Cynthia Adams: Western Textile Landscapes

By Cassie Rief in  > Featured Artists

Textile artist Cynthia Adams has taken needle in hand since before the age of five, so it’s no wonder that she’s perfected the art of fine hand-embroidery and quilting, passed down from her mother.

Cynthia’s textile artwork is inspired from years of exploring diverse western landscapes. It encompasses her passion for nature, culture and fiber, and combines traditional techniques with a variety of mixed media, including fine metallic threads, silk ribbon, beads, and other embellishments of her own design.

Take a look at Riding the Current below. Not only does Cynthia piece together different fabrics, but she also uses her stitching to denote direction and distance! Certainly my eyes were first drawn to her multi-toned mountains (created using various patterned fabrics) but as I looked closer, I was just as enthralled by what she achieved through her intricate stitching.


Cynthia’s rocks even seem to take on a sedimentary look and feel, and there’s a nice contrast between the shine and matte material she uses.

Jagged lines cut through frozen water, creating an icy, cold feeling, surrounding sandy spots of land that look soft and three-dimensional because of a well-chosen puffy fabric and her strategic stitching.

It’s amazing that Riding the Current has so many elements of realism, yet maintains an abstract feel. Monocline, below, is even more abstract. . . I love its color, pattern, and lines, featuring rock formations that dip and wave right along with the slate and periwinkle blue tones below.


What really intrigues me is the root- and stone-like stitching she has layered into the rock. The piece seems to ebb and flow, and the larger dots mimic the peppered skyline perfectly. With its layers, Monocline reminds me of a contemporary and very abstract topographic map showcasing the landscape from the ground up.

Lastly, here’s another scene expertly displayed through Cynthia’s use of fabric and stitching. In Floating on Terra, Cynthia’s curvy stitching seen within the water creates gently lapping waves that ease this boat through its quiet, watery journey.


I love how Cynthia shapes her rocks into three-dimensional formations and casts sunlight on the farthest rock in the distance. The sun’s rays reflect—strongly in some areas, softly in others—through clouds in the atmosphere.

Cynthia’s entire portfolio is full of fiber art depicting enchanted canyons, eternal deserts, sacred mountains, and cultural landscapes. Be sure to visit her website to see more of her beautiful art.


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