Friday, January 20, 2017

Drawings and C time

The Diva's challenge this week is to use the new official zentangle pattern, Drawings. For some reason I've had the hardest time with Drawings. I love how it looks, and I've done other similar patterns with no problem. But Drawings just never looks good to me when I draw it. I've practiced it a lot, too...

Here are some pages of my practice with Drawings...Hmmm. I really want to get comfortable with this one. It's so pretty, but I've never been satisfied with how I draw it.

Different "feathers", different "spokes"...with glimmers, shading, different shapes, .... ah well. I'll probably play with it some more.

 Centered and encircling is cool looking....copied some ideas straight out of other artists' samples...

Well, this is the one I am entering in the challenge. It is part of a Traveling Tangles project. Kirsten Kostelnik sent me several 3Z tiles with starts. In this case, the start was that gilded Cat Kin along the edge. I added the Drawings and bead lines, with some gold gelly pen as highlights.

And, a weekly challenge I haven't done for a while, Joey's. There's been traveling tile style challenges over there since before Xmas, and after the new year, she started putting letters of the alphabet on the tile starts with one tangle starting with that letter.
This week the string is a C and the starter tangle was Cat Kin. I added Capell on the C, and Caught in the background. It was on a dawn pink tile made of Canson paper, from the open stock at Blick. Because of the pink tile, I went with pink for my patterns. Fun :)

At Blick I also bought some Bristol paper to make my tiles with for the next little while. See what a smoother finish is like, rather than the rough tooth of the Tiepolo paper I've been using. Oooh, and also bought some Faber Castell oil based pencils...going to build a collection of them, to go with my prismacolors. Wow, do they ever blend nicely!

In other art challenges, I continue with the "memory lane" challenge from a FB friend, and here are three of the pictures I rendered:

I had fun doing EVERY single one of these...I didn't get to this challenge the last two days, but I'll pick a photo soon and do it. It is so enjoyable! I've not done much realism, but never really felt good at Zentangle has got me out of my "can't do art" shell and I find it to be lots of fun.

One other thing....I really love Van Gogh's art. He did terrific landscapes and night scapes. And frankly one of the greatest things about Vincent's art is the strokes of paint themselves. There is one called Starry Night over the Rhone...WOW! the little blue strokes around the stars! they really do add to the overall greatness of his art.

Well, when he painted Cypress trees, his strokes were spirals and swirls. So...I developed a pattern based on Vincent's cypress tree strokes.

this one works amazingly with a dark green and dark blue/indigo blend...and I JUST love it! Going to put it in something that I work on, this very day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Yay! Laura is back! Our Diva...and her adorable boys, and cute/hot hubby. Good stuff! and UMT this time is Orbsladee, a super cool looking pattern that I've played with off and on for a while. In fact, my entry this time comes from a sketchbook I have had for a while, that I put aside. When I started in on a new challenge...which I'll share about....I needed a sketchbook and grabbed this one. And this piece is in there...if I do say so myself, I was impressed.

I don't remember doing this, but when I stopped and looked at it, I found myself quite delighted, and isn't it cool that orbsladee is in there? I'm going to play around with that pattern, because every piece I've ever done using it, turns out so cool looking!

Now...why did I need a sketchbook? What made me haul this one off the shelf? Well, a friend on Facebook is presenting a drawing challenge: choose a photo from your stash at random, and then draw what is in it. Believe me, this kind of thing is right outside my comfort zone.
I've done three days and here they are...

This first one, of my youngest child Katie, grooving along in her new shiny black boots.
My youngest, Katie when she was six
the drawing
Me and my friend Nancy
the drawing

This is the second photo I pulled...I wasn't expecting it, and saw only the roundness of my face hahahaha. I really flubbed the drawing, but the memory is nice. A good friend, getting packed up to move far away, her and her kids. And I and my kids and hubby, were helping. We paused for this pic. My drawing of it though...argh! To be utterly fair to myself, I have never done a self portrait (not since a third grade art project in school) and I was using my micron 01 pen for the job. How ridiculous I look!

This morning's random photo was of me...again?!! but that's part of the challenge...drawing the first photo your hand falls on, so I took a breath, and decided on pencil this time.

With pencil, and the freedom to erase and re-do my lines, I feel like I was able to get a sort of likeness of the face...the hands, though! yikes! So...I'll be doing this every day for a 30 day challenge (and I'm five days behind, so 25 eh?) and let's see what my drawings look like at the end of it. :) I plan on doing it several different ways, including one line (not lifting the pen/pencil) and blind drawing (Not looking at the paper, only at the model)... and I may just begin adding more detail to the backgrounds.

Other zentangle stuff...I didn't participate in any challenges at the end of December, partly due to holidays, but mostly because I was finishing up the massive tome about Vincent Van Gogh....a 900 page behemoth, that I read diligently for 30 minutes every day because, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I was able to put it down after 30 minutes, no problem, for most of it, but at the end, when he started "coming into" his style, using color and strokes, taking his huge pack of art supplies out for plein air work, when he was descending into his final madness, and struggling to do well, when he went into the insane asylum, and the amazing art that came of that...well, I simply couldn't put it down, there at the end. I fell in love with his work, and spent time online finding images to put on my desktop wallpaper, and selecting some good quality prints/stretched canvas pieces to hang on my own walls. Is there a prettier green than the one he used in his painting of irises in a white jug?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Moowa Moves Me Ornament

It's been a little while since I made a blogpost...seems that simply putting things on Pinterest without much discussion is so much quicker. Anyway, I have a few minutes this morning so I thought I'd do a proper blog entry today.

The Diva challenge is about Moowa, a new tangle pattern that resembles mooka on a wave. So much fun! Playing around, I found that I could make a classic look Moowa:

                                          but a "stacked" Moowa is pretty cool too:

the stacked one has some interesting depth that I like a lot. I actually did it on accident by not following the step started and just went for it after a mere glance at the instructions ha!

Moowa play

So, I got started on the challenge, just sort of playing with the shapes and movement of the pattern. When I'd put several motifs on my page, I realized this was turning into a monotangle, and would be my entry.

I took a picture pre-shading, but you can see where I caught myself JUST at the beginning of coloring. After filling up with Moowa, I added tipple and put a border of sand swirl along the one edge, and some tipple/perfs to outline the rest.

And here it is, colored in:

A coworker suggested all the random colors. I had been thinking of keeping all the moowa waves in ocean hues, but I really loved playing with all the colors. Some indigo blended out from the edges, and I used a blue gray on the sand swirl. Left the tipple "bubbles" white and foamy. There is just so much MOTION! I want to play some more!

For Joey's challenge

we are continuing in the "finish my tangle" vein...And this time around, it is a hexagon shape with Japonica running across the center. It was a challenge to really like this one UNTIL I colored and shaded it.

Amaze in the background, and around the border a little twisty thing I invented around Xmas a couple of years ago. I think it looks Christmas Lighty. The ornament itself reminds me of those old fashioned glass ornaments that had metallic colors and interesting shapes in the hand.

and, just one traveling tile this time... I always sit and study the starts I receive...oftentimes they are so perfect as they are, I hesitate to add anything. And that certainly was the case with this start from Jo Flaherty:

Her start is so elegant and simple and I loved it just as it was, so it sat aside for a few weeks before I thought of a way to finish it...

I kept it simple, and followed just exactly where she had started, with some perfs in black and a little bit of Floatfest, and a row of white dots. The edging is one I took straight from one of my favorite movies. I call it Howl's Chain and it comes from the movie "Howl's Moving Castle"...if you ever get a chance, watch it. The detail is superb, and one of those details is the chain that Wizard Howl wears around his neck. You see it peering out from behind his blouse. It is not important to the plot, but the fact that Hiyao Miyasaki added that kind of detail...well, that's what makes him a master.

Monday, October 31, 2016


So fittingly, Laura Harms's challenge for us this week is to make some Halloween themed art. I found an orange tile, and put some rather creepy stuff on it. Abundies can look like a pumpkin,
then I added leaflet along the bottom, and Ropuz has always reminded me of fungi, growing in the dark, damp, hidden places. Those little "stick out your tongue" bits are called Lumpi,, goofy looking and creepy alien looking...Rain, and lava lamp (?) and some shading along with white gelly...kinda creepy fun, eh?

But I can't leave out one of my favorite pieces I ever made, which was was from last year's Halloween week String Thing challenge. Adele Bruno set us with a Candy Corn shaped string, and gave us Chartz, Cadent, Cracked and Confettus to play with...well I had so much fun with it, coloring it and such, so I include it here. :)

clearly, I had the most fun with chartz eyeballs hahahaha and I didn't put cadent in anywhere...but the colors were fun, and I tucked it away, and when the time came this year I put it on my wall at work and took a picture of it for this challenge.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DuoTangle Flux and NZeppel

This was a fun challenge. I like both of these tangles. Flux is always fun, and N'zeppel is my mac n cheese pattern. I use it in most of my pieces.

And, the challenge came along as I was revving up an interest in gemstones.

So, this is my entry.

My new gray tone sketchbook...mmmm!

The shiny turquoise flux was first. It was so enjoyable, as I was doing it at work, so I'd come and go, and whenever I came back to my desk, I got to see the shiny all over again. The other flux I was trying to get a matte silver patina, not sure how successful that was, but then I comforted myself with shading the Nzeppel...of my most favorite things to do in the world. I used Prismacolor pencils, graphite, and white gelly roller
And the round of nzeppel up in the corner made me think of I did this one:

I haven't done a single smidgen of shading on this one yet, but I thought it was a good choice for the two patterns. It is on a regular tile that I made myself from tiepolo paper.

Lots of fun...and still playing with gem effects.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

How to draw Celtic Knots 1 - The Celtic Triskele

Fun with Torn Paper

Joey's Challenge...we've been having fun for a few weeks doing challenges modeled after the Traveling Tangles Project on Facebook. Joey "starts" a tile for us, and we finish it. This week, the start is a torn paper tangle.

I didn't know how to do this, and there are no official stepouts as such, so I just went ahead and practiced it a few times until it got looking okay. And then I forgot to take a picture of my "torn paper" before tangling it! ha!

but here is the finished piece   
About the time I was thinking I wouldn't participate in the challenge this week, I started fooling around with heartswell/heartstrings by Helen Williams. I love the way she has it drawn on her blog, all sort of swelling and bulging. I did a little sample of it, and thought...wait a minute...what if...

So, going with the idea of hearts welling up out of a constricted flat surface, after I got done doing the heartswell, I thought the "flat" part needed to look like stationery (wall paper? hahahaha) and that's what I did.

Truth be told, my old Rosie cat pretty much did this to a wall near the back door. There was a ding where the knob dented the wall, and she saw it, reached up with a paw/claw to find out what it was, and had a hey day. She really did tear it up, literally. My wall didn't swell up with hearts though.

So, Joey is challenging us with Traveling tangle style, and I am also participating sparsely in the Facebook group.

Here are a few tiles I started and sent to another team member:

To Raye Burnett, who also sent me a couple of starts.

Sandi sent me several in September that I did up, and forgot to post anything about it on FB (in my defense, we were without internet for a while.)

You can see the started tile and two tiles with some color background. I started on the one with the pastels, to send to Raye. The other one has this lovely soft silver and gold sort of glitter background that I can't wait to play with my sparkle gel pens.

Here are some finished tiles:

Sandi's first tile started with sixmail.

starting with the flower upper left
finishing with squid, beelight, sanibelle and some tipple.

How to draw a simple Triskele

I learned how to do a Triskele! easy!
along with Tropicana, Onomato, B'tweed, and Pozer.