This week Adele launched into a series of 3 heart-themed challenges. There really is something soothing to me about drawing hearts. Maybe I reconnect with my younger, girlier self of days gone by! I enjoyed drawing this tile immensely, and I like the whimsical feel of the more open LaBel border. Thanks for the inspiration, Adele!
I have always loved singing, playing and listening to music. There was always music in my family--piano, violin, guitar, recorder, dulcimer were our instruments. My mom would sing. Every Sunday afternoon, after dinner, my dad would play records, everything from musicals to classical to folk to rock to jazz! Music is part of my life. But sometimes, in order to appreciate something more, we need less. Shadows intensify light. Zentangle teaches that we haven't truly finished our work until we shade. For Joey's last "musical string" challenge, she gave us a note. I chose a black tile. I traced the string and started to put it on the tile. Then I saw it was backwards! This made me laugh, and seemed so appropriate for me, as a "negative" image began to emerge. When I tangle, I don't want any music on. I savor the silence and the small ambient sounds that put me in the moment--my breath, the neighbor shoveling snow, the pen on the tile, my husband waking up. For me, there is a time for music, and a time for silence. I've found everyone's comments this month so interesting--who tangles with music? who tangles without? What do you listen to? Just another example of how we all process things differently! Thanks for stopping by!
Here in Durham, North Carolina, I am hunkered down in a warm home with electricity and food. We received several inches of mostly ice yesterday, and it's snowing intermittently right now. I just saw the second snow plough of the day zoom by on our normally busy street. I am so grateful for heat and light. Over one hundred thousand North Carolinians are without one or the other, or both. I am thankful for the men and women who risk their lives, leave their families behind and venture out to work for the common good. Gratitude. An important theme in the Zentangle® Method. The first, in fact, that we learn. Gratitude for the materials we have, a quiet place, the opportunity to learn, time for ourselves... I am grateful for Joey and her challenge #96, which I almost forgot about, with all the excitement here! (I get so excited when it snows. I rush from window to window to get the best view!) I had been tangling Chillon--how appropriate!--when I realized I was just doing it to get it done. I stopped, and thought, "One stroke at a time. Appreciate the feel of the ink penetrating the paper and leaving its mark." I thought of the work of several of my Zentangle "heroes", whose lines are always so deliberate and clean. I. Slowed. Down. What are snow days for, if not for slowing down? Hope you are safe and warm. Enjoy this cup of cocoa!
Thanks, as always, for stopping by. Your comments encourage and inspire me.
January 24 is Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. Moebius Syndrome is a non-progressive craniofacial/neurological disorder that manifests itself primarily in facial paralysis. I was unaware of this disorder before following the Diva's blog, where, through Laura's (aka the Diva) stories, I met her son, Artoo. He is a beautiful, cute, funny and extremely smart 5.5 year old who happens to have Moebius Syndrome. You can learn more--and see his adorable pictures--on Laura's blog. Our challenge was to create a Moebius strip string and tangle it, using purple, to support the Moebius Syndrome Foundation and Moebius Awareness Day.
Many thanks to Laura for this fun and informative challenge. Thanks as well to my visitors for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!
Laura, the Diva CZT, brought us back to the basics this week. She related how she can feel overwhelmed by all the choices now available to us enthusiasts--colored papers, colored pens, colored pencils, gems! She asked us to step back and return to our roots, our CEREMONY. A white tile, a pencil, a black pen, breath, gratitude, focus. What Rick Roberts,the co-founder calls, "the elegance of limits." How refreshing this was to me! While I enjoy experimenting and seeing where our creativity leads us, I have found such JOY in the method. I'm not formally trained in visual art, and I don't really enjoy drawing in the traditional sense. But I thrive in the ceremony, in stepping back from plans, from self-criticism, from expectations, and in letting go. Yes, the elegance of limits. I find that I return more and more to the patterns that Rick and Maria created. I enjoy seeing the new patterns that come out, but I rarely make note of them now. Personally, I also love old movies and literature from the early 20th century. I tend to freak out when I go into a library or video store--too many choices! Even the cereal aisle at the grocery store--help! But I digress!!! As I was doing this tile, using a Zentangle® tile, I took note of how the pen interacts with paper. When I use my sketchbook, the white paper is much less restful for the eyes and the ink isn't as readily absorbed. This was just a lovely experience. The elegance of limits. What limits create a sense of elegance for you?
Thank you, as always, for visiting. I look forward to seeing your comments and your work.
Joey continued with a musical theme this week and gave us a sharp for a string to use with Knightsbridge. The doubled horizontal lines were difficult for me to figure out, but here's what came of it:
Some thoughts that appeared while doing this week's challenge:
Zentangle is not planned.
Zentangle is often a metaphor for life. There is black and white, but also gray. There are no mistakes.
Challenges are just that. They take us out of our comfort zone to explore tangles and strings that we may never otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. Some are more challenging than others, but they are all an opportunity to let go--of our tendency to plan and to be critical of ourselves.
Thank you, Joey, for showing up every week to guide us to a new discovery in this wonderful Zentangle journey! I am grateful for you and your commitment!
Thank you, visitors, for stopping by! I appreciate and learn from your comments, and will look forward to seeing your work! Have a great week!
This week's It's a String Thing was definitely a challenge! These tangles--Phroz, Pop-Cloud and 4Fun--did not want to play well with me inside of String #126!!! I ignored them for a few days, until my husband gave me that look that says, "You're not gonna give up, are you?" So, I sat down and, within 30 minutes, had finished my work! "Anything is possible, one stroke at a time." So important to remember.
This week, Joey asked us to reflect on music and tangle a flat! (You're so creative, Joey!) She asked if we associate music with our drawing. I love music, but I want to let myself be totally absorbed by it. While I frequently listened to music when I started tangling two years ago, I rarely do so now. (Recently, I bought Rick Roberts' Zentangle® Sounds CD and enjoyed it.) I am easily distracted by sound, which probably comes from teaching middle school for over 20 years! When I draw, I like to listen to the sound of my breathing and my pen, which whispers across the paper. (I recently told my husband, when he was tangling,"I shouldn't be able to hear your pen. You're pressing too hard!!! Relax!!!" Sorry, Lar.) For this tile, done on a rectangular scrap of card stock I picked up by mistake, I wanted some drama. I had planned to make the left side black with white ink. I pulled out my black Permopaque marker to color it, and decided to go with a striped background. Reminiscent of the staff, albeit short a line? Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments!
The Diva's Weekly Challenge is 5 years old!! Congratulations, Laura Harms, for reaching this milestone, and for always giving us interesting challenges that spark our creativity. Thanks, too, for sharing your life with us, your beautiful children, your celebrations and your sorrows, and your celebrations!! You are truly an inspiration, as an artist, a parent, a teacher, an activist, a human being! A true gem! Here's my celebratory duotangle, with Aura Knot and Diva Dance. (BTW, did I mention that you ROCK?)
This morning, I happened to notice a sticky note with a quote I had copied some time ago. I decided better to make it something bigger that I wouldn't lose or throw out! I first typed the quote, then printed it on 8.5 x 11 inch ivory card stock. Then I started drawing. With the exception of some 18 x 18 inch "tiles" that I've done for my classes, this was the largest piece I've done yet. My father-in-law, who always asks if I can't do them bigger, will be pleased! So am I. "To exist is to change; to change is to mature; to mature is to create oneself endlessly;" (Henri Bergson)
Happy New Year! I have a feeling we've all been pretty busy these past few weeks! I feel so happy to be back with a response to Joey's challenge, after missing a week. She gave us a lovely snowflake template, and asked us to tangle as we would a zendala. That's what threw me!!! Rather than sit back with my arms crossed, I just went with the moment. I immediately saw a white snowflake surrounded by Frostflower. But, when I went back to print out the template this morning, I saw that a fellow Frostflower fan had realized what I had in mind! (Great minds, Christiane K.!) So I went with a Sandswirl blizzard.
Thanks for stopping by! I learn a lot from your comments--thank you!