Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat 2015

Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat 2015

I had the privilege of attending the Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat with Susan Brubaker Knapp and Lyric Kinard in Black Mountain, NC. The weather y’all. She was a BEAST! One the first day I arrived, I happened upon a spectacular view. One of those see for miles in the mountains style views with tons of low hanging clouds and emerging fall colors. This is what it looked like the rest of the weekend (I drew in some mountain for you, ha!)


The upside, the rain created an interesting opportunity for photos. The colors were nice and muted and all of the water created really fun reflections and unexpected colors. Here are four of my favorites.


Despite the rain, Susan, Lyric, and the other attendees created a fun, inspiring, and unique retreat experience. In Susan’s workshop, we learned how to create whole cloth painted quilts with transparent textile paints. We were instructed to bring photos of something we’d like to paint. I brought about eight and finally settled an image of a clock I took in an aloft hotel. Something about the lines really sang to me and I was interested in giving them a painting try.


You can see, I took more than one liberty with the colors, but I really wanted a bit more pop. It is totally possible a plastic yellow clock could have that much saturation, right? This was a really fun room to be in. Every single person had an interesting photo and were creating interesting images. It was really hard to pick favorites (except for the Octopus, that thing is FANTASTIC). I did though, for you –


My favorite part about being in Susan’s class was her openness to share her own art. She seemed to have no issue with allowing us to handle her pieces. I’m so tactile that putting my hands on the thread and lines sent my creative neurons into near tailspin. Take a look at this photo of her work all in a nice little pile.


Lyric’s class kept me thinking “and now for something completely different”. Her workshop was an abstract art class. I’ve never been particularly interested in abstract, but I’m always open to a new process or way of thinking. I did really enjoy the flow of the class. I’m a planner. I love to think about things for days and shop for exactly the right supplies, sometimes for months. For me, it was interesting to see how things can come together without millions of hours of thoughts and planning. She sets up class with a really fun pile of fabric brought in from the students


and then teaches design ideas like line, color, and texture. I was needed at home and didn’t get to stay for the “making” part of class, but I did get to try out a few of the exercises.


Lyric absolutely has my brain working in a new way. Probably not in a way she intended, but a way that is exciting to me none the less. She has an interesting view on art, process, and ideas and I’m looking forward to applying them to my own world view. I may even give a few of those ideas a go this weekend!

The trip was long, the hotel room was far from five star, and the weather was a real bummer. Despite all of those things, I think this may have been one of the most insightful retreats I’ve been on. Susan and Lyric were amazing and so were the other retreat-ers. I had some deep and thoughtful conversations and connections that have me thinking in new ways. I met women that inspire and challenge me and I’m so looking forward to seeing them again. Should you ever have the opportunity to do something like this – take it! You will not be disappointed! Big big thank yous to everyone, I can’t wait to see where things head from here!


I love to hear from you! If you have thoughts or suggestions, email me at susandowenby@gmail.com!