Soft Expressions supporting the expressive quilter in tradition innovation art and computer with Sharla Hicks

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Sharla Hicks, Artist and Certified Zentangle TeacherIntroducing Sharla R. Hicks 

Sharla trained under Zentangle® Founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher aka CZT in 2011 & 2013. CZT training and the daily practice of Zentangle has had a profound effect on her discipline as an artist, her creative abilities, given back her love of teaching and most profoundly has guided her toward her own Artistic Voice. Sharla crosses the boundaries of expressive artist, writer, painter, quilter, fiber, textile, mixed media, watercolor, collage, print making and more. Her current focus is offering the gift of Zentangle to others through lectures, workshops, and retreats.

Sharla brings 40 years of expertise in using the sewing machine, pen, pencil, brush, paints, pastels, watercolor, alcohol inks bundled into a mixed media package to teach design, color, and Zentangle. From 1980 to present Sharla has taught free motion embroidery, exotic threads embellishment by machine, traditional and innovative quilting from the basics of piecing, applique, free motion machine quilting to innovative quilt design and how to use color as a design element to produce innovative works.

In 1981, Sharla taught her first quiltmaking class and in 1990 added computer quilting to her repertoire. In 2011 & 2013 she added a Certified Zentangle Teacher Certificate to her many credentials. Sharla brings 40 years of expertise in using the the sewing machine to teach design, color, Zentangle, quilting skills in piecing, applique, machine quilting, and machine free-hand and exotic threads embellishment by machine.

Sharla returned to school 1988 and earned her Associate in Arts from Fullerton College. As a quilter and teacher first and an art student second, she quickly incorporated this education into her teaching. Her goal as a teacher is to help each student find his or her own individual expression by using color, design and Zentangle to create exciting quilts and art in both traditional and innovative styles.

Today as a Certified Zentangle Teacher, Sharla infuses her understanding of design elements and color with the Zentangle basics and beyond as she shares her personal journey with her students helps them in their search for their personal Zentangle voice using color, design elements and Zentangle to create exciting mixed media art pieces using the pattern overlay of Zentangle basics. 

Past to Present Accomplishments and Activities:

In 1994, Laguna Art Museum in Southern California asked Sharla to develop a hands-on computer quilting lab in conjunction with the exhibit Lit from Within: Amish Quilts from Lancaster County. She wrote a computer slide show defining what made a Lancaster County Quilt unique in the Amish world and trained 13 computer techs to man four computers during the duration of the four month exhibit. In 1996, 1997, and 1998 she staged the computer quilting lab with 21-35 techs and 7-9 computers at the Crossroads Quiltshow in Southern California (in conjunction with Road to California Conference).

From 2004 to present Sharla has been the owner and master mind behind the innovative website for the expressive quilter textile and fiber artist with an emphasis in Zentangle and Mixed Media at

Sharla continues to be an educator and leader in the computer quilting world and developed her Computer Quilting Made Easy Books (now out of print) for today's quilting software to take the pain out of learning the programs. She wrote seven books on the topic, self-published and has established an Internet Resource website for Computer Quilters to find quilting software at reasonable prices and how-to information at their finger tips. Today she shares that information through her Expressive Quilter's Newsletter. To Subscribe, CLICK HERE.

Cover foir Tangle Inspired Botanicals by Sharla R. HicksIn 2011 a profound turn of direction in Sharla's art began with her Certified Zentangle Training. She has developed a deep love of patterning and her work has evolved from traditional Zentangle to Zentangle Inspired Botanicals that she teaches to in an eight week class series: The Dance of the Zentangles for new to Zentangle and seasoned tanglers to explore geometric, botanical and organic Zentangle patterns in what she calls the Dance of the Petals and Leaves. Check out her latest works at the link.

2015 Sharla started her retreats in Big Bear, CA teaching Tangle-Inspired Botanicals offering the Dance of Petals and Leaves and Mixed Media bringing cohesive design, composition, and color exploration to tangling.

2017 saw the release of her book: Tangle-Inspired Botanicals, Exploring the Natural World Through Minful, Expressive Drawing, a culmination of a life time of studying art, design, and composition fused with her exploration of tangle botanicals and developing an unique style of repetitive patterning and stylized botanicals. In her book she teaches students how to find their own style of expressive mark making through exercises that bring together visual memories, logic, and intuition.


Sharla's index:
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