Monday, 25 July 2016

catch 'em if you can

Last week I launched my Leftovers Project - an ongoing aim to use up those left-on-the-pile tiles.

This week's Diva Challenge gives me the perfect oppurtunity to grab another and use it.  This tile has been on the heap for a long time - in fact I've got a sneaking suspicion I probably drew the string for a previous circle based Diva challenge...

I filled the varying sized circles with a new variation of N'Zeppel that appeared in my sketchbook yesterday, as well as a couple of other tangles I've used lately and still have their hooks in my mind (Cat-kin and Crescent Moon).  I added colour using some new paints - that I clearly need to practice with more, because they came out a fair bit more intense than I expected.  Some stippling softened the surround.

I like the finished tile - it reminds me of thought bubbles drifting by - some calm, some complex, none likely to last long.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

waste not, want not

I dislike waste in all areas of life.  I clear my plate every night, take care to not buy more than I need, and recycle or donate anything I no longer want that still has a little life in it.

And of course I don't throw away tiles that have 'gone wrong'.  Instead I tuck them into the little basket where a handful of fresh blank tiles live and hope to come back to them one day.  But I rarely do.  The stack just builds up.

There's all sorts of tiles in there.  Ones that I started and then lost my way, lost my faith.  One that are nothing more than a string.  Experiments in colour that then overwhelmed me when it came to placing a line on them.  And some that are almost finished and then fell at the final hurdle.  Misshapes, mistakes, misfits.

I've been muttering to myself about doing something with them for a long time.  So, now is the time.  To launch a sometimes project to give a new lease of life to those unloved tiles.  Starting with this one...

 ... a couple of blobs, squiggles and a spray of blue on a cream tile.  With no fixed plan I tangled a large section of Arukas, Papermint in one blob, Crescent Moon in the other.  Some creeping auras and then some Wool (with fills of Msst and Tipple).  I then shaded with graphite and a slightly dubious choice of two coloured pencils which I'm trying hard not to regret!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

playing catch up

I didn't get myself together in time to send a tile for last week's It's a String Thing challenge.  So I had a play in my sketchbook over the weekend - and that extra paper space allowed me to squeeze in some of Adele's new tangle too!  O is a fun and easy tangle to draw - methodical, calming and it really jumps off the page once you shade it!  It worked well alongside Lenche as it almost looks like pins with their ends missing!

It's funny, but with so many new and beautiful tangles appearing every week - both those newly released and newly discovered - it's so easy to forget to use the tangles I created.  I can't remember the last time I used Kitl - and I had fun playing with it again.  Perhaps I won't leave it so long next time.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

back to the future

Sometimes the wonderful world of Zentangle leaves me feeling a little spoiled for choice - so many tangles, infinite combinations, strings, black on white, white on black, tan, and colour, colour, colour.  New techniques, pens, pencils, paints.  Not to mention a wild array of challenges and inspirations from a multitude of other tanglers.  It's easy to want to do it all - and then somehow lose out on the pleasure of a deeper immersion into just one part.
My first Renaissance tile -
tangled with MA-XIII (Chantal Florin)

Tangled with Endless (Silke Wagner)
As soon as Rick and Maria introduced the idea of Renaissance tangling with its unique and warm glow I was drawn to it.  But I forced myself to put it down.  Put it away, even as an idea, for the future.  So other than occasionally working in black and white on a square of kraft card I haven't dabbled.  But I felt ready...

Featuring Pavonia (Angie Shade)
plus Fescu and Tipple
And I decided to start with the sort of reverence that a style based on a long heritage of art deserved.  I took time to choose and source my materials.  I had a sample official Renaissance tile to look at - but it's hard to buy official supplies in the UK (although I notice that Amazon are now selling small packs of the black and white tiles!) - and if possible I like to source locally to minimize overseas shipping.  But that little tan tile is a shade onto itself, and despite pulling together every remotely tan-ish paper I had to hand nothing was quite perfect.

The closest match was a piece of Daler-Rowney Murano pastel paper in a shade called Stone - it's a lovely colour, and the brown ink and white highlights shine, but it's a little colder than the true tan tile.  But it allowed me to take my first tentative step !

Keeping it official -
Cyme tied together with some Zander
Further exploration online, and with some welcome advice from wonder-tangler Lily Moon, I got hold of some Fabriano Ingres paper, in the shade Gialletto.  With a slight tweak in the spelling I got a translation site to explain that Gialetto in English means 'already read' - which makes me think the colour name is referring to that appearance that old and well loved books develop.  The paper is a good match, and the lines laid into it add a lovely texture to work over.  My next two tiles were drawn on this paper.  

My last experiment was on some Stonehenge 100% cotton paper in a shade called Fawn.  This is a very soft and smooth paper, it almost feels buttery, and it encourages me to really slow down.  Which suits the Renaissance mood.  I feel it asks for different things from me, less filling of the tile perhaps, slower and lighter pen work.  Patience.  And thoughtful glances ahead to consider where my white highlights might appear.  I enjoy the process enormously, and while I still feel most at home in the bold world of black and white this is like spending time in a favourite library.  It's peaceful, it's recuperative.  The light is low, the mood is easy - hours could be lost, but never regretted.