Thursday, 29 August 2019

a blaze of glory

Way back in March I was working from a list of botanical style tangles gathered together by UK CZT Lucy Farran.  I got halfway through the list and then drifted to other things.

As the UK was blasted with a burst of intense heat last weekend I decided to show botanicals at their most vibrant on 3 ATCs that I coloured using 3 watercolour brush pens in orange, purple and teal.  I put little blobs of each colour onto the other tiles to better tie them together as a set.

Tangled with Andromeda, Pozer and a grid version of Oke

For each tile I used only 3 tangles from the list - one that could form a band, one grid tangle and one clump type tangle.

Tangled with Mumsy, Dooleedo and Jasmin

On bright tiles with limited space I had to work hard to avoid the tile becoming cluttered and the tangles overpowered.  Dark auras and rounding at the final stage really helped refine the definition.

Tangled with Ying, Aura-Leah and Krokus

As a set I think they have a particularly late summer feel to them.  They are bright, but a little overdone, the blooms are full but close to falling apart, or at least falling out with each other.  It's like the party has reached its peak, soon it will start to disperse, and then all we'll be left with is the clearing away that is autumn.

Riding the wave - this piece measures roughly 11 x 8 cm. 
It's tangled on a piece of Medioevalis paper which I finally bought following numerous recommendations.
The colours are the same as on the ATCs but my scanner really disagrees with the orange!
Some tangles you see here - Mooka, Esher, Gelijoy, Tipple, Bales, Flukes

I've also been working on this piece, albeit very slowly.  I started it about a month ago and added a little bit here and there every so often.  Usually I like to leave significant space on my tangled pieces, but sometimes I like the feeling of cramming lots of tangles in with little room to breathe.  There's not a lot of space but they look like they're having fun!

Monday, 19 August 2019

eight days a week

Last week my world turned black and white - care of the wonderful videos that accompanied Zentangle's latest Project Pack.  You can find more details of Pack 06 and the videos explained in masterful detail by Linda at Tangle Patterns.

The fruits of my labours - all shapes and sizes, but all black and white

I didn't buy the pack, but wanted to join in with the fun - especially when I heard that the theme was No Mistakes - which is one of the central tenets of the Zentangle Method.  Apparently the Pack contains pens and also a special booklet, with black ink blots, drops, splashes, dashes and smears on each page.  In the videos we are guided to tangle back and forth between the black and white sections, switching pens as we go.

I decided to make do with whatever materials I had to hand.  Lengthy discussions took place among fellow tanglers about how best to create our ink blots.  I used a few different techniques - with differing difficulty and success. 

Day 1

Mooka, Tipple and Diva Dance on a small Relaxagon tile

I laid down the black using a Sakura Brush Pen

It took me a while to get the hang of moving between the black and white,
but then they started to blend quite seamlessly.  In fact I think the dividing line
disappears more on this tile than any of my later ones

On this first tile I deviated a bit from what Maria did - I used Tipple and Diva Dance around my Mooka instead of her Crescent Moon, and once I'd done this on one tile I brought little pops of those in on the other days too, just to help tie my set together.

Day 2

Arukas, Tipple, Diva Dance and some black ribbons on a watercolour postcard

On this one I used a black Inktense pencil - applied thickly then wetted to create my black mark -
the white gel pen skipped a little on this surface

I enjoyed the extra space, allowing those Arukas arms to extend and divide themselves - simple shading
on the white areas added dimension - but unfortunately my white chalk pencils wouldn't work over my black

Day 3

A line of pearls, spiralled Flux, Mooka, Tipple and tufts of Diva Dance on a
regular sized tile again with black section made using Inktense

This one was relaxing to do - there's something inherently calming about a spiral,
and running the detail line down one side of each Flux leaf gives a new look

Day 4

Munchin morphing into Paradox, with added Tipple

On this ATC I used my Black Soot Distress ink pad to create
the dark area

My gel pen ran very smoothly on the Distress Ink area
but unfortunely turned a little grey - but hey,
there are no mistakes here!

Day 5

More pearls, Printemps and Melting Mooka, and Diva Dance
and Tipple on an Inktense blackened square tile

This was my favourite day - something about Melting Mooka
really appealed to me - the way it grows and forms those
sections ripe for filling

Day 6

Ing, Tipple and various spiral fills and details

Having watched the video I knew using white chalk would be
necessary, so I made my black section using a piece of
black pastel paper stuck to a white tile.

I made the spirals in graphite on the left using a precision eraser pen!

Day 7

Indyrella, Tipple, Diva Dance on a Bijou tile
coloured with Inktense

I struggle with Indyrella, it takes focus to keep it neat,
hence choosing to do just a little tile on this day!

Day 8

An embedded word on a rectangle of Medioevalis paper - 8 x 11cm

I applied a swipe of black Distress Ink across this tile

Pure pleasure to pick a word - a word I need a great deal right now -
and then watch it disappear, while still remaining

I had a great time following along with the Zentangle videos, absorbing the enthusiasm and skill that the team share in each and every one.  It's been great seeing how others respond to these same projects.  I think this is a technique that I'll revisit again and again - I'm already busy researching the best black and white inks to buy to help me create even better tiles to work on.  I can also see that the technique could be adapted to work with colours too - particularly the deeper ones. 

Keen eyes might also have noticed that I'm trying to make better used of my chop (the initials I use to sign my tiles once finished).  Often I just stick it in somewhere without much thought - but I'm trying to make it sit more mindfully and creatively within my tangling - with success on a few of the tiles, and on one I forgot it altogether!

Friday, 16 August 2019

no work and all play

The other week I sent an email to Annette who is collating tiles for her latest Mosaik Project.  I also made a comment about how I was sorry to have fallen behind with her Zendala Moments series.  She quite rightly replied saying that there was no deadline, and that she would enjoy my pieces whenever they were completed, however long that took!  And of course that is true.  There is no time limit, there is just the invitation to use her string and share where it takes me with others who have done the same. 

I knew this, I know this and yet I still fell into the habit of thinking I'd fallen behind.  We live in a world where we often have to keep up, get ahead, or struggle to catch up if we fall behind.  But we really don't need to carry that ethos over into our tangling.  We must fight the urge to mirror the attitudes of work and chores and obligations, onto the experience of pleasure and play, relaxation, meditation and escape.

Zendala Moments #5 - tangled with Diva Dance, Papermint, Doodah and my own newest tangle, Blaw

In part the reason I took longer on these pieces was because I was doing a lot to them.  I thought it might be fun to see the Zendala strings on a rectangular tile rather than a round tile.  I decided to use a couple of Hahnemühle cold pressed watercolour postcards.  I added a fair bit of colour to them before I started - using watercolour brush pens in shades of teal and purple.  Once dry I added some extra dark teal, using a Distress Ink pad and making subtle marks on the postcard using the rim of a small jam jar, the cap of a pencil protector, and the edge of a ruler.  I tucked the postcards away and only later got them out to tangle - working in black ink mostly, with a few pops of purple ink.  I shaded and highlighted where appropriate.  Then I got a bit daring and went in and added some more splots of purple watercolour, using a small sponge through a dotty stencil.  It felt a little dangerous adding wet colour to a piece I'd already tangled but I felt it added a little extra interest.  I then finished off with some dots of silver gel pen and white paint pen - following lines in the both tangling and background.

I'm often very minimal and safe in my use of colour, but I've been getting more daring and growing in confidence and reading Alice's glorious technicolour blog and her encouragement have surely helped a lot! 

Zendala Moments #6 - tangled with a Cruffle variation, Cubine, Meer and Beadlines

We're halfway through the last month that I define as summer, soon thoughts will shift to all things autumnal.  But for now my colours are changing - the yellows, sky blues and vast array of greens are handing over to sea blues and the purples of blousey blooms and butterfly-bobbed buddleia. 

So today I've shown you my responses to two of Annette's Zendala Moments string invitations - which she shared in May and June - but I finished just yesterday, in August!  These two pieces took a long time, but I think they were well worth the wait.