Thursday, 24 November 2016

one for the wall

This week the Diva has invited us to play with our fragments and reticula.  I don't have the official Zentangle Primer yet.  I was lucky to find a second hand copy of The Book of Zentangle on Amazon so avoided hefty shipping charges, and was happy to give it a home!  Maybe the same will happen one day with the Primer (it feels a bit like Wonka's Golden Tickets - which is fine by me) but until then I can still enjoy the concept of grids and seeds under their new names without the official rule book right?

I designed a fragment based on my Sati tangle - pictured above.  I drew a basic reticula - a 4 x4 grid - on paper coloured with very bright yellow streaks.  Then I started to add in the fragments, turning it this way and that to make the pattern fit together.  This is one of those places where in-progress images tell the story better than I can.

As I've seen a few others observe, this is a different type of tangling that the more freeform string filling thing.  This feel more planned, more methodical, controlled.  But no less pleasurable for that.  It's more akin to working on a Zendala, with repetition and symmetry.  I can see this really being what I crave sometimes, but not always. 

Back to the tile.  For the final stage it's time to fiddle about - this is the bit that makes it come to life for me.  The shading, the blobs of gold paint (I had it out anyway and couldn't resist), making some of the black dots larger (as they looked lost), dotting those with white gel ink.  And then the dreaming.  If I were a ceramic artist - think of the tiles I could design and paint... but then again no!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

a woven window

Laura the Diva and I are worlds apart - in terms of geography and life and many other things I'm sure.  While she might find cheer in Earth, Wind and Fire, I find comfort in polishing small poems about the moon.  But what unites us is this thing we do, this place we come to - these little tiles of paper that welcome us.  Her challenge this week - to use Keeko - was perfect.

I grabbed a tile from the Leftovers pile.  I coloured this one a long, long time ago.  Back when I always used a string.  Back when I left one deckle edge uncut on my tiles.  Back when I didn't have quite so many colours to choose from.  And I dived straight it. 

Knowing Keeko so well - because it's so simple, not because I use it often - meant I didn't have to look up the step out.  I used other tangles that I knew from memory too - those beloved basics like Crescent Moon and Fescu.  It was a delight to get lost in the tangling, the shading.  The feel of pen on paper.  The no up nor down but somehow a pleasing symmetry arises.  Sometimes that's the best we can hope for. 

Whether it's the act of drawing that loosens up my writing brain or the images themselves I often find forgotten memories returning to me when I tangle.  Today, clearly provoked by my tile, I recall that when I was a child my mother had a small collection of corn dollies that hung on the wall above the kitchen window.  In ancient times these were hollow shapes woven from the last ear of corn harvested.  The spirit of the corn would spend winter within them before the dolly was ploughed back into the earth in spring.  As the days grow shorter I might just put this tile in a frame to see us all through winter.

Friday, 11 November 2016

the centre cannot hold

I know I'm not the only one feeling a little lost this week.  For many reasons, including the obvious.  I've struggled to settle to all the things that usually bring me a sense of comfort and surety.  Even trusty Zentangle, a haven of wordless worldlessness, hasn't felt quite right. 

But then I spotted the starter that Joey offered on her weekly challenge.  And it glimmered.  It offered something that I felt I could add to.  So I did. 

Extending strands of Twile out to the edges - unravelling and binding at the same time.  A couple of dark lines, a few loops of brightness. 

I had Leonard Cohen and W.B. Yeats running through my head as I drew.  And while it's not my neatest or most exciting piece the process was what I needed and the process worked.