Tag Archive for visionary art

The Visionary Art Quilt,”Medicine Area”, Part Two

"Medicine Area" Meditation Art Quilt after first day of embellishing with buttons and beadsNancy Smeltzer, MFA

This photo shows the “Medicine Area” visionary art quilt after the first day of embellishing with buttons and some beads. When compared to the previous posting about this quilt, as you can see, I sew pretty fast when I’m inspired. I solved the problem of how to deal with the large area of gold fabric at the top and in other areas of the quilt by using a transparent, gold ribbon sewn in horizontal lengths. Unfortunately, in the photo, because of the angle of the photographic lights, the ribbon appears to have a red cast, when in reality, it’s really quite gold. Not to worry, because in later photographs, you’ll see that much of the ribbon gets covered over anyway by seed beads.

As you look around the middle and lower pools, you’ll alsoDetail of "Medicine Area" visionary art quilt see a lot more buttons than were in the first blog about this piece. To the lower right of the portal square, are some small square buttons. These are actually square mirrors. I’m already using this piece for my own meditations, and as my new spirit guide, Brian Baker, continues to show me more and more of this healing cave, I can see that the walls are covered with shining crystals. That’s what the square mirrors are supposed to simulate. You can also see a half circle of gold chain maille rings stiched down with purple embroidery floss around the purple outcropping on the upper left. These outlines of circles suggest the round shape of the more traditional buttons that are always included in my art quilts. I like to use repeating patterns in different sizes, colors, and whether it’s a solid or outline shape.

Detail of a visionary art quilt, "Medicine Area"The square mirror buttons are much easier to see in this last detail shot. Square buttons can be hard to place, as they have to be sewn on just so and tightly, as it’s obvious when they’re crooked. Just off to the right of center, just below the middle pool, is a large bronze, curved metal feather. Another of my spirit guides uses a golden eagle as his totem animal, so that feather is to honor him. The golden steps, edged in black that lead down from each pool to the other are more visible in this photo. Obelisk like fabric motifs, surrounded by circles. were cut from a fabric from Africa, and were used to suggest the sacred quality that I feel about this piece.

This small art quilt, which is the same size as my other Meditation Art series measures 16″ x 20″ (40.5cm x 50.5cm), but is filled with many reverent sensations for me as I stitch on it night after night. When I hold it up at the end of the night at a distance to see how the work is going, I feel honored that I’m being shown the image for this piece by my spirit guides. This piece, I’m told, is for me to keep, and I certainly am glad that it’s chosen to stay with me, too.

 Have you ever had pieces of art work that you just knew that you were meant to keep? How do you decide which to keep and which to sell? For me, the ones that I sell were never mine to keep from the first second that I started them. How do you make your decisions?

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 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.

A Medicine Area Art Quilt and Visionary Art

"Medicine Area" art quilt in the Meditation Garden series - full shot - first day of embellishmentNancy Smeltzer, MFA

In the previous posting about the “Image From Beyond“, I wrote about how I had been given the picture from which to make a small art quilt by a fellow healer who has crossed over, Brian Baker. This much larger piece of visionary art also came from his sharings, and will be part of my Meditation Gardens series. However, instead of being a more traditional garden, with plants, as the previous pieces have been, this image is more along the lines of the Medicine Area that I was taught during my shamanic training with Wes Geitz. In recent postings on my healing blog, Transition Portals, especially the postings about my visit in December to Joshua Tree, California, I’ve talked a lot about Wes’s teachings. In the Lakota Sioux and Mohawk traditions in which we were taught, the Medicine Area, the theme for this piece, was a place that we “built” in our consciousnesses where our healing work would take place. Before Brian became one of my Spirit Guides, my own Medicine Area was rather bare. They always seem to be in caves and mine originally consisted of a stone table on which to work with and a fire off to the side. Now, Brian has shown me a much richer, more vibrant area to do my healing work.

Detail of a Meditation Gardens art quilt - "A Medicine Area"In this detail shot, you can some of the buttons and beads that had been included by the end of the first day of adding embellishments to this piece. In this cave “garden”, there are three pools of water that cascade down one side of the cave’s walls. Stone steps also lead down to the bottom of the cave. The portal for entering the cave, as in all of the “Meditation Gardens” series, is in the upper right and uses the same commands to enter it as is described on the page in the immediately given link for the series. The colors in this cave are so much more vibrant in this “new, updated” version, and I can see things more clearly then in past visits to my Medicine Area before Brian showed me this image.

What will be a challenge will be how to handle the great expanse of background fabric and break it up. It’s actually a mottled gold fabric with very fine, black lines that makes the surface look like a small-celled honey comb. Do I go with gold, black, amber or some other color seed beads? I find that I have to see seed beads in person to see how they will work on an art quilt, as bead colors on a computer monitor just aren’t accurate enough for me. I shake a few beads out of the vial and skewer them on to a straight pin to hold against the fabric to see show they will actually appear when sewn down. That way, since color is such an important design element for me, I can get the effects that I want.

As with all my art quilts, the images are important to me, as since I’m not having children, they’re the part of me that I’ll be leaving behind. This image is especially important to me to “get it right”, as it combines two of my passions, art and healing. Keep coming back, as I have photos to write about regarding the next two days’ additions of embellishments. I’m really having a good time with this quilt!

How do you choose the colors in your medium? Do you lay them beside each other, or do you “see” them in you head? What do you do when you can’t get the “right” color for what you need? Art is all about creative problem solving, so we’d love to hear how you get around “there aren’t enough colors in my crayon box”!

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 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.

“An Image from Beyond” Completed

Small, contemporary beaded art quilt, "An Image From Beyond"Nancy Smeltzer, MFA

In an earlier posting, I wrote about how the image for this small, beaded art quilt was given to me during Dreamtime, or that State of Being when you are in between half awake and half asleep. The original image that is printed on the fabric and the choices made to embellish this small art quilt, were all orchestrated by an amazing sound and vibrational healer, Brian Baker, who drowned in Hawaii a few weeks ago. His vibrant energy gave me the original image for the piece, which I quickly jumped up from my dream state and preserved in Photoshop. I then printed it out on fabric, using my ink jet printer, and then used that printed fabric as the background for this piece.

Measuring 10.25″W (26 cm) by 7.5″(19 cm), it is almost completely covered with beading and buttons. I always try and leave a little of the surface fabric showing for future art historians to use when studying the piece. I had wanted to add shells hanging off of the edges, but even the smallest ones that I had were too big, not the right color, or in some way, just didn’t work with the composition.

Detail of small beaded art quilt, "An Image from Beyond"I was however, able to include flat white shell discs along the outer edge of the magenta rectangle. They look exactly like those old white paper reinforcements that you glued around the holes of notebook paper for school assignments that you needed to keep. I attached them with a contrasting blue embroidery floss. Along the outer edge there is a scallop of aqua blue rings that are used in making colorful chain maille. The white “X”s that were so visible in the original print are not quite so neatly outlined, as the beads that I used were a size 8, and so perhaps a little too large for the shapes. Along each of the longer sides is a row of blue, glass stars, as I know that Brian loved to dance and is now dancing among the stars.

Brian was much loved by several communities that he belonged to out in the San Francisco area and will be sorely missed. I’m giving this piece to one of his best friends so that it can be taken to gatherings so that Brian’s energy will always be there with them. Not that you could keep him away, because wherever there’s music and dancing, Brian will be there. I’ve also been “shown” another image that will be used in one of my Transition Portals quilts so keep reading in the next few weeks, as I show pictures of that piece as it unfolds.

Which ways have you used to create a memorial for someone special in your life? Are you recording your thoughts as you created the work, so that they can be passed along with the art work?

“An Image From Beyond” – When I’m Given the Picture and the Edict to Create it

An image "given" to me from an acquaintance who recently diedNancy Smeltzer, MFA

The images for my art work often come to me in that dream state of consciousness between being half awake and asleep. This image, however, while the State of Being was similar, was “shown” to me while meditating and thinking about a healing acquaintance, Brian Baker, who  drowned last week while on vacation in Hawaii.

The man was an amazing healer who specialized in sound and vibrations to literally shake issues apart. I most remember his didgeridoo, which he once placed against my chest as he toned through it at a gathering we were attending. That memory and the accompanying sensations is still very powerful. At the time, I had not started on my spiritual path, and I now know that in my cosmology, we’re vibrated into existence. It’s sort of like the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, where God’s fingertip almost touches that of Adam’s as the spark of Life is transferred into Man. For me, the metaphor that I’ve been shown is that each of us, as we’re manifested, come into Life on this Earth by being vibrated into existence by a huge Om sound. So, I now know why that intense toning that Brian did was so powerful for me.

So, what to do with this image I’ve been given? When I’m shown one like this, in that State of Being that the Aborigines call Dreamtime, I know that I’m supposed to make it. I have had several other times when I’ve been shown an image in a “dream”, the earliest of which is “The Moon Rises Over Thundercloud“. I imagine that the image for this new piece “An Image From Beyond” is partially due to what I know of the style of Aboriginal art and Brian’s use of a didgeridoo. The colors certainly aren’t traditional for that art form, but, hey, that’s what I saw. So far, having quickly created the image in Photoshop right after I awoke, I printed it out onto fabric using PhotoFabric from Blumenthal Craft. While all of the versions of that silk treated fabric that I’ve seen are 8.5″W ( 21.5cm W), the one that I used was 11″ ( 28cm) long so that I could send it through my ink jet printer. Now that the image has been removed from its paper backing that allows it to go through the printer, and washed and ironed, I’ll start on the quilt sandwich and make a mini art quilt. While it’s a given that it will have buttons and beads on it, I know that there will be some small shells sewn on to the piece, too. Keep posted to see how this quilt develops as I make this piece to honor Brian and his boundless energy.

Have you ever gotten an image from an unusual place, such as a dream? What was your image, and how did it compare with what the final piece looked like? 

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.

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 healing work at www.hearthealing.net 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.

“Garden for a Sky Warrior” completed

Contemporary Beaded Art Quilt - "Garden for a Sky Warrior"Nancy Smeltzer, MFA

I am pleased that the New Year has just begun, and my first contemporary beaded art quilt, “Garden for a Sky Warrior” is completed. Of course I was working on it in 2012, but here it is, the first completed for the new year. This series of Meditation Art Quilts are some of my new visionary art series, in which I tap into a person’s energy field and “see” the image that is perfect for that person to use to meditate and play energetically. On the page found at the above link are the Gaia commands or mantras that you can use to safely “borrow” that person’s energy field and play in their garden, too. It’s nice to have friends to play with!

Having just come back from the desert in southern California, I am struck at how well I was able to suggest the night sky I this piece. Here on the east coast of the USA, there is so much light pollution, that I often forget just how many stars there really are in the sky until I’m away from cities like I was out in the desert. There seemed to be an endless pool of stars to dive into if you just looked upwards, and I feel that I did a good job of portraying that in this art quilt.

Detail of garden in "Garden for a Sky Warrior" - a contemporary beaded art quiltThe garden in this piece ended up being inhabited by small. short grasses and ferns, for after all, the key part of the composition, I felt, was the sky. While most of the fabric leaves that were part of the original composition ended up being covered with beads, the tall grass like motifs that show up the best in this view are actually pieces I cut from antique ribbon. Years ago, I bought all there was to be had in a ribbon store that was going out of business of a 1.5″ ( 3.5 cm) wide, green taffeta ribbon that had small picots on the edges. Those loops are great places to tuck beads, which give an iridescent glow to the “grasses” which was exactly what I was looking for in this “other worldly” garden.

View of portal opening in "Garden for a Sky Warrior"Here’s a close-up view of the portal that opens into the garden. (If you go to the page that is linked at the beginning of the article, and scroll to the end, you can get the commands and instructions on how to come through the portal.) As I spoke about in the last posting on this piece, the tie-dye circle behind the portal ended up becoming totally covered by beads (It’s hard for me to leave surfaces un-beaded!) Around the portal, you can see some of the metal feathers that I added. They were cut from a necklace I found in a craft store, and gave the perfect shamanic look to this piece. Besides, feathers have a special meaning to the man whose energy that I borrowed to create this art quilt. In this view, you can also see more of the countless iridescent blue beads that I used to suggest constellations and galaxies in this night sky I tried to simulate.

I’m having great, good fun with this series, and people have responded more to these quilts than perhaps any of the others that I have done. I’d like to think that it’s their response to the energy fields that are actually a part of each piece, as in the past I haven’t added that aspect to my work. Always before, the piece I was working on, I would bond and merge with it as we worked together to complete it. These new pieces have the added benefit of drawing on the energy of The Grid, The Matrix, The Stream of Universal Consciousness (pick a phrase), and that’s why I think that people are responding more.

 What aspects of your own medium do you feel that you get the most responses? Is it what you want to be known for, or if not, why not?

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.

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 healing work at www.hearthealing.net 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.