The Visionary Art Quilt – “Medicine Area” Finished and Being Used as a Healing Tool

"Medicine Area" - a contemporary, beaded visionary art quilt - full viewNancy Smeltzer, MFA

Creating visionary art is an interesting experience as you never know where you’ll be led along a spiritual path or what the final image will look like. When I began this beaded art quilt about a month ago, I spoke of how my new spirit guide, Brian Baker, who died in an accident in January, 2013, began to show me a much more amplified version of the Medicine Area that I had been taught when I began shamanic training around 2005. In the Lakota Sioux and Mohawk traditions, the medicine area is where one does healing work. All of the ones that I have seen have been in caves, and so it was interesting as this piece began to evolve that I realized that it was part of the Meditation Gardens series that I’ve been working on. I’ve found that when I let the work tell me how it wants to look and I surrender and follow along, that my best pieces evolve. This has certainly been the case for this piece, as it felt as if it were sewing itself, choosing where each embellishment would go in the composition.

Detail of beaded, visionary art quilt - "Medicine Area" The squashed battery that I picked up off of the street and used as embellishment in the upper left hand corner shows up well in this detail photo. The label on the outside had long since peeled away by the time that I found it, and the terminal end had been bent on its side. looking like a small face. This is actually the 2nd battery that I’ve found that appears like this; perhaps I should take some old, spent batteries and see if I can do the same thing in my driveway. I’ll have to do some research as to how much corrosive materials are in a AA battery before deliberately trying to squash them. The seed beads that I chose for the mottled gold background turned out well. They are a transparent, olive green color with an opaque amber lining, and I would never have guessed they would have worked by looking at them in the vial that they came in. Seed beads have to be seen flush against the fabric they’re going against, so I carefully spill a few out of their container and thread them on a straight pin to see if they’re going to work on the site that I’m considering for their use.

Detail of beaded, visionary art quilt - "Medicine Area"I was really pleased at how lovely this detail shot came out of the middle and bottom pools in my cave of healing. Just to the right of center is one of my beloved glass buttons from Czechoslovakia. It turns out that my favorite seller on eBay, Spirit, Inc., who probably has the best selection for these beauties in the world, lives about 15 miles from me. People always respond to these buttons and want to reach out and touch them, as they’re that compelling.

In the middle of each of the pools are some dark purple lines. These are 3mm cubes of transparent aqua glass beads on the outsides with a dark amethyst transparent interior. The height, shape, and intense color of these cubes justify the added expense because of the visual appeal and shine they add to the water.

I said in a previous posting that this piece I was keeping and now it has a home over the headboard of my bed. As I fall asleep, I know that it’s creating a space of safety where I can pass into the dream world and sort issues out from my day. I can also see that it will be an effective “Dream Catcher” for me, as well as an effective place for me to focus my attention when I’m working with my clients. I’ll fall asleep tonight thanking my spirit guides for guiding my hands as they were used to create this image for me and my artistic and healing work.

To find out more about my healing work and that part of my life. please visit my healing web site and blog…. I’d also love to hear about your experiences with having a particular image, mandala, or object on which to focus when you meditate or pray. 

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 (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), my healing work at 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.

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