Slotted Canyon

“Slotted Canyon” Based on a photo of one of the slot canyons of the SW United States. 18″ x 24″ $225

This piece started as a mock up for the much larger “Canyon I.”  I finished a different mock up for that piece, but I recently went back and decided to finish this version.  It’s about 18″ x 24″.  $225   Email if you’re interested: 

Currently hanging at Ashland Art Works Galleries, 291 Oak St., Ashland, Oregon.  Go by and have a look at all my current work.  I’d love to hear your comments.

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The Whole Shebang

 Complete images from work currently hanging, through February 26th, at Illahe Gallery at 4th & Main…with poems.

“Snow Creatures”
I reach across the sky to you

With Creation’s Sistine touch

Deep communion

Arcs Self to Self

One Self


Stephanie K. Nead, 2010




In dark clefts

Between towering walls of darkness

All seems lost

I wander

Vanquished from hope

Absorbed by black


Yet time passes

Earth turns

In my wilderness of night

Appears a shaft of light


Looking up

My towering dungeon glows

Deeply burnt

Oranges, purples, reds

Warmth radiates

Nourishment as honey to my lips


Above me

Through water-worn canyon walls

Appears high heating sun

There all along

I had but to wait

For light to rise

And come ‘round again


I had but to wait

For the blessing of light

To know my Valley is not a trapped dungeon of despair

But a carefully carved path of earth

Blessing my night with color in forms of grace

A marvel of elemental communion


Small me

Blessed to know the dark

The light

The color

The grace…

I breathe.

Stephanie K. Nead, 2010

What the creation process looks like…

This is a slide show of “Antelope Canyon‘s” “birth” process.   I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the stages and layers to creating a piece such as this.  Believe me, this is the short form!            Stephanie


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Art & Craft: The Difference

What is the difference between art and craft?  As I am about to create a “Holiday Sales Gallery” that will be almost entirely craft, this seemed a good time to write my thoughts on the subject.

This can be a volatile topic in the art and craft world (or worlds, as the case may be.)  There is much dissension. 

I do think that art and craft are different.  I also think there is crossover.  There are art pieces that contain an equal, or almost equal portion, of craft (see the quilts of Gees Bend.)   There are craft peices, many, that contain an artisitic esthetic and/or originality to them.  Reducing anything to a label seems to me a mistake, especially as there is much beauty in both.

In general, we have an understanding that craft applies to those objects that also serve a useful purpose, generally in the home. 

For me the distinction between art and craft has more to do with the originality brought to the creation, the idea/vision, the techniques and how they are applied, whether the final piece makes you, on some level, gasp.  If it does, it is art, whether it is an earthenware bowl, a quilt, or an oil painting. 

Artists and craftspeople often see the art of craft and craft of art somewhat differently than nonparticipants.  Because we are “in the conversation,” we are generally more aware of what is being produced, and so of what is original, unique…what we consider art.

A bystander might experience art in a piece that is little more than a semi-original copy of another’s style.  To another artist or craftperson, this would not signify as art.  But if it is the first time you have seen it, then to you it might be.  I think both perceptions are valid. 

To take away someone’s awe at what is new to her, is mean, and it certainly doesn’t encourage her to trust her response to beauty as she perceives it.  Such response is essential to art making and art loving.  At the same time, it is possible to share someone’s enthusiasm while sharing knowledge of the broader context for this art.

As easy examples of art and craft from my perspective, below is a slide show of three pieces I have created: art and craft.  Creating something from one’s own vision in a unique and original way, this to me makes art.  “Antelope Canyon” and “Bridges to Nowhere” are art.  “Batik Queen” shares an artisitic sense of color, but is essentially craft.     

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Featured Artist February 2011 at Illahe Gallery in Ashland OR

Wonderful news this week!  I have been invited to be a featured artist at Illahe Gallery this February. 

I will be creating 2 – 3 pieces similar in process to “Antelope Canyon,” below.  I begin with a photo or photos of a place in nature; I create an initial design of about 18″ x 24″ and a final design of about 3′ x 5′ with much greater detail. 

I love this process.  I feel myself on the inside of the inside as I commune with the heart of nature that the image yearns to bring forth.  I experience a deep communion with the place and qualities of the earth I am rendering.  It nourishes my soul, and I emerge from hours in my studio with a happy heart and a light spirit.

I am in the process of choosing my images for the show.  I will perhaps choose a further image from the Slot Canyons…very different from “Antelope.”  I have also long desired to create a tide pool image.  And I have wonderful images of snow creatures, trees and snow, that I would love to create in fiber. 

I’ll keep you posted!

“Antelope Canyon” 3′ x 5′ Slot Canyons of the America SW, where floods have worn deep, narrow canyons. Sunlight overhead casts deep shadows onto the sandstone walls, creating dramatic colors and contrast.

Commissions accepted.  Please contact me at or call 541-292-9390.