Saturday, 30 April 2011

More Morris

Well, it took me until Saturday afternoon to create the time, but I finally managed to finish a piece for the Diva's current challenge, "More Morris" (Challenge 19 already, for those who want to know!).  This was a challenge for me, not only due to time.  I don't usually place a great emphasis on black grounds in my work and I had to keep this in the forefront of my mind while creating the design.  I found it needed to be a constant and deliberate choice for me - who knew that linework was so much more natural an expression for me?  Also, it would have been much easier to work in my usual style and simply use a white pen on a black ground, but I was trying to stretch and do something different with this piece.  The Morris effect that's been under recent discussion is the technique he employed to great effect, of working in "spots of light" on a dark ground.  This gives the work of William Morris great depth and dimension as well as a more complex textural effect.  So this is what I was aiming for.  Unfortunately, I'm not very happy with the way the white gel pen (Sakura Gelly Roll) went down over the black ground (Sakura Pigma Micron).  Perhaps I should have let the black ink cure overnight before adding the white accents...hmmm.  Food for thought and future experimentation.  At any rate, enjoy (I hope - crossing fingers*G*)!
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Carving Out Another CZT Tangle

Today's tangle was designed by my fellow, CZT, Ruth.  Ruth has the capacity to look at the exact same thing as everyone else, yet see something more than the usual.  This pattern earned its name from its origins in a section of moulding at our CZT training site.  Detail oriented, Ruth focussed in on a segment of wood beading trim and brought to life this elegantly simple tangle.  I haven't used it yet, but I'm gonna!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Rainy Day - Flowering Tangle!

Continuing my week of posting new tangles, I'm offering up a tangle that I like to use as a filler.  It works well into long, narrow shapes or can be branched out to offer a more luxurious effect.  It's drawn from a memory of my years in Folk Arts.  I think it was an Austrian pattern, a kind of stylized blossoming stem, that caught my imagination.  I can remember being entranced by the smoothness of the embroidery in which it appeared and how fascinated I was to think that someone had the skill to produce this work of art.  I have used it here and here and here.  I hope you like it.
You know, it's really become quite a fascination to do a week-long exploration of things.  It seems to both motivate me and allow me sufficient time with a concept to explore it reasonably well - at least to the point where I think it begins to reflect a little more "me" with each use.  Does anyone out there have anything specific they'd enjoy seeing in a series of explorations?  I have so many ideas myself that I may be the only one interested in....but who knows?  Tell me if you have something you'd like worked out and I'll see if I can oblige!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Today in Tangles...

..I present to you, KOHN.  This is a fun tangle that I've been drawing since childhood.  I can't remember how / when it first showed up in my artwork or why I devised it, but something about it feels right to me and so it's hung in there long after other "favourites" have been worked out, done over or abandoned outright.  I've used it here and here and here...*G* Can you tell I like it a LOT?  I hope you do, too!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 25 April 2011


I've been having so much fun seeing other people using the tangles I (or Ruth!) design, that I'm going to keep it up a little longer.  With the Easter themes of rebirth and renewal, I thought this tangle would be an appropriate offering for Easter Monday.  During my CZT training, one assignment was to look about our surroundings and devise a tangle from our observations.  This is one of several I came up with.  It has its origins in the gigantic braided rag rug on the floor of the bedroom I was in.  I've always loved rag rugs - hooked, crocheted, braided - and I've always loved the way fabric that could no longer be used up or made to do would have one final incarnation as a rug.  I always tucked my children into bed so they were "snug as a bug in a rug".  I've even used a woven willow paddle to beat rag rugs on a laundry line for my Dutch AND Scottish grandmothers!  This tangle is also very easy to adjust to suit your artwork by adapting the segments via further inset patterns and visual textures - have fun and play!
Happy Monday!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Live Your Beliefs

This is a wonderful season, with many significant things happening - many of the world religions commemorate significant events, there is the annual renewing of growth, life and rebirth, the return of longer days and migrating wildlife... the very air is fraught with promise.  Whatever your beliefs, however you manage your spiritual needs, wherever your heart finds peace or mind finds solace, always remember to live your beliefs.  No one can take them from you.  "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".  You may choose to  flaunt your beliefs or hold them close and private in your heart.  They are yours; inviolate.
Happy Friday and Easter blessings.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

I am having an amazing night!  Ruth's tangle ORGANZA got a mention on Linda Farmer's site,!  Whoo hoo!  You go, girl!  How exciting!

As if that's not enough to get the endorphins racing through the bloodstream, I got home from work today to find Sandra LaFaut's beautiful "Bluebird" had arrived in the post!  Oh my goodness, I haven't words to describe this treasure - the tangles, the watercolour, the composition - there is NOTHING about it that I don't LOVE.  I will be studying and admiring and basking in its beauty for hours and hours and hours....  Isn't Sandra a marvellous artist?  And such a generous, kind soul, too; what an unbeatable combination!  Here's the art card itself; isn't is just FABULOUS?

During my CZT training seminar I was introduced to the fabulous Inktense pencils and their possibilities.  Well, I finally got some and have tried a couple of small trials to see how they work and how I may want to use them with Zentangle.

First I tried a watercolour paper postcard, and applied the inks in a scrumble type of technique. After the paper was thoroughly dry I used my Sakura Pigma Micron to tangle.

For the Zentangle tile, I reversed the process of application and first tangled, then inked.

You know, these pencils are astounding!  The colour is brilliantly intense and deliciously saturated and there is no build-up (that I can see) on the pen nib.  The pen is as profoundly black as ever without any bleeding.  I can recommend them highly as a fun item to add to your tool box of art supplies.

Hasn't this been a wonderful day?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Rainy Tuesday

Well, it's my favourite weather today - rain!  And yes, I am serious! [can't you see my serious face?].  I really love the rain - blowy, blustery, wet and wonderful, misty and delicate, torrential - however it comes it feels GOOD.  I like the moisture, the sound, the delicious scent of the air once it's been well-washed, the strange light in the sky before it breaks open and even the crashing of a midnight lightning strike!  I am blessed to live with protected parkland for my backyard neighbour and it's wonderful the way the critters respond to the weather.  It's fun to see who comes out and who goes into their den, who flicks their fur/feathers/tail and gets on with business while another creature cannot be found for love nor money if there's any type of precipitation in the air at all!  In honour of this wild wetness, I am showing you two tangles today - LEAU and AGUA.  I used them in my ZIA here, and this is only the second time I've shown original tangle patterns.  I hope you like them!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 18 April 2011

EggZZZZcellent Monday!

Oh la la, Diva!  Once again the Mistress of Mystique has issued a challenge worth jumping right into!  This week's challenge (in honour of Easter, new beginnings, spring and other noteworthy wonderfulnesses) is to use the shape of Eggs in your Zentangle or Zentangle Inspired Art.  Well!  This is just up my alley!

I love eggs - the shape, the colours, the surprise of discovering the shells below unknown birds nests, the joy when gifted with a perfect robin's shell, bisected beautifully by the emerging frail feathered friend...The shells are so beautiful and the contents so amazing - whether the source of perfect protein or the creation of a new life, they are wondrous environments and objects of great beauty.  Despite their fragility, easily crushed with the fingers alone, they can support unbelievable weights and even provide a sharp and slug or snail impassable border for delicate plants.  You can start seeds in them, then plant the entire thing - shell, dirt and seedling - in the garden as is.  They can be  carved, painted, dyed or etched.  Smashed flat they can mimic ancient craquelure for a decorative paint finish.  Powdered they are an excellent compost amendment or calcium binder.  The eggs themselves are a wonderful source of protein, tasty and self-contained.  The whites make delicious and delicate meringues.  The yolk is an essential for the creation of egg tempera, a lacquer-like, transparent paint used since ancient times for fine art and decorative work.  Russian Icons hundreds of years old still glow with the luminous beauty of the egg tempera used in their creation; the same technique that lives on today, passed down from master Icon painter to their apprentice(s).

In celebration, and in answer to the challenge, I offer the following:
Happy Monday!

Saturday, 16 April 2011


I am so excited!  I just checked mye mail and thought I'd enjoy a short surf and WOW!  Sandra Strait, aka Molossus, over at Life Imitates Doodles, has linked to the post for Ruth's tangle, ORGANZA!  Gee, I feel so legit! Heheheheee *G*

Friday, 15 April 2011

Happy Friday !

Happy Friday, everyone!  In celebration of the end of the work week and anticipation of the weekend, I've decided to start rolling out the tangles my fellow CZT, Ruth Howell, and I have been devising.  Since it's proven so popular with a number of artists (seen here, for example) I've decided the first one should be ORGANZA, designed by Ruth.  It's a pretty and fun tangle that is also delicate and variable - somewhat like Ruth, in fact! *G*
You can also see it used as a tangleation here, and here and here and here.  I think I'll stART a Tangles page to collect the directions together in one central location for ease of reference.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

One More Day To Go!

Isn't it great to think that there's only one more day-job day to go then the weekend is here?  It's so funny.  As little kids every day is exciting and new and here we are, "all grown up" (I'll admit to the statement being more than a little suspect as applied to me!), and we wish our lives away?  Zentangle has really brought back to me that sense of delicious anticipation.  I've been beading since I was 10 and, believe or not, I have two degrees in dance, yet somehow the zone had retreated from me.  Then Zentangle occurred!  Well - what a wonder!  Once again I have a metaphysical place I can go where there is no demand greater than the moment, no moment beyond the one I'm in... Ahhhhhhhh - it's like the perfect bubble bath: plenty of water that never gets cold! *G*  As I lift my pencil the dream begins.  The pen is next and it opens the door into that lovely suspension of time and need and plan and decision...  I do love my zen-zone!  Kit mentioned that she liked my turn of phrase - "zen of the pen".  I think I'll keep using it; it really does describe the place I go to make this art.
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Ahhh, Tuesday !

Poor day!  It felt like Monday all day long and the poor thing never got a "feel" of its own! *G*  On the other hand, it's one day closer to the weekend (and my first Zentangle class!).  Plus, my folks are home from an extended stay in Arizona and I do miss them when they're away, although I suspect my Dad really misses his garden most of all and Mom loves the "dry heat" and beautiful desert so much I don't think she misses ANYTHING up here - well, maybe her grandkids! *G*

At any rate, you may have noticed my lack of posts last week.  It appears the winter blahs, or spring bunions, or something equally annoying, has provoked a hibernation response in me.  I have been going to bed so early it's ridiculous!  I do apologize and will exercise better self-discipline and get my posts done earlier in the evening if possible.

There's always so much to do, isn't there?  Day job, housework, family, friends, miscellaneous freelance work items, daily chores... I wish these things were more fun.  Cris recently mentioned the Flylady (if you don't know about her, go visit - the site is amazing!).  This site has really helpful tips and ideas to help you accomplish those pesky chores and daily interruptions.  I have some friends (and family - I can't believe we're related!) that find real joy in housework.  I do love a sparkling clean place with a wonderful fresh smell (NOT from air freshener!) but find the chores to achieve it rather un-fun to the max!  Isn't it funny how the sheer repetition of laundry, dishes, etc., can feel like a forced march in full gear, dragging on for hours?  Yet repeating tangles endlessly simply has time flying past, completely unremarked!  This week's challenge by the Diva was a good reminder that you CAN do anything 15 minutes at a time.  I'm going to try to push this tomorrow night and get some REAL WORK DONE in the basement.... wish me luck! (the good kind please - just in case! *G*).
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 11 April 2011

15 Minutes of Fame!

Yes, the Diva has done it again - issued a challenge too attractive to let wait.... take a scant 15 minutes.  Add a pen, a pencil and paper.  Subtract distraction.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste.  What a great recipe for a Zentangle!  It was interesting to note that the time suddenly seemed so short.  Time really does fly when I Zentangle.  I enter the zone, as it were, and time loses all meaning.  A ZIA may take hours or minutes and I really have no idea how much (or little!) time passes while I am lost in the zen of the pen.  A Zentangle, as opposed to a ZIA, can be completed readily in a short 15 minutes.  I will make a point of doing more Zentangles.  It's so grounding and focusing.  In short, relaxing!
It's fun how the mindfullness of the tangles removes the planning, and yet I still see a picture!  In this case, a kind of a morphing squidlike, octopus-ish, tentacle-y sea creature, moving majestically across the page... okay, I have mentioned being more than adequately endowed with an imagination, right? *G*  I'm really looking forward to teaching our first Zentangle class this weekend!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Classes are up!

Just a very brief update that the Classes page has been updated to include the classes on offer, as well as the currently scheduled offerings.  I'll be teaching with my fellow CZT™, Ruth Howell.  We've currently scheduled two beginning level classes in central Hamilton, Ontario, but we're happy to discuss travelling to other locations.  Lots of exciting plans on other fronts, too, so I'll post as things start coming together.  Post with artwork coming later....*G*

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mookolour (or Mookolor for those using US spelling!)

A couple of brief notes - I have updated and amended the Zentangle Glossary (link to the left) with input from the creators, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts (and could one of you savvy ladies on blogspot PLEASE tell me how to make anchors within a page? - or guy, as long as you can help! *G*).

Also, as has everyone I appear to have been swallowed whole by the Mooka bug!  It keeps cropping up all over my artwork (and I wouldn`t have it any other way!).  Today`s little bit of happiness uses two varieties of Mooka and adds in a little bit of a my favourite podlike flourishes, filler blocks and COLOUR.  Yes, it`s been raining on and off since Sunday and the sun is rather shy.  Since Spring around here seems to need a fair bit of cheering on, I`m doing my bit when and how I can.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Zentangle® Glossary Update

I've updated the Zentangle® Glossary to include MonoTangle... thanks for the nudge, Laura! *G*

Shouting Out

Just a quick mention that I've FINALLY managed to make the time to add in the list of blogs I follow - and you can ask 'em, I really do FOLLOW them! *G*  My comments'll prove it!  I can recommend all these blogs for their eye candy, inspiration, perspective or sheer fun!  I hope you take the time to check out a few links now and again, you won't regret it!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Challenge #16 - Mooka !

Doesn't that sound just like a glad exclamation?  Something like the Greek "OPA!"  Can't you just hear it? MOOKA!  *G*  This is the newest Official Zentangle® Tangle, just released with a "how-to" video on YouTube.  It's the brainchild of Maria Thomas and a product of her long-time love affair with the works of William Morris and Alphonse Mucha.  I have to admit I, too, have been entrapped by their exquisite taste and peerless sense of colour.  There is something so viscerally appealing about the fluid lines in their designs and this is beautifully captured in the flowing tangle that Maria has designed.  The ever-flexible Diva of Tangle Delights immediately seized the opportunity to have multiple explorations of this new tangle by using it for our challenge of the week.  Just think - all over the globe, Zentangle enthusiasts of all stripes, CZTs, artists, amateurs who have stumbled onto the wonders of this burgeoning artform are bending their creative juices towards the creation of a person version of this gorgeous new tangle.  MOOKA!  Doesn't it just sound like the perfect celebratory exclamation for this challenge?  Speaking of which, this is my own small contribution to the global party:
Happy Monday!