeps me moving towards trying, experimenting and mastering my art techniques and surface design explorations. I hope to pass this enthusiasm and inquiry onto students during my workshops so that they can build the knowledge and skills to further their own development.

 While I have a good understanding of most surface design techniques, I have started to narrow both my focus and my palette into working with dyes and mark making to create unique designs in pattern, texture and color. 

Two elements stand out for me in using thickened dyes, as we will in Color Blocking: the ability to layer the colors on top of each other due to the transparent nature of the dyes and creating secondary patterns and texture with mask and stencils such as wax and freezer paper. I tend to work intuitively, allowing one idea or process to lead onto the next and adapting or changing as my work evolves. Students will learn the very basic “rules” of working with the dyes and then have the time to develop their own ideas onto fabric – opening up some wonderful possibilities for their own explorations on layering designs and pattern.

Making marks is the foundation of any art, whether it is on fabric, paper, clay or stone – a tree, a landscape, a portrait, they all begin with placing marks on the surface. In Squiggle, Line & Dot, students will be using their bodies, their senses and some surprising tools to create lines, wiggles and bits of design onto fabric and paper. Some of their work will be unexpected and astonishing, some might be challenging but it will all be fabulous. We will make some books, some collage, fabrics for further development and try some new ideas with mixed media.

 My goals in teaching and sharing are to encourage experimentation and pushing into new territory – we are all artists, sometimes the next great work is just around the corner as we journey forward together.”

These classes will be wonderful if you are looking to expand your color and mark making techniques.

Please join us at Quilt University, July 26 through July 28, in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Several all-star professional quilters will be teaching fun, fascinating and inspiring classes. Registration is now open for both members and non-members.  Members must log in to reach the GAAQG member registration page.

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This post was written by Mary Beth Donovan

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