Wednesday, 9 October 2019

dipping autumn's inkwell

There is no unifying theme to the pieces I'm sharing today other than their warming autumnal tones and the fact that I've worked on them all within the last week.

Inktober is underway once again. Last year I only made it to Day 3 before getting hopelessly waylaid by the lovely Ginili. This year I'm doing better - and I've made it to Day 9 so far! I'll hopefully blog about the whole month once it's done, and share all my tiles and process then - but in the meantime a couple of images to show what I've been up to, especially to those of you who are not seeing my tiles every few days in the Facebook group.

A work in progress photo – real inks in real pens, slightly scary but fun too

Nine days, nine tangles, three tiles

I've also had fun exploring some new tangles recently. Sometimes the best way to get to know a tangle is to simply fill an entire tile with it. Drawing repetitively helps cement the shape in your mind and hand, as well as allowing you to see how it fits together.

Singapore tangler Debbie New recently shared the heart-warming story behind her newest tangle, Wingfrond. I held the connections and friendships that grow from this shared passion tightly in mind and heart as I drew her tangle over and over again. I decided to use a slightly larger piece of paper, to allow the tangle to dance as freely as it chose to, and I like extravagance of the result, but I am curious next time to try and pack Wingfrond more tightly to see how that looks.

Wonderful Wingfrond – pigment ink and graphite on a 12x12cm piece of Medioevalis paper.
Autumnal colour was added in places by blending two Clean Color Brush Pens.

UK based Lucy Farran had a new tangle published recently on Tangle Patterns. Apparently Swooshi came about by replacing the C strokes of Molygon with an S stroke instead. Lucy admits that the tangle doesn't fit together quite as neatly as Molygon but it has a lively look – somewhere between floral and fiery. As with Molygon the trick to drawing this is to relax a little and allow yourself to get into the rhythm of the strokes.

Sensational Swooshi – pigment ink, graphite, watercolour brush pens.
This tangle has vast potential for fills and quite by accident I found
that little blocks of darkness between each piece looked quite appealing.

Hanny Nura just started a new month of her Full Moon Mosaic. She invited us to work this time within a suggested string on a Renaissance tile, with one section coloured. She also introduced a new Zentangle official tangle, called Hollis, which was recently shared at the recent Asian zenAgain event. 

October Moon – featuring Hollis, Bunzo, Cresent Moon, Tipple, Mooka - on a tan Zendala, coloured with Terracotta Brusho, and shaded using black micron, white gel, white and red chalk, graphite
I rarely work on the official Renaissance tiles – their colour is wonderful, but I find the surface so delicate for my rather heavy-handed approach! However I worked slowly and carefully, building up my colour and smoothing my white and graphite shading without totally destroying the paper. Tentative and at times mildly terrifying, but mindful and satisfying too.


  1. They're all wonderful! I saw examples of Hollis and its companion tangle called Moonpie on the Mosaic app.

  2. Thanks Linda. I just looked up Moonpie on the app and it seems like it is often tucked into Hollis in just the way I used Crescent Moon - those spaces were just begging to be filled!

  3. Oh Jem, these are all so beautiful and warm!

    I love everything, but of course, have to admit my bias is your Wingfrond piece. Thank you for sharing my memories and sentiments, I believe Fern herself would have loved to be a part of the Z community and to have met lovely people like you and others, if she only had more time with us.

    You are really special and truly talented in your art, and I am only too happy to keep on telling you that! Love xx

    1. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement. I'm so pleased you like the Wingfrond piece as I know the tangle holds special meaning for you.

  4. Beautiful artwork. Beautiful use of autumn's palette.

    1. Thank you Lori. It's my comfort season when it comes to the colours!

  5. I love the fall colors! and I agree, practice makes perfect... I often practice new tangles by filling a tile with the same pattern. beautiful work!

    1. Thank you Artzy. The more I use a pattern the more I seem to get a feel for it, how it works and that makes it easier and more enjoyable to tangle.