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Friday, February 21, 2014

Inspiring Students

I am constantly impressed by the amazing artwork that my students create.  From beginners to regular tanglers, each has a unique style and interpretation of the Zentangle® method.  I love to see what everyone comes up with, and I especially love it with people share their art with me after class.

Another thing I love about the Zentangle® method is that it is perfect for all ages.  It is a wonderful activity for parents and grandparents to share with the rest of the family.  Once mom, dad, or grandma learns the technique, the kids often want to join in on the fun too.  How wonderful to spend time together creating art!

I love to teach classes with mixed age groups because I think it's inspiring for everyone.  Kids understand the idea of process over product and can help the occasionally stubborn grown-ups to forget about "mistakes."  Adults can guide and encourage children to try new things and to be curious about the world around them.  Try taking your family on a pattern hunt the next time you go shopping, sight seeing, or for a drive.

Two of my adult tangling students recently shared the work created by their young relatives, and I just had to pass on the excitement.  These tanglers, a mom and grandmother, inspired another generation to create art.  I think that's a pretty amazing passion to pass on, don't you?

Kristy, who was a very talented artist before experiencing the Zentangle® method, showed her 6-year old son her work.  He was so inspired that he made his own reproduction.  Check out the great job he did:

Another of my wonderful tanglers invited her grandson to my last Tangle Time Club session.  After the club, he made valentines for his classmates.  I heard that he added a little color to each one too.  Look at the cool design he came up with:

The Zentangle® method is for everyone!  When you share it with your family and friends, you will enjoy some creative fun together.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Valentangle Day!

I've been rather inspired by Valentine's Day this year and have enjoyed using a variety of heart-shaped tangles in my art.

For last week's Diva challenge, we were encouraged to tangle up some love in a "Valentangle."  My entry is on one of the fun new Renaissance tan tiles.  I started with 'Nzeppel in the heart then built a nest of tangles for the heart to rest upon.  I love playing with blacks, browns, and whites on these new tiles.

I hope you spent Valentine's Day doing something you love--like tangling!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Never Give Up

I've learned that I should never give up on a piece even if I don't like it in the beginning.  One of the joys of the Zentangle® Method is not knowing the end result.  It's an exciting journey to see where your artistic muse will take you.

I try to be open to the process and just create, but sometimes, I feel a bit stuck.  When that happens, I immediately put the piece aside so I don't become bogged down with frustration.  I pick up another tile or paper and start again so I keep the creativity flowing.  I'm always pleasantly surprised when I pick up the piece I had cast aside and I find new inspiration to keep going.  I look back on those pieces fondly because I remember that I need to have a little bit of patience--with myself and with my art.

Since the Diva's challenge using the new official Zentangle® pattern Aquafleur, I've been playing with that a lot too.  This swap is to create a deck of cards, and I toyed with drawing the card suits.  I drew the shamrock/club outline but didn't like how it came out.  I put that ATC aside for a while until I figured out what I wanted to do with it.  I decided it was perfect for some Aquafleur and was thrilled with the end result.

Many of the ATCs I've been working on for my swap have been monotangles, or pieces using primarily one pattern.  Once I discovered the pattern Wheelz by fellow CZT Joyce Block, I had to make several!  I love this pattern and how easy it is to create.  It's a fun, flowing pattern that can fill a variety of spaces.  I enjoyed playing with red and black on these ATCs.

Playing with Patterns

Do you enjoy playing with tangle patterns?

I love challenging myself to try different patterns.  Sometimes I can get stuck on a handful of favorites, and I enjoy mixing things up and trying new things.  I never know when I'll find a new favorite!

I've been playing with a variety of patterns referenced on or the Diva Challenge.

Last week, the Diva asked us to play with the pattern Jailed Johnny by fellow CZT Sadelle Wiltshire. I'm finally getting around to posting my response to this challenge.

Here is an ATC with a variation of the pattern.  I played with it in my Tangle-A-Day calendar and found that I enjoyed using the pattern in a band or border.  It was fun to alternate the heart shapes.

This is a timely pattern for Valentine's Day too.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Think I Can

Like the Little Engine That Could, I'm thinking I can stick with my New Year's Resolution of creating art every day!  My Tangle-A-Day calendar is a big help in that regard.  My 2013 calendar was abandoned very early on and ended up being a random sketchbook rather than a daily artistic journey.  Not this year!  I'm having a wonderful time playing each day while working on other projects too.

After last week's Diva challenge, I felt inspired to keep playing with Aquafleur.  Here is a stack bursting out of the page.  I love how this one came out.

Here's the beginning of February.  I was playing with different strings and patterns.

I have to figure out a better way to get this calendar to scan so the shading comes out right.  The color is all off no matter what I tweak.  I hope you get the idea.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's February

Happy February!  

Do you enjoy Valentine's Day or hoping that the Groundhog will tell us that this cold and snowy winter will be over?  I vote for both.

I felt a little inspired by Valentine's Day while working on this week's Diva challenge.  Laura, the Diva, asked us to work with the latest official pattern from Zentangle®, Aquafleur.  I am digging this pattern, although I never do mine quite like the step outs.  I prefer to let the bands spread across the shape rather than curling back inside the shape at the end.  I love how patterns can be individual.

I'm still plugging away at my ATC challenge even if I haven't posted the pictures in a little while.  I love working on this size and usually make ATCs in small batches.  Here are two Aquafleur ATC "duotangles," to use the Diva's term.  The first features IX in the background, and the second has a bed of Printemps.

I love patterns with repetitive lifework and auras.  I seem to find these the most relaxing of patterns.

Have an Aquafleuristic February!