Tag Archive for meditative art

“Transition Portals” – Another Small Beaded Art Quilt for a “Reader’s Challenge”

"Transition Portals" - a small beaded art quiltNancy Smeltzer, MFA

In a posting last week, I wrote about “Quilting Arts” magazine’s recent Reader’s Challenge entitled “Passages”. That magazine, one of the premier publications for art quilts here in the States, had a recent challenge where you were asked to submit a piece based on the word “Passages”. The word has a lot of meaning for me, as I wrote about the one that I used to help ease my mother’s crossing when she died in April. I also use the word quite a lot on my healing practice, “Transition Portals“, so I was inspired to enter two quilts for this contest.

To help people break free from negative repeating patterns of behavior in my healing practice, that sometimes means slipping through and under multiple layers of accumulated stuck energy. When you release those overlying coverings of muck, beautiful and shining areas of your life can surface. That’s what I tried to achieve in this piece by having thin layers of sheer ribbons overlay underlying motifs.

Detail of portal in "Transition Portals" - a small beaded art quiltIn the upper right of this detail shot, I changed the portal from being a square golden window, as in my other Meditation Gardens series, to a radiant circle of healing light. Many of my clients describe seeing lights of various colors come into their fields of vision as their issues clear for them, so it seemed natural to include that for the main design motif. The central part of the circle is a translucent glass button from Czechoslovakia. I love the shine from that one and some of the others that have been included as the “Cathedral Window” one in lavender in the lower left hand side of this shot. The sheer ribbons had an opaque edge to both long sides, so I spaced size 8 seed beads the length of the edges to give them a picot look. Those additions seemed appropriate, as I find that when I’m healing something for myself or someone else, there are often tiny bumps along the way that can really hold things up for an issue being released.

I’m pleased that given all of the turmoil that last few months in my life, that I was able to make two of these mini-quilts, (10″ or 25.5cm square), photograph them, and get them off to “Quilting Arts” magazine a week before the deadline for submission. I’ve often joked about how it’s a good thing that I’m not a painter, as you can’t submit a canvas that’s still wet, and I have often worked up until the last minute before something is due. Given that contests today are rarely judged form the actual piece, and not having to wait for slides to be developed and returned in order to mail them off makes submitting for contests and exhibitions so much easier these days than when I started back in the 80s. Still, there’s some quite satisfying about hitting that “submit” button a week before the entry is due that made me feel like my life is getting back to normal.

You can read this and other blogs about art quilts at… http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/ . Do check them out, as there’s quite a diverse group of people who post on that site.

What part of the creation process is most satisfying for you? How do you feel when you’ve completed a piece?

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute, fill out the form below or by clicking on the “comments/no comments link” at the top of the posting, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!… and PLEASE tell like minded souls about this blog! The more readers and contributors, the more I write because encouragement helps the words flow!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), my spiritual healing work at www.transitionportals.com and can find me on Google + , Facebook (for Transition Portals) Facebook (for Fiber Fantasies),  and Twitter.

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.

“Dalton’s Garden” – the Beginning of a new Meditation Garden

"Dalton's Garden" - an art quilt designed for meditationI thought with this posting, that I would show you how I go about creating my art quilt Meditation Gardens. The images for this series is created by me tapping into a person’s energy field and then creating a visual representation of a place where they would be enthusiastic to energetically play and meditate. This one, “Dalton’s Garden” was designed to honor the new man who has come into my life, so creating the image has been pretty easy to do.(wry smile!)

The first thing I do before beginning one of these Meditation Gardens, is to tap into the person’s energy field and wait to be “shown” what place would be optimal for that person. With regard to Dalton, that was pretty easy, as we do a lot of energy work together. He lives in northern Florida now, and loves huge thunder storms, as the energy is electrifying and exciting for him, as it is for me, too. So instead of the usual sunny sky that I might put in other people’s gardens, he has some serious cumulonimbus thunderheads billowing in the background. I found a great purple blue batik fabric that looked as if the dye had run down the length of it. I cut irregular pieces of it and fastened them on horizontally to make the fingers of rain off in the distance in this scene.

The colored center section is made of three layers to make the quilt sandwich, the top embellished layer, the middle section composed of batting, and the backing fabric. Only the backing fabric, a white muslin extends outwards in these pieces. There, that fabric is attached to a frame with especially sharp thumbtacks that I got from the Canadian embroidery supply company, Berlin Embroidery Designs . Their web site is full of information and supplies for serious embroidery fanatics. The actual frame for this piece is larger than those sold by Berlin Embroidery, and came from another Canadian company, Hearthside Craftworks. They make beautiful floor embroidery frames that I lust after, but their simple 4 stretcher frame bars that I’m using here are elegant constructions of beautiful craftsmanship. Their dovetail joints fit perfectly tight so that you can get a true 90 degree angle for a perfect rectangle(or square). Both companies have wonderful customer service people, and while the shipping may be as much as the product if you’re not ordering very much, I found that it was worth it, as I haven’t found this quality of products for what I need here in the States.

Here, you can see more of the beautiful purple/blue batik that I used to make the rain clouds. I accentuated some of the horizontal lines with closely spaced quilting stitches tDetail of an art quilt created by tapping into a person's energy field, "Dalton's Garden"o make the blurry areas that looked like rain puff out some from the background. I hope that I can restrain myself and not cover up too much of the fabric with beads as I often do. The same sun/portal orb that I used in the original Meditation Garden, “Keith’s Garden” has a similar place in “Dalton’s Garden”. (It’s just too good of a design not to use as the entrance portal to “come into the scene”.) The center area is surrounded by a gold frame about 1.5″ or 4 cm square, with a larger metal frame that is 2″ or 5 cm square. That larger frame originally housed glass squares that were intended to enclose some thin collages, but I chose to cover them with gold, metallic floss using a blanket stitch to cover the metal frame.

I love to use commercial ribbons to create stripes in my work, and there are a lot of fun ones out there in the craft and fabric stores right now. I used two colors of harlequin diamond ribbons to suggest garden structures in the piece, such as trellises. However, no matter how much I stand back and look at the piece, I find it amazing that there are often some pieces that I don’t see to be crooked, such as the top of the black and white piece in the upper right until I see the art photographed. One of my favorite art/science books is VISION AND ART – THE BIOLOGY OF SEEING, by Margaret Livingstone. While it’s rather pricey, it is one of my most valued books in my collection. The extensive photographs and illustrations go a long way to explain how our eyes are not cameras, but do a lot of interpretation of what we’re seeing. A real camera doesn’t have that option, (or flaw) so it only records what is actually there. Fortunately, the crooked top of the black and white ribbon in the upper right of this photo had not been stitched down too much yet, so when you see it in the photos in the next blog, you’ll see that it was straightened. Otherwise, if it had already gotten too much embellishment to rip out stitches, (which I HATE to do) I would have added some sort of motif, probably lace or big buttons, to distract the eye from the crookedness.

I am incredibly excited about the beginning of this new Meditation Garden, and the man for whom it was designed at least professes to really like it. (I guess what’s he going to say since the relationship is rather new!) The next few weeks will have more photos as the piece progresses, but in the meantime, you can still access the commands on how to use the energy fields embedded in these art quilts by going to the page in the right hand navigational panel,entitled Transition Portals – Meditation Gardens. There you will find the phrases to say to allow you to tap into the energy fields in these pieces.

How do you tap into your own creative energy when you’re working in your own art medium? Do you have a structured method to access your Muses or do you go with the flow?

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute, fill out the form below or by clicking on the “comments/no comments link” at the top of the posting, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it) and can find me on Google + , Facebook, and Twitter.

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.