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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2-for-1 Tuesday!

The Diva Challenge #237, by guest blogger Charlotte Carpentier, had us make a string using a stencil. Joey had to come up with a "Q" tangle this week. ("Queeries" was cleverly conceived around question marks!) 
I have neither stencils nor spray bottles. I took apart my cafetiere and brewed some strong orange spice tea, threw in some oolong leaves for good measure, grabbed a plant mister and spritzed my tile. Whoa, Nelly! A mister is not a spray bottle, Jennifer! Blot, blot, blot! Where's my hairdryer??!? Blow, blow, blow!
You can KIND of see the tea stain, can't you?

Although I probably won't be displaying this "experimen-tile", I did want to show you the coolest frames ever by our String Thing goddess, Adele Bruno. My wonderful husband bought two of these for my birthday. They are sturdy steel, with a satin black finish. Your tiles are held in place by two powerful magnets. (You can put up to 4 tiles on the back--with a magnet--while they wait for their turn to shine!) Great gift idea! Take a closer look here!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Zendala Dare #110: Patience!

Please be patient with me on this one. Erin's template this week was daunting to me! Lots of angular sections, all straight lines. I think I started this one on Wednesday or Thursday and finished on Sunday. My husband said, "Third time's a charm." I made three zendalas. Don't know if I got to the charm!
If you're interested in the evolution, keep reading. If not, by all means, cut to the chase and scroll to the bottom for the final tile.

Take 1: Thrilled with our cooler temperatures and the arrival of autumn, I thought, "Pokeroot, Pokeleaf and Frostflower." I started out, and almost immediately got distracted. The graphite paper used to trace the template was too dark and had left a waxy residue that was getting on the pens. I totally lost the balance and symmetry needed for a zendala. I took a deep breath and decided to continue anyway. The result was an un-dala!

Take 2: With no more blank Renaissance zendala tiles, I decided to try again on a square Renaissance tile. I wanted to keep the tangles I had chosen and try to follow the template. I put graphite on the back of the template I had printed out and traced it onto my tile. Too light! But I could see the impression from my pencil. I managed to recover the mandala balance and symmetry, but the template really didn't appear.

Take 3: Blessings if you are still with me!! Back to the basics on a Strathmore artist tile with black ink. I placed the template beneath this thinner paper and traced it. Then I took my icosahedron, as I had learned that my "autumn tangles" were not the best for this template. (I used Rixty, Florz, Xircuss,Purk,Crescent Moon and Zander.)

If you're still here, I have two questions: How do you usually get the template onto your tile? Have you had any problems with the Renaissance paper being particularly soft in humid weather?  Thanks for your feedback!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's a String Thing #111

This week's challenge: use ONE new tangle, Hamail with ONE of our favorite tangles (I chose Tripoli) and ONE string. Although I expected some difficulty getting the spiral to widen and narrow, it did cooperate! I've been working on Tripoli this week, and on separating those lovely flower shapes you get. I chose my purple pen after seeing some beautiful purple sweet gum leaves on my morning walk in this glorious autumn weather. Even with the purple pencil shading and gold orbs, it still seemed flat and, well, too white! I added some hatching and stippling and thickened my lines. It's white, but I like it!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Diva Weekly Challenge #236

"Tangle on something unexpected." I chose to work on leaves that I gathered from the university campus where my daughter was studying fifteen years ago. I was visiting her, and saw some of the most beautiful autumn leaves ever. This was her first semester away from home, and she shuddered as I stopped every 10 seconds to pick up leaves. (Collecting autumn leaves is an addiction I have.) As the fifteen-year old leaves were quite brittle, I had to use a VERY light touch with my gold pen and Sakura sepia brush pen. The latter worked beautifully on the irregular texture.I took a picture of the leaves on a paper I made from onion skins and, yes, leaves. 

Joey's Weekly Challenge: P is for Pea-Knuckle

When I read Joey's challenge for this week, I groaned! (I think I heard others groaning, too!) I could not see how this tangle worked when we learned it in class and I was even tempted to sit it out, since I was convinced I could never learn it, much less see a place to use it. (Apologies to Molly!) I reviewed my notes, reviewed the step-outs, did a practice run, grabbed a color tile to make up for my deficits and a sepia pen. As I worked, I got into a rhythm and noticed that I was connecting the tip of the hook to the middle of the S to make the two outer connecting lines--and then filling in with two more lines. This helped me a lot by giving me a shape to fill in. (It was harder when I was just drawing lines to connect the esses.) 

This one just makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Zendala Dare #109

This week Erin pulled out a gorgeous template from her archives which I thoroughly enjoyed. Because of its unusual shapes, I decided to go organic and free things up a bit. I finished drawing it fairly quickly; the shading took a bit longer. As I was shading, I was reminded of my older sister, Renni. She has always been quite the artist, and, during my childhood, taught me about shading a pencil. Some of the Tripoli "pods" reminded me of her love and knowledge of everything Lalique. This Zendala is in her honor.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Diva Weekly Challenge #235: Stripes!

This week's challenge was to use stripes for our string. "As simple as that," said the Diva. Here's what I got:

I used six Maria Thomas tangles: BB, Meer, Onamato, Knase, Ambler, Snail and Vega. Thanks for the challenge, Laura!

Oke: Take 2

After posting my response to Joey's challenge, I realized I may have been a bit hasty. I had drawn this from memory while waiting for my car to be serviced. When I went back and checked the step-out for Oke, I realized I had done something totally different! Apologies to Shelly Beauch and Joey. Let's try again:

Thanks for your patience with me and my faulty memory!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: O is for "Oke"

This morning I woke up to our coolest temperatures in months here in North Carolina. (I believe it was 51F / 10C.) This brought me back to life after months of mugginess and mosquitos. Joey's challenge could not have been any more well suited! Shelly Beauch is one of my favorite Zentangle artists. I love the organic feel she always manages to create, as in Oke. Thanks to both Joey and Shelly for a lovely tangle!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Zendala Dare #108

Welcome back, Erin! I truly missed you last week. (See my post from September 6!) Your template this week, as you noted, was full of triangles screaming to be filled in with Paradox. Your completed version was gorgeous! I heard the triangles' cries, too, and decided to turn a deaf ear! I chose to use rounded tangles. The result reminds me of loud, psychedelic rock from the 60s!

Thanks for this fun challenge!

It's a String Thing #109

Thanks, Adele, for another challenging challenge! A string with seven sections and three tangles to fill it in--I left no white space uncovered this week! Morf, Tour and Footlites all found their way to the tile, and sometimes morphed into each other. Reminds me of an unruly, end-of-summer garden.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Diva Weekly Challenge #234: CanT

I CanT seem to figure this one out! This week's tangle pattern had me stumped when I tried to use it in a "wonky" grid. I followed the Diva's advice from last week: Push through it. That meant blacking out my wonkiness and using my white pen. I liked the contrast, but never felt really satisfied with the tile. I did enjoy experimenting with my zenstone and white charcoal. Thanks, Laura!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge #77: 'Nzeppel

Thanks, Joey, for choosing on of my favorite tangles for this week's challenge: 'Nzeppel! (I only recently got the reference to the zeppelin after always wondering where Maria found the name.) While I love to use it in a regular grid, for the challenge I used a free-form grid and shaky aura lines on a gouache-colored tile. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Your moment of Zen(dala) for today

In my basket of zenness, I had an unopened tin of Renaissance Zendalas that I had tried to ignore since buying them in June. The Renaissance tiles intimidate me a bit: all those choices! Not one but two pencils, three pens and two tortillons! (Can you tell I was never an art student?) I am still learning what patterns "play" well with these colors, too. Since I hadn't seen a Zendala Dare challenge for this week, and I had a hankering for something round and repetitive, I opened that tin! Thankfully, the tile was prestrung. And here's what happened:

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's a String Thing #108

Two new tangles and a micro Cubine. Three grids and a multi-cube string.  Hmmm. And, to make it more fun, a 3-inch tile with pink gouache blotches. That's what I was working with for this week's It's a String Thing #108 challenge.
Here's what came of it!

Thanks, Adele, for the challenge and for taking the time each week to respond to our "entries".

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Diva Weekly Challeng #233

Welcome back, Laura! Thank you for starting off the new (school) year with Zenith to challenge your loyal followers. Personally, I enjoyed reading about your summer time off, and appreciated seeing your tiles from CanTangle. Isn't it amazing the beauty that can almost magically appear when we let go of our preconceptions and follow the process by pushing through? When I started this week's challenge, I was thinking of ribbons of Zenith in some of its numerous variations. What I ended up with was this:

And I like it!