Friday, May 31, 2013

Up for the Challenge

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Edward de Bono

After lurking around in the background for so long, watching everyone else's entries to the Diva's challenge, I've decided now that I have a blog it's time for me to jump in too. For those of you who may not know what the Diva's challenge is, fellow CZT, Laura Harms, puts out a Zentangle challenge every Monday, and at the end of the week she posts a slide show of all the entries to that week's challenge. Not only is it sooo inspiring to see what all the other tanglers come up with, but sometimes it really does challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. I often find myself using the same tangle patterns over and over again, so this will force me to try new things, to "look at things in a different way" as it states in the quote above. I'm sure I won't always be happy with the results...but that's creativity!

This week's challenge is to use only the official tangle "Bales" and tangleations (variations) of Bales to complete a tile. Here is my first attempt.

Not too happy with it. I must admit that I like the look of Bales without the little squares in the center much better. Without the centers they remind me of flowers, and flowers make me happy (as long as they aren't too smelly and make me sneeze!). I like the upper right section of the tile best. So...I decided to try it again.

I like the feel of this tile much better. I stretched out the grid and squished the grid and curved the grid. I puffed out my flower petals and added extra petals. I left out all the little squares. And voila! A tile that I can live with. still needed something more. I am a fan of lots of contrast, and that's what's lacking in this tile. So I went in and added some black background, and of course some shading, a little different in each section, and now I have a tile that I am really happy with.

So now that I have officially entered the Diva's world of challenges, I know that I will return. But while I am waiting for the next challenge I am working on something very unique that I'll be back to show you soon. I hope that you'll join me again!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

12 Step Program for Zentangle Addiction

Welcome to my Zentangle filled world. After two and a half years of creating Zentangles and more than a year and a half after becoming a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), I’ve decided to take a flying leap into the blogosphere. I am not very computer literate, but I am very passionate about Zentangle, and I do enjoy writing (I even had an article published recently in a children’s magazine). So the plan is to handle the tangling and writing end of this blog, and turn to my very computer savvy husband when I need assistance with the rest. 

I will be the first to admit to being addicted to Zentangle. Now the term addiction usually refers to something problematic, and often is linked to a 12 step program for recovery. Well, my addiction is not problematic, except when it keeps me up at night with thoughts of a new project I’d like to work on, a new class I’d like to offer, or what my next blog post will be about. So I am not in need of a program for recovery (other than the kind that my melatonin provides). But I did come up with a 12 step program laying out exactly what I should do to nurture my addiction. Here it is, in no particular order of importance:

  1. Keep busy tangling in order to stay out of trouble. After retiring from teaching elementary school two years ago, I was a little worried that I would be bored with nothing to occupy my time. Boy was I wrong!
  2. Make new friends. There is an amazing online community of Zentangle enthusiasts who are friendly, sharing, and caring. And they provide inspiration to further my addiction.
  3. Divulge the joy of Zentangle to my local friends. Now I have an excuse to get together with them and spend even more time tangling.
  4. Be creative. After leaving behind past endeavors such as stained glass and beading, I welcome this new outlet for showcasing my creativity.
  5. Tangle to decrease stress and worries.  Zentangle helps me to relax and refocus my attention, and since I worry about everything (just ask my husband), this step should go a long way towards fostering my addiction.
  6. Create a beautiful piece of art. I still often look at my finished work and say, “Wow, I did that!”
  7. Tangle to lower my blood pressure. My doctor should be happy about this one.
  8. Teach classes in Zentangle. This allows me to continue to do something I love, even after retiring from my full time teaching job.
  9. Make handmade gifts. Results in more time tangling as well as thankful recipients.
  10. Decorate my home with…what else but Zentangle inspired art? And it goes so well with the black and white theme in my house! Some might even think I decorated my house to go with my art.
  11. Show off my Zentangles. My self-esteem gets a boost each time someone says how “cool” it is or tells me I have so much artistic talent (I sure have them fooled, don’t I?). My daughter is my biggest fan!
  12. Attend Zentangle related retreats and workshops around the country. Not only does this give me the opportunity to meet new tanglers and learn new things, but it also gets me fired up to go home and do more of steps #1 – 11!
So far I think I’ve done a pretty good job of maintaining my addiction. And it is this addiction that I plan to share with you in my blog. I will be posting some of my art work, describing techniques that I incorporate in my creations, sharing new ideas that I try, and anything else Zentangle related that sparks my fancy.

Please come back and take another look soon, or even better yet, subscribe to my blog or follow it by email  (by using the appropriate link on the right), so you don’t need to worry about missing one morsel of wisdom that I have to share. Thanks, and see you next time.