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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

READing Tangles

I tangled a wooden READ for my librarian friend's birthday.  The surface was a bit slippery so I tested out the Ultra Fine Sharpie on the bottom and the IDenti-pen.  Sakura's IDenti-pen worked better and gave me two nib sizes.  This was a fun, little project to do even if it did become slippery in places.

Happy birthday, Diane!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Got It!

Even CZTs struggle with patterns sometimes.  After years of tangling and creating countless tiles and ZIAs, I find myself stuck on occasion.  It's not surprising since I continue to learn new techniques, tangle patterns, and ways of exploring my favorite art form.

Enter Quandary.

I have built up a mental block about this pattern and have struggled with it ever since it was released by Zentangle®.  Every time I created it, I'd start out okay, and then my orzo shapes would get all wonky and not line up.  I know, I know, there are no mistakes in Zentangle art.  True, but when a pattern causes me frustration, it becomes a barrier to my creating and enjoyment of the process.  I'm willing to put in effort to make a pattern work for me up to a point.  If I start to get frustrated, I put it aside and come back to try again another time when I'm up to it.  Sometimes it can take a while... like with Quandary.

The Diva posed a real quandary for me this week.  The challenge was to use Quandary in a piece.  I guess if the Diva asked me to use the dreaded pattern, I would try.  I know it's good for me.

I once again practiced the pattern in my Tangle-A-Day calendar first to get a feel for the motion.  I tried creating the triangular seeds in different ways.  I used the Diva's recommendation of creating a single seed first then building out.  That produced better results than usual for me but still didn't feel right.  For me, this pattern is tricky because it seems like the orzo shapes have to line up and be the same length to get the pattern to work.  Of course, it doesn't really matter if they line up.  Collectively, the pattern works beautifully and looks so interesting, but I still wanted to find a way to make it work that felt comfortable to me.

Next I built a six-petaled flower in the center, added the outer ring, then built triangles from there.  I think it looked pretty similar to the first one with more of a gap in between the shapes.

My favorite attempt had the triangular shapes touching at the points.  This seems to be the most consistent and least frustrating way for me to explore this pattern.  So, I think I'll stick with this way for a while.

I think it's wonderful that we get to make tangle patterns our own.  Sometimes the step outs just don't work for me or for my hand, or I build up a mental resistance to the pattern formation for some reason.  I love being able to make a minor alteration to make a pattern work for me.  It's not about doing it the "right" way; it's about doing it in a way that provides me with relaxation, an enhanced sense of focus, and the joy of creating something handmade and unique.  If I have to tweak a pattern to achieve those goals, I think it's worth it.

Here is my tile in response to the Diva challenge.  I used one of the lovely Renaissance tiles with black and brown Microns, white colored pencil for highlights, and woodless graphite pencil for shading.

I started with the brown Quandary in the center panel.  I built my triangles touching each other and was pleased with the result.  I added little circles where some lines didn't quite meet in the center.  Next, I expanded the shapes on the right to form larger seeds.  I created an inner triangular aura with circles to give a different feel along with some heavy shading.  On the far left, I built my seeds in a different way. I created bulbous triangles thinking I'd do a variation of Tripoli.  When I added interior shapes similar to Bales, I noticed that I ended up creating Quandary in a different way.  It looked almost exactly like the center section so I thought it would be fun to fill it in with black and a brown inner triangle.  I can't believe how many ways I explored to make the same pattern!

I can honestly say that I had a great time working on this tile and that I enjoyed exploring Quandary in a way that worked for me.  I think I'll have to keep it up.

If you're struggling with a pattern, maybe you just need to find a way to make it work for you.  Hmm, does that logic apply to other problems in life too?

CZT Mail

CZTs around the world sent tiles, letters, and adorned letters to the CBS Sunday Morning show on April 1 to try to bring the joys of Zentangle® to the show's viewers.  

Wouldn't it be wonderful if more people could learn about this amazing art form?  What would happen if more people learned the many benefits of regular tangling?  Would the world be calmer?  Would we all feel more inspired and more able to tackle the world's problems one step--or one stroke--at a time?  I wish that people could enjoy even a portion of the benefits that I have received from my regular Zentangle practice.

Check out see a sampling of art and letters on Blog Zentangle, and learn more about this idea in a recent Zentangle newsletter.

I'd love to be in the the CBS mailroom to see all the amazing works of handmade art in that mailbag.  I hope the Sunday Morning show wants to tangle with us!