Thursday, 31 March 2011

Glossary Update

Check out the Zentangle Glossary for the addition and definition of VennTangle - you go, ptrish40!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Grow !

Hello, world!  Well, it's been cold, snowy, icy and damp for far too long.  My poor snowdrops are frozen solid on their stems and the robins have tried their best mating moves multiple times without once setting up a nest.  It's definitely time to give good ol' spring a bit of encouragement, especially in light of the fact that the official first day of Spring brought a record snowfall here!  So, here's my "Rah! Rah!" cheer for Spring - go Team Spring!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Tuesday Twist

I really enjoyed Laura's challenge this week.  I really had fun responding to it.  I picked up my little journal to flip through and it soon became apparent (duh!) that I there was a basis for my enjoyment - it seems I nearly ALWAYS use curves!  A little swing here, a bit of a twist there...  So I started hunting down the straight lines I've used in my work and you know what?  There are hardly any!  Well, that won't do!  After all, fair is fair and all good lines deserve a chance to play.  I actually CAN draw a straight line (in grade school a mean child named Simon took a ruler to check a line I drew and insisted it was TOO straight and that I had cheated and used a ruler - even though he'd seen me draw it!).  I mean I can draw a really, really TRULY straight line! *G*  So, I thought I'd go back to the previous straight-line challenge.  Then I thought, no, I'd just go with the flow and let the straight lines be in my mind while I worked (do you see a certain waffling theme here?).  So, long story short, this is what happened:
I'm thinking that perhaps I should make more of an effort to use straight lines!  They really didn't show up in this ZIA excepting as an inner element and I really DID intend to use more of them....  Oh well.  There's always tomorrow! *G*

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Love Those Curves !

Life throws them at you and you hope you can catch 'em.  They show up in your path and you have no choice but to navigate them.  They distract you from your goals and you turn your back on them.  When you're young and have 'em, they attract unwanted attention from others.  When you age a bit and have 'em, they waste too much energy regretting them.  What are they?  Curves, of course!  The fabulous Diva, Mistress Of All Things Challenging, has given us our challenge of the week - Love Your Curves, Baby!  Cool, eh?  Fortunately I've had a lifetime of experience in dealing with curves - whether inflicted by fate, the universe or the Powers That Be, they've been part of my life for virtually the entirety of it!
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Brrrrrrrr !

We are "enjoying" (*eye roll*) a late winter blizzard here in balmy southern Ontario.  The show started last night and has continued relentlessly since.  I live on a place that Lake Ontario curls around so we get lake effect snow when others get only a sprinkle.  As a result, those living in our so-called ski belt further north have little if any snow, while here it's knee deep and still collecting!  It's really gorgeous, heavy, packing snow, too - the branches are  bowed over and thoroughly covered.  The screens in the windows are filling, too.  Once it stops I think every kid on the block will be back to rebuild their late, lamented snowmen and forts.  I'm tucked up in my lovely, warm chair with a fire roasting beside me.  This is the Zentangle that flowed from my pen this cozy evening:
Do you think that maybe I'm wishing it were Spring? Heheheee....
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sign of the Times

Today has been remarkable for the extremes experiences -  on the one hand, 21 critical files have vanished following my computer meltdown at work and I don't know if they can be retrieved (TOTALLY the pits!), on the other, after three weeks and numerous efforts, I have FINALLY been allowed access to the chat group for CZTs (TOTALLY a high!).  With such ridiculous extremes, from utter devastation to complete joy, I can barely string two words together.  With that I'm just going to share a quick pic and hit my beloved pillow.  The following is a sign made at the request of a friend, who is creating a (fabulous!) cake to celebrate another friend's retirement.  Another wonderful application for Zentangles®!  This will be stood on the top of the cake before it is presented:
I'll try to be more sociable tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Ruth Tangles With Stamps !

What a great tabloid headline this post title would make!

My friend Ruth is the culprit who first introduced me to Zentangle®  over a year ago now.  While it took six months to find the time to look into them properly, once I started I never looked back.  Lo and behold, here we are - Certified Zentangle Teachers!  It was Ruth who introduced me to Zentangle®, Ruth who showed me her work with rubber stamps (inspiring my exploration of last week), and even Ruth who "garage saled" her no-longer-required rubber stamps to me! *G*  Gotta love a gal who just keeps on giving...Heheheheee.  At any rate, "it's pay-back time"! *imagine creepy threatening voice*.

A few days ago I convinced Ruth to let me photograph a couple of her ZIA pieces.  This is one of Ruth's first rubber stamp ZIAs:
Isn't she fun?  I love the great shape and drape of the lines - it looks like an Earth Mother or one of the "sock 'em, bop 'em" clown dolls that scared the mischief out of me as a little kid!  Then there's this one, too, that's a bit more recent:

Super fun, eh? (yes, I am proudly Canadian! *G*)  I love seeing the different ways people take a concept and run with it in their own fashion (scissors, anyone?).  The Diva's challenges are just exactly like that.  We all receive the same instructions, but then it is filtered through our own perceptions and experience.  Later we post the artwork to be viewed by others who, on receiving the identical instructions, have often created something absolutely different that we never would have though of creating.  

I love that the challenges are not always easy, but they are ALWAYS voluntary.  I enjoy pushing my artistic limits, but I can also appreciate being in a time or place where being pushed just isn't a good thing and some may opt to "skip" a challenge or three.  Simply because someone steps up to the plate or backs off from it doesn't make the art of either individual either more or less valid than the other, in my book.

One of the things I am particularly happy about is that Zentangle® is an inclusive form of art.  Virtually everyone can make a deliberate mark on a piece of paper.  Beyond that one needs only simple imagination!  One deliberate stroke at a time, an artist, a child, a differently abled or mentally challenged person can choose to create beauty.  I am delighted to be part of this exciting time of development.  Those in full possession of their faculties, a broad imagination and good fine motor control can go on and create ZIA of great beauty.  Those whose abilities are severely restricted can also experience the joy of creation and the happiness of crafting original art gifts for friends and loved ones.

Ah well, I'm waxing rhapsodic, so it must be my bedtime! *G*  Off to make tea and hit the hay...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Challenge The Non-Dominatrix

Laura Harms, aka The Diva, has given us our instructions for the challenge of the week.  Appropriately enough for the 13th challenge, she's given us directions that are a wee bit tricky, even a trifle hinky, if not kinky.  Create a Zentangle, completely of your choice, using ONLY your non-dominant hand.  As I write with my right hand this would require using only my left to complete the artwork.  Hmmm.... a worthy challenge indeed!  And so I tangled!  Then shaded.  Then ended up with this:

Happy Monday!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Friday Finale

A final installment for my exploration of rubber stamps and Zentangle - at least for the present! *G*  I have so many ideas and variations and concepts I want to share that I'm practically bursting with them all the time.  I'm trying to think of some way to get all of you other artists out there (yes, even those who won't own the title!) involved in expanding your boundaries, too.  Laura Harms' weekly challenges on her blog, I Am The Diva - CZT - are bringing so much joy and possibility into our lives.  I'd love to offer something that would be as positive and pleasant a growth experience as the challenges.  Any suggestions out there?  I'm loving the challenges but I wouldn't want to step on the fabulous Diva's lovely toes, particularly when she is doing such an amazing and wonderful job of dreaming up not only challenges, but the linky widget, the slide show, the samples, etc.  Anyone who doesn't know whereof I speak NEEDS to go check her out.  That's right.  Check her out right now.  You won't regret it!  Her own artwork is stellar and the challenges (and responses) absolutely ROCK.  Just wait until you check out the slideshows - wow!  That girl sure does a lot of work for us!

As for today's artwork, it seems the eggs have it!  This one also resulted in an egg-shaped image - the second in a row.  I'm not sure if I'\m channeling Easter due to Lent, or if my recent visit to the MOST EXCELLENT Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts may be subconsciously influencing me.  I can heartily recommend a visit to it; it was a definite highlight of my trip and well worth the delay in getting home (we spent over four hours there, rather than the two allotted for!).  Even then it was hard to tear away from the exhibits and get back in the car.  Have you ever been somewhere or near something that had an almost magnetic pull for you?  The artwork, materials, ages of adoration... something about the museum and its contents just spoke directly to my soul and no words nor language was needed nor desired.  It was a transcendental experience.

This image underwent a fair bit of a change from my early pencil work to determine the string.  Since I was working with an existing image it was important to me that the string belong with the image and not be in conflict with it.  At first it seemed like a maiden in a hood, then evolved into a head-covering rather like a classic madonna and the final version approximates an old-fashioned nun's wimple.  I have no idea why!  But I am quite content with the final artwork; it seems peaceful and cosmic and ageless - Zentangle does seem to have no limits!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

An Egg For Thursday

What a nice homecoming I had today after work - my box of happies arrived from Whitinsville in today's post.  Yahoo!  Toys to begin classes!  Look out (Zentangle) world - here I come!

I think I must be channelling some of my fellow Zentangle bloggers - there have been Easter eggs appearing in the odd post and guess what?  Mine too! *G*  When I sat down to do the tangling on today's rubber stamp image it absolutely insisted that it become an egg!  I certainly didn't see that coming!

Reminder - a Zentangle Glossary is now available via the tab to your left or right here. *G*

Happy Thursday!

Why Not Wednesday

I had a lovely evening today teaching an original design to a talented student ("Hi Jan!" *big wave*).  The weather precluded the others from attending so my lovely little class turned into a private chat-fest.  It was lovely to see how quickly she picked up the [confusing for some] technique, and the bead choices she made have got my own imagination running amok...

After such a lovely evening, on a sleeting, cold, wet night, it was great to come home and cuddle up in my favourite chair and spend some time tangling.  In keeping with my current exploration of rubber stamp images and tangles, I have used yet another stamp image and some really fun tangles.  This lady seemed the sort to wear fur in the winter so I have "dressed" her accordingly.

I'm actually pretty tired, so I'm off to hit the hay and I'll "see" you tomorrow.

Here's the reminder for today - there is now a Zentangle Glossary available here.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Glossary Addition

I've just updated the Zentangle Glossary to include the term "Zendala".  Thank you to Byrd for reminding me of this one!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Blue Tuesday

The lovely Diva has once again issued us a challenge.  This week, in honour of her mother's birthday, we are to incorporate a bit (or a lot - as we wish!) of blue in our Zentangles and ZIAs.  This works well for me as I absolutely love blue, it fit well in the piece I was developing to post today, and hey, after all, I just returned from a FABULOUS vacation to a week of slavery relocating our offices within the hospital for the SEVENTH time!...*sigh*  I hate moving.  I won't do it in my private life and darned if I don't get too much of it in my work life!  I love to go places, see things, meet people but the whole uprooting and relocating thing is just too much of a shock for this fragile flower (*snort* - refer to ID photo for source of amusement).  But I digress...

Actually, I digress all the time but usually manage to wend my way back onto topic, or at least its near vicinity.

This week I am exploring the possibilities of tangling to suit a rubber stamp image.  I do apologize that I can't identify the stamps correctly; I would if I could, but they were acquired from a friend and the original source isn't on most of them.  If anyone knows the images, please email me and I'll update the post with the correct identifying information when received - manufacturer, name of stamp, whatever....  I can't always identify the tangles, either, when a really complex piece is created, but as some have been asking, I'll try when I remember.  So, the droplets are my own tangle, LEAU, the outer frame is an official Zentangle called TIPPLE, the inner frame is my tangle, SHAD, the bottom border is my tangle, AGUA.

Today's image is a classic motif and I thought her expression worked well with the qualities of the colour blue.  I didn't think she needed a lot of it, mind, just a bit to create an ambience.

I'll also just post a reminder for a couple of days for those who only check in weekly or less, that I have uploaded a Zentangle Glossary to help clarify any of the Zentangle-specific vocabulary people may encounter.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Start Something New !

I had so much fun last week celebrating my newly-minted CZT designation, that I sat and had a bit of a think on what I enjoyed so much about it (other than the obvious!).  I decided that it was the ongoing series on a theme.  The opportunity to explore one aspect of my Zentangle art - in last week's case, the use of initials as the primary design element - by revisiting it over and over, was enlightening.  I began to feel as if I loosened up in my expectations and fell deeper into the Zen of the tangle with every rendition.  So, long story short, I've decided to try it again and see what happens... My buddy CZT, Ruth, had seen someone try tangling around a stamped image and has been dabbling with a number of ZIA in this model.  Having seen how interesting some of the art is, I've chosen this for my next exploration.  So, here's today's effort:

I have finally managed to get my scanner back up, so hopefully my art will show more clearly in future - this one even shows the texture of the page!

Oh, and I've uploaded a page for a Zentangle Glossary.  I've had so many requests to explain various terms or words that I thought it might be useful to have a central listing.  If you have anything to add or that you'd like further clarified, please let me know.  The idea of creating something helpful and useful is very appealing to me and I'd love the opportunity to help you out!

Happy Monday!

Friday, 4 March 2011

A Week of Celebration !

What a great week!  Thanks for hanging in there with me as I had to work out the adrenalin of being a CZT at last!  I know everyone is probably at least mildly weary of the same-old, same-old, but today is the last day of my week long celebration of becoming a CZT.  I had a wonderful time in Whitinsville and this burst of five CZT-based ZIAs seemed the only way to keep myself from going off like a rocket on a holiday weekend!  It certainly made my lunch hours fly by!  For all those who preceeded me as a CZT, those who accompanied me on my particular journey and those yet to come, I offer my fifth CZT:
Happy Friday!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Thursday and Still Rockin' the CZT !

Yes, I've decided to make a full week of CZT Celebration! *G*  What better way to mark the achievement of this milestone?  The time spent in Whitinsville was remarkable for a number of reasons.  People who actually devised this creative intersection of art and meditation were very kind about my work.  Having Rick's remarks on my Zentangle journal means a lot to me, and Maria, as the "wanderer" about the class as we tangled, was very generous with her praise.  As an artist we shouldn't need any external validation; the fact that we have created something should satisfy the urgency within, but as we are also human, we tend to harbour that quiet, sly whisper that goes beyond critic into malice, sowing seeds of uncertainty as it goes.  Everyone I met was so genuinely talented and delightful as artists and people that their response to my artwork had me adding tears of disbelief and joy to my evening prayers.  The following CZT (#4, for those who are into counting), is a bit of a hybrid ZIA.  It draws on a number of artistic traditions, from lettering to ornamentation to dimension to engravers' technique to ancient cartouches.  I hope you enjoy this departure from my usual highly-intricate work.  I was striving for an elegant simplicity.  I may have gone too far and ended up in ascetic emptiness, but it feels peaceful to me.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Still On Cloud CZT

You may be getting a bit tired of my one-track theme by now but gosh!  I just can't get enough!  CZT - that's me!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Monotangle CZT

Well, the lovely Laura Harms has done it again.  Her challenge this week is to use ONLY ONE TANGLE to create an entire design.  An interesting, not to mention enormously difficult, challenge to be sure.  How do you choose just one tangle?  They are all so lovely and malleable and different... this was HARD!  In the end I used my own, which is similar to Rick's Static.  And, of course, this week I am celebrating the achievement of my ambition to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher - that's right, CZT - that's me! *G*
Happy Tuesday!