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Monday, August 26, 2019

My painting on a suitcase

My wonderful brother-in-law Bruce Clancy had a business in the Reno area making bags for many years. Originally he made the Quick Shot, a camera bag for hikers. Stu worked with him on the Quick Shot and they sold many all over the west. Then came the Cool Tote, and for some years we got fabulous gifts of fabric bag coolers in every shape and size that we still treasure today. Most recently Bruce and his wife Millie, who has a very good eye for excellent graphical patterns, expanded into making lunch bags and just plain gorgeous purses and bags for women.

On a recent visit with us, I was very surprised that they thought one of my recent alcohol ink paintings would make a good suitcase pattern. He asked me to get a scan, and it took me a while to find someone who could scan at 1200 dpi! Finally I sent Bruce the picture.

Yesterday I got this back. I am so excited, and trying to buy one ASAP. I think they will be $100, so let me know if you are interested. I think Bruce is still working out some details of monogramming etc. Of course, I am not really trying to sell them, just want to share how much fun this is!

Friday, August 16, 2019


I have been drawing Eni Oken's gemstones. So much fun. Colored pencil mostly. I never realized the potential of colored pencils until now. The ornate bezels add a lot to the stones. Enjoy...

I like this tiny one. My original purpose in doing these was to put them into my Zentangles. So maybe this is the right size for that.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Here is the blue Crazy Gold Auraknot that I promised. Now I have a green one in my mind. Have to go buy the paper.

Tomorrow or the next day I will put up the gemstones I have been drawing. Come back soon.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Golden Ribbons

This was so much fun. Eni Oken has a downloadable pdf course called Crazy Gold Auraknot. I think it costs $12 but am not sure. I can't seem to get back to that screen now that I already bought it . 

She starts with the traditional Auraknot tangle pattern, but then she lets it get freeform and wonky and more fun. The ribbons travel over and under one another in a cool way. For $3 apiece I also purchased a Fine and an Extra Fine PenTouch pen she recommended. They are made by the Zentangler's friend Sakura, and are brighter than the Gellyrolls I had been using for gold, which look fine on white, but can't really hold their own on burgundy colored paper. I bought some colored paper in blue too. Working on that now, hope to show you soon! 

PS I am teaching an Intro to Zentangle class at Sierra College Community Ed on 
Saturday, July 27, from 10am to 1pm. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Two Upcoming Classes

I am going to teach two Introduction to ZentangleTM  classes in March. If you have already taken Introduction to Zentangle, come anyway, and I will customize some new things for you so you are not bored with repetition. Please call me if you have any questions at 530-852-2260 or email me at I hope you can make it.

Sierra College Community Ed, Roseville, Saturday, March 16
The first class is at Sierra College Community Ed in downtown Roseville. It will be held on Saturday, March 16, from 10am to 1pm.  It takes place in a very nice classroom with lots of good tech, overhead projector, Internet, large screen, etc. Cost is $39, plus a $10 materials fee that you pay to me at the class. If you already have the Zentangle kit, just bring your own. You can call Sierra College to register at 916-781-6280, but it's okay to just show up if you need to. You can also register online at their website - just click this link

Dawn's Hallmark Art Supply, Auburn, Saturday, March 2
The second class is at Dawn's Hallmark Art Supply in Auburn. This is a fabulous art supply store, my favorite in the foothills. The class will be on Saturday, March 2, from  10am to noon or maybe a bit later. The class is free, with a $10 materials fee for the Zentangle Kit, and you can bring your own supplies if you have them. Please call me to register, 530-852-2260. You can leave a message if I miss your call. I have two people signed up (a mother and 9-year-old son) and would love to have more, Please come and join us!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Old Friends and 20-Sided Shapes

This morning I decided to revisit an old friend, the Zentangle Diva at Every Monday morning she posts a challenge for the week. I used to do them all the time, and many times found inspiration in her prompts, so I returned to her website to see what was up. This week she asked for stripes. 

I drew my stripe string first  and started with Betweed, a tangle pattern I  have always loved, but  recently messed it up and realized I had forgotten how to draw it. I practiced with Maria Thomas's instruction video until I felt confident again. Maria says Betweed looks like woven Moroccan leather, but to me it always looks like something a Native American woman might use for a papoose.

Then I did a small area of Shattuck, just because how can you do stripes without Shattuck? For the bottom stripe up I used Zander, one of my favorites, but this time I made it a fun, fat and bulging Zander with a few little jewels on the bands. For even more inspiration I got down the Zentangle Primer and used a little spidery guy in the upper left stripe that somehow turned into a triangle. On page 120 of the Primer are about 100 triangle fragments. This is K12. 

Once I had jumped on the fragment and reticula bus, I remembered how much I liked T5, AKA Sleepy Owl Eyes. So in they went. Only the center remained. I wanted something that would tumble across the stripe and burst out with enthusiam. I went for Flux, which didn't quite burst out, but did have plenty of enthusiam. Done. What fun. While I am tangling, I just feel happy.

A couple of days ago our CZT group met. There are four of us, and we have met for well over a year by now. I am very fond of the women in this group. This month it was my turn to present a project, and I had met Pat Verhagen at ZenAgain in Providence, R.I., last November and seen her Icosahedrons. These are 20 sided figures. I thought they would make a good project for us. Pat was very helpful and very reasonably priced. You can reach her through her wonderfully named store Cut Up And Sew on Palm Coast in Florida. Her well-designed templates made this whole project simple. 

She sent me around a dozen of these Icosahedron templates. This photo shows our CZT group's partly finished efforts.

And this is my final, double-sided-tape-glued-together icosahedron. I enjoyed this very much.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

ZenAgain 2018

In late November, I attended a seminar for Certified Zentangle Teachers in Providence, R.I. Present at this event were about 200 of the 4,000 CZT's, from all over the world, each of whom is certified by Zentangle's founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. We have all taken the CZT training and are now allowed to teach. Most of us are devoted to Rick and Maria for a number of reasons. For me, first and foremost it is gratitude for creating the Zentangle form and making it available to us. After that, it is because they are warm and friendly and smart and fun. And amazingly creative. They keep coming up with fascinating ideas for things to try. This seminar, called ZenAgain, was no exception.

We started out at our first session with kind of a warm up, doing a simple little variation on Crescent Moon, a tangle pattern always included in everybody's "Tile Number One." This is because it illustrates the important Zentangle concept of Aura. When you aura, you outline a shape that is already on the paper, such as the black half moon shapes you see below. And then the auras can be aura'd. I have heard it said, "When in doubt, Aura!"  This is a Bijou tile, very small, maybe 2 inches square.

One of the themes of ZenAgain was deconstructing works by well-known artists who use patterns.We covered three artists, Gustav Klimt, Keith Haring, Ernst Haeckel, this last artist being new to me. In this blog post I will tell you just a little about each, and show a Zentangle I created, inspired by and giving homage to each.

Gustav Klimt

Klimt painted mostly women, and his work is decorated with patterns. Here is his Woman in Gold.

You may have seen the film about this painting, starring Helen Mirren. The canvas had been placed in a gallery by the Austrian state, and was so beloved that it was known as the Austrian Mona Lisa. The only problem was that the Nazi's had stolen it from the subject's Jewish family, and the rightful heir to the family brought suit to get it back. After some courtroom battles, the Austrian courts did the right thing.They gave the painting back to her. We had fun at ZenAgain finding well-known tangles in Klimt, such as printemps, and making up other tangles after his patterns. Here's a Zentangle based on Klimt.I wish you could see teh beautiful metallic gold.

Keith Haring
The second artist we looked at was Keith Haring. He was a gay New York Steet artist,  during 1980's time of AIDS, from which he died. Here's a sample.

He used signs and symbols in a language all his own. Here's one I did, based on his earlier work where he was practically making his own alphabet out of shapes and well=known symbols like arrows and hearts and orbits. 

Ernst Haeckel

The thrid artist we looked at was Ernst Haeckel. I had never heard of him. Not surprising because he was a biologist, not in any art history courses. I highly recommend the book of his prints, Art Forms in Nature. I simply could not believe that the creatures he drew were real. But they are. I had a similar experience at the Museum of Natural History in New York when I visited the fish room. You might think, ah fish. But think again. There were thousands upon thousands of fish, all stuffed, all pinned to the walls behind glass in a gymnasium-sized room with a 2nd story balcony to double the number of exhibits. I swear that I saw this: a shiny coal black fish who had, sticking out of the top of his square-ish coal black head, mounted on a kind of stem, a second shiny black fish head just like his own. And the second story fish head had a yet a third fish head just like the others sticking out of his head. A fish with a three story head. A true story. New respect for nature's diversity and magic that I still feel now, 30 years later. Haeckel's book is incredible. Here's my Haeckel-inspired jellyfish. Once again the Zentangle team led us through magic worlds.