The blank page.

Just like the blank canvas or the blank design wall - this is the first fear for the creative mind. Not that the ideas aren’t there. Not that the script, the song, the scene…. Not that the vision isn’t resonating vibrant in the mind, just there, waiting to leap to fruition. If anyone could just reach in and pull out those nuggets how easily the creative process would be. But, no; It is up to us to translate them from schizoid synapsis of gray matter and turn them into human communication - in any of its forms. That’s where the work comes in. Turning abstract thoughts into comprehensible material.

May 11th, 2017 I finally faced that blank canvas and started the layout for the Britt Quilt.

Amazingly it went very well. I have thought about it for so long - it has drifted in and out of my consciousness for the past year - that the major elements fell into place almost immediately. In truth I needed to tweak and reshape over the course of several days, but the basic shape was established almost on the first take.

To be clear – I attempted a couple other layouts. How could the first possibly be the best?, I mulled with understandable doubt. That initial design I had started building from the bottom, so the second I started from the top. For the third try, it was to approach the bottom from a different perspective - starting from the middle. But ultimately I came back to the first and just kept working with it, auditioning additional elements and playing with scales, lastly adding flourishes.

So now I have my vision established in accessible form. I ended up using parts from 13 (of my nearly 150) digital photos taken last summer from 5 different evenings during Britt’s 2016 classical and pop/rock season. Using a simple computer program (Windows Publisher 2013) I established the canvas size, brought the images in then cropped, sized, rearranged, layered and re-colored. I have used Publisher since my first store newsletters in 1995, so that is why I feel most comfortable with it, but any graphics program that allows you to do those tasks would be appropriate for this technique.

The next step will be to print that concept out in full size and start drafting how the pieces will be sewn together. That is what I call the puzzle.

As you know, I can not reveal too many images of the quilt before it is unveiled by the Festival in 2018. This will be my 7th art quilt accomplished in this method, but the first where I will attempt to document the process in order to share with those who (presumably reading now) are interested. I plan to keep a visual record of the steps, but some of them I won’t be able to share until next year.

Luckily I have those ‘alternate’ layouts described earlier. As we go forward with this journey (if you're still following me) I will be using them in order to illustrate steps pertaining to drafting the project. Any full quilt layout or drafting you see will be using the outtakes .At the risk of sounding topical – they are alternative quilts.

My next update will feature these initial steps in visual overviews. I hope you will join me.

First steps: here is the original thumbnail sketch included with my entry's proposal