Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The African Artist Challenge

Last week, jewels began appearing in people's zentangle art here and there. How ASTOUNDINGLY beautiful! Of course I followed a link and found the tutorial here at TangleFan.  It is amazing how simple it is, and yet the results are stunning

 can you believe, this is the VERY FIRST piece I did. Rather mind boggling, isn't it? And I haven't even shaded it.

Then I spent some time at work between calls, making little jewels on bijou tiles. And...there are some gold balls there, too. I want to work on that technique some more.

In fact, today is my day off and once the domestic stuff is done, I plan on following through with the tear drop earring I had in my mind when I woke up this morning. Will it be silver, or pearl? Or gold!

Okay, on to the Diva Challenge: UMT African Artist by Tina of Akua Art. Tina is a creative genius with new tangle patterns. Two of my very favorites EVER are her Niuroda and Hamail. Tina has a pattern gallery at her blog with lots of other lovely patterns.

anyway, African Artist is a fun one, so fabricky :) which was Tina's inspiration, fabric from Africa. I played with it in a couple of pieces, then decided to use a string. String 186...that'll do.

This is what I ended up with:

There's purk, ta-da, rashell, onomato, and of course African Artist...and lots of random little squiggly spirals.

I like this quite a bit as is...but then the jewel bug bit, and I finished it... this:

Isn't that something!

Well, I got to clicking around and found some more inspiration at Coffee and Creativity where Michelle Wynne put jewels in EVERYTHING! which gave me the idea of maybe some African Artist with jewels nestled among the folds...

Again I chose a string, #185 and started tangling

Meh. It didn't turn out as I had pictured, though I did a few variations on African Artist, which is the main feature in this one, and gem stones ARE peeking out from the folds.It would have been better if I'd stuck with one color scheme, I think. Flord in the background finished it. Now notice the one piece of African Artist at the bottom there, with a single strip rather than lots of lines. It is important, because...well you'll see...

For a third piece, I made up my own string and simply started filling spaces with patterns. African Artist, of course, and also Tortuca, Umble, Flux, and one I created called Ripl

This time I put a gemstone in the narrow places of African Artist, and I stuck with one color palette in each section. So the gemstones in the upper African Artist are green/yellow, and this tangleation of AA, with the single curved strip...which is a pretty way to do it, isn't it...has purples. Scattered throughout the Ripl are amber gems. I rather like this one. 

Good times with zentangle!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Oh I love trees! They are wonderful in all seasons, even in the middle of winter, how delightful the patterns of their bare limbs.

There was a favorite tree at my old job, along the edge of the parking lot. It has such graceful limbs, arcing up and weaving among each other. I called it The Brigid Tree.
I love how the branches sort of plait themselves in the trunk area. Just lovely to look at and I have lots of art featuring this tree from a few years ago.

I tried to make it Celtic Knotty
Hm. It's been a while since I looked at my Brigid Tree Art.

Well, this week we have a guest CZT at Laura's Blog. Dilip Patel, a very innovative and creative artist whose work I always enjoy looking at. He challenges us to create a tree monotangle using a tangle pattern. 

There is last week's Hollibaugh entry

Pretty cool, eh?

But I wanted to do new art for this, so I went with an idea I developed in an old sketchbook: a Bales variation that morphed into a glen.

If I were to do this again, I'd make the trunks slimmer.

(Wylie thinks it looks like sheep hahaha)

It's that time of these look like Xmas trees? It's KandyRibnz, with some little orbs dangling into the negative spaces.
With those wavering trunks, they look like they're lifting off the ground hahaha!

And, a snow laden evergreen out on a winter night.

Tearce and some shading. It kind of looks like stones stacked up, but I guess it'll do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


This is our last week of Alphabet Monotangles...and the tangle is a fun one: Zinger!

I was excited about it, because that is a pattern I like a lot. Thing is, zinger is a filler, not necessarily the star of any given tile. It adds a lot of sparkle and some wonderful detail in any corner, or along any line, but it's rare to find it as the centerpiece. Hence, it was actually pretty tough to get a piece that I liked. For several pages in my sketchbook I played with zinger. *sigh*

It didn't work on a string,

 it didn't really work "biggified" (isn't Lori Byerly's style just something! I love what she does with EVERY pattern)  anyway, when I tried "biggifying" zinger, it was pretty much laughable.


Maybe REALLY big? Like, fill the page with one zinger? 

Well, I was getting kind of bored with it, when the idea to do something inside a shape, with some depth maybe. So I started with a circle and drew my zingers inside, trying to make it look deep. It was turning out to be another disappointment because I couldn't get it the way I envisioned.

But, I had started, so I called the circle good and looked at it for a bit. Put some rays coming straight out and zingered them. Ugh! What on EARTH did it need? Because nothing I did was turning into a pleasing piece.

So I went back to the beginning. That is, what had always pleased me about zinger? It reminds me of little heads of grass or tiny flower buds. So, just for fun I put a row of zinger along the bottom of the page. Ahhh...this was nice.

At this point, I was really playing, not trying to get it looking good or pleasant. Just one line at a time, playing around with the pattern. Over and over again, I made many little buds on slender stems. NOW it was starting to please me.

Some dotted swirls rising up from the zinger "meadow" ... then since there was motion from the "ground" upward, I thought the "sky" might respond...with a shower of random zingers.

Added a border and some corners et voila!

And looky there! It's a likable piece, after all. Like the sky and the land blessing each other.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hollibaugh Challenge

This is a fun challenge, because I LOVE Hollibaugh. I have lots of monotangles out there, as well as many stringed tiles which feature Hollibaugh. Lots of my favorite pieces have this tangle in them. Wreaths, balls of yarn (or rubber bands, or tape), trellises, ponds with beaver dams...I've tried it many ways, and thinking about this, I was tempted to run with something I've already done...until I started clicking into some entries.

And I found what I wanted to do, at the Yorkshire Tortoise.

I admit freely that I stole the idea was inspired by the idea of making a hollibaugh tree.

Stippling and weighted lines for shading.

But then I decided to add shading to the branches, not just in the negative spaces.

This is the finished product. It was fun to do, and I like the result. First time I ever did a hollibaugh tree. Yes, shading the branches makes a difference.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Xploding At Joey's

Joey has an X challenge this week...Xplode. It is a fun pattern.

I started along the edge, several clumps of Xplode, and then a starburst in the middle. Shading, etc. This was on one of my colored tiles that i created with Derwent watercolor pencils, and I used green and blue microns in 05 and shaded with prismacolor pencil.  Cool how it looks like it's sort of floating there.

Trippin on Tripoli

This week we are challenged by Laura Harms to create something using Tripoli. Oh! I had a hard time with this one. I love the pattern, truly, but for some reason I couldn't get my Tripoli mojo on.

There are several other projects I worked on, that also fell flat. Remember my minimalist crescent and stars from last week? Well, I tried a bunch of ways to do that one the opposite way, with tangles all around the moon and stars, leaving them white...and here are my efforts:

First attempt. I wanted to surround the shapes with dense swirly tangles.
Not too impressed.

Then this one, where I tried for lots of swirly stuff, more flow. The sort of flowy ripply stuff in the center was the best part of this one, but then I had to go put the lumpy curvy stuff on the edge.

so I started again....

so this one has the same ripples in the center, and I colored them in to make them more substantial, THEN packed the space around it all with denser, grid oriented tangles. You can see some Tripoli in there but ultimately I don't think this works, either. Maybe I'll figure something out...a little bit of research on negative space art.

Anyway, I also put in some practice on Tripoli, trying to put it in a piece that I liked. Ultimately, I traced a tile in my sketchbook and put a string in it...

 TanglePatterns String 182. Image © Linda Farmer and All rights reserved.

it came out okay. Shading it made a huge difference.

I followed through on the hexagon shape with Barney in the bottom right, and then a take on Static in the upper right. Some Sanibelle on the bottom to relieve all the lines and angles. At the very end I carried the Sanibelle to the edge, and the lines of the auras.

It sort of reminds me of I dunno...Stonehenge. Or ruins of an alien metropolis?

Isn't Barney fun? an old fave.

and then, because I REALLY wanted some curvy stuff so...

Got the idea for this from Helen Williams and just ran with it this afternoon.

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!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


when I clicked over to Joey's place I was thinking "It's V week. I hope the pattern is verdigoh" and I wasn't disappointed!

Verdigoh is one of my favorite patterns. I did a series last year featuring verdigoh as a border for many different looking pieces.

Anyway, it turns out, I'm reading a library book and needed a bookmark. My practice is to create a zentangle bookmark and use it while I read the book, then return it, with the bookmark still in it. I always hope that someone else will be blessed by finding these little artworks when the book is borrowed again.

So I made a verdigoh bookmark, and here it is.

I like how simple it turned out. And I am now in the mood for more verdigoh, some pine trees and rivers and foresty looking tangles.

While I'm at it, I want to post some pieces I've made for former Monotangle challenges from Joey:

This one is Undu, from last week. I created it, then left it at work so it didn't get entered until now.

And I also did this one ages ago for the Linq challenge and then forgot about it. durr...

I have yet to do Maryhill or Queeries, but I will. And I tried Pea Nuckle. I really did. I may figure it out and enter it, but it's a toughie.

Autumn's the mellow time

This is my blog post about this week's Diva Challenge, but I wanted to show a couple of tiles I did, inspired by things on the internet, new tangles, other challenges:


Pocket of Zinger and Fescu

Halloween themed String Thing


 This last one I didn't do...that is Wylie's lovey fat cat Velcro and isn't he just a sweet puss.

Looks like there's a new autumnal tangle out, from Zentangle (tm) called Gourdgeous. It's a rustic, organic tangle, and does look like the harvest is in.

The Diva has challenged us to create using that very tangle.

Here is my piece. I chose tangles that echoed the Autumn theme: harvest and blowing leaves and random detritus here and there...found a quote I liked.

Autumn's the mellow time

The grid panel there across the top is called pillow, and I put spirals of trumpitz here and there, some individual Flux leaves, abundies, oke, beadlines, cruffles.

For the sections of gourdgeous that are filled in, I used a size 05 pen that is almost out of ink, which gives an even more rustic effect I think. I like that in this piece.

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's a Candy Corn String Thing

When I saw the string thing challenge for this week, I never dreamed I would have so much fun with it.

Halloween was all OVER at work today. Costumes and mini candy bars everywhere, and so many cubicles decorated as creepy as can be. Well, that's where I was when I started this challenge, and I'm sure it influenced me.

It is a string filled with candy corn shapes, and the patterns all start with C. I started with Chartz and ended up with these eyeball looking things, so I ran with the eye theme. They're all over the place! The Jack o Lanterns simply had to be part of it.  I also love the goofy, funky Cracked for this. What fun!

A Halloween color scheme...
And at the very end I did a border of confettus. Yup, this was one of the most fun pieces I've ever done. Enjoyed every minute!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Moshier U Challenge

This week SuzyMosh's challenge is to use tangles beginning with U, as well as those of guest artist Elena Hadzijaneva.

For this challenge, I picked up a piece I had already started. 

I went down the left margin with heart rope, made shiny. In the upper right corner, Croscro, and across the top, Ciceron. Then I put some hollibaugh in and a ruffle of Meringue.

And then I set it aside for a few. 

When the Mosh challenge came along, I picked it up again and started putting some relevant patterns in, under the meringue

Hypnotic by Elena is a favorite from my very first days doing zentangle. Undling DOES start with U, but I've used it before...but it just fit with the repeated fine lines of the hypnotic. Then Up and Across behind, repeated the stripe running down from heartrope into meringue. The hypnotic reminded me of bunso which was my VERY first tangle pattern, so I put some there. 

We needed some more U patterns, so I put an arch of Ups and Downs along my Hollibaugh arch

and notice the Join in there, under the Hollibaugh...and when I was halfway through filling that in, I caught it: Join is a repeat of the shape from heartrope!

This turned into a real exploration. Starting with patterns, repeating their shapes or their sparkles, drawing out the feel of each tangle, making new interactions and really running with the elements of patterns.

This is the piece in its entirety. Some of the details I added were perfs and ribbons; the shading in hollibaugh just makes it rise from the page. A few ribbons on the bottom sort of carry the theme of shiny stripes. Another croscro and some wavy ripple thing I invented finished it off. 

The only thing I would change would be to make the bottom left patterns bolder. I used 05 for a lot of this piece, but the fineness of lines for hypnotic and undling sort of need 01 IMO.

What does it remind me of.  It is quite structural, but with lots of motion. Maybe a Medieval city square with a fountain, and some merchants. Some stone, some water, some cloth.


This week the Diva turns over her blog to a guest CZT, Paula Bramante. She shared her love affair with stones, cairns,  and ceremony, and asked us to tangle using the cairn or stones as our inspiration.

A cairn is a stack or pile of stones that marks the way for travelers. They can be found on mountaintops, along trails or at the peak, to mark that people have been there. There are large, tall cairns, that are like permanent structures, and there are people...artists...whose passion is

How cool IS this!

when I first read about this, I tried my hand at building cairns on the bed of the creek, in the park where I like to walk. It was meditative, and creative. It would be fun to really take the time to find the center of gravity in each stone. I love it!

And I love the idea of waymarks, set up for travelers on a path, to help them know they are going the right way. Lovely metaphor. We all need some guidance in our journey thru life.

Ultimately, a piece I had done using ING came to mind.

thinking about stones and such brought this piece to mind. It is the first I drew in my medium large sketchbook and I really liked the corner with ING in it, and that stone wall.

so when I got thinking about this challenge, I thought I'd go with ING. It does look like a tall narrow stack. Sort of balancey.

ING, Dust Bunnies, and River. 

 Anyone who can walk this path is already free of the pull of gravity.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Diva Challenge: The Seasonal Edition

This week, I finished a few more tiles in the "emergent flower" theme. Like the flower is slowly rising up out of the paper and filling up the color with its shapes.

While garden mums ARE autumnal, these tiles have no tangle patterns on them at all, so I decided to do a piece using leafy, seedy, blowy, swirly tangles.

I started in the middle, with Prestwood, and I've been in a "frond" sort of mood, so those were next, on top. In the spaces between my fronds, Fricle! That's an old favorite that I haven't got out in a while.

In the Fall, the ground gets scattered with leaves and other detritus, so I made a drift of Widgets, Podz, PeaFea, and my own Flysh.     A few sparkles, a few single seeds. Then Diva Dance, flowing and blowing, and a line of Flux along the edge. There needed to be some leaves fluttering down, so I did a few single flux leaves there, with Rain Dotty. An aura. Then Umble and some more Fricle. Oh, and up top, some energy swooshes along with those spiraly things.

Then I colored it. And that is my Autumn Inspired ZIA.

A comment about my new mediumish sketchpad.

My favorite sketchpad has been the Canson 5.5x8 spiral bound 100 sheets, 65 lb. Small enough to be portable, with a decent paper and not too expensive. And I have bought them at Michael's up until lately...Michael's seems to have dropped that item completely. And, as a matter of fact, they don't have gray toned sketchbooks either, which I wanted.

Well, I found a sketchbook by Canson, just a noodge bigger at 7x10, and the paper is 98 lb multi media and OH BABAY, do I like this paper! What a difference the heavier weight makes. The size isn't the most convenient, but truly, the paper is luscious. And Canson is committed to sustainable paper making practices, which makes me happy.

Check out their site here.  and click around. I'm actually pretty impressed.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SuzyMosh and Joey Challenges

A real quick blog post this's been a lovely, busy week, and today will be busy but my day hasn't *quite* launched yet, so I'll get these challenge entries posted.

Suzy' challenge is for P tangles this week, plus the work of Sayantika Ray. I went a little nuts and filled a page in my medium sketchbook with P patterns and two of Sayantika's patterns: Tuck In and Woodlock. Both of them appear more than once in the piece. Woodlock makes a terrific border.

 The string for this one was to trace four tiles on the page, then I chose String # 178 from and put it "in" each "tile". In the lower right corner, this made quite a jumble of string, with lots of little spaces, and that is where I started with Tucked In. That one was the most fun of the patterns I chose, though Pand comes in a close second.

Some P tangles I already knew, such as Purk, Paradox, and Pineapple (by Neil Burley). Others are completely new to me. Paiz ended up sort of being a star in this one, to finish the cornders. Pand, Planateen, Pea-fea, and Podz.

(I REALLY like Podz. In the beginning steps, it reminds me of my own Starsket     that sort of five point foundation.)

At Joey's place, we've gotten to the T's and the monotangle this week is TaDa. What fun, because I first used TaDa in Adele Bruno's "It's a String Thing" Challenge just last week!

For some reason, I can't seem to get the lines between the rows of perls to meet up the way so many samples of TaDa show. But it is a relaxing pattern, and I'm going to play with it some more today.

I did this one first, on a Bijou tile (homemade...can you see the glitches in the edges?) ...and see? The radiating lines don't converge all cool and sort of  "gathery"

This one, on gray, has some of that converging lines effect. It would be fun to do this style on a grid and have a whole pageful with all kinds of swerving and converging lines, like vortices.

and last but not least, this one with a variety of tangleations:

On pink. My favorite is that upper left, where I just focused on the perls.