Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zentangle for stress relief

Last week my son and his family moved for a new job. They drove for three days with daddy in a truck with two dogs and mommy in the other car with two little kids.

Along the way my son called me multiple times for help in finding good hotels and rest stops.  I'm okay on the computer searching for these things but it was definitely stressful.  It seemed whenever I found a good location it was not directly on the route. Or they didn't take dogs.  Or they were already full for the night. Or .......!

When they finally got a place I tried to go to bed too. But sleep eluded me. So I got out some pens and did a very quick,  very simple ATC. I didn't think about it.  I just did it.

And after 10 minutes I could feel myself relaxing.  Off to bed I went.

My son and his family are safely in their new town now. Maybe I'll get to visit soon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

zendala dare 67

This is my response to Zendala Dare #67. I love this template that you can find at The Bright Owl .

I started with one of my hand colored tiles and put the template on by tracing it with a light box. I used my watercolor paints and selectively painted the sections I wanted. When it was dry I added my tangles using colored Micron Pigma pens. I also added some shading using colored pencils at the end. 

The photo below is what the tile looked like before I started to put lines, colors,  the tangling and shading. I love using tiles that have an interesting background because it looks so good to me. You could probably talk to art teachers who will talk about how it 'unifies' the piece or how it 'marries' the colors. I don't know all the art theory, I just know I like it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two pencils - Made in the Shade

The challenge this week was to use two pencils connected with a rubber band, and draw a string with them. I choose a simple string, two swipes down the tile with my double pencils, and then I played with patterns that I could see 'grow'. Shading this tile was fun. Shading is always my favorite part.

This book, Made in the Shade, by Cris Letourneau CZT, is one of my new favorites. I got a few copies from her and they quickly sold out. Thank goodness I kept one for myself. At first I didn't think I would learn too much as shading is something I love to do, but was I wrong! Cris had lots more ideas to share with me in this book. On page 38 she shows 6 ways to shade a circle. - OK, pop quiz time. Can you come up with 6 ways to shade a circle?

And even more exciting, Cris is going to be with me in Ohio in two weeks! We are going to have a booth with Betsy Queen CZT at the Heart of Ohio painting convention. Cris will be there to sign her books and impart her pearls of wisdom. The 3 of us will have zentangle books and supplies, plus a few surprises. 

We will be in booth 317 - right in the middle of it all! If you print out a copy of this post - or show it to me on your smart phone, I'll have a surprise for you!

It's all at the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 400 N High Street in Columbus. The trade show will be open to the public on Thursday 10-7, Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-2

Monday, July 22, 2013

Carpets and classes

When I go to new locations to teach classes it's always fun to look around me to see what patterns I might see. At the Sugar Grove Public Library on Saturday I looked down at their carpet and saw this. What an interesting way to use letters in an abstract fashion to form a pattern! I didn't mean to get my toes in the picture but at least this way you can see the scale.

The participants in the Sugar Grove class made some wonderful tiles. Click on the picture to take in all the wonderful details!

On Sunday I was at Banbury for a color class. As you can see, it was a smaller group. Their enthusiasm for Zentangle was wonderful. I got to see some of the work they had done on their own and I was certainly impressed!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cirquital/Opus - Duotangle

This week's challenge from the Diva is to do a piece with only two tangles - Cirquital and Opus. I have to admit that cirquital is not a tangle that I like - in fact you won't see me using it unless you twist my arm. So as I was thinking of how I might use it I kept thinking of cliches, like circles growing out of trees. OK, OK, that still happened here, but at least it happened in a zendala form. I wasn't entirely happy with the piece but I wanted to get it done and not have it bugging me anymore.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

color class in McHenry

Tuesday night was the color class at McHenry County College. I really like teaching there. The classrooms all have lots of white boards so it's easy for me to draw tangle patterns super large. We had fun exploring different color combinations and I demonstrated a variety of ways to get colored backgrounds.

I really enjoy looking at the photograph I took of the tiles. I find so many different ways of using the tangles that I wouldn't have thought of myself. Click the picture to enlarge it and see for yourself!

I enjoyed talking to the ladies present. One of them told me how she has been undergoing medical treatments on a regular basis. Now that she has been doing zentangle she finds that her treatments are easier to deal with. Another gal told me how she had just been to a trip to England. Her Zentangle supplies are so compact that she was able to bring them with her. And a third lady told me about her husband's job loss - and how he had been inspired by her zentangles to get back into art himself.  Thanks ladies!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Knightsbridge with dewdrop

Roy Stauffer, a CZT whose blog is http://mindful-creations.blogspot.com, is issuing challenges for monotangles each week. A mono tangle is a tile where only one tangle pattern is used. This week it's Knightsbridge. This tangle is basically a simple checkerboard, but there are many tangleations you can do with it.

I wanted to use one of the 'rejects' from my hand colored tiles. I had set this one to the side because it has a ragged edge of color toward the top. As I looked at it, I decided to use that edge as the string as I placed my knightsbridge. And to add something extra, I added the dewdrop technique. Simple, but fun and satisfying!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

stencil fun

I have a lot of stencils in my craft room. And I find so many of them work well for strings in my zentangle practice. The one pictured here is actually meant for quilters - but it fits so nicely on this tile that I'm sure I'll be doing more with it in the future. 

The pens used are the black and sepia Sakura Micron pens - I used the 05 size here. Shading is with a black pencil and a Prismacolor colored pencil.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Coil on a mailbox - by Kathy Baker

Today's post comes from Kathy Baker. I was so excited when I went to Facebook and saw what she had posted. And since I'm away, taking care of grandbabies, it couldn't have come at a better time!

Kathy used the very first tangle pattern that I named and posted the step outs to. It's the tangle 'Coil'. And HOW she used it - well WOW!

Thanks so much Kathy!

From Kathy..... 

  There I was getting rid of the pretty old mailbox post that had rotted away after 20 years.  I bought the replacement at Home Depot and carried it home, painted it with three coats of exterior house paint that matched our house trim.  But, it still seemed so plain. 

     I was trying to think of ways to dress it up...a stencil?  Add wood finials?  Then I found Sue's coil design.  It was perfect!  I watched her video and practiced while I watched it.

     Then I went out to the old mailbox post with a big purple marker to see if I would like it. I did a rough sketch right on the old post in purple marker. It looked great on the post! image.jpeg

     I came back to the new post and measured off three inch dots. I started doing the lazy s curves free hand and realized that I needed help working on such a big area, so I made a curve stencil by tracing one of the lazy s curves that I particularly like from the rough sketch on the old post. image.jpeg

     I had tried with transfer paper to put the design onto the new post but it was a rough surface, so it wasn't working.  image.jpegThen I got on old cereal box from the recycle bin and cut a lazy s curve out of that.  I penciled the s curves and added the rest of the pattern as Sue showed in her video.  image.jpegThen I got out my old tole paints and brushes. I just painted along my pencil markings and did some shading with diluted paint.  I bought some 10 minute dry clear spray for indoor/outdoor and sealed it in place.  The rest is history! image.jpeg

     Hope you find a Zentangle pattern you like to add to your mailbox post! 

Sending kind thoughts your way,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

HOT zendala dare

Erin posted a new zendala dare on her blog 'the bright owl'. You can tell she was suffering from the heat when she posted it. She added an extra challenge. We needed to use tangles that have names that start with the letters H O T or H E A T. 

The tangles I used are Hurry, Opus, Tipple and Trimond.

I knew when I saw this challenge I had the perfect colored tile to use. It was already colored with deep yellow and orange. I tangled it with a brown Micron pen and shaded with an orange Prismacolor pencil. It was a tile that was quick to do. I dropped a friend off at the dentist and sat in the waiting room. When she came out, I was all done!

Monday, July 8, 2013

ATC cards

Making hand colored paper for my zentangle inspired artwork has become my new passion. When I cut my hand colored paper up I usually have a few ends left over. When I realized I had just enough left over for artist trading cards (ATCs), I got busy. The ones pictured above are just the start of what will become many more.

I hand colored them with artist grade watercolor paints using a wet into wet technique. The tangles were done with colored Micron pens and shaded with coordinating Prismacolor colored pencils.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

birdy feet

The tangle pattern chosen to use this week is a fairly simple one. It's called 'birdy feet'. I started looking at some of the other tiles others had done with this tangle and I was impressed. It started me thinking of ways I could use this tangle 'outside the box'. 

You can see in the picture below how I started to form a simple zendala using only the birdy feet tangle pattern. It grew and grew, and even flipped directions in the finished piece. I felt I had to add lots of embellishments though. I'm not sure if the result reminds me of an American Indian design or a Pennsylvania Dutch design. Whatever, it was fun.

It was all done with a blue Micron 05 pen. I decided not to add shading but to simply leave it as a graphic design.

I hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Witches fingernails

Sometimes I look at a zendala template and an image just jumps out at me. That was the case with this zendala dare #63. I couldn't see anything except pointy fingernails. I thought about trying something different but then decided to just go with my instincts and see what would happen. It was fun. I know it's nowhere near Halloween so I'll probably post this again in October.

This link will take you to the template for this piece;  http://thebrightowl.blogspot.com/2013/06/zendala-dare-63.html

I started with a zendala tile that was colored with blues, greens and yellow. My tangles were done with a lighter green Micron pen. The shading was done with several shades of Prismacolor colored pencils.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Basic class in my home last week

Last week I taught a basics class in my home. It was a lot of fun and a few less headaches for me. There were five ladies (one had to leave before the second picture) and they all did great! Both of the pictures above were taken on the same table - but as the evening got later we had to turn the lights on so that changed the colors in the photo!

I will continue to teach occasional classes in my home so if you are interested in the basics or an advanced class, contact me to get your name on my lists. Go to the tab above marked Zentangle classes and scroll down to the list of classes in my home.