Archive for the ‘zentangles’ Category

A Very Productive Week!

A great week was had by me! Lots of art planning, getting ready for the end of the semester and Christmas break, and lots of thinking about making art and the business of art.

First a word about being happy. I am almost medicine-free – just a small water pill for blood pressure (which seems to be down on its own…). Turns out everything else I have been taking has been making me feel worse and worse. I weaned myself off the depression medicine, and I am feeling the best I have felt – in like forever. Not to say I’ve never been happy – I absolutely adore my hubby. But now I seem to be happy about life in general, not just one or two specifics. I visit more people, I do more things, I have been far more productive when it comes to making art, I attend more events. It seems I might not be content any more to just sit at home. I truly like the feeling.

The pic at the top is of a new zentangle this week. The doodle actually “reads” happy to me. I tried another, thinking I could focus on a set of them using the alphabet, but while it’s “okay,” I found I really don’t want to force what comes from the doodling. I am quite content to just let them happen. I like the ribbon effect, and I imagine I will use that more often. Everything else just seems too forced.

So I set up my notebook and have been busy working within the various sections. Brenda and I got together again last night to look ahead to the first show we are planning to enter. I did quite a bit of reading on licensing, and I think I am ready to send out my first set of images, as well as my first query letter. And I am thinking about attending the licensing expo in Vegas in June.

Now here’s where I would like to hear from you making art as a business. I found this week that I spent plenty of time planning and reading about the business, and making plans for getting art out there. But I did very little actual art (beyond the zentangles, and making fabric fortune cookies for Christmas presents). A number of things came to mind: I have the opportunity to make and submit some pieces for two shows. Do I want to commit to that at this point, or do what needs to be done to establish some income from licensing so that I can continue to make the kind of art I want? I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing this issue, and I would love to hear from those of you who struggle with this.

Doing some art for licensing really appeals, not just for potential streams of income, but because I am enjoying the production – working with Photoshop and doing really interesting manipulations of the marbled fabrics and patterns. So this potentially will allow me to do lots of other things, like take up painting on silk…..

I already have lots on my resume as an artist over the last 14 years. Some juried shows and articles, so part of me wonders how much I need to continue with that – which takes time to create new pieces, applying and maybe getting chosen, and then spending money to get the pieces to and from shows. Haven’t sold anything via that route…yet. There’s always that possibility. But I am thinking there is more possibility pursuing some of these other options at this time.

Interested in what y’all think….

The Attitude is Gratitude

It has been one of the nicest vacations ever. Good friends, good food, great conversation, a healthy dose of art-making – couldn’t ask for more. For the last month I have been feeling really good – happy, which is not a long-term emotion for me. Perhaps it’s because of going off medications, perhaps because I really like my job and my students, maybe because I don’t feel like I have to wait till summer to create art. Or a combination thereof….

I know I have been clinically depressed for a lot of years, but I think it has been situational. Those situations are now gone, retirement is in sight, and my art skills and productivity are growing by leaps and bounds. Consequently, I am adjusting to what it’s like to be happy – and I like it!

Also, we had an amazing experience on Friday with a trip to Kartchner Caverns, a state park in Arizona, but oh so much more than a “state park.” I’ve visited a few caves – Colorado Springs, and my favorite – Howe Caverns in New York, but this was truly amazing and awe-inspiring. This is an active cave, first discovered in 1974 and kept secret for 14 years until ways were found to preserve and protect the cave. One hour underground in the “big Room” – closed for 6 months of the year because it serves as a bat nursery. If you visit the southwest, this has to be on your to-do list. We walked out of the last tour of the day into nightfall, with just a few lights aglow in the distance – it was so perfect.

I have two more zentangles to share, but I haven’t gotten to working with them in Photoshop – I’ve been sewing and getting ready for basting a quilt sandwich for the next project.

Suzan brought her zentangles to share – our styles are so different, and I think this is one of the appeals to zentangles – every one approaches doodling differently – I have a very heavy hand (literally) and like to cover the space. Suzan is much lighter and freer.

Back to school tomorrow – 12 days till finals start and a lot of work remaining to be done on linear relationships – life will be busy!

"Art Every Day" Month – Day 2

I have always been taken with black and white. When I was a teen, I did a lot of pen and ink (the kind of pen where you had to load the ink). Talk about an unforgiving medium! I am using some Pigma pens for these zentangles, and it feels like it did some many years ago. Granted, it’s just another form of doodling, but I do like the formality of it, the deliberateness…..and I like being able to play with my finished square in Photoshop. This top one is my new attempt today – I obviously like very dense designs, with not a lot of white space. It will be interesting to see if I “lighten up.”

Somehow with this new one, I didn’t want to try gradients – I decided to drop color. Whoa! A whole new way of working!! I could never have done this with pens….and now I am hooked again. What follows above is where I started….

…and where I ended up. I can see all sorts of possibilities with dimension in these, but I must say I love the black and white drawings just as they are.

ass="level-0" value="113">Tim Gunn
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