Zentangle is...

The Zentangle® Method, created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, is an easy to learn, fun and relaxing way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Diva Challenge #341: Go big (or Go Home)

This week, the Diva asked us to work bigger, with bigger tiles, bigger pens, bigger tangles. I love tangling big (bigly?), so this was lots of fun. I used an Apprentice tile (4.5 inches square) and a Pigma BB, which I think stands for "Bold Brush". This was my first time tangling with it, and it is definitely a different feel, but I was reasonably pleased with the results.

I continued exploring white on black this week. I finished Eni Oken's 3D Tangle: Shading on Black Tiles and began the video series with the new Zentangle Project Pack #01. I managed to get my mitts on the new Gelly rolls. I don't know if it's because they're new pens, but they are delightful! The ink is soooooo smoooooooth and bright. I had previously given up my old white Gelly Roll (and 06) for a bold Signo Uni-Ball, which seemed brighter and smoother. But now, I think the 10 Gelly Roll is the real deal!! I haven't yet used it on a Renaissance or tan tile. I plan to buy a new Signo just to make a fair comparison. I will keep you all posted on my super non-scientific findings. (NB: I use the black Strathmore artist tiles, which I find a lot more receptive to the ink than the Zentangle black tiles.)

Eni Oken practice

Zentangle Project Pack #01. I love the new tangle, Dewd.

With the holidays coming, I felt a need to start some "Random Acts of Zentangle" tiles. I like to leave these here and there. I print, from my computer, a message on the back of a 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of white card stock. "This is a RAZ--Random Act of Zentangle, left here randomly for you to find! Keep it or pass it on. The Zentangle Method is an easy to learn relaxing, fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. See more at zentangle.com." I cut out six 3.5 inch squares with the message on the back of each one. I like to do a little calligraphy with some uplifting words, and then tangle around it.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a mindful week. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a joyful and restful holiday filled with gratitude.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Diva Challenge #340: Wibble

Wibble and I first met during Inktober. I found its curves reminiscent of Margaret Bremner's recent "Double Marasu". I loved spiraling in, out, in, out and then connecting all those wonderful spirals with some points.
But this week, when the Diva challenged us to use Wibble, I hit a road block! I didn't know how to take it from a relaxing movement to an element in a tile. There were numerous false starts, which I will spare you. Somehow, I knew I wanted to use thickened lines on the downstrokes to create some contrast and depth. I even drew it in my little art journal with my calligraphy pen, only to smear it with my hand!!! (Who knew that ink took so long to dry?) I decided it was time--Saturday afternoon!--to get this done. (Not a great way to approach tangling!) I had to have my car inspected, so I took a tile and some pens to the garage. A Zentangle tile, with all the great texture and that lovely soft off-white. That was magic for me. S L O W E D me down. Here is my Wibble Dingbat:

With all the hoopla about the new Sakura white Gelly Rolls, I decided to revisit Eni Oken's 3D Tangle: Shading on Black Tiles. I purchased this e-book when it came out, and was quickly overwhelmed. This week, I took my time, and with a bit more experience under my belt, felt that I was finally learning the technique behind these beautiful, glowing black tiles. It is still a very slow process, with many more steps than I'm used to, but I'm having fun! It remains to be seen if I can branch out on my own and still apply the principles successfully. But I'm happy to know that there may be hope to clearing up my "muddy" white on black tiles! I plan to finish her book this week and, if I have time, check out the Zentangle® videos on the new Project Pack, which focuses on white on black and tan. By the way, these videos are free to all, even if you haven't purchased the Project Pack. Thanks, Rick and Maria!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week glows!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Diva Challenge #339: Hallow/autumn

"Get into the holiday spirit," says the Diva. Chez Sparrow, we had two "holidays" to celebrate: Halloween and our 20th wedding anniversary the day after. Our Halloween was a bit subdued, as Lar was working in the evening. But it quickly picked up in excitement when I drove to the university to retrieve him. Chapel Hill, our town, is famous for its Halloween celebration. Although it has calmed down considerably from its hay day back in the 90s, when over 80,000 ghosts, gremlins and merrymakers turned Franklin Street into an MTV event, it is still noteworthy. (Even has an article on Wikipedia!) I cautiously ventured out, making sure I knew what streets had been closed off, informing the traffic control folks at the road blocks that I was going to pick up my husband. There were people everywhere in our normally chilled "village". About 35,000.

Found in our pumpkin patch :)

The next morning we left for the Outer Banks, a beautiful string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. We stayed for 2 nights, and thoroughly enjoyed our visits to the Wright Brothers Memorial, Jockey's Ridge and Manteo. For me, the highlight of any visit to the beach is the sunrise. Here, as the ocean is to the east, we watch the sun rise out of the ocean. This is always such a powerful and inspiring moment.

Thursday's sunrise at Kill Devil Hills

Friday's foggy sunrise

Of course, just walking on the beach is such a delight. To our surprise, we found this fabulous sand sculpture on Wednesday.

On Friday, we discovered another one, in the making. Its creator told us that this was his way of relaxing. (Sound familiar?) He said that when the tide came in, it gradually filled up the spiral and eventually, the water shot up from the center, like a fountain! He said that his favorite part of building these structures was seeing them carried away by the sea.

Volcano construction in progress

In honor of our anniversary, I made this on an Opus tile. (I'm grateful to Ria Matheusen, who inspired the background with her putty knife technique.)

20 things I love about Lar

Thanks for visiting! Have a creative and inspired week!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Diva Challenge #338 and Intober 21-29

Black and White. Seemed to be the theme for the week. The 100th birthday of the great jazz  composer and pianist, Thelonius Monk, a native North Carolinian, was marked in Durham with Duke Performances "Monk@100" festival. 10 days of concerts with world-class musicians honoring his monumental opus. I was lucky to catch two unforgettable shows and discover saxophonist Joshua Redman, the 1991 winner of the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.

"White on Black" dixit the Diva this week. I've said before that I'm not a big fan of white on black. My tiles always seem to get muddied when I put on the final touches of white chalk. For this reason, I haven't sprung for the new Sakura pens, although I may do so if my boat comes in;) For the challenge, I grabbed the only black tiles I have, some 3Zs that I surprisingly WON last year from Zentangle. I did my first tile, and didn't want to stop. Before I knew it, I had done 6 3Z tiles to make a mosaic.  (Now comes the hard part: trying to frame it!) I think I have found my fetish white on black tangle: Icanthis.

Full disclosure: This was a Take 2. Take 1, which I can't seem to find this morning, was not really to my satisfaction. Although I almost always post my first result for the challenges, this week had more second takes than usual.

Inktober is almost over! (And I think I'm almost ready for it to be over!) This week:

Day 21: Meer and Day 22: Yincut

Day 23: Pokeleaf and Day 24: Florz

Day 25: Auraknot (Take 2!)

Day 26: Wibble

Day 27: Cadent and Day 28: Joki

Day 29: Q-Belle, teamed up with Ponio, which I missed earlier (Another Take 2!)

Before I sign off, I thought I'd share some ideas from my "Zentangle for the Holidays" class last Sunday. If you're interested, check out the page in the left menu bar. 
Thanks so much for visiting. Have an inspiring week, and a fun Halloween!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Diva Challenge #337 and Inktober Days 16-20

Artoo, the Diva's "baby", celebrated his 7th birthday last week! Ahh, the age of reason! Congratulations, Artoo! Best wishes for many, many more, each one happier than the last. For our challenge, we had to use the tangle "Artoo", by the Diva herself.

Inktober is flying by so fast! I am thoroughly enjoying these tangle prompts. Nothing fancy, mind you, just monotangles in black ink. Process, not product. Ahhhh.

Day 16: Tripoli. 
I used a resurfaced demo tile that I covered in black "Marks-A-Lot", topped with a blue Prismacolor, white and gold Gelly Rolls. (Okay, that was a little fancy.)

Day 17: Shattuck

Day 18: Ix

Day 19 and 20: Hibred, Hollibaugh

Thanks for stopping by! I totally enjoy your comments. (Last week I was particularly interested in our thoughts on gray hair and its crazy ways! Fascinating!) Have a simply satisfying week!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Diva Challenge #336 and Inktober Days 9-15

When I sat down to post today, I thought that I hadn't a lot to show for the week. I did the Diva Challenge quickly, on Tuesday, since it was a monotangle with Striping, with whom I don't play well :)  I had done my InkTober Tangle challenges, too, although the last 3 days were quite minimalist and had to inhabit one tile together.

Striping Bunzo 

Day 9: Hurry

Day 10:  Flux

Day 11: Bales, a sampler

Day 12: Patience

Days 13, 14 and 15: Printemps, Flukes and Crescent Moon

I also found another rabbit hole in my Zentangle garden this week. I've been looking at textile jewelry, and when my husband was preparing for his first flight with his insulin pump and glucometer, I wanted to give him a sign of my love to carry with him. This "talisman" is almost 4 x 4 inches. I started with a Bijou tile, and just built around it, with the limited scraps I had in my closet. 

He's flying home today, so I wanted to get dolled up (ha!) to meet him. I've been letting my gray hair grow out, to experiment, but really dislike how I look like this. 

Related image
Grandmama from the Addams Family TV show

So I decided to get out the hot curlers, and discovered that I can now have Zentangle-y hair!

Maybe time for a trip to the salon!
Thanks, as always, for stopping by! Have a great week!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Diva Challenge #335: Tint and InkTober Days 1-8

October is the busiest tangling month of the year for me! Every day, a new challenge for "InkTober", a worldwide challenge for pen artists. Last year I participated for the first time. Each day, a new word to interpret in my Zentangle work.  Because Zentangle is non-representational, and because I can't draw a template to fill in with tangles, I struggled, but, in the end, came up with something every day for the entire month. At the end, what a sense of accomplishment! This year I was so relieved to see that Stephanie Jennifer, an awesome CZT (#21--Yay!)  in Singapore published a list of InkTober prompts for tanglers. (Thank you, Stephanie!!)

This is the InkTober list of prompts

And Stephanie's list of tangles

Here's what I've done so far:

Day 1: Bunzo

Day 2: Dicso

Day 3: Feeling Knotty and my tangleation, "Knottibaugh" ;)

Day 4: Diva Dance with a Margaret Bremner inspired rope string

Day 5: Marasu

Day 7: Rixty

Day 8: Twizted

Depending on my week, I may stick day 6, Ponio, in next week's post. It may have to go on the pumpkin I have to start tangling for an upcoming "Zentangle for the Holidays" class!

A special birthday card is in the making. Here's the monogram I'm using:

This was so much fun to shade. The background is a photocopy of a gouache wash with yellow and purple.

Whew! And I almost forgot the reason that you probably stopped by--the Diva Challenge to use "Tint".

Another cracker box emptied for art's sake ;)

Tangle on! Thanks for your (patient) visit! Have an inky week!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Diva Challenge #334: Crazy N'Zeppl

Everybody loves N'Zeppl! Especially when it's Crazy N'zeppl! I am no exception. I love squishing those water balloon/hard-boiled eggs into the grid spaces, and then making them pop off the page with a little, or better yet, a lot of graphite. I did two tiles for this week's challenge.

My first tile, on a recycled Cheez-Its box

And another, in my journal, with "Clob", by Jem Miller

Somewhere in the Zen-sphere, there were rumblings of Margaret Bremner's Pixioze, a tangle that always makes me happy to see, but that I rarely use. I decided to give it a go. It takes me some time to fill up space with this, so I have to slow down. (Is it all the auras?) But, boy, is it relaxing! (Is it all the auras?)

On the Mosaic app, Rick and Maria posted a "Kitchen Table Tangle" video using Well in a fractal pattern. (Funny, I thought I did something similar in my journal a year ago, loved it, but couldn't really remember how I got there. Looking at it now, I see it's not at all Well, but Cadent. Sort of. Ish.)  

I was so confident about the Well fractals. I grabbed my fancy sketchbook from seminar and just jumped right in. It did not go so Well. 

So I watched again, took a breath and another Cheez-It tile and jumped in again. 

On the first try, the Prismacolors would not budge, much to my chagrin. On the Cheez-Its box, they glide.  They blend beautifully, play with each other well. I don't understand. I would love to find a list of papers and suitable media, so that my inks don't bleed, my papers don't buckle and my Prismacolors don't freeze.

Any suggestions? Is this documented or just something you're born knowing? Maybe it's just experience, trial and error? Art classes? Youtube videos? I enjoy experimenting, but sometimes it can be frustrating!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week glides by like a Prismacolor on a Cheez-It box!