Wednesday, 19 February 2020

a handful of tangles

I was captured by Alice Hendon's Zen-untangled idea as soon as I saw it.  I knew there was something precious and important about spending time with the core Zentangle patterns - once I'd found a way that would work for me.  I've embraced each and every card, even the challenging ones, and I'm gaining so much on the way. 

I'm getting to know new tangles I've never met before.  Some of them are a lot less elaborate than those we are used to seeing from ZTHQ these days - but each has a certain charm and potential once you start to work with them.  It's also comforting to know that even Rick and Maria started somewhere quite basic!

I'm revisiting old tangles that I used to struggle with, that I can now tangle with ease - which is a comfort and reminder that we all develop and improve the more we do something, even if we don't always notice.  I'm also re-discovering tangles that I love, that I'd forgotten, and have been inspired to use more.  In addition, needing to fit a few onto an ATC often provides a great way to encourage tangles to play together.

There's a bit of a backlog to catch up with, as I've been preoccupied with Valentangle - but here are my last 3 weeks worth of cards.

A handful of organic tangles Fescu, Springkle, Zinger -
filling spaces defined by Doodah.  On a Distress Inked tile.

Marvellous Mooka - tangled in the styles I favour.  As a border, with
Melting Mooka and Easy Mooka - on a dark grey tile.

Hollis cups Moonpie, and sprouts from Tagh
clustered corners.  Watercolour and graphite on white.

Similar tangles share space on this Distress Inked
tile - Drupe and Fracas with a Dyon background.

A speckled grey background and a bit of imagination
helped 3 initially uninspiring tangles to enjoy their
moment in the spotlight - Ibex, Facade and Xircus

Beautiful basics - Crescent Moon and Knightsbridge -
I bought in white and subtle colour to this tan tile.

I've never been a fan of Enyshou - but omitting
the 'hat' and having it sprout from Festune made
me like it a lot more!  With a band of Hibred on
a gently watercoloured tile.

Huggins meets W2 - passing through a Crazy Huggins
stage on the way.  Sometimes this kind of woven tangle
is a delight to work with.  On a very orange tile for me!

That's me caught up to date so far.  46 of the 170 official tangles worked into 19 ATCs!  It's going to be a delightful deck to shuffle through one day, but making each card is an exciting creative oppurtunity in itself.

Friday, 14 February 2020

a whole lotta love

For the past two weeks my tangling has been wholly heart-shaped as I've been joining in with Margurite Samama's ValenTangle – now in its fifth year. I took part for the first time last year in an effort to overcome my aversion to heart-based tangles. It worked – as I can now see them as just another geometric shape, ripe and ready for tangling.

ValenTangle 2020 - pencil and paper and ink and love

Last year I worked in blue, this year I decided to warm things up, but just a little. I'm still enjoying working on grey tiles, so as well as grey papers I coloured some of my own tiles using a simple watercolour technique. Take a grey water-based marker (I used Tombow on these), scribble it on to a plastic sheet, spritz with water and plonk your tile onto it. A little trial and error to find the right amount of water, but when you do it works a treat, and the tiles almost look like marble.

As well as black ink and graphite I chose a Signo metallic gel pen in bronze and a
Derwent Metallic pencil in Copper. I have no idea why I didn't buy a matching
bronze pencil – but there you go, and I think the mismatch actually works quite well!

I shared my tiles each day in the dedicated Facebook group, but for those of you who weren't there, or would like to see all my tiles in one place, let me lead you by the hand through a fortnight of love.

Day 1 - playing with V & A, a new border tangle by Marguerite

Day 2 - Trinity variation with hearty versions of Beadline and Sandswirl

Day 3 - Exploring Minstrels (a variation of Demi)

Day 4 - exploring Marguerite's DoubleHeartZ fragment

Day 5 - having fun with Starsky, hidden in a Phroz-type
framework! With added Tipple, hearts and black ribbons.

Day 6 - Marguerite offered a mosaic-friendly string
and invited us to explore it on Bijou tiles. 

Day 7 - the suggested tangle was Jackstripes - which I used as a
frameworkto fill with lots of organic tangles.

Day 8 - one idea for today was to adapt existing tangles in a hearty
way - I chose to do that with my Divi tangle and Marguerite's Madama

Day 9 - playing with the tangles of Tomàs Padrós in a hearty way.
I used BlindMembranart, B-Leaf and Fortuna.

Day 10 - tangle the 4 corners of your tile and enjoy the space.
Trenthwith hearts joined by Melting Mooka.

Day 11 - organic tangles and the contrast between a dark pen and a light.
Marasu frames and then lots of pale grey botanical tangles.

Day 12 - tangle a Khala knot (I used a pencil, I admit it!) and then
glorify with hearts.  Arukas hearts made another appearance!

Day 13 - revisit the ValenTangle string but on in a larger space. 
This is 4 inches and mostly filled with a Bunzo variation and Heartline.

Day 14 - Marguerite asked us to decorate an envelope and write
a note to ourselves to put inside.
A hearty Zenith, Cubine and embellishments on my black envelope.

I've mentioned before that committing to a tangling event that invites daily pieces (not insists of course, but it was hard to resist such good prompts!) takes time, energy and commitment. It's not something I do often, but sometimes it's worth that extra push. I like to see a cohesive collection at the end of the journey. I like the days where I'm in my comfort zone - Days 1 and 10. The days I struggle with are quickly left behind - Day 3! And I especially like the days that take me by surprise, when I initially feel uninspired by the prompt or tangle, but then find the process and my result one of the most satisfying - Days 5, 6, 7 and 8.

It's been a journey taking in bends and dips and corners, a steady stroll about the perimetre of a heart. Now we've reached the end I feel gently warmed and not just by the copper and bronze.