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, March 29, 2016

Joey's Weekly Challenge #106

Roman Numeral VI this week was our string for Joey's Challenge, with a special request to use the top and bottom bits. This frame-like space drew me back to the cover of the Zentangle Primer, volume 1, where Maria tamed Pokeleaf into a band. (I just love studying her work, don't you?) My other inspiration came from the Mosaic app, which I mentioned briefly last week. If you're not yet familiar with it, let me recommend it for the following reasons:

  • It connects you to the Zentangle universe that exists beyond blogs. You'll meet so many gifted artists that you may have never seen online, including lots of Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs).
  • Everyone--Maria, Rick, the Diva and all your favorite tanglers--meets up in ONE place. No need to visit different websites to stay connected.
  • This social media is supportive and appreciative. You can "appreciate" artists and receive notifications when they've posted new tiles. You can appreciate tiles, as well, and, by doing so, create your personal mosaics, √† la Pinterest boards. You can leave comments, too. You can search in so many helpful ways: by pattern, by medium, by artist, by geographic area, by style, by subject (for example, Diva challenges).....
  • If you're using the Primer, you can post your work for the exercises in each chapter and see what others did. It's like being in a global classroom!
  • Zentangle HQ posts regular tips to take you further in your journey.
A few days ago, Maria posted a tip that encouraged us to use graphite, or, as she calls it, "the new black". I elected to use graphite for my Joey tile. I used my favorite pencil--an old number 2 pencil that I found when I was teaching middle school. (I was always on the look out for wayward pencils to replenish the pencil bucket in my classroom!) I don't know what it is, but this pencil feels sooooo good in my hand, and is soft enough to melt into the paper when I blend it, without getting muddy. Do you have a favorite pencil, or pen? Or perhaps an "unofficial" Zentangle tool?

Thank you, Maria! Thank you, favorite pencil! And thank all of you for stopping by! See you next week!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Diva's Weekly Challenge #261: Stacked

When I first saw "stacked" in this week's Diva challenge, by guest blogger Jane Reiter, I was thinking of stacked tangles. When I saw the stacked papers, I thought, "Whoa! This may be out of my league!"
But then it all came together, with leftover card stock from my French teacher days and Moonlight Gelly Rolls. I had fun doing the line work, "one stroke at a time." The final result reminds me of a Day of the Dead fiesta with the papel picado. I've decided to send it to an 11-year old friend in El Salvador who wants to be an artist. I thought he'd have fun deconstructing it!)

Thanks for your visit! Comments are always welcome! Have a colorful week!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Post #101: Joey and the Diva double feature

It's Friday??? Where has the week gone? I guess quite a bit of my waking hours were spent outdoors in the warm weather we've been having here in North Carolina. My race against the clock has begun: can I do my garden spring cleaning before the mosquitoes, the pollen and the weeds force me to flee? This week, I felt quite confident, until this morning, when I awoke to find that that familiar yellow- green film had covered my world. Ugh. Pollen time in the south. (Does this happen to everyone? I never saw it as much when I lived in France.)
After a quick trip to do some food shopping, I came back home and decided to hunker down, Zentangle style. With itchy, swollen eyes and runny nose, I grabbed the pollen-est colored tile I could find for Joey's High Five challenge. (That was sooo clever, Joey!) Hopefully, it won't make you sneeze!

Earlier this week, I had done the Diva's challenge with Shattuck as part of my Zentangle Primer exercises for Lesson 2. If I may, I'd like to recommend that you get your hands on a copy ASAP. Here's why:
  • to re-discover the magic of the basics and all the possibilities they offer.
  • to slow down,focus on making deliberate strokes and shading in different ways to change the way a tangle looks.
  • to learn how the basic tangles can be used in an infinite number of tangleations. For example, in lesson 1, with 4 different tangles, you'll get almost 30 different patterns.
  • to discover the new Zentangle concept of reticulata and fragments. This will blow your mind. And I'm not going to say anything else.
  • to admire the amazing work of Maria, Rick and Molly.
I've also purchased the new Zentangle Mosaic app. I highly recommend it, too, and will speak more about it in an upcoming post. I don't want to test your patience any more than I already have, especially since this is my 101st post and I value my readers!

Thanks, as always, for visiting! Have a w o n d e r f u l week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

For our Belgian friends

Today, our hearts were saddened by the terrible news from Brussels. As I tangled, I thought of friends there, and of my fellow CZTs in Belgium: Rita, Jella, Francine and Karin. Tink, by Carole Ohl, reminded me of the Atomium.

Peace and hope to all.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Week in Review

I hope my title won't scare you away, but this week was special. I contemplated keeping it private, but you are my Zentangle family, so I thought I'd share. That's just what we do, isn't it?!
On Tuesday, my only child, Gabrielle, married her soulmate, Drew. (Pictures will follow in a later post!) They chose a simple, very private ceremony, so that it would truly be their day. (I heartily approved, since Lar and I had done the same for our wedding day.) They will have a family celebration later this year, after Gabrielle finishes her degree in web development. (She is also busy starting her own company right now!)
Lar and I had lunch with the happy couple on Monday. I offered them a sentimental gift: a piece of stained glass that my dad had given my mom, with the inscription "Je t'aime plus qu'hier et moins que demain." ("I love you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.") This had captivated my attention as a child every time the sun shone through it. So I took it off my window sill and wrapped it up. I wanted to give something that was part of Lar's and my wedding, so I took a button from my antique wedding dress, sewed it on a Bijou tile I had done, and slipped it into the wrapping.

On Tuesday, I was afloat somewhere in the clouds. Don't ask me what I did, other than check my phone for pictures!
Yesterday, I finally landed and decided to look at the challenges. Joey used a Roman numeral IV for the string, and suggested we use "4" tangles. The Diva requested green, in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Hmm. Challenging! I decided to combine them, and that's probably where my struggles began! Add to that the fact that I've had a hankering to use color on Renaissance tiles, after trying a blue one on Sunday.

Thus it began. Roman numeral IV, green and a Renaissance tile. I haven't used any gems for a while, so I fit in two triangular ones. I wanted some kind of metallic pattern, so I thought about the crystalline triangles of Phroz and added Fassett, then Tripoli. Then I realized I hadn't included Joey's "4" tangles! 4Mom became an edge of Phroz. Yikes. I started feeling lost, so I added some layered ink auras and white ink Tripoli. It still felt so disjunct as a whole, so I added a white aura to try to pull it all together. Still not happy, I went for the zenstone and my emery board. This morning, I was about to scan it and decided to add a third round stone, then soften it with more zenstone. Then, basta! Not "Eureka!" Just, "Basta!"
If anyone knows where I can study composition, please advise!

Perhaps the beauty of this tile for me is not in the final result, but in the adventure of trying new things on a Renaissance tile. As I worked, I noticed the really soft, fuzzy feel of the tile. I wish we had a Feel the Fuzzy app so I could share!
Thanks so much for visiting, and indulging me in this lengthy post! Have a wonderful week! And Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day!

To all of my female friends, happy Women's Day! You are all divas in my book, in the Latin sense of the word!
This week it seems that I am surrounded by new and challenging tangles! This afternoon, rather than enjoying the great outdoors (and mosquitos--already!), I took my sketchbook and had a go at Namody, by Simone Menzel, and Rautyflex, by Kathrin Bendel. I managed to stay focused for both! (I am convinced that I "caught" ADD from teaching middle school for 20 + years!!! But I digress...)
I'm not quite ready to show my Namody efforts, but here's my Diva #258. I really messed up my first tile when I made the diagonals go the wrong way, but once I realized my mistake--and this was indeed a mistake, not an oops or an experiment!--I started a new tile and...voil√†!

I liked the bold op art look of Buttercup and Rautyflex, and left them unshaded. Pokeroot and Pokeleaf satisfied my organic fix.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and for sharing this common passion that is Zentangle! Have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Joey's Weekly Challenge #103

Have you seen Joey's watercolor tiles? They are the most beautiful color of spring green! I believe that she, too, has fallen victim to spring fever of late! This week's challenge uses the Roman numeral III for a string, with some lovely organic tangles: Buttercup, Tipple and Fescu. Before working in the garden, aka mud mire!, today, I decided to tangle for Joey. I have not been spending as much time tangling lately, and I really feel in a funk! This tile went as smoothly as a hot knife through soft butter! Buttercup is so fun draw, so graphic, almost like a woodcut print. I almost left out the last step, but decided to include it. The petal shape, and its flatness, reminded me of vinca flowers, so I added pink to the centers.

Hubby's home now. Time to clean out another woodpile. It's so warm today--68 degrees F, 20 C!--that I have to look out for snakes!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week--and some spring sunshine!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Joey's Weekly Challenge #102

Ser-zen-dipity! When I was trying to learn Japonica in this week's challenge, I felt uncomfortable. I felt like there was something I just wasn't seeing. Does that ever happen to you with new tangles? I decided it would have a token appearance on my tile and that I would focus on Hi-C's, which I enjoy drawing. As for Flux, it grows like a weed--Purslane, perhaps?--in lots of my tangles.
Have a look at what transpired:

I'm so happy that those lovely rounded bits in Japonica managed to puff up and take life! This was relaxing and clearly reminded me of that Zentangle question: "What else did you think you couldn't do?"
Thanks, Joey, for another lesson learned!
Thank you all for your constant inspiration. I am grateful for this community.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Diva's Weekly Challenge #257

Spring may have sprung here in Durham this week. If not, I have most definitely been infected with spring fever! The sun is shining,and I have been spending hours in the garden cleaning up debris from last week's storms and high winds. Ah, spring--even better when you're retired! One of my favorite memories is of spending my week of spring school vacation putting in a patio, several beds, a path and steps in our garden years ago. It was physically hard, and definitely dirty work, but I loved it. Unfortunately, I never found all of the necessary elements, notably time and weather, to do it again, and keeping up the garden proved more than I could handle when I was working. So now, I delight in re-connecting with it!
I tell you this as a preface to my post for this week's Diva Challenge. Given how little I've been inside, I first decided to use a tile I did a few days ago and sparkle it up for Amy Broady's "Ooh Shiny!" challenge. I wanted to make my Hollibaugh appear to have metallic ribbons.

Not so happy with the results, I grabbed a Bijou tile for Take 2.

With the scanner, it has lost its sparkle! So, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by--I'll be in the garden!--and I'll show you my shine :)
Have a wonderful week! Thanks for looking! I always enjoy your comments.