Linda Shepard is the Artist of the Month for September at the downtown Camden Public Library. Shepard creates large, colorful, intricate and bold fabric art, and her show, a collection of whimsical and colorful fish, reptiles, butterflies, insects, birds and beasts. is titled “Creature Features.” There will be an opening reception Tuesday, Sept. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. This exhibition will be the very first for Shepard, whose studio is in her home in Union.

The technique that inspires her wall hangings is similar to the process used in making a mosaic. Hundreds of pieces of fabric make up the subject, creating a vibrant personal world for each creature, dreamlike, flamboyant and captivating.

“Part of the surprise and fun for me is experimenting with how to use unlikely colors to create contrasts and highlights … The technique encourages the freedom for light-hearted play and allows for the creation of interpretive and dreamlike figures,” she said.

Shepard starts with a piece of muslin, lightly sketching an outline of a subject on it. Hundreds of small pieces of fabric are glued onto the muslin, and a layer of tulle (bridal’s veil) is put over the entire subject. Cotton batting is used for the filling underneath and a single piece of fabric is added for the backing. She finishes by free-motion sewing over the four layers, binding them together.

“The process is endlessly gratify, absorbing and meditative,” she said.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or