Wednesday, 18 April 2018

going full circle

Sometimes it takes me a while to decide my approach to a weekly challenge, and sometimes things just fall into place almost effortlessly. I noted that this weeks challenge from the Diva was numbered 360 – perhaps she missed a trick in not making it a challenge based on circles, but I didn't! I also knew I wanted to link my pieces for the Diva and Joey challenges, as I was pleased with the result when I did that before.

I decided to work on two tiles from my Leftovers pile  - in this case tiles previously created for a challenge that involved tangling over marks made by spilling a drink, in my case tea.  I'm slowly but surely working through the stash of tiles in my little basket, the tiles I start and then lose my way with. Some of these have been completed and have appeared in posts on this blog. There's quite a few still waiting for my attention, and a handful have traveled to other tanglers to see if they can take the tile somewhere new.

A rogues' gallery - including the tiles I used today

For my Diva tile I used a small circle of watercolour paper which had been dip dyed resulting in bands of deepening colour. I vaguely followed those bands, drawing my Shattuck with rounded ends and occasional appearances of Tripoli. Some bands of light and dark aura along with some simple shading pulled the finish tile together.

Uneven spacing improved by added aura

I needed a bit more room when it came to the tile I want to make in response to Joey's recent challenge. I decided to combine the tangled starters from her last three weeks into one – so I needed space to allow three tangles room to dance.  From my stash I chose a larger paper circle splattered with dropped tea and patterned with teabag prints - I started to draw, allowing the tangles to claim the space as they would.

Featuring - Breach, Mak-Rah-Mee and Relly Telly One 

Once I'd added all my tangling I realised perhaps I didn't need quite as much space as I first thought, as my tangles seem to sit some way apart from one another with no real connection or energy. I toyed with additional tangling or shading but then I had an idea - stippling. I haven't used it in a long time but I thought it might just work. And it did, but it took a very long time to do, and more than once I cursed the fact that I'd even started!  But it's good to remember it as a technique, and I may revisit it in smaller doses.  Linda Farmer has written a helpful article about it on her wonderful website.

I like the finished piece, the areas of colour versus those without, the tangles and the spaces between them. And I can't help but smile when I look at all those hundreds of tiny dots and think about all those tea leaves in the bag that originally coloured this tile.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

good enough to eat

Over the long weekend I worked on one thing, and one thing only - Zenbuttons!

These are the creation of Marguerite Samama of Happy Tangling.  They seem to be popping up in various Zentangle places I frequent and so I wanted to give them a go while they were hot!

Done well they have an amazing dimension and shine and seem to pop right off the tile.  See some mesmerising examples by Laurel Storey.  She won't burden you with words like me, just tonnes of great pictures!

I wanted to do them justice, so I bought Marguerite's instructions. (Edit - Marguerite has now generously made her instructions available free for all on Tangle Patterns - have fun!)  I usually wing it when new techniques appear, and often I manage to get to the desired result through trial and error.  But I wanted the foolproof method.  And it worked first time!

My first four Zenbuttons were done by sticking pretty close to the instructions.   I used fragments inside the reticula and shaded as suggested.  I drew them onto tan paper, but I did them Bijou sized - for some reason I like to start small when practicing something new.

My first four buttons - in black in with added brown,
wine, purple and olive ink

They look great to me.  In fact the hardest thing is getting a photo or scan do them justice, they look even more dimensional to the naked eye.

I then tried things a different way, using coloured pastel paper.  And on some of the Zenbuttons I used a single tangle round the entire band as opposed to fragments.  I think the blue ones work well, but the orange less so - and the orange one with Printemps the least - something just doesn't pop!  I've got an instinctual feel that some tangles / fragments work better than others, but it's early days.

Mixed success - but the blue ones I like.  Top right looks almost metallic -
bottom left has extra colour laid down first and in the shading

But imagine the possibilities - this is just the start.  I want to try them on different tonal papers, in different colours, I want to try them larger.  I wonder how I might combine them with other tangling.

If the world is my oyster, it won't contain a pearl but a button!