Monday, July 14, 2014

Disappearing Tangles

It's fun to think of new places to tangle.

My daughter and I do a lot of art projects, and I love to incorporate my tangles into our crafts.  Whether we're playing with chalk on the driveway or coloring pictures, I often find little Printemps and other patterns popping up in my art.

One of my daughter's favorite activities is to paint with water on a chalkboard.  We were at a play place with a massive chalkboard wall.  While she painted shapes, I saw a perfect canvas for some Ennies.  It was fun to create the pattern on a bigger scale with water.  I loved watching the bold, black lines appear while others dried and faded.  It was like I was working on a large Buddha Board.  One space would start to dry so I went over it again with the brush.  It was wonderfully relaxing to tangle over and over in the same spot.  I didn't think about patterns or filling areas.  I didn't worry about the end product or if I'd give the piece as a gift.

I put water on a chalkboard.  I repeated my strokes.  I used the Zentangle® Method.  I was relaxed and present in the moment alongside my daughter making art that disappeared while it created a lovely memory for us.




Friday, July 11, 2014

Mammo Crux

This week's Diva challenge invited us to play with Crux by Henrike Bratz.  At first, my hand immediately tried to create Bales.  I had to consciously and deliberately think about each line or each stroke as I worked on the diagonals.  This pattern was an interesting reminder about taking a pattern one line at a time.  I found this pattern quite interesting to put together and to watch it work in the end.  Fun!  I will have to play with this one some more soon.

My piece was created in my 2014 Tangle-A-Day Calendar by Carole Ohl, CZT.  I love working in the book, but I can rarely get it to scan well enough.  I think too much light gets in when I scan it.  When I try to edit, the shading gets too washed out.  Oh well, it's a sunnier version than in person.  That can't be a bad thing, right?


I created this piece in the imaging waiting room before having my first routine mammogram.  Joy.  I felt inspired by breasts (gee, I wonder why).  I pencilled a breast-inspired string similar to this:


The string is basically three concentric circles.  Keep in mind they don't have to be perfectly straight or central!  No two breasts are alike or perfectly round, right?  The string I created in the calendar reminded me of a fried egg, to be perfectly honest.  

I love how strings, like our tangles, don't have to be perfect.  They don't even have to be used at all.  Strings can help guide us along our tangling way or merely give us a starting off point.  We can follow the lines, carefully staying with, or we can venture out on a tangling adventure.  

If I were drawing my string after the exam, I think the circles would all be flattened.  Ouch!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Toys

I love playing with new tangle goodies like pens, papers, colored pencils, and other tools.  Although it's nice that I don't need a room filled with craft supplies to enjoy my Zentangle® practice, I do like to experiment with different things.  Fortunately, they're still pretty small.

This week I got to play with my new "Zencils" or stencils by Acadia Laser Creations.  This Zendala tile features one of the Celtic knot stencils.  The second I traced the stencil, all I could see was a knot of Zander across the whole tile.   I had a relaxing time filling in all of the areas.  For the smaller sections, I wanted to continue playing with line work and added some Paradox and Betweed.  The shading was just as fun as the tangling!

I'm looking forward to playing with the other stencils soon.


Weaving Tangles


I love tangle patterns that look woven!  They look so difficult to construct and usually only have a simple line or two like Auraknot.  

For this week's Diva challenge, a duotangle, we were tasked with using the patterns Auraknot and Mooka.  I like both patterns because they can be so stunning when they come together.  

The same day I went to start my tile, I received my new pack of Sakura Moonlight Gelly Roll fine point pens.  Of course I had to try them!  They were awesome to use on the black Zendala tiles.  I love how shimmery they look and appreciated the finer line I could achieve.  I ended up using four colors to create this piece.  This was a fun way to play!


Monday, June 16, 2014

My New Pattern - YAH

While sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office, I noticed an interesting pattern on the chair. I thought it looked like Keeko, Nekton, Wheelz, and Hollibaugh were all thrown into a blender. Four tangle patterns walked into a bar....
Anyway, I kept staring at the pattern and figured I’d try to draw it. There is a repeating pattern in the fabric eventually, but every time I tried to figure it out, I lost my place. Then I decided to just try it without worrying about the repeat. Isn’t that how we should develop our patterns anyway—without worry?

I started with randomly placed lines around my piece. Some were in twos, threes, or fours. Some were straight, and some were curved, and the length varied. Next I went in and filled in the larger gaps with additional sets of parallel lines, either straight or curved, mixing up the direction and number of lines. I tried not to worry about where the lines went and just filled them wherever the lines wanted to explore. I filled in the negative spaces with dark ink and shaded the paths where they went underneath others, Hollibaugh style.

When it was done, I really loved how it looked. I think the pattern looks like a basket that someone dropped or squished. It’s not a mistake, it’s now just a loosely woven item still capable of greatness.

While tangling the chair pattern, I kept thinking about the people sitting in waiting rooms every day all over the world. As I drew my lines, I thought about people sitting in these very chairs or ones like them. People were waiting to see the doctor to heal them, to answer questions, to provide solace, or to tell it like it is. Doctors’ offices are crossroads. We are waiting for clean bills of health or good news, and sometimes, we are waiting for confirmation of the worst. We may be facing fears ourselves or for our loved ones. Either way, waiting rooms are places that appear sterile and stoic while buzzing with the thoughts, worries, hopes, and fears of countless patients and family members who have sat there temporarily. So much goes on in those rooms while we wait. So much changes after we leave the waiting rooms of life.

As I drew my lines, I tried not to think about where my pen was going. I drew two lines this way then some curved lines going a different way. There was no rhyme, no reason, no sense, no answers. Like those in the waiting room, there may not be an easy answer for where their lines or paths are headed.

I decided that my tangle looked like a wonky city map. I pictured a directory trying to help people find their way out of the gridlock.

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I am calling this pattern YAH, or, You Are Here. We might not know where we are much of the time, and when we’re worried about our health or that of our loved ones, we could probably use a directory to help us a bit.

Wherever you are in life—in your dreams, laughter, or worries—you are here. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just Try It

I was cleaning out a bunch of unused craft supplies for a recent yard sale, when I came across some pretty mulberry paper.  Instead of packing it to sell or recycling the scraps, I wondered if I could tangle on it.

I thought the lovely tan with brown flecks needed a tangled garden on it.  I added some color with Irojiten colored pencils.

I think this delicate piece is rather pretty.  I may have to try some more mulberry tangling.

If you find a new paper or other material, you may have found a diamond in the rough or, at least, a great new surface to tangle.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Boogie Woogie Bugles

I love the UMT (Use My Tangle) challenges when the Diva poses them.  It's fun to play with new patterns created by fellow tanglers.  This week, we are asked to test out bugles by Joyce Evans.  It's a pattern that goes together fairly easily and looks like it has a lot of possibilities for tangleations.  You could made the initial bean shapes small or large, this altering the size of your bugle cones.  Then there are all the filler options for the cone and/or the negative spaces in between.

I grabbed a Renaissance Zentangle® tile and started with a wide border.  I wanted to try Bugles as a border.  I didn't worry about where they would meet in the corner and just worked on one side at a time.  I visualized the pattern a little and chose to do one central stack of Bugles.  I left the pattern unfilled while I worked on the rest of the tile because I wanted to see if an idea spoke to me.  

Next I worked inward.  I created a bit of a crescent moon border that immediately made me want to use Tripoli.  That's a big deal for me!  Tripoli is one of those patterns that often makes me cringe.  Patterns that I think look better with a little more precision sometimes stress me out a bit.  If a pattern causes me stress, I immediately avoid it in favor of anything that helps to promote and continue my relaxing artistic journey.

I have to say I'm pleased with how Tripoli came out.  After a training by Zentangle's Molly Hollibaugh, I am no longer afraid of Tripoli.  Her suggestion of creating a triangle, then adding an aura of one line really worked for me.  I just built one triangle at a time not worrying about if they stayed the same size or got a bit wonky at times.  Collectively, I knew that all of the triangles would pull together as a great team.

I decided to finish up with an inner aura in the negative spaces of Bugles to carry the Tripoli feel a bit further.  I love how even a new pattern can call to mind other patterns.  It's like books and movies--there are no new plots.  Everything is just an exciting new reinterpretation of another creation.  I love how patterns evolve and morph enough to become something new while being reminiscent of something else.  It shows how universal patterns are and how we all have similar yet different views of the world.  I find it rather comforting to think of everyone having a similar exposure to shapes and patterns.  We may speak different languages, but we all have fundamental exposure and experience with shapes.  

I ended with some shading to recess the Tripoli area and to highlight the central border.  I used an Irojiten colored pencil that closely matched the brown Micron pen.  I love playing with blacks and browns (and often whites) on these tiles.