Thursday, 10 April 2014

telling stories

Some might say I like the sound of my own voice. But I prefer to say I love words. The way they come together into sentences, paragraphs and pages. I like the things you can persuade them to do, I'm surprised by the places they take me to.

In my day job (if you can call it that) I am a writer. I spend a lot of time with words, reading them, writing them, cursing them. Sometimes we need a break from each other. And that's where Zentangle comes into its own for me. It allows me to make marks on paper which have no meaning, no connection to anything beyond themselves. I can draw lines and squiggles, and curves. I can darken areas, shade or colour others.

Phantoms of the opera - Crescent Moon, Cayke and Chillon
Then I can step back, out of the tile, into myself. And often at that moment back into the writerly me. I can look at my tile and see all the things I was unaware of while I was making it. Sometimes the tiles don't have much to tell me. They are tight-lipped or secretive. Perhaps they are confused as to who they are. But some are keen to speak to me. To show me their story.

Like these two that I drew for the It's a String Thing challenge #35. Just one string and four tangles - and suddenly I was back to those dancing girls from my last post. But they'd left the stage. Something had gone very wrong in this theatre. A gaping hole had opened in centre of the stage. Everything and everyone was being sucked in. The draped curtains, the scalloped cornicing, the padded plush seats. Before long there would be nothing to suggest a place of entertainment had ever stood there. Nothing but the echo of their heels.

Also starring Cadent
A more homely setting emerged from my second tile. Perhaps a memory of my mother's kitchen. Her passion for fancy curtaining - a childhood recollection of phrases such as Venetian blinds and swags and tails. Plaited corn dollies and polished horse brasses. Little white dishes of shiny black olives.

Zentangle gives me a welcome break from writing, but hands me back raring to start again.

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