Illahe Gallery Show This Friday, February 4

These two are accompanied by photos and poems.

(Click image to see in larger window.)

Come and see the whole show! 

They are more striking in person, when you can absorb the kinesthetic quality of fiber.  This Friday, February 4th, from 5 -8 p.m. at Illahe Gallery at 4th and “B” St., Ashland, OR.  I’ll be there and offering a demostration of one of my techniques.  I’d love to see you.

Artist Statement

All creative expression comes from the same source.  The blessed gift of being creative is my experience of “flow,” when time stops and joy is like a stream burbling within me.  One of the places in life where I experience this is in my studio. 

I had the fortunate misfortune to be felled by serious illness at 28 years old.  Homebound and needing something to do as I moved from bed to couch, I reached for long-forgotten skills taught by my grandmother, mother, and aunt.  This began a journey into my own artistic soul.  I am blessed to come from a lineage of female artists.  Through the grace of the calling inherent in my illness, to reform my life in better synergy with my soul, I began creating according to my inclinations as a kinesthetic human being.  I operate by touch, smell, visceral sensation.   Thoughts, ideas and emotions have “feeling,” color, image, & sensation for me…a kind of visceral experience.  Fiber allows me to integrate my emotional and spiritual “felt” sense with my physical love for touch and texture. 

My art is inspired by my sense of the spiritual, my love for the creation that is this earth, and my desire to express healing visually.  My creative process is one way I commune with myself and with the larger Creation that Is.  As a friend once said, “My way of talking to G-d is to go to my studio and make art.”  My designs come to me from dreams and dream-like visions, from nature, from the souls I meet, and from my own healing and evolving journey as a human being.                         

Queen Batik and Holiday Sales

"Redwood Forest Walk" Batik Queen Bed Quilt

One of the main joys of working in fiber is the kinesthesia of color it offers.  I actually hold color in my hand and feel the weight of it within the fabric.  It’s the difference between seeing a photo of your beloved or actually touching his/her hand. 

When you buy a piece of fiber art, or a quilt, you enjoy an added dimension in the kinesthetic presence fabric brings into your home.  Our bodies sense touch even when we are not touching.  We are wired for tactile perception.  Whether you are hanging a piece on your wall or laying it upon your bed, your eyes, body and soul feel the touch of it and warm to it.

This is a queen-size bed quilt I recently finished for a client.  It reminds me of a deep forest walk…sun in the sky high above a thick forest canopy, the smell of damp, loamy earth under redwoods, the taste of rich, fertile soil that hangs in the air, the feel of fog on my face as I move, and the deep quiet of nature I feel in my bones, that blesses and nourishes my soul

In the next week I will be setting up my “Holiday Sales Gallery” on this site.  By next Friday several new items will be posted for purchase.  This season I will be donating 10% of all holiday sales to the Food Bank. 

As always, I am available for commissioned work.  Please contact me at to begin that process. 

Please pass this site on to your friends.


In Studio: “Today the Tao is Dancing” in progress

My most recent piece, “Lightening Storm” sold quickly.  What a gift!  So, while in the midst of a move, my creative juices are given good reason to take a time out from boxing books and crating cartons to work on a new piece.

All my pieces create themselves in the sense that I start with an idea that beckons me, like chasing the end of a rainbow.  Once I begin, the piece “talks” to me, takes its own turns, sometimes sets off in directions (quite stubbornly I might add) that I had not intended, nor am I prepared for.  It is not altogether uncommon for me to have an idea, start to work, only to set it down…because, while I can feel that the piece knows where it wants to go, I am not able to “download” how to get there. 

“Today the Tao is Dancing” is one such piece.  I am excited to be working on it again.  I pulled it out in the midst of moving, held it up for the umpteenth time…and suddenly knew how to take it where it wants to go.  I love that feeling!!!

So I now return to my studio, perchance to finish it today.  This time I will get a high quality photo to share with you very soon.  Then hang it at the gallery:  Ashland Art Works Gallery, Ashland, OR, 291 Oak Street.

May we all feel the love of creative life flowing through us, relaxing our worries and filling us with soul nourishment…whatever form your creativity takes, may you relish it!

Blessings, Stephanie

And a nature photo to share until my next piece is here.

"Snowstorm" Big fat, fluffy, dry flakes. A cool counterpoint to our Dog Days of August!

And now for something completely different…

"Louisville: A Healing Quilt"

Hi Folks, 

I finished “Lightening Storm” but forgot to photograph it before hanging it in the gallery.  For those who are local, it is in “Rustic Gallery” at Ashland Art Works, 291 Oak Street, Ashland.  Take a lunch and go sit by the creek after seeing the art offerings, mine included.  If you haven’t yet discovered the sitting area by the creek, it is one of the sweetest spots in Ashland.   

I promise to get a photo of “Lightening Storm” and post it this week!

In the meantime, I thought you might like to see a piece I started years ago.  I still have a few bits and pieces to add as finishing touches.  It is a healing piece relating to a dark and difficult period in my life, the years between 14 and 17, when I was utterly a fish out of water…almost literally–but that’s another story.  This piece began with a poem and emerged visually over time.  For me, it perfectly expresses my felt state during these years.  Here is the poem, which also makes it’s way across the face of the piece. 

This quilt lacks a center…a central form to draw the eye…this is deliberate…this quilt is metaphorical…it depicts a very unhappy time in my life…

 a time of grays and blacks and browns…little color…no life…

 when I felt like a stick figure…wandering, searching…alone…

down streets that led nowhere…turning corners to other nowhere streets…searching for bridges to something good…finding they only reached another side of pain…only another dead end empty space…

 all that seemed constant was the ticking of clocks…relentlessly…far too slowly…marking the time until I could leave…run away…escape…hoping endlessly this might mean new life…

New life…is like lightening…bright, stark, brilliant, blinding…deafening, terrifying…coming with storm…rending the new from the old…

 lightening breaks apart the clouds…bringing new birth…color…light…after the storm…

 Kali’s destruction…necessary…though terrifying…for new birth…

 Music was my one light…it softened the pain and gave me strength…gave structure to my desolation…as I poured my emotions over the keys…

 Music was the new life I hoped for…the only place where color still lived…along with hope…and the possibility of love.

Stephanie K. Nead

Poem for "Louisville: A Healing Quilt""Lonely feet walking..."