Back to the week at Ballarat. After we had come up with some drawings of our floral inspiration, we then had to try to draw elements in various shapes that distorted them. We started with one leaf and tried it in various geometric configurations - circle, square, triangle. We could also do it with several leaves and then the flowers. This made us abstract the design but also see the elements that were important to that flower or leaf.
Jane has a book about the design process. One thing she emphasised was to exaggerate the image. She told us to enlarge and reduce (I never remember these sayings correctly, it was something like that). It means to enhance any special features about the shapes you have observed (e.g., spiky leaves) and then to reduce the number of elements (not as many spikes as the actual leaf has, for instance). I am going to have to practise this a lot more.
Then we drew elements of the flower in less distorted ways but still abstracted or stylised.
I really enjoyed this process. We were not designing a quilt top yet, just observing and drawing out the elements of the image.
Jane took us through everyone's designs and pointed out different aspects of what was working, how they could be developed further, etc. It was really valuable to see how others were working and what was going well and what needed changing, and how that could be done. Jane set up a relaxed and trusting environment so that we didn't feel too anxious about having our work looked at by the whole group, it was really wonderful.