Monday, December 2, 2013

Theme 3

 Reveal day is neat when the new work is posted, the theme element didn't disappoint. Make sure you click back through to see all of the posts.
It is time again for a new challenge word and this round
 I picked


1.  to supply or brighten with light; light up.
2.  to make lucid or clear; throw light on a subject.
3.  to decorate with lights, as in celebration.
4.  to enlighten, as with knowledge.
5.  to make resplendent or illustrious
6.  to decorate with colors and gold or silver, as was often done in the middle ages.
7.  to display lights, as in celebration
8.  to become illuminated

The new works will be posted here on February 1, 2014.  See you back here then. But, in the meantime I hope to see (and show) sneak peaks with progress shots.  Have fun and enjoy the creative process! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Understory

After thinking about several ideas for our element challenge, I decided on the many elements of the rain forest.  Specifically the understory.

The applique elements are all raw edged.  The background is pieced and then cut apart and pieced again to add dimension.  

Mother Lode

I chose GOLD as my element ... the Mother Lode hidden in the layers
from an eons-old volcanic eruption

Hand stitched with a lot of help from Spot the Dog!
12x12, hand-dyed silk chiffon strips, gold lame, silk and cotton threads,
flannel batting, cotton backing.
All the sparkly bits are gold, though they don't appear that way in the photos.


 An Ocean of Tears

I chose water as my element. My piece is painted, appliqued, pieced and quilted. You can read the story behind it and see the inspiration photos, as well as construction details on my blog.

Fabric, Batting & Thread

The elements of a quilt:  fabric, batting, and thread. To show each element the batting and backing were cut away from the center square, the hand painted fabric on the front and backing were cut away from the batting, and all layers were cut away (before quilting) in the “thread” section so the center square of fabric and batting floats within the frame.
I used a piece of my hand painted fabric for this project.   
Seven inches square.

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water
collage and acrylics on canvas panel, 12 x 12 inches

This is my take on the astrological elements.


I just couldn't resist making this into a science statement. These remind me of the elements that make up our universe.

Each is shisha with stitching and beading. The details will be on my blog tomorrow.

Elements of the Earth

When I Googled ELEMENTS I came across the Chinese five elements of the world: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Hmm, how to put those in a quilt??  The word earth made me think of a river bank, wood reminded me of trees, and of course a river (barely visible in this photo) could represent water. Fire and metal were more challenging, but soon a campfire and roasting marshmallows popped into my mind.
I made the chipmunks out of thread, and they are using metal  skewers for roasting their bead marshmallows. I embellished a little with yarn, tumbled rocks, and crystals.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Mystical struck me as I was walking on the beach in Plymouth at my sisters house. We came upon a work of art created from the oceans water etched in the sand. The movement of water carved the perfect fossil.

 I chose a muslin because I felt the affect from the rough fabric would suit the image. I then used thread play to create the fossil and colored pencil for shading. I added stitched flecks of opalescence thread to add a sparkle that is seen naturally in the sand.

Theme 2

Hi everyone, Donna Hopkins here.  I hope everyone has had a chance to enjoy the artwork created for our first theme: Mystical.  It is now time for the group to start on the second theme.  The theme I’ve selected is:


Does it make you think of science, art, grammar, nature, math or something else?  I can’t wait to see what is created.  Watch for sneak peeks of our progress.  Our final works will be posted on December 1st. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spirit of Australia

My collection of Australian fabrics started during two trips to Australia 10 years ago.  My first exposure to Aboriginal culture was at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.  Walking along the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock) I could understand the mystical power of the land that is so important to the Aboriginals.  The arrow shapes in my piece depict the struggle between tourism and respect of the spiritual significance of the lands around Uluru.  It was disappointing to me that even with signs requesting people to not climb Uluru at the request of the Anangu, the Aboriginal traditional owners, there was a steady stream of hikers. 
12” x 12”
commercial fabrics       


The Big Bang a truly mystical event that is more complex
 than my mind can process. 
The Big Bang I envision is a mass of light, energy, the particles 
that created the universe, our solar system, and even life itself. 
Physics at its best. But I hate Physics!

Unraveling the Mystery     12" square

When naming the quilt, I couldn't help but sing my favorite theme song.  
Math, Science, Hystory, Unraveling the Mystery that all started with the  
Big Bang.  
I think the lyrics and the Big Bang TV show are both so cleaver. 
 I was happy to work on this project, humming the tune in my head.

I started with a black fabric, added a layer of black Mistyfuse, a rough cut circle of 
gold lame, then Angelina fibers swirling around the miraculous light,

bursting out into the void at immense speeds, 

resulting in planets, minerals, water, and life represented in the quilt fill patterns. 
  What I had envisioned as being encrusted with beads 
looked so meticulous and orderly before beading, 
I decided I needed to keep it free from the chaos of beads I had planned. 

I loved the challenge of getting out of my traditional wrapping
and putting together a more modern look.  Thanks Art Squared!

Vision of the Night

12 x 12

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word "Mystical" is the Moon. Much of my work incorporates images of the moon.  Here, I combined the "Wadjet" or "Eye of Horus" with the phases of the moon.

Horus was a sky god whose eyes, it was said were the sun and the moon.  Ancient myth  describes a battle between Horus and Seth in which Horus' right eye was torn out. Thoth, the god of magick,  restored Horus' eye. It is said the myth relates to the waxing and waning of the moon, during which the moon appears to have been torn out of the sky before being restored once every lunar month.

The base fabric background is dyed with fiber reactive dyes. The eye is painted with Pro Chemical textile paint and Jacquard Lumiere.  

The batting is Quilters Dream Puff and it is quilted with Superior's metallic and silk threads, and then mounted on stretcher bars.

Butterfly Garden

A mystical and magical place.

9"x 9"

The background was randomly strip pieced, then cut, with additional strips sewn in to represent stems.
A piece of poly batt was used between the layers for quilting.
 Bobbin stitching with snips of dyed silk ribbon and paint made up the flowers.

 And, the butterfly was stitched with one layer of white fabric, painted with inks then cut out.  The body is a stuffed piece of silk.  Everything was stitched to the quilted background and the legs were added last by zig zagging over a thin nylon cording.  
Visit my blog here for more butterfly garden photos and inspiration! 


I've titled my 8 x 8 inch collage painting, Mystical, in honor of the challenge theme.
Paper and acrylic paint on canvas board.

Although the three challenge pieces uploaded prior to mine are all quilts, 
I'm taking the original info on Art Squared at its word about being open to all media!


Magical is beading; magical is fibers. I go to a magical place when I work with them. The background is wool roving. The design is in Ultrasuede hand stitched in place using glass beads. The piece is 8 inches square.  Geometric designs have been used in all of history for magic.

Here is  a detail.

Squaring the Circle

Sue B here...

Mystical was a challenging theme to work with and I struggled with it for a while before I finally decided on what to do...

"Squaring the Circle" 12" x 1 1/2" (mounted on stretcher frames)
hand dyed cotton, machine quilted

The 'squared circle' or 'squaring the circle' is a 17th century alchemical glyph or symbol for the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. The Philosopher's Stone was supposed to be able to transmute base metals into gold and perhaps be an elixir of life.

Ancient Voices

Who was the man that stood in front of this rock
in an inhospitable desert where once dinosaurs freely roamed
and felt the need to leave his mark in this place?
Was he simply telling the next people passing by that he was here?
Or that he was a great warrior?
Was he leaving a sign of the spirits he worshiped?
Are these shamans from his tribe ... or was he a shaman himself?

The dinosaurs left their bones in great abundance in these Utah hills
120 million years ago.  This artist of the Fremont culture
made his marks between 700 AD and 1300 AD.
To stand before these ancient beings carved in stone so long ago
is magical, mystical, humbling.
You can almost hear their voices.
12"x12"  Commercial cotton batik, cotton batting & backing,
discharged freehand design from my photo, hand quilted.
Dinosaur National Monument, Utah
(It really is square!  Bad photo.)


As a child I was always curious about the round darker green circles in the lawn
with some mushrooms here and there.  It seems like they usually occurred after a thunder storm. My mom told me they were fairy rings.  Fairies came at night and held very important meetings.  When I heard the theme was mystical, I immediately thought of those magical fairy rings.

This little fairy is early for the meeting, but you can see from the spiral of shimmer that the others are on their way.

I used batiks along with thread work and some paint to try to make the mushrooms look 3 dimensional. The trees are decorated with yarn.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Tiny Glimpse

The first reveal is just around the corner and I'm almost done with my " Mystical " piece.
Here's a tiny glimpse...
To see the rest, you'll have to come back on October 1st!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

a sneak peek

A sneak peek at the piece I am creating for the Mystical theme...

You'll see the rest on 10/1/13...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Hi there, Deborah Levy here.  First, to our readers, I'd like to welcome you to our new art challenge group. We hope that you will find enjoyment and inspiration in our art as we share our work with you in the months to come.

Now to the Art Squared artists...I am thrilled to be a part of this group of talented artists!  Thanks to Sue B for getting us all together.   I am first up to post a challenge and the theme I have chosen is


It can be anything from religious, to the occult, to something magical or simply beyond our ability to explain. It could be from your dreams;  your own vision of mysticism in mind body or spirit, or drawn from our natural environment.  

The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it.  I can't wait to see how each of you interpret this in your work!