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Monday, September 18, 2017

Tangled Up in Blue

I purchased a kit on Etsy designed by Marguerite Samana, CZT, with step-by-step instructions on how to make an Zendala inspired by the blue and white crockery from Delft. I learned that the Dutch town of Delft produced this beautiful pottery in the 1600's, as an affordable alternative to the Chinese porcelain that had gotten very expensive. Between 1650 and 1750 there were over one hundred entrepreneurs making Delftware. Today there is one left. The demand dropped off in about 1800 and the manufacture of blue pottery moved to England.

The Zendala is above and you can see the borders for four imaginary Delft plates stacked one above the other.

I loved working with the blue Micron pens and using several different blue CarbOthelleo pastel pencils from Stabilo for shading. So I decided to do this week's Diva challenge #332, a square within a square, with the materials I had used for Delft. Tangle patterns here are an outer border of Flux, four corners of Crescent Moon, and inner square border of XYP (pronounced "zip,") and Frunky in the middle. I love doing Zentangles with color.

One more---the bonus project that came with the Delft Kit. Huggins to the max!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Zentangle "Plate"- Challenge #330

This week's Diva challenge was to tangle ribbon patterns into a "Plate Zentangle, so called because when you put four of them together it makes a dinner plate that you might love to have made up for you by Wedgewood or Limoges.  (You can read about the challenge here )

I put them all together so you can see the full effect:

I used Funky in the smallest circle, then Agni, a new tangle for me which i really enjoyed. Then came Rainbow Bridge and the outermost ring is Pach. Pach always reminds me of the paper chains we made in first grade, so I feel fond of it:

We all made plates at CZT28 this past June, 2017, all 110 of us tangling the same patterns in the same positions. Then we put them all together in a big mosaic of plates. I was amazed at how beautiful it all turned out to be. I don't have a picture of that mosaic. If you have it, please post a link! Thanks!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Challenge 329 - Fragment D1

It's De One

This challenge was very hard for me. I could barely follow the instructions for D1 without losing track of the pattern, and my sketch book now has several pages of D1 fragment combos that drift off into confusion. For some reason I just got lost in the lines and suddenly I could no longer see the pattern or continue to draw it. This had never happened before in my almost a whole year of tangling. I do know that I prefer curvilinear and organic patterns to this type of grid and linear pattern. But I usually can keep it straight what I am doing.

I went with the 4 D1's that mostly cover the tile and make a star like shape because it seemed the easiest to follow.  I added a D1 border. I chose my second tangle pattern by drawing a card from the Tiny Tangle Deck. This cute little box of tangle cards had just come in the mail and I am quite enamored of it! I thought it would be a great way to generate random tangles easily without going online. Just pick a card.

But I drew Jetties of all things! My first thought was, "What an awful combination!" I love Jetties, and have enjoyed them many times, making cheery piles of playful balls. But how could Jetties possibly co-exist with D1, the mathematical, geometrical, shape-maze gone mad?? Poor little Jetties, I thought. They don't stand a chance on the same tile with that kind of crazed genius! But then again it is an article of faith that if you go random, you have to stay random and use whatever the random gods have given you. So I did. But I was not happy. (I've noticed this with other of the god's previous decisions for me in various aspects of life. But back to the Zentangle...)

I did not get any happier until I added some black areas to work with the Jetties' black stripes. The dark areas added  structure. Finally I could see my way through to actually posting this one.
Doing art work can sometimes be a dream where heavenly things just fall from the pen without human intervention. But at other times there is lots of dissatisfaction. I try with varied success to be Zen about it and not get in the way, letting the artwork be what it wants to be because it seems to have a life of its own.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

CZT Tangle Session

In June, as many of you may know, I went to Rhode Island to the CZT training with Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, founders of Zentangle. It was an experience that I will always treasure. On day one, class one, I sat down in an empty seat at one of the long tables set up for us to hear and watch the talks. I introduced myself to the person on my right and the person on my left. Amazingly enough, out of the 110 attendees at our training, both of these people lived within 50 miles of me in California. 

This serendipitous experience gave me the idea of having a Certified Zentangle Teacher's get together at my house. Yesterday, it happened. We ended up with five CZT's at my house yesterday morning for a few hours. 

Each of us shared our Zentangles and other artwork that we had brought with us. There was much beautiful art to see. CZT's tend to be talented, interesting people! Then we tangled together, with each person having brought a favorite tangle pattern to share. You can see here one of the tiles we did, with some of the variations as each individual interpreted the patterns in their own way. The big triangle in the center, do you know the name of that tangle? We just called it the L-tangle because you draw L-shapes over and over. If you know its name, please leave a comment! I offered my favorite tangle 'Dillo, and you can see the armadillos marching around on one side. Finally we learned Cirque, on the other side. It has  cool basket-y shapes with flux-type leaves. Really easy as pie to draw once you see the step-outs. I enjoyed the effortless of it. This confirmed the Zentangle motto, Anything is possible, one stroke at a time! And I always love learning new tangles I had never seen before, especially from a person rather than from a webpage or a book.
I had a really great time with this wonderful group. Each of the people had a unique perspective and much to offer the others. We discussed meeting once a month and rotating through each other's homes. Sounds like it will happen! 

I love the Zentangle community, not only this new local group but world-wide. This was an added gift. I thought I had discovered a wonderful new art form, meditative, a straight shot into the zone. Little did I realize that I had also discovered a community that has values I wholeheartedly subscribe to. Above all, encouragement. Appreciation for whatever you have done that touches the others. Taking the time to find the gem and focusing on what is working. 

When I go online, I discover so many interesting, talented, creative people who just revel in sharing with one another. Even if I can't read the language of their websites, I can appreciate the Zentangles they post. The Zentangle community's spirit is completely supportive, never critical or harsh. It's a heartfelt group. Many people share their work and many others comment freely. I can always feel that supportive feeling when I engage with this group. And I know that believing in each other helps us all to flower and grow.

If you want to get connected to this wonderful group, please see my blog post on Online Resources.

Online Zentangle Resources

This is a list of resources that work for me. I know there is lots more out there, and I am always discovering new things. So be sure to look around! 
This is the website of the Zentangle originators, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. Lots of useful stuff
This website lists all the tangle patterns in alphabetical order. You can click on a letter of the alphabet at the top and look up any tangle. The tangle link will take you to all the info about the tangle, who invented it and what they were thinking about, and most importantly, the step by step instructions for how to draw it. The website also has a random tangle generator on the left so you can let fortune decide which tangle pattern to use next.
Margaret Bremner, CZT,  is a very creative artist with all kinds of interesting ideas that you can experience in her Zentangles. She constantly amazes me.
I often enter the weekly Zentangle Challenge, now going on for over 300 weeks. There is no winner, and there is no criticism. Only lots of sharing and praise for one another, in keeping with the wonderful Zentangle community's philosophy of support for one another. I too believe that emphasizing an artist's strengths will help them to grow and flower, much more successfully than harsh words, no matter how "true."

Ellen Wolters on YouTube
Watch as Ellen draws Zentangles for you a d makes them absolutely crystal clear. She is a marvel of skill and I love the music she uses. I have had to play it on my Kindle and Shazam it on my phone so I can download it and just listen while I tangle. Here's an example of Ellen demonstrating a tangle pattern you know, Crescent Moon. Just watching her draw teaches me so much. If you Google "How to Draw Tangle Pattern Whatever" Ellen's YouTube's will often come up.

The Zentangle App (Mosaic)
Download Rick and Maria's great App. The do frequent videos showing all kinds of interesting things about Zentangle. Available for all Mac Platforms and Android phones, but not Android tablets, darn.

One Zentangle A Day by Beckah Rahula
This is how I first learned basic Zentangle. It is a 6 week course in a book with step outs for lots of tangles and many ideas to try out for yourself. Get it on Amazon here.

Cheryl Wilson, CZT
Cheryl is my Zentangle teacher. She helped me to slow down and really appreciate and above all enjoy the Zentangle process. Cheryl's blog has lots of great Zentangles. She has a very steady and beautiful line quality when she draws, and she is always putting things together in creative, unexpected and fun ways. Cheryl is a painter and her oil paintings can be seen here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pea-nuckle Challenge #325

This week's iAmTheDivaCZT challenge was again from Guest Diva Jessica Davies. She asked that we try out the tangle peanuckle from Molly Holllibaugh. I enjoyed drawing the S-curves and the curvy basket weave and thought it paired well with Zander mostly because both of them have lots of little lines that seemed to resonate across the string with each other. I always love Zander because it looks like what I imagine sheaves of wheat to look like, not that this city girl has ever even seen a sheave of wheat, but I love the idea.

I have been working through Eni Oken's Drawing Smooth Gemstones and tried putting two red gems into my tangle. Actually they went in first and I tangled around them. I am just a beginner with this, but it is fun. Eni really teaches how to use colored pencils, also new to me. I think my gemstones are pac man cousins, but i will keep trying!

I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Heart Tangle - Challenge #324

This week's challenge #324 on was presented by guest Jessica Davies. She asked us to draw a heart. For me this is an expression of my gratitude and appreciation to the worldwide Zentangle community. I could not ask for a more positive, creative, supportive and intelligent group of people with whom to share the process of creating artwork and just having fun! Thank you!

Lately I have been using to generate random tangles. Today I searched for tangles by type, selecting "hearts," of which there are a whopping 34 to choose from. I chose Lesley Goldberg's Hearts-a-Flutter. I love tangle patterns that are full of curves and auras on top of auras of curves! So i really liked  this new tangle. For the outer reaches, I just went with my Mac 'N Cheese tangles Joki and a little army of 'Dillo armadillos marching around the edges. They seemed to work really well with the heart pattern.

I love how the heart is in Sienna ink and the other tangles are in black. I would very much like you to be impressed with my artistic choice here, but the truth is that I accidentally picked up the Sienna pen (once again) and started drawing before I realized it! Aren't accidents great?! At the CZT training last month, I bought a t-shirt that says "No Mistakes" and has a big Bronx Cheer Raspberry on it. That's my philosophy of life too.

I almost needed that raspberry coverup when my Sakura pen exploded at the very end while I was signing my chop MHF. I This was a first for me, but where there is ink, there are ink blots, so I am not surprised. I was grateful that it waited for me to complete the Zentangle before it decided to do that.

Thank you for visiting my blog and I welcome your comments! Thank you also for following through  this record of my stream of consciousness while tangling. Please visit again!