Friday, April 24, 2009

Slowly Finding My Creative Process

"The creative process is an intelligence that knows where it has to go, and it is always a destination that never could have been known by me in advance."

Shaun McNiff

One of the best investments I ever made, as I started on my journey to become an art quilter, was an overhead projector.  I purchased it on sale for under $100 at Office Max; it's portable, so I've been able to take it to workshops.  I use it to enlarge my designs as follows:
  • I first sketch my drawing on copy paper and refine it as much as possible.
  • I either copy the drawing onto clear acetate using my copier or, if the design is too large for the copier, I trace it onto the acetate using an overhead marking pen.
  • After deciding how large I want the finished quilt to be, I pin large sheets of gridded paper onto my design wall, using a level to align it in both directions, and I mark the boundaries of the quilt.
  • I place the acetate on the projector and move the projector towards or away from the wall until the design fits within the boundaries I've marked (pictured above).
  • Using a pencil, I trace the design onto the gridded paper.

My lines are a little rough at this stage (click on the picture above), so now comes the part that gives my left brain even more pleasure: I use a flexible ruler and smooth all the curves so they're really pretty.  A circle template helps to make the circles nicely circular (click on the picture below). 

 When everything looks right to me, I darken in all the lines using a black marking pen.  This cartoon will be the basis for my pattern pieces.

The right brain will get its share of the fun during the next phases, when I start pulling fabric off the shelves to see which ones will play nicely together for this design.  This would be the part of the process that, as Dr.McNiff states, "could never have been known by me in advance."  I'll share more of this journey in future posts.

In the meantime, be sure to check out fiber artist Marilyn Rock's blog. She's giving away (yes -- giving away!) one of her beautiful collage creations -- just leave a comment on her post to be eligible for the drawing.  Have fun and enjoy this beautiful weather (and don't we deserve it?!)


Marilyn Rock said...

Diane; thanks for sharing this process! It's an incredible one and you surely end up with stunning results. Fantastic! Oh; thank you for my Blog giveaway plug :) I appreciate that! Have a joyous day and this weather, today, doesn't get any better than this. xxoo

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your articles.

Quilt Rat said...

Looks like the beginnings of a fabulous quilt. I love it when the process is so well presented and even better.......shared. Thanks


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