Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Back to Basics

"I'm going back to basics, to where it all began, I'm ready now to face it, I wanna understand."  Christopher E. Martin

I belong to a Facebook group called Square One: Purely Zentangle. Everyone is invited to share their 3 1/2 inch square white tiles, completed in black pen, with pencil shading. That's it...back to ZIAs (Zentangle Inspired Art). Each week there is a focus tangle if you choose to use it, although you don't need to.

This week's focus tangle is Betweed. It's always been one of my favorite tangles, and my favorite way to use it is in...I'm not sure what to call it....maybe columns? You can see what I mean in this tile, where I used Betweed with 'Nzeppel. The first one is unshaded.

Now the shaded version.

If you follow my blog you may recall me saying, more than once, that I like contrast in my Zentangles. Well, this one does not have my usual contrast, but I really like it anyway! I had so much fun  that I decided to do another Betweed tile. 

Unshaded with some Knightsbridge and Diva Dance...

And shaded...

You'll notice that I brought back the contrast for this one. The repetitive strokes of the lines in Betweed are very soothing to me. I love to use the pattern as the stem of a flower or trunk of a tree, as I did in the piece below, which I completed last year (just noticing that there's not a lot of contrast in this one either!)

I think I'm all Betweed out for now. Wondering what the focus for next week will be.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Come Sail Away

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."    Greg Anderson

As you know (if your read my last post), I recently returned from a vacation. I never travel without some Zentangle supplies - pens, tiles, journals, and my tangle patterns on a ring (which has now grown to 2 rings!). I blogged about the rings last year, but if you missed it you can check it out here. Tangling is great to while away the time during the long hours spent in airports. I also had some time in between excursions and activities on the cruise. So I thought I'd share just a couple of the pieces I completed during my travels.

This first one is from the very beginning of my trip - a tile I did in the Philadelphia airport waiting for my connection to Edinburgh. My 5 hour layover! I started with Kandysnake by Vicki Murray. I planned to just do a little, but once started, I couldn't stop! Finally I added a little Aloe Vera by Suzanne McNeill. I was very happy with the completed tile, and find that my favorite tiles are often the ones that are fairly simple, with only a couple of patterns.

For this next one I used a stencil from Acadia Laser Creations (CZT Jenny Perruzzi). I had traced the stencil onto the paper (4 x 9 inches) before I left home. It's fun to use a stencilled image as the negative space and tangle around it. I used the tangles Bunzo, Bales, Dex, Huggins, Baton, Fallen Leaves, Prestwood, Flux, Paradox, Hollibaugh, and Knightsbridge.

That's just a small sampling of my art from around the world. I must say that Zentangle makes a great travel companion!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Tangler's Paradise

In-spi-ra-tion (noun):  the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

I've been home one week now since my 3-week European vacation ended, and I'm just starting to get over the jet lag. Don't know why it's taking so long. First we went to Scotland to visit my daughter who has been living there for 7 months (she was happy with the "no to independence" vote). Then we went on a cruise around Spain and Portugal. I took close to 3,000 photos, with about 200 of those being pictures of patterns. Spain and Portugal are a pattern hoarder's delight. Wrought iron balconies, tiled floors, walls, and sidewalks, facades of buildings...pattern inspiration abounds. So I thought I'd share some of those photos with you....I promise not to include all 200, but this will still be a long post!

First there were the ones that obviously ripped off existing Zentangle patterns:

An article of clothing made with Bales

A building Diva Dancing

Some more Diva Dance, but can't remember what it was!

Architectural detail over a door imitating Prestwood or Puffle

A door made of 'Nzeppel

A sidewalk of Swarm

A chair on the cruise ship very similar to my pattern Robo from my Step Out in Style e-book

Then...for inspiration I found:

Wrought Iron Balconies

Tiles adorning every surface imaginable

 Sidewalks and streets with patterns galore

Miscellaneous doors, floors, buildings, etc:

 And even some fashions

This one was an unsuspecting subject!

And imagine my surprise when my daughter donned this shirt with tangled birds on it. Granted, it came direct from Target in the U.S., but made itself known to me in Europe.

So...I told you I wouldn't share all 200 of the photos, but you can imagine many more where these came from. Some might call it pattern overload, but I call it a tangler's paradise!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fly Away Home

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."   Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'm back home now after a long vacation in Europe. Did you miss me? More about the vacation in another post soon.

I'm exhausted and still trying to get over jet lag, but thought I would share something since it has been so long. While I was away I fit some tangling time in between all the activities. One of the pieces I worked on was this butterfly template from Ben Kwok. Here's the original black and white shaded version.

As I was working on it I was thinking that I should add color to it once I returned home. So today I pulled it out and did just that. First I erased all the pencil shading (I erasers in Zentangle), because I don't like adding color over shading. I decided to use pan pastels, but very soon after starting, realized it was a bad decision. For one thing, it was hard to get into all the little corners and tight spots with the pan pastel tools. Luckily the pastels are erasable, so when I was finished I went back and erased all the spots where the color had gone out of the design, and believe me, there were lots of spots. Another problem is that the pastels go over the black pen and make it look lighter, not as sharp and clear. At the end I went back with my Micron pen and filled in the black areas again. That helped, but no way did I have the patience to go back over all the lines.

I did not find the coloring part of this project relaxing at all! But if you don't look at it too closely, I guess it looks okay. Still, the black and white is my favorite.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stringing me Along

"Some of the most creative ideas emerge from a swirl of chaos"    Unknown

So many ideas of what I want to tangle. New things I want to try. Challenges I want to face. Unfortunately...there aren't enough hours in the day to do it all. At least not if I want to get any sleep. And if I don't get any sleep I won't be any good at what I do. So the only solution is to pick and choose.

CZT Adele Bruno puts out a weekly challenge called "It's a String Thing." Because of that picking and choosing that I was just talking about, I have actually only participated in the challenge one time. If you missed it you can see the tile I entered here. Although I did not participate in the challenge from a couple of weeks ago, I did peruse all the tiles sent to Adele, as I usually do each week. There was something about the swirly string, #54, that really called out to me. 

Actually, it wasn't the string that called out to me, but what I saw that everyone had done with the string. So I decided to give it a whirl. Here's what I ended up with.

Some Knightsbridge, Cubine, Moving Day (by CZT Margaret Bremner), and the latest official tangle called Ing (my first time using it). Taking a grid and making it curvy can add such movement to a piece. I hope you like this one as much as I do!