Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Diva's Minimalist Challenge

Right now in the morning sky, there are many planets visible. Jupiter has been hanging out over the eastern horizon before sunrise for many weeks, and in October there was a conjunction with Mars and Venus practically touching.

Every day when I go out to my car to go to work I look up and there they are. Various and sundry lights in the pre dawn sky. (though I did miss the conjunction, thanks to overcast) One of the things I like about going to work early is the opportunity to see this display. Living in the city, I sorely miss the glorious array that I was blessed with every night when I lived in the country, but the planets and moon are so wonderful early before the sun arrives, even in a city.

So, the other morning, going out, I saw a stunning sight, truly. The waning crescent moon was just over the eastern horizon, like a cup resting on the mountaintop. And lined up, launching straight up into the center of the sky from the cup of the moon, were three brilliant planets in a perfect line. It was absolutely breathtaking.

This image is from Earth and Sky News which is one of my favorite subscriptions. The graphic isn't as glorious as the real thing, but it does represent just what I saw the other day, except my sky was utterly dark. It really was something.

Well, I drew it on a page of my sketchbook. Crescent, and three orbs ascending, from larger to smaller. I thought I would tangle all around the shapes, leaving them white and filling the page with patterns. Even Van Gogh's Starry Night came to mind...lots of swirls and strokes, right?

But then I saw the Diva Challenge this week: Just a little tangling, and a lot of white space. And I knew what to do with my page of moon and stars.

The planets are differing brilliances, which I represented with rays coming out from the orbs. More rays on the first one, less on the second, and only a few on the last one. In the center of the first is printemp, surrounded by King's Crown. The second star is a six point Auraknot with rays, and the smallest one is a simple four point widget (if you will). I put HiBred all through the crescent moon.

At this point I stopped and put it aside for a few hours. It still needed something, and that turned out to be the curly stuff in the corners. It reminds me of Neil Burley's Noodlz (which he included in his book, but it isn't on his page...) However, here is Neil Burley's blog. He has a page of his tangle patterns, but the blog is packed with all kinds of creative endeavors. What energy...and such creativity!

Well, after I put the corners in, I added shading which absolutely finished it. The plan is to draw that moon and stars again, and pack the page with tangles, leaving the shapes white. Won't that be cool!


  1. What a great idea. I love your first planet particularly. The skies are wonderful when the night is clear. Light pollution is a big problem though. When I think back to the skies of my childhood, or if I do find a very dark corner of the countryside somewhere, those skies really were filled with stars. On the plus side with light pollution and a less brilliant sky means it is easier to identify the main constellations.

  2. From your prose, I can imagine the scene when you saw your crescent moon and planets aligned in the pre-dawn sky. Very cool----as is your minimalist tangled version of the scene. Please share your reversed version (with the planets as white orbs and the crescent moon surrounded by tangles). I think that might look interesting mounted in the same frame with this version. (Feel free to tell me to stop providing unsolicited advice ;-) PS: Thanks for the meaty comment you left on Boomeresque. :)

  3. This is just lovely and thanks for the mental visual of your morning drive. Love the little 4 star widget! :)

  4. How nice to use your tangles to create a beautiful sight. Now you will always have that memory.

  5. I love how you got inspired, nice work!

  6. Wonderful interesting and educational post! I love how you translated it into your challenge response. I so rarely look up at the night sky, and I know I miss a lot. A neighbor posted on Facebook a photo of a meteor shower from the other night, and I thought darn, I really missed it! Thanks for sharing your skywatching with us!

  7. What a lovely idea and beautiful drawn :-)

  8. Inspiring both to read and to see. Thank you.

  9. HeidiSue, so lovely to hear about your mornings!! I love the sky too!! This is a beautiful Diva - just right :) :)

    ~ Diane Clancy