Sharla Hicks' Gallery
Art Quilts, Mixed Media & Zentangle

Zentangle Monoprint Book Cover

Mixed Media
Photo Montage & Acrylic

Sharla Hicks is an artist and colorist whose art and quilts reflect her personal journey. Her work stretches the limits of the traditional quilt pattern and uses the maximum potential of the sewing machine, paint, pen, and line to manipulate cloth, thread, paper, and fiber surfaces. Her original work explores the formal structure of design to add strength and depth to her use of color. Sharla’s art quilts have earned many awards, the latest being the Best Machine Quilted Award at Crossroads, the first juried and judged show for Southern California. Her work has been published in Quilting Today and in Joen Wolfrom’s book, Patchwork Persuasions.

Sharla most recent works and training have been exploring Zentangle, Mixed Media, Printmaking and Photography. Sharla is a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) and her Zentangles passion is done daily to provide focus and explore her inner voice and creativity.

Sharla is offering Zentangle Classes at her store (Soft Expressions) in Anaheim, CA.

Zentangle Tiles
3.5" Square

Taught by Sharla Hicks, a Certified Zentangle Instructor

Zentangle to boost confidence, explore without intimidation, focus and touch your intuitive creativity to bring to life abstract designs that are uniquely yours. No two designs come out the same even when following the same theme!

Confused? Think of Zentangles as a teachable doodling** technique

**Those of us who Zentangle shy away from the term doodling because we understand that the principles behind Zentangle transcends doodling because it is teachable. Zentangles are broken down in step-by-step patterns, techniques and structure to support those who have been intimidated by drawing and doodling or those who want to expand their personal expression and art.

I have been exploring Zentangles since April of 2010 (200+ designs over the last year.) I guarantee exploring Zentangles patterning will improve your ability to create new textures, patterns, ideas for quilts, quilting lines, scrapbooking, cards and more.

I found the Zentangle technique so rewarding I attended the Whitinville, MA Zentangle Teacher Certification Course (CZT) in February 201l. It was a privilege and honor to be able to study under two developers of the Zentangle concept, Marie Thomas and Rick Roberts. It was truly studying at the feet of the Masters. Both are very open, warm, sharing and extraordinarily talented individuals who openly and willingly shared the philosophy, principles, techniques, and creativity behind Zentangle.


Mixed Media and Photo Transfer

The Greek Odyssey © 2009
2 part Series
Each Size: 24" W x 18" H

Table of Contents
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NOTE: Awarded first place
in Mixed Media Category at the
Rancho Santigo College
Student Art Show.

The Greek Odyssey © 2009
Close-Ups

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  • Greek Odyssey is a mixed media photo montage on watercolor papter from Sharla's photography taken in 1996 at a Greek Art Retreat on the Island of Santorini and her touring Athens and Delphi. A truly exciting and once in a life time experience.
  • Techniques combine inkjet photo transfer with acrylic medium, watercolor overlay and underlay with pen detailing

 

 

Art Quilts
Inspired by Traditional Blocks

Adam’s Outer Realm © 1994
70" x 80" Cotton fabrics
Machine pieced and machine quilted with monofilament thread on the front and iridescent metallic thread on the back.

Included in Joen Wolfrom’s new book, Patchwork Persuasions

(click on quilt for larger detail)

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Adam’s Outer Realm reflects Sharla’s interest in exploring color through the use of commercially produced fabric. This is the third quilt in Sharla’s Kaleidoscope series. In this quilt, the traditional kaleidoscope block breaks the boundaries of traditional formatting in the block itself.

Sharla also explores content when making quilts. Adam’s Outer Realm is made of universe fabrics and uses the kaleidoscope pattern metaphorically to explore the transitional phase of both the mother and her son as he graduates from high school and marches toward the rest of his adult life. Life, like the kaleidoscope, is ever changing, often beautiful, and almost always fleeting. Thus, motherhood, childhood, life, change, loss, gain—all merge in this kaleidoscope quilt

 

 

Broken Dreams © 1991
Size: 68 1/2" x 60"
Cotton fabrics
Machine pieced and quilted with silver metallic thread on the front and iridescent metallic thread on the back.

(click on quilt for larger detail)

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The traditional roots found in Broken Dreams come from Trudie Hughes book, More Template Free Quilting. For variation the Colorado Log Cabin and Chimney and Cornerstones quilts are combined. Sharla made the stars, chimney and cornerstones from a light to dark gradation of fabrics, and changed the coloring in some of blocks.

Sharla started a college design class at the same time she was completing this quilt and discovered the freedom of not planning everything out on paper. Through the tutelage of a phenomenal art professor, her confidence grew and she began to believe in her ability to be an artist. She took this back to her quilting and in Broken Dreams experimented with instinctual placement of the blocks until they felt right. This quilt was completed shortly after the death of that incredibly gifted professor and artist.

This quilt is dedicated to the memory of her friend, teacher, and mentor Don Hendricks and carries the inscription: "He believed in my art. I carry his freely given knowledge, love and encouragement in my soul. Now I believe in my art."


Ruel’s Kaleidoscope © 1990
Size: 43" x 66"
Cotton fabrics
Machine pieced and machine quilted with a variety of metallics threads on the front and monofilament thread on the back.

Included in Joen Wolfrom’s new book, Patchwork Persuasions

(click on quilt for larger detail)

Table of Contents
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Ruel’s Kaleidoscope represents many firsts. It’s the first quilt in the Kaleidoscope series. It’s Sharla’s first successful color study. It’s the first quilt where the design did not come directly from a traditional quilt pattern. It’s the first quilt she heavily machine quilted with metallic threads. It’s the first quilt she felt was completely her own. It’s the first quilt where she knew she would be making art quilts the rest of her life. It’s the first quilt that she entered into a national quilt show. And last but not least, it’s the first quilt that had the honor of being selected for two different awards.


 

The Power of Freedom © 1991
Size: 61" x 83"
Cotton, lame, taffeta, corduroy, and polyester fabrics
Machine pieced and machine quilted with monofilament thread

(click on quilt for larger detail)

Table of Contents
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The Power of Freedom is Sharla’s most original quilt and was designed to convey the concept: global freedom and the price it carries. At the time, the Berlin Wall had come down, the complexion of Europe was rapidly changing with the disintegration of the Eastern Block, the Soviet Union was breaking up, and apartheid in South Africa was crumbling.

Inscribed on the back of this quilt are these words: Just as design, color and fluctuation of space influence the surface of this quilt, so does the power of freedom—an unstoppable force (depicted by yellow radiating lines) affect the fabric of global existence of each nation and individual. The different shapes and value gradations represent each country’s differences and varying degrees of freedom. The shimmer of metallics across the surface reflects the impact of the individual on a nation’s course toward peace, harmony and freedom.

Just as the color across the surface is heightened by the black stripes, the individual effort of each man, woman and child to gain greater freedom and autonomy influences, weakens and diminishes black oppression. The overall harmony and balance expressed on the quilt surface is my personal hope for world peace, harmony, and freedom where everyone belongs to one race, the human race. May it be soon.


Garden Art
CLICK TO VISIT
Garden Gallery ©

The last years of Sharla's life has been busy writing books and immersing herself into the computer, developing this website & other such activies. This has resulted in only one or two quilts over that time. But she has taken a few minutes here and there to create a private garden for herself. The following medicine shields created in an "Art as Transformation Class" grace her Garden Retreat, to visit, click here. This is graphic heavy page and will take some time to load but it will be worth it. See some of the preview thumbnails below.

 Yard Art  Yard Art

Yard Art 

 

Sharla's Zentangle Classes
Sharla's Quilt & Computer Quilting Lectures & Classes
Sharla's Bio
Sharla's Education, Projects, Exhibits and Awards...
Sharla's Virtual Computer Quilting Gallery
Sharla's Proud Grandmother and Family Pictures