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.

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! 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Diva's Challenge #333: Changing seasons and coziness

The Diva's guest bloggers, Juliette Fiessinger and Kellie Fellinge, asked us to identify a cozy tangle or two and explore what makes it cozy, and specifically relate this to changing from summer to autumn.

Autumn here in Chapel Hill brings blue skies, golden sunlight and cooler temperatures. (There is a saying, "If God is not a Tarheel, why is the sky Carolina blue?" NB for those unfamiliar with Carolina Blue and Tarheels: Carolina Blue is the team color for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tarheel teams.) Following an often steamy summer with lead skies so heavy with humidity that the sun and sky look white, autumn rolls in on a rich and vibrant wheel of color. The brilliant red leaves on our local dogwoods and sweet gums and the bright yellows of the tulip poplars pop against this brilliant blue sky, rivaled only by that of southern France, as my humble sky experience goes. I frequently find myself staring up, and mumbling, "Would you look at that sky?" It is truly one of the most joy-giving natural elements of my life. As for coziness, I always look forward to pulling out my husband's grandmother's quilt in the fall, with its tones of rust and turquoise. I chose to use N'Zeppl and Tripoli for a puffy, quilt-like look, with a touch of Nymph for the radiant sun.

What element in Nature brings you great joy?

For some reason, Ibex was on my mind this week. It's becoming a favorite tangle. Here, I used a blue-black Plastic Nib Micron with a brown.

Tomorrow, I'm teaching a class on diptychs. (Wish me luck! It's my first time.) I've been exploring. Here's a simple one with brown and blue microns. 

Thanks for visiting!  Have a cozy week!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Square squared: Diva Challenge #332

Monday? Already?
I've been out of town for a few days visiting my daughter and son-in-law in their new home. What a joy! They treated my royalty! Now I know why their city, Charlotte, North Carolina, is called "The Queen City"! I really appreciated spending time with them, as I know how busy they are.  I love exploring new places, and this was no different. I requested a special trip to see the city skyline at night / sunset. This was totally awesome, even if the photograph isn't!!

I had dutifully prepared my Diva tile last week, but then didn't get around to posting it. As you can see, I was still in my Poke Weed juice phase.

How many squares are there?

I made this card for my friend Mary Lou, an avid gardener who would love to rip my Poke Weed plants out of the ground! I thought this card my soften her up a bit:

"A weed is but an unloved flower."

Before going on my trip, I spent some time preparing for an upcoming class on diptychs. On the Mosaic app, I love the work of @midoriCZT. She had posted a diptych that was cut out and back lit.
Here's my exploration of that idea, with black paper, Moonlights, vellum and a votive.  I plan to try again.

Thanks for your visit! Have a happy week!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pourquoi pas?

This week, there was no Diva challenge. I am hoping that this is a sign that she is basking in the glory of back-to-school week....
Feeling like I was on a roll, after posting twice in the last two weeks(!), I'm sitting down at the computer to check in and share what's happening chez Sparrow. We have, unlike so many Americans, had the most beautiful weather, as summer fades to fall. On my morning rounds of "the fields", aka my small garden, I marveled at the ripe poke weed and decided to follow my inspiration.

Juicy beauty ensued.

In the late afternoon, my beloved Lar and I had a date in downtown Durham, one of the "hippest" towns in the country right now.

View from The Durham rooftop bar

Here we are looking proud to be so hip.

From my journal this week, it would seem that I've been slacking off. Never! I've spent lots of time preparing for a Zentangle for the Holidays class I'll be teaching next month. Petal envelopes, pillow boxes, dodecahedrons, oh my! I wouldn't want to spoil the excitement, so I'll be sharing those after the class! 

Blue black (Pigma Micron PN) is the new black

"Madama", a new tangle by Marguerite Samama, CZT

My tribute, in pokeweed berry juice, to Simone Menzel, CZT, with "MySwing" and "MySpin"

"There is holiness in color. It is the queen of art."
-Susan Vreeland, Lisette's List

What colors in nature show up in your art? Do you have any natural juice inks in your tool bag?

Thanks for checking in! Your comments motivate and inspire me. 

Have a wonder-full week!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Diva's Challenge #331: Petoskey Stones

What better what to start this week's blog post than with a tribute to Petoskey stones, the state stone of Michigan. Both a rock and a fossil, these gorgeous stones feature adjacent hexagons with a "mouth" in the center and tentacles that reach out to trap food. I created two tiles for this week's challenge, and could have kept going but for the knowledge that my drawings, as fun as they were to do, would never achieve the magic of the real thing! I really hope that I can hold one some day.

My first attempt used a hexagonal reticula. 

My second attempt started with a hexagonal reticula, too, but with the fragments touching each other. I used a recycled Cheez-Its box. (I ate the contents first. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our art!) I really love the color of the cardboard, which is peaking through in the bottom right corner.

This was too much fun!

This week, I also finished an Opus tile that I had started a year ago. When it began, it had this really strong direction that I somehow lost (forgot?) one day!! I set it aside, looking, thinking. Finally I decided that it needed color. The cayenne and turmeric stains had begun to fade! Once I filled and colored the Molygon, we were in business once again! Bit by bit, I added a few more inches of tangles here and there. The whole looked like a crazy bouquet in a vase that leaned to the left. The final moment , when I knew I had finished, brought a strong sense of satisfaction and confidence. The "knowing" was very intuitive, not rational at all.

(Thank you, Anne Marie, for letting me know I forgot to post the picture!!)

How do you know when you've finished? How does it feel? Do you look at your work with a technical view or an intuitive feel? 

Thanks for stopping by. Your comments motivate and inspire me more than you know! I really appreciated the "welcome back" words last week!

Have a creative week!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Catching up, again!

I must apologize for my absence over the past 5 weeks, which have been exceptionally turbulent with unexpected good-byes to some dear friends and changes in our normal routine.  Life is good. I am grateful.

Diva Challenge #330: Plates
I had not used a plate string since my obsession with them a few months back. I enjoyed doing this one on a background of Orange d'Espagne and Lilac Prismacolors, with a copper Jelly Roll.

Diva Challenge #329: Reticula and Fragment D-2
As some of you may know, I have a terrible sense of "proprioception", or knowing where I am in space. (Laugh heartily here.) In yoga class, I'm always the one turned the wrong way, or helplessly looking around me to see how I should be positioned. In PE class, when we learned to tumble, I always went off the mat. I tell you this because when anyone mentions flipping and rotating and mirroring images, I break into a cold sweat. Using the D-2 fragment for this tile gave me a chance to chill and S  L  O  W     D  O  W  N.

Diva Challenge #328: Aloha
I really love the flow of the Aloha tangle, which looks like a pen did a hula dance. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but once I got it, I didn't want to stop, so I switched to a silver pen and did some more in the background.

Diva Challenge #327: Lisbon Fragment
Another fragment, although less spinny than the previous one! I had trouble keeping the lines straight and matching them up, but had fun trying! A nice high-focus tangle!

And Zen some...

A "Fairy Tangle" with bits I found in the garden

A collaboration with my daughter, Gabrielle

Playing with color in my journal. Zendala Dare #4

Mooka Therapy always makes me feel better.

Remembering my dear friends, Fran├žois and Fran├žoise, in their time of mourning.

With Gratitude

Thanks for remembering me and visiting! Hope to be back next week!