Tuesday, 21 February 2017

as above, so below

This tangle first made an appearance at the very edge of one of my sketchbook pages last September.  I've sat with it since, wanting to be sure it doesn't already exist. It seems so simple, so obvious, that I can hardly believe someone hasn't been there before me. But perhaps that simplicity is the very thing that's left it overlooked. Or maybe it's so simple that it barely counts as a tangle at all?!

I based it on those stock images that pepper the cover of so many Zen guidebooks. A stack of stones on water with their reflection beneath them. Hence the name – Flec.

As a border – on pastel paper – with white pencil and graphite shading

So far I've mostly drawn it in its simplest form, but I think it has scope for variation as to the size and shape of the 'stones' you use, and how you choose to stack them.  You can choose to include the aura or leave it out, and some simple shading offers dimension.

On black paper – with added Fescu – white gel pen, white pencil

If anything like this already exist please let me know – if not I hope you have fun playing with Flec – I'd love to know how you get on.

On water-coloured paper – with I–leaf and Flukes – graphite shading

Thursday, 16 February 2017

just enough

Sometimes our days don't hold enough of what we need.  Not enough time, energy, comfort, hope.

But sometimes we have to make the most of whatever we've got.  This week I had just enough to make this heart.  Paper, pen, pencil and a little patience.
Hamadox heart, with Diva Dance tassels - on a Brusho coloured tile

And I will give this heart to my loved one and me.  I will place it in a little frame and stand it on a shelf – where we can see it, and where it can see us. 

When there's not enough of what we need there is always love.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

meaningful mistakes

Bockingford blue tinted watercolour paper. 
Distress Ink.  Black ink, white gel pen, graphite.
This tile was a mistake from the very start.  I'd picked out two tiles I'd previously coloured.  This one was meant to be to try out Margaret Bremner's new Trifle tangle.  The other was for this Florz affair.  But then I drew the initial grid lines onto the wrong tile!  At that point - the end of a day, with the light giving out on me - I gave up and put it aside.  Till today.

With the 'No mistakes' motto in mind I carried on - despite the fact that this rather textured paper isn't ideal for very tidy straight lines.  I'd been carrying this idea in my mind for a while - wondering how would it look if you drew Florz, auraed it, and then drew it again behind the first?

I needed something simple and repetitive today.  I needed something that didn't need much thought, much imagination.  Just lines and more lines and simple shading in predictable places.

Perhaps there is a message for this week, perhaps for this year, in this seemingly simple tile.  That behind one barricade there might unfortunately be another - but that if you break through enough of them there is always the promise of light.

Monday, 9 January 2017

nine on the ninth

For the past couple of weeks I've been largely absent from the usual places I lurk in the tangling world - but that doesn't mean my pen has been idle!

I wanted to tangle over the Christmas and New Year break from normality, but wanted to do things a bit differently.  I wanted a change from the circuit of challenges and groups, not because I don't enjoy them, but just to see what would happen.  I wanted to scale down my horizons - not be spoiled for choice in terms of tools, colours, and techniques.  I also wanted to simplify - to get back to drawing a tile quite quickly, with no looking-up of tangles - just lines on paper to catch that little patch of time, that little period of sunlight or shade.

I allowed myself three shades of paper for my tiles -
two were pastel paper, the other a tricky to work on Khadi paper.
Pens in black, brown, grey and white gel - white and grapite pencils.

I didn't tangle at the table as I normally do - but leaning on a notebook on my lap.  This made things a bit wobblier than usual, but I quite like the looseness that appeared.

My completed tiles - in the order they happened. 
Including an unexpected black rabbit in honour of the death of Richard Adams.

I really enjoyed working within self imposed limits.  I like the finished look of this collected group of tiles - it's made me think this might be an interesting way to work at other times.  And I think I might have finally found a way to draw Mooka that I'm happy with (top right)!

Friday, 23 December 2016

a seasonal sign off

A festive thank you to all those who have visited my blog over the last year.  You've made it a warmer and more wonderful place to be. 

Betwinkle and Barrel Roll - ink, white pencil, gold pen and graphite on pastel paper

I'll be going quiet for a bit now, but will be back in the new year.

I wish you well for your Christmas time - I hope it's just as you want it to be.  And I hope the year ahead brings you peace and smiles and miles of pristine paper and fresh pens!

Monday, 19 December 2016

not long now

I've long hand made cards for my nearest and dearest, and since discovering Zentangle they've tended to feature tangling.

I can never share my makings at the time, for fear of the recipients seeing the cards before they open them.  But I've collected up a few photos from recent Christmases to share now.

From the minimal to the caked with glitter - perhaps they'll inspire a few new ideas, or at least show how much I like using Baton to embellish holly!!!

Friday, 16 December 2016

merry equilaterals

I've managed to keep up with the official Zentangle countdown to Christmas - even if I haven't blogged the results (since I shared my first three with you).

One of the charms of the new 3Z tiles - or in my case a pencilled outline of one - is that they are small - and you can complete one a fair bit quicker and still have something beautiful to show for it.  A great thing when tangle time is limited.

(from left to right) Day #6 - Molygon / Day #5 - Tipple / Day #4 - Marasu

Although the 'rules' allow us to use any tangle from the previous days I started by just doing monotangles, and so I had to stick with that, despite it being quite a challenge when some of the more simple or stark tangles appeared.  But the challenge has been worth it - I've never done so many monotangles, and it's made me realise that they bring a new aspect of invention to the art.

(from left to right) Day #7 - Knightsbridge / Day #8 - Pokeleaf / Day #9 - Auraknot

Towards the end of the countdown Zentangle headquarters released two new tangles - they seem at least vaguely related to each other, and work well on festive looking tiles, but have huge potential for year round beauty too.  It's rare that I shared a piece using a new tangle until I've worked with it a lot and have got to feel I 'know' it.  But needs must!

(from left to right) Day #10 - Drawings / Day #11 - Icanthis / Day #12 - Crazy Huggins

Of course one of the downsides of the monotangle approach is that I've been lusting after all those lovely tiles others have made with lots of the different Christmas tangles on them.  But still - this clean and simple approach suited me this year.  And there's always more tiles, more ink, more tangles...