Colour and nature are probably her two most important stimuli. Gardening, hiking, cycling, game viewing and photography are favourite occupations which often act as catalysts for a piece of work - detailed close-ups of plants, outlines of trees on the horizon, the colours of a sunset, the shapes of desert dunes or rocks – all could spark off a burst of creativity.
Sheila has an interest in all forms of art, having dabbled in ceramics and oil painting as well, and believes implicitly in the overlapping lessons to be learnt between one art form and another; the use of line, shape and colour are universal components. A textile work may entail a progression from her own photograph to a pencil sketch, to a paper collage and eventually a fabric collage, which is her preferred way of working.
Sheila enjoys a combination of machine and hand work, so will usually create the basis of the work with machine-pieced components which then act as a background for further texturing and embellishing with embroidery, beading, thread couching and quilting. She loves working with batik and hand-dyed cottons in conjunction with silks, metallics and organzas. She has done some experimentation in altering fabrics by means of a heat gun or soldering iron, thereby creating interesting layers of texture.
Sheila has shown her work for many years through the national quilt guild exhibitions, as well as the Innovative Threads, Casa Labia, Fynarts and FACT and Friends exhibitions. She has work hanging in the USA, England, Germany and Switzerland, as well as locally, some of which has been bought off exhibition and some made to commission.
She is an accredited judge for the South African Quilters’ Guild.