There’s a reason I call my alter ego “Zoombaby.” I love to drive fast and live intensely. My improvisational approach to art gives me that same kind of exhilaration. Whether I'm painting, drawing or piecing a studio quilt, moving head first into the unknown fuels my creativity. I relish all the surprising discoveries along the way as the journey starts to reveal itself to me. Never having had an interest in sewing or textile work before, I arrived in the quilting world by accident—though you might call it fate. In January 2009 I went to donate some fabric to Project Linus, and when I left, a little voice started nudging me to do something, so I spent the rest of the year making and donating 30 quilts. Exactly one year later, I embarked on my first art quilt, “Life in the City.”
My pieced quilts are bold and graphic, as I am inspired by color, line and shape. I love the bright, beautiful patterns of tropical fish and am constantly in awe of nature's palette. I also enjoy painting with thickened dyes, discharging, batiking and other aspects of surface design. However, my greatest passion is basic piecing with no plan, no sketch, and no agenda. It’s a huge challenge to navigate a complex vision from piecing alone, so to pull it off is incredibly rewarding. My journey into the magical world of quilting has truly been a gift. My life has been enriched in ways I never could have foreseen going into it. I guess that’s what happens when you let your intuition be your guide.
When award-winning artist Sheila Frampton Cooper creates, she revels in the spontaneous. Her free-form process with its surprising twists and turns inevitably delivers her to a place of unfiltered originality where her bold work unapologetically commands attention.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Sheila showed a strong-willed, artistic temperament from an early age and has been creating art since her earliest memories. When she was 19 she lived in Italy, France and Belgium, and upon her return, embarked with a vengeance down her creative path. Several years later as a single mom working hard to provide for her two young sons, she painted in the evenings as a creative outlet. One night as she was working, she looked at the painting and thought, “This is crap,” so she dipped the brush in paint and started throwing it around in a frenzy. Then something magical happened—there was a whole scene on the canvas that just flowed out. That moment profoundly changed her.
From years of oil, acrylic and watercolor painting to jewelry-making and architectural photography, it has been a surprising leap to her current passion of studio art quilts. Her greatest affinity lies with improvisational piecing, as well as painting with thickened dyes and various aspects of surface design. Whether it’s a butterfly on her windowsill, a bird in her garden or the colors of a tropical fish, Sheila finds inspiration in the natural world as well as the bustling metropolis. This duality manifests itself in her work through bold, graphic designs juxtaposed with more quiet and flowing, amorphous creations.
Since embarking on her fiber art adventure in 2010, Sheila has won awards at major quilt shows, including: IQA World of Beauty in Houston, AQS Show in Paducah and Road to California. In April 2013, she won her most cherished award—Libby Lehman’s Judges Recognition for her quilt, “Fantasyland” at the AQS Show in Paducah.
Sheila's piece, "Lair of the Amethyst Deva" was featured on the cover of the May 2014 issue of American Quilter Magazine and she has been featured in Quilting Arts Magazine, International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene Magazine, Fiber Art Now, Studios Magazine and other publications. Sheila appears on an episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims; she curated the exhibit, "Perspectives: Fantasy and Reality" at Road to California; and her quilt, "From a Seed" was juried into the 2013 Quilt National Exhibition.
In January 2015 "Expressions inEquality", a invitational exhibit curated by Sheila, opened at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, California. In addition, Sheila was the featured artist at Road to California in January as well as a featured artist at the European Patchwork Meeting in France in September. Sheila currently has a solo exhibition at the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln Nebraska from August through November 2016.