Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Creative Process

I am in the middle of the creative process on my commission piece. I started painting the fabrics before I was sure that I had the commission but had a hard time really getting in to it because it might not happen. But it did. And then I started thinking about all the things I needed in order to accomplish this...a larger design wall, larger batting, larger sewing machine, etc. Started getting those things in order while I started seriously thinking about the design. I had spoken to the client about maybe doing squares in a cruciform and drew out ideas. But then I started thinking about our conversation and how she liked one of my pieces because it looked like lava...far more organic that the squares.

So now I have been rethinking and feel like I have come up with the design. The background will be various oranges and the center cruciform will be cut raggedy out of various turquoises. So this is sitting in my mind as I make it in my head, and decide if this is really what I want. I think out the process of putting it together, think about what I am saying with it, think about the colors and the design.

Nita Leland has a great book called The New Creative Artist. Her original book, the Creative Artist, has been with me for years. The new one includes lots of fiber arts and looks at many new things. Anyway, she describes the five steps of the creative process that may take various amounts of time, but it is always useful for me to remember them when I start a preplanned project. Step 1 is the identification of the problem to be solved...complete this commission. Step 2 is the preparation phase during which I evaluate the possible solutions. Step 3 is the incubation stage, things kind of sit on the shelf while your unconscious mind sorts out all the possibilities. A fully realized solution will arise. Step 4 is the breakthrough when the solution becomes immediately apparent. She says this is not inspiration but the result of all the earlier thinking. And then, Step 5 is resolution in which you try your solution to see if it works.

right now I am in step 4 and just letting myself think things through. Meanwhile, I have a large pile of quilts to quilt, all from Texas. And I have so many more ideas that I want to follow up on.

So here is one I have finished this week...Life Circles #? It is machine quilted and just needs to have the sleeve and label put on it. Done on my friend George.

And California Dreams also quilted and in need of a sleeve and label.

And Life Circles #? in the same boat.

And another Life Circles, again in the same boat.

And here we have the remainder of the pile that still need to be quilted. They all have their backs and have been turned but need to have the edges ironed and then I can quilt. I think it is a rather impressive stack. I think I have now quilted seven of the 21 pieces that I did in Texas. All the small ones are framed and I still have to ship some of those off.

Tonight I was leaving home to go over to church for a renewal group...my renewal and the church's. The clouds in the sky were just beautiful. High clouds are coming in with a possibility of some rain tomorrow. Early this morning we had some little showers and then the sun was shining most of the day.

Life is good. I am working hard but enjoying it and getting a real sense of accomplishment. On Friday I pick up Gerrie Congdon and we join Carol Suto for Art Quilt Claremont. Rayna Gilman will be teaching there so it will be fun to see everyone. We will be taking a class with Joan Schultze, someone I have wanted to study with for a long time.


Gerrie said...

I hope you bring some of these with you so that I can see them up close. Remember last year when I went through the angst of the husg commission? I has all of those challenges - but I did prevail!

marion said...

I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog, Liz, and envy you the class with Joan Schultze...sigh...

PaMdora said...

It is an impressive stack, I wish I had one that big! Stack envy, that's probably a new term for art quilters, lol!