Feb 19 is the Chinese New Year, and it will be the Year of the Goat. As soon as I read the challenge, I went to the internet to find out more.
At Chinese Fortune Calendar there is more information than I ever imagined could be found, all about Chinese astrology, and the elements, yin/yang, branches, stems, I Ching...SO. MUCH. INFORMATION.
Turns out, this is the year of the Goat/Sheep and it is green, and it is yin wood. I started getting ideas: hmmm, curlicue tangles would be good for the wool, hmmm, leafy and twiggy patterns would be good because that's what Goats and Sheep eat (and it's wood). Should use some green in there. Hmm.
Then I clicked on this page where the seed of an idea was planted. It has to do with the Chinese written symbol for Sheep, which is very interesting, the history of Chinese pictographic writing.
|Chinese for Sheep.|
After practicing in my sketchbook with my brush pen (which didn't turn out as cool looking as the character as written with Chinese calligraphy brushes. I love how the lines are weighted naturally, because the Chinese brushes tend to be thick.)
Et Voila! I have my idea.
|I started with a string|
Now, how to fill it? A tangle in each "arm"? one tangle for the character, with other tangles around it? hmm. Then, thinking about the research I had done, I remembered that this year's Goat is Wood, and it is Green. How to start fell into my mind. The tangle Wud, right?
I also used some Diva Dance along the left lower arm, because I thought the wud needed knots. Ha!
Got out my dark green .05 micron pen for the other tangles I wanted to add. I still wanted curlicue stuff, for the wool, so I did some spirally stuff along the left side, in trios. I aura'ed around them, using Dave Hunter's Linkum tangle, and along the base, and up the right edge, a little bit of fescu. Shading on the character was in green pencil, and I added the shadow beneath the character in No. 2 pencil, then blended with a stump.
the color doesn't show up well at all in these pictures, but it is very pretty in person. If you click on one of these pictures, it will take you to a place where you can see the string and the finished tile, right next to each other. I REALLY like that. Amazing what shading can do.
I am taking this tile to work with me and putting it up on my cubicle wall. Year of the Goat, 2015.
Thank you Laura, for a fascinating challenge, and the ensuing journey to which you pointed me.
And a hearty thank you to all who comment here. It is very cool to see what people think of the stuff I post.