Archive for the ‘zentangles’ Category

52 Sparks – Week 3

Week Three of Dale Anne Potter’s 52 Sparks asks about our favorite color. I’ve had an interesting week thinking about this one. My first thought was purple, as I wear that color a lot. And…I have a lot of purple in my fabric stash. But the more I thought about it, the more I kept going back to basic black.

Growing up I did a lot of work with pen and ink, as well as charcoal. In fact, the year I was 14 for Christmas I gave my father a drawing I had done from a holiday card. This was the old-style pen and having to load the India ink each time. He had it framed, and it eventually passed to me when he died and my mother remarried. There are times when it looks vary amateurish, and times when I see the perspective and the light sources. I still like the piece. Here it is:

There is something so basic and stark about working in black and white. I was very linear when growing up, and as a naive, young adult, a lot of life was black-and-white, with few shades of gray. That has certainly changed!

In college I had to buy a black dress for orchestra performances, and I have always loved the idea of the “little black dress.” Wearing black and white in the summers was a favorite, and I was delighted to learn in the 70’s that I was a “winter,” and crayon colors were perfect for me. But I have also realized I wore a lot of black when I was teaching. It’s a great discipline color, and it was a staple in my wardrobe, and I could mix and match just about anything.

Speaking of wardrobes, black also is slimming, so that’s another reason why I have so much of it – accented with purple, of course.

I don’t hesitate to use black when needed in my artwork, and of course I love doing zentangles. Last week I showed the beginning of the zentangle – in glorious black and white – that I have started as the first step in a piece for an art show. After three days of a lot of intense, fine work, my zentangle is approaching completing, and then I can go on to the next stage. Here it is, as I’ve started to square off the sides, and not too much to finish.

I wear red, I wear purple, but I am still drawn to black…even if I don’t have to worry about discipline any more.

Top Ten Tuesday

I am still so far behind of getting caught up on blogs, even my most favorite ones. But slowly, slowly…I want to enjoy what’s out there!

Really cool shots from this week’s 365 Project. Love the rainbow water drops!!

Cromer High Tide by Paul

As usual, Alyson Stanfield has great advice in her ArtBiz Blog, “Quadruple Your Email Subscribers, and this week is no exception, especially in light of what I wrote yesterday in finally getting to a newsletter.

Now I am certainly behind the time, and this has already gone viral, but what a great story, Caine’s Arcade!

I still haven’t really figured out Pinterest, but I do know that since the TAFA list started using it, the amount of spam I am getting has really increased. So here’s an article I am going to pursue as I learn more about Pinterest.

If you’ve ever wanted to try ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards), here is a blog by Quilt Rat that takes you through the process. Her doodles are excellent.

I have a new guilty pleasure……(that’s how I felt about the ORIGINAL Survivor….), and that’s Fashion Star. I’m finding it absolutely fascinating, both the design and marketing process, and trying to guess which clothes will get a bid. Joan Beiriger’s blog looks at the show from the point of licensing tips.

I love Mamacita and her occasional rants on society and education. Here’s a good one…..

“Back in the day, as George Washington might have said if he’d had to, except he DIDN’T have to because in his day, violent people were dealt with promptly and in a way that mightily discouraged repeat performances, a teacher’s problems consisted of gum, untucked shirts, spitballs, and the occasional talking-back, all of which were dealt with swiftly and firmly.  The teacher was in charge; the parents respected the teacher; the principal usually backed up the teacher, and since decent people were respected back then, the student knew that to be a decent person, he/she needed to shape up or look forward to five to ten in the pen.  At the very least, to be deprived of any further free public educational opportunities, because frankly, those belong to learners, not destroyers.

“Said shaping-up to be done by the student, mind you.  Who else can do it?  Nobody, that’s who.”

Readers of my blog know I love most things zentangle, and now there are zendalas……nice and round. Here’s a couple from the zentangle blog:

Letters of Note always have something of interest from the great and the unusual. This is a letter about writing, from the venerable C. S. Lewis, with advice that definitely stands the test of time.

And on another note, from James Thurber, comes this delightful letter, quite the counterpoint to C. S. Lewis.

Let me know of cool stuff you find on the web this week!

Top Ten Tuesday

Another Tuesday, and more goodies on the web – although it has been slower than normal, due to the holiday. Enjoy!

Here’s a great list from The Best Article Every Day – places to learn on line – for anything!

I found this interesting block design from Generation Q magazine, by way of Scott Hansen and Blue Nickel Studios. It celebrates Kwanzaa, and it’s a striking block. Take a good look at the setting – lots of interesting design possibilities.

I’m taking part in the Free Motion Quilting Challenge this coming year – I really want to learn to do more with my machine. I want to learn how to do feathers….take a look at this example from Ivory Spring’s Thread Talk. She gives step-by-step instructions – I can wish……

MAD Magazine rings in the New Year with its Top Ten posts…..

“The Disturbing Similarities Between New Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and New Today Host Ann Curry”

From SewCalGal comes insights on free motion quilting, with a year-long challenge coming up. She says in this blog post that after a year of practicing FMQ, she’s much more capable of doing cool designs – and I concur…my FMQ has increased just from the practice. If you’re interested, go ahead and sign up for the monthly challenge – should be fun!

From Generation Q magazine comes some creative pushes for 2012, if you like to spend this time before the new year making plans and setting goals.

You know I love Cool Hunting – here’s some of their year-end best, in conceptual design.

“From ICFF to Art Basel, 2011 delivered a flurry of design objects for the home that while highly creative and concept-driven, didn’t compromise their utilitarian duties. From recycled plastic chairs to roman numeral inspired book shelves, the following are five of our favorite pieces of sculptural design that could just as easily pass as pure art objects.”

Lara Knutson's Soft Chemistry

from Art Biz Blog, a collection of top posts from the year for your marketing pleasure!

Most Commented On

6 Limits for Donating Artwork

12 Tips for Pricing Your Art

You Promise Exposure, We Want to See Results

Attracting Good Karma

Artists’ Day Jobs – What’s Yours?

Is There a Downside to Teaching Your Art?

Social Media Is Only a Tool

…and lots more!

From Fine Art Views, an interesting challenge: Add an Art Challenge to your New Year’s Resolution List: for Smokers…..I’m thinking of adapting this for dieting….

I haven’t posted anything lately on zentangles, but I keep looking at blogs. Here’s one from The Rainbow Elephant that I think would translate really well into a quilting pattern, especially since I want to incorporate some snowflakes on a winter quilt.

Have a great week – send me cool stuff you find!

Work in Progress Wednesday

Well, lots of loose ends going round in my head. There are a lot of WIPs, from marketing to fiber projects. First up is my attempt to make some progress with Fine Art America. It occurred to me that rather than wait to get collections completed, I should start putting up a print at a time. Good thought. Turns out the program is not as intuitive as I figured it would be, based on all the great comments. One conclusion I have come to is that it looks like so many of my pieces that I thought were ready to go probably need to be redone, and I’m not sure I remember how I got to each and every layer.

I need to resize a lot of images, and I need to save them at a higher resolution. I am having trouble, for some reason, getting my sizing right for the program. This one to the left, for example, has been resized to an eight by eight, at 250 dpi, and it still doesn’t seem to want to show correctly on line. I also need to look at what I want for costs. The site isn’t completely clear about setting mark-ups.

There are also plug-ins to have your prints and a shopping cart on your Facebook page, as well as your website, which I would definitely like to do, but I think I need to wait until I can figure out how to get work consistently up on the site. After nearly two hours today and about the same amount of time yesterday, I put out a request for assistance on Twitter and Facebook. The site is classy, the work looks good, lots of people have given good feedback about the site, but I can’t seem to get a handle on it. This from the person who has pretty much taught herself everything she can do on the computer. So, yes, I’m frustrated……

I am nearly done zentangling my fake, flammable, plastic pumpkin from China. It looks spectacular. One more section of the pumpkin and then I will spray a fixative and enjoy.

I’m working on the fish quilt, as I want to have it done by the end of the weekend. And we are getting materials ready for the guild presentation next week. Earlier today we created an order form, made a list of everything we will be taking, did the handout for members of the guild, and sketched out what a class would cost, as it looks like we might be moving in that direction again. I also packed up the quilts we will be taking – mostly traditional patterns using marbled fabric, since this is a fairly new and traditional group of quilters. I want to show them my progression with using marbled fabric – from only putting it with blacks to mixing lots of colors. Makes me realize I need a picture of my purple quilt, which is quite colorful, with lots of marbled blocks.

It is so ironic that 10 years ago we used to do a lot of presentations but never looked at “selling” during them. Left a lot of money on the table, as one marketer said. This time we are going with lots of fat quarters and an order form. Maximizing our potential, I think it’s called….

Alum fabric tomorrow, marble on Friday, see what we still might need for gift baskets, and schedule marbling for next week if needed.

Wrote my abundance check today after the new moon. Being positive and thinking about lots of good things developing has really been awesome. The Laws of Abundance and Attraction really work!

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday….never know what you’re going to find! Plus I love reading about what people are doing. And blogs about history – but I’m staying away from current politics – makes me too angry and depressed, and I just don’t need that! So here’s just the cool stuff….

Speaking of politics (and this will be the last time, I promise), when I do look at headlines, I scan Al Jazeera in English. If you depended on just the US media, you wouldn’t know nearly 75% of what is actually going on around the world. Forget your previous conceptions of Al Jazeera – this is good all-round news.

From Cool Hunting – a really interesting take on working with crystal – including rings and weapons….

From Cool Hunting this week also comes where to play on Bora Bora. I REALLY want to go on vacation now!!

From the JPG Blog,  a new contest – photos are FABULOUS!!

Antelope Canyon, Abstract #1 by Linda Clifford

Also from Cool Hunting, a short video of an art show in Mexico:

Cool Hunting Capsule Video: Liquid Sculptures from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.

From MAD Magazine, a look at the class of 2015 (hey, it’s the teacher in me…..).

Seven Steps that May Dramatically Boost Your Happiness from Dumb Little Man – some good ideas here. One step? Follow your bliss.

If you have not discovered fractals yet (and forget about all the math involved – just go for the beauty), you need to look at Fractal World. Here’s their fractal of the week:

Shopping more at Farmer’s Markets more? If you follow Summer Tomato, you will be able to tour farmers’ markets around the world. Here’s Shanghai….

Mix zentangles, ATC’s and color, and you get Enthusiastic Artist‘s  gorgeous work!

Have a great week – send me cool stuff you find online!

Zentangle the Weekend Away

One of the best classes I took for myself was the basic zentangle class in February. With the rough months of March and April, tangling got me through, with its zen effects for relaxation. I have several zentangles that took over an hour each; it was time away from the stress and just focused on one stroke at a time, as Rick and Maria say. I have started looking at some of the zentangle patterns to use in my quilting, and that’s proving to be intriguing, challenging, and freeing.

Here are a couple of sites you can explore, starting with the primary zentangle site, a pattern site, and then some other sites where I can learn a variety of patterns and view some really cool art.

The original Zentangle site: read all about this growing art form – you will be hooked!

Tangle Patterns – LOTS of patterns, a new one each day. You can sign up for their daily newsletter.

Perfectly4med – lots of  very cool original patterns, all gridded out and easy to follow.

 

I LOVE The Rainbow Elephant (how can you not love that title??). She has a video for every new tangle pattern.

Cool zentangles at Deb O’Brien Designs

And a few of mine….

You might be interested in some of these posts on zentangles:

Staying Sane with Zentangles

A Zentangle Party

Staying Sane with Zentangles

The last couple of months have been difficult, with virtually no art getting accomplished, much to my dismay, and no doubt added significantly to feeling bummed and sad. About the only thing I was able to attempt was some zentangling. The April theme in the Sketchbook Challenge was to “go out on a limb.” I interpreted that to attempting to use more color in my zentangles, which met with a small amount of success. The second one that I did brought back to mind all the attempts at art over the years that didn’t succeed. I was faced again with my internal need to have everything “look good” when I try it. It is very difficult for me to “try” and see what happens – it still needs to “look good.” So I spent some time pondering that lesson, which didn’t help my mood much at all.

So April was pretty darn dry. I admired the zentangles of my friend, who is branching out and developing her own patterns. I was really feeling jealous, and by the beginning of May I was ready to pick up pen again. I have no idea what the theme was for May, but I did get productive…some pieces took about 90 minutes to finish, and some went really quickly. I still want to experiment with color to see what I can do.

The other thing that has been keeping me sane throughout the past month was looking on line at lots of new patterns. I knew I needed to increase my repertoire of patterns, and once I got started with new ones, I could see myself making progress with new tangles.With that bit of intro, here goes:

The thing I liked originally with this, before the color, was the way the paradox pattern worked with the two triangles. I thought color would enhance the pattern, and I found it just the opposite – I lost the twisting that I so love in this particular pattern.

Lots of new patterns in this one.

Zentangle Party

Last Saturday a group of us (mostly our Mixed Media group) got together with a CZT – a certified zentangle teacher from the Northwest side of Tucson. With some planning, and some ooh-ing and ah-ing over zentangle designs, we spent a great three hours learning the official way to zentangle, and a whole bunch of us are seriously hooked. Our next arts meeting on March 1 should have lots of new art to look at! We ranged from age 8 to 82 at the party and had a great time – even managed to keep the chocolate fingers off the tiles.

Even though I’ve been working on “doing” zentangles for over a year, it’s only been since this fall that I started looking at official zentangle patterns. I do like working a little large, so my new ones are more a 4.5 square, instead of the 3.5 square. But first, a word about the Christmas presents I did for my second family this year. Two by three inch refrigerator magnets, based on their initials, none of which I have as pictures. For my friend Alison I did her initial as a five by seven, and I left a lot of white space, as her letter A reminded me of the Eiffel Tower, and Alison has lived in France.

It is delicate and frilly, which Alison is not, but it just has such a great feel, and it was quite a hit. Since I couldn’t resist, I also tried a gradient on it (marbled fabric) from Photoshop.

Now for my first “official” zentangle….there are some new patterns that I can see using a lot. I also love the tools for shading to enhance the patterns.

Now the ones I am doing in my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Challenge this year.

I find on these I am looking at the play of black and white, positive and negative space, and straight vs. curved. Creating a pleasing balance is definitely interesting.I just finished this last one, and there are a lot more official patterns invoved in this one. I want to look at creating the comedy/tragedy masks for my next one, plus continue to look at lots of new patterns. But the best part of all this is how relaxing it all is. The “zen” part really takes over your process, which is a good antidote to a lot of stress at school this year.

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Last week I show the beginnings of my Ice quilt, to complement the Desert Heat quilt I made. I went to Girls’ Night Out at the LQS last Saturday and got a lot of quilting done. I then decided what to select for the first interior border. THe cool thing with the Deat quilt is the inner border really is unexpected. The blue really sets things off nicely.

For the Ice quilt I decided to look for a yellow to represent the very weak winter sun, especially being from New England! You can see the yellows I pulled from the stash. I decided to go with the middle one because it was pale, and there is some very interesting texture within the fabric itself, with brighter yellows in a few places.

Here is the finished center. It is fairly “cold” and rigid, which of course is what ice is. Hopefully by next week I’ll have the flying geese borders on as the next step.

Also this week I have been having some fun with the Sketchbook Challenge. I uploaded my first pic to Flickr and got some very nice feedback. I was so pleased with the first one that I had trouble sleeping, because I kept thinking of more things that are “highly prized,” and I wanted to get to work on them. So far this week I have a zentangled book, which I love!

And then, since I am working on trying to keep balance in my life, I went for the yin-yang symbol. I kept only two patterns, one straight and one curved. I’m liking what I can accomplish with these patterns. I think  a music note and the comedy/tragedy masks might be next.

Send me some links to see your sketches if you’re doing the Challenge. You can click on the link on the right to get to information about the Sketchbook Challenge. I am also thinking of looking into 3 Creative Studios for their Journal Quilt Challenge, and potentially their color challenge. I just want to keep myself motivated and try some new ideas, but no pressures on me – if I do it, fine, and if not, fine also.

Art Every Day Month – Week 4

I am hooked on zentangles. Several times this week I just found myself drawing – just pull out the pen and a piece of journal paper, and I am off with the lines. I got a couple of good ones this week, definitely more in the “zentangle” style.

I’m slowly developing some of the patterns I like, and you’ll start to see them repeating themselves.

My “problem” with this one was that I couldn’t seem to balance black/white and heavy/light. Still looks good, though.

There’s a lot of fine detail in this one – I really like the “plaid” design – you can really zone out working with that pattern.

This was a fun one done yesterday morning, waiting to get with friends for our yearly “art gathering.” I deliberately left a lot of white space with this one.

Then I got the bright idea to do some zentangles for my second family, based on their initials. I found some magnet frames in Michael’s, so I just need to finish the letters. Here’s K and G…

I’ve started the D, and I have about six more to do. It’s been a great month for art, and I have quite the growing collection.

Art Every Day Month – Week 3

Ya know, just a random thought…I think marbling patterns are like zentangles……..

That said, I think I finally get it. This week’s zentangle – that’s right, just one of them – is showing me the way. I spent all week on this one, as I finally get the idea behind the “string” and the various sections. There was a lot more deliberateness in choosing some patterns and working around the design. That’s right, I think I get the idea of truly just zoning in to a pattern or two and that little amount of space, and just draw, and Rick and Maria say, one stroke at a time.

There is so much in this one little drawing. There are a couple of patterns I really like, some patterns that I would need to practice (no doubt within the context of creating a zentangle), and some that seem beyond me – I seem to make a mess of them.

As we were packing up the studio for this new move, I found the ones I have done last November. A couple I think begin to approach actual zentangles, and some I am still very fond of. I do have  quite a lot now. Here’s the one I started yesterday and finished today:

Can you tell the patterns I am really liking? And I haven’t even shaded this one…although I could see where I would….Overall, way lots of fun!

And I met Kathy Anne, a CZT (certified zentangle teacher) who lives on the far Northwest and is putting together a zentangle party for the end of January. Should be lots of fun and I am really looking forward to getting in to it even more…now I want to go to Massachusetts for an official training…..there are so many things I want to do!

Art Every Day Month – Week 2

This has been an interesting week, in that while I only have four zentangles to show, I have been exploring the wealth of patterns and information available on line. I have found myself in odd moments trying out new patterns. It seems that there is way more to this than “doodling,” as I am finding out. There are identifiable patterns, and I am enjoying trying these. Some I am having more success with than others, but they’re all fun to do. I can see how using patterns enables you to enter a zen state much faster, and you relax more within the art.

Here’s some websites to explore:

The Original Zentangle site and their blog

TanglePatterns

Open Seed Arts

Zentangle in Loveland

Plus, go to Flickr and just explore…whch I did on my new Droid, and now I believe what the sales person said about using up your battery…..

That said, here’s my work this week. I am particularly interested in the added element of shading. I definitely want to explore this more.

Anyone out there doing these? I’d love to see your work!

Friday Photoshop – on Saturday….

You might remember this zentangle from last week, and I said I was dying to try some Photoshop effects with it. Well, here’s one night’s work this week, in between grading linear graphs – this was MUCH more fun!

I love them both – they are each so different. This week I have been roaming the net looking for zentangle patterns. I hadn’t realized that part of this art is set patterns that enable you to really “zen out,” as I put it, into the drawing mode. I’ll have some new zentangles up on Sunday for my week of Art Every Day Month, plus on Tuesday’s Top Ten I’ll list a bunch of the sites I’ve found.

This week also saw me playing with some of the new photos from the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Here’s the original of the one I started play with:

This metal fountain is part of the Zen garden, and one of my favorite places to sit and be with nature. I was able to capture water movement in this one, which I really liked.

One of the things I have been doing in my attempt to create some collages is using my magic wand and capturing several sections of the photo, ragged edges and all – gives it more of a water color effect, which I do like. Here’s what I captured from this photo:

I love this just the way it is, but I kept going….Here’s the marbled fabric I chose to go in the background.

I know what you’re thinking…but wait, there’s more……

Same fabric photo, but with a gradient overlay that brings it closer to what I’m after with the fountain. Now I’m putting them all together….

First blend – I like it….

Second blend…hmmmmm……

This is the final, which I think I really like. I’m torn between the first one and this one. I’ll probably do prints of both! Weigh in – let me know which one you like the best!

Art Every Day Month – Week 1

Ah, the zentangle….at least my interpretation of them. I hope to do a class with a certified zentangle teacher after the first of the year, as i have learned that there are some set patterns that help you “zen” out. But I have been enjoying my version of them – trying to do one a day for the month of November – Art Every Day Month.

Herewith my doodles for the first week – have started experimenting with some color (less is more for me) and some shading – which I just can’t resist.

I am looking forward to putting some of these into Photoshop and see what happens. Here’s the link to last year’s zentangles: here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

Anyone else out there trying this? Anyone doing Art Every Day Month?

Student Artwork – Slope Art

This first day back to school I wanted to ease the kids easily back into working with slope, so we viewed some videos about practical uses of slope – roof lines, ski slopes, and the like. Then I introduced them to zentangles and talked about doodling using ONLY straight lines. Most of the kids got right into drawing and got lost in the drawings pretty quickly. A few were like I used to be, worried about what the final product would look like. Overall some nice art was created. We will move from this into an actual art project with straight lines, with the equations for each of the lines used. But that’s for next week….

In the meantime, here’s their work (taken with my new digital camera that I can carry around in my purse):

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