Saturday, April 19, 2014

Over the top now

7" across pen and graphite on paper

Yup I am over the top bonkers now.
Lakeland Art League's gallery this summer will (hopefully) feature 50 cow paintings or works of art in their August show.  All small (12 x 12" or less).  It's a small gallery.

I am trying to decide if I should tangle the fence.  I probably will.  This art made my husband chuckle.  Me too.  I think I may do another one...maybe in watercolor next time.


6.25" Pen and Ink on 80# drawing paper

original design for this Zendala done on iPad app called iOrnament

I wanted to try one Zendala that incorporated true symmetry and not get too over board on it.  I found this way more difficult (for me) than the last one (see yesterdays's post) even though it was several inches smaller and a lot less intricate in tangles.

It took less time but since I struggle with repetition: the ability to repeat a design over and over, the completion was far more difficult for me.  I should have been able to let go and just zone out.  But I found if I did that I lost concentration and made mistakes.  And although mistakes are not really an issue...wabi sabi dictates that mistakes are in fact needed in art, I found that they were more obvious in a repeated pattern like this.  

It was a real struggle but when I was finished I found the piece beautiful (to me) and I found it restful and meditative to look at.  I liked my choice of colors in close harmony on the color wheel.  I liked the introduction of a more "organic" tangle for the main design and I think I might enjoy a more organic tangle the next time just in general.  

I think this might be pretty in a small frame.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014


8.5" diameter on Bristol Paper .01 Micron pens in brown and black.

Okay, I have been totally resisting Zendalas like forever. But Margaret Bremner taught an irresistible way to do them at the Retreat.  You start by cutting a snowflake or a 6 sided one in this case...really, you cut a stencil just like you did in first grade. 

Then you lay it out and trace it on paper of your choice.  Then...and this is important, you erase or connect the lines as you wish to change the design to please you.  Voila and tangle.

Of course the tangling DOES take some time and some real concentration.  I did not do as many repeats as come folks do.  Mostly mirror images...repeating at least twice.  

Hard to say how long it took me as I picked it and put it down many times.  Probably a good 3 hours total.  This was a fairly intricate could simplify it. I was pretty pleased with my first one!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

iOrnament for the iPad

For folks crazed about pattern there is a new app for the iPad called iOrnament.  You could go nuts here.
How fun is this!  And this is just with an hour of fooling around.  There are tons of things to do on this app.  I bought it (not the free one).  Very inexpensive.  Enjoy.

Zentangle Pockets with Gelli Plate decoration

Here now are a couple of examples of Cherryl Moote's folding pockets a little larger than the last post.  These fit Zentangle tiles, the previous ones are good for ATCs and/or business cards.  

I did these on 80# drawing paper and had some fun with my Gelli plate before the folding.  On the green one I also added some stamping.  Anything goes on the decorating, of course.  I think a slightly lighter weight of paper might be even better.  You might even try newsprint or wrapping paper and see how it goes.  The folding directions are in Cherryl's book called Fold.  Google her name and go to her website for purchasing info.  

If you are interested in multi media and/or Zentangle or anything to do with colored pencils, inks, calligraphy, or paper folding, stamps etc. here are two great resources I picked up on this past weekend.

  • The first is which is an online catalog for all things crazy.
They have a few great tutorials online there that I really enjoyed.  Check that out.

  • The other is
Which is Paper and Ink Arts.  Also an amazing online catalog of interesting things.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paper pockets

Paper folded pockets from one long strip of paper

Still under the spell binding influence of Cherryl Moote and her love of anything to do with paper...books, book binding, paper folding, etc.  These little pockets (the orange and the blue) were folded into a little book and handed to us at the retreat last weekend with our breakfast and lunch tickets for the weekend slipped into them.

I have unfolded one and used it as a pattern to make several more. Perfect for business cards! I have also enlarged one as a pattern  to accommodate my Zentangle tiles..the strip is 4" by 16". I will show a photo of it later.  A great 102 class activity.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Diva Challenge: Initial strings

Using initials as a string

Well, you have to forgive me...I used initials as a string, but not mine. My grandson, will be 8 next week and so I used his and the numeral 8.  "P, S, 8".
Can you find them? I really needed to get this card out by tomorrow and I hope you all won't mind the double duty here.  

The background is a Gelli print on deli paper enhanced with some home made stamps.  Then glued to a 4 x 6 greeting card.  Neat of the stamping tools was plastic screen and so I did Knightsbridge on some of the printed screens!  Fun.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Calendar catching up

Didn't get too far behind during the retreat but only because I did a few ahead of time.  No calendar time in Melbourne!  Except for sharing.

I'll try to catch up with today later this afternoon.
Time for a nap.  I have book group tonight at 7 and the retreat schedule is beginning to catch up to me!!!

Retreat to Paradise Ends

It's probably going to be about a month before I can get the perspective to be able to adequately describe the experience of the last 4 days.  I wish that we had names under each photo in the group shot because the names/faces will blur in a few days.  Having Sandy Bartholomew's wonderful CZT photo cards is a BIG help.  You can see I printed up my own photo cards for now.
I just know from experience in workshops before that it is totally frustrating to get emails and notes from folks later and you cannot put the facte to them!!!

The group photo helps but I know it will blur anyway.
Sigh.  Maybe at workshops someone should take everyone's individual photo as they come into the workshop and then a photo sheets with names and emails could be handed out at the end?  Just an idea for another time.

I am second from the right in the front in the group photo.  The retreat was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Indiatlantic, FL on the barrier reef facing the ocean...very much an "island" feeling out there.  I'll be posting info and some ideas from the workshop in the next days.  We just got home about 8:30 pm last night so I am still in a fog of overload.  I came away with about 10 projects in a state of just started.  

It's great to be home but I already miss the morning breakfast buffets...and the great artsy conversations around the tables.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zendala workshop Part 1

Hello from Retreat to Paradise...

I used blue and purple Micron pens. Shading with colored pencil.

Of course the iPad camera in indoor light is not really showing these off too well. The little one is on Shrinky Dink plastic ready to be baked.
Margaret Bremner did this Sat morning and will finish up Sunday morning.
We also painted papers for book making Sunday afternoon.

Weather is gorgeous. We ate lunch by the pool in sunshine listening to the ocean surf. Tough life, huh?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 4, 2014

Retreat to Paradise: First Day

Both of these are works on progress the first on tinted paper and the second on a watercolor wash/salt done in the morning session.
This work shop focuses on "organic tangles" and is led by Meredith Yuhas.

The first is a garden theme and the second on an ocean theme.
This is totally fun!
Can't wait for day 2.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Diva Challenge: Quandry

I am moving ahead and doing most of my weekend calendar tangles in advance.  I'll be at the Retreat to Paradise all weekend and I don't envision much free time.
So at least through Saturday.  Since the Diva suggests "Quandry" that is what I used for Saturday.

I note that everyone has different step outs that work best for them.  Mine are a series of pencil triangles.  
I make the pencil lines VERY lightly and then erase (I know that is a bad word in Zentangle) but really sometimes it just works better than way.  I "could" leave the lines in and make then part of the tangle, of course.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Zentangle Calendar...wrapping it up

28: Arnia, Aquafleur, Zander 29: Paradox, Aquafluer, Thumbprint  30: Patchwork Seminole, Propel, Well

Barb Sailor sees (rolling up of the patterns) sometimes so I thought I'd do one just for her. (30).
I like the new Arnia for a border!!!

Only 71 but very sunny in Central FL.  
I am now watching the Melbourne, FL weather too.
Looks like 80 for our arrival on Thursday and 82 on Friday.  Lots of sunshine!  Lookin' good.

My company is due any minute.  My daughter from Illinois with her family.  Jack and Abby have booked a sea plane ride out of Tavares for Tuesday.  (I'll wave).   

Friday, March 28, 2014


hand carved stamp: Retreat to Paradise Logo 1.25 x 2" 

ATCs using logo stamp: mixed media: hand-made washi tape, gel pens, deli paper prints, acrylic stamping
 2.5 x 3.5" each on wc paper

I haven't done any ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) in over a year.  But I found my bag of traded ones and some blank ones.  
Cynthia also suggested doing a "Jane Davies" sort of idea of making one large abstract and cutting into ATCs and then embellishing. These are two of the ones that looked "okay".  But I am hoping that in the  next few days I'll find a moment or two to try a few more of these.  

I decided that I wanted to have a "tie in" to the retreat and so I hand-carved a little palm tree.  Haven't done that for awhile either.  While I was getting my carving materials back together I found my Chinese "chop" which is a traditional name stamp usually used with red ink.  My daughter had one made for me when she was in Asia many years ago.  It will be maybe fun to incorporated that into the ATC too?  I'll experiment a bit. More to follow.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Zentangle Dreamin'

26: St. John's Cross, Trivet, Roller Coaster, Wartz  27:  Ojo, Zander
Count down now to Retreat to Paradise..we are leaving one week from today.

I will be in Melbourne, FL in the beachfront hotel for Thurs-Sunday enjoying wonderful Zentangle workshops led by Margaret Bremner, Meredith Yuhas, and Cherryl Moote. 

My hubby will accompany me as baggage handler, support buddy, and driver!  (also beach bum by day) and my sister and brother in law will be at the same hotel on their way to Key West for a week of fun in the sun.  

I am packing swim suits, cork screw, and art supplies.    

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Diva Challenge: the Spiral

Student Work in Zentangle

There is nothing more exciting and rewarding to a teacher than to have her student exceed her own capabilities.  That is obviously what is happening with several of my Zentangle students here at Hawthorne. 
Kudos to Sheila (the egg) and to Martha (the other two ZIAs).  At our reunion yesterday afternoon the 8 people who came and shared were just rolling along!  We had a great sharing time. 

I also wanted to share Robert Genn's blog message today (you and google his name and go to the source directly).  Many of you get his blog so this is repeat.  It's just too good to miss.  And it speaks to everyone, not just artists.

Thought for the day: (keep in mind, this is being written by a man diagnosed with pancreatic cancer…who is painting in a horizontal position in a lounge chair wracked with the effects of chemotherapy.  There are times when I read something and I am left bereft of any way to express my total admiration for the courage and amazing outlook of some people.)  

At the risk of once more dividing the world into two main kinds of people, there are two main kinds of people:  those who amuse themselves, and those who require amusement from others. Artists seem to be pretty much of the former kind. Self-amusement prompts creativity.

Mornings are special times for the self-amusing. Curious as to what the day may bring, they often step directly into the amusement area--the studio. What I call "Curious Morning Syndrome" (CMS) is often the simple catalyst for productivity, invention, creativity and success. The blessing, of course, is not always evident to the young. Sleeping-in has ruined many an early career. And some folks must wait until middle or old age for CMS to kick in. Some think it's a gene. It's more likely a learned habit.

One way to activate CMS is to simply set yourself up to be curious about the outcome and potential of yesterday's efforts. A good system is to leave something unfinished when you shut down the studio at night. Better still, leave several things unfinished. The easier, the more enjoyable the task you leave behind, the more the likelihood of an early morning kick-off. At the same time, challenges are often best attacked when you are well rested and fresh. It's amazing what time and a good sleep can do for problematicals. The cold grey light of dawn automatically presents opportunities to the prepared worker. Happy outcomes are uncommonly common to the curious. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it has been responsible for birthing a lot of lively art. "How is this going to turn out?" is an essential question that an artist asks. Curiosity tramples drudgery and fires up improvisation. Curiosity sets the hands and mind in motion.

Every day is a chance for rebirth. When you think of it, every day is a relentless carousel with a joyous new song and a new view. Curiosity allows your unique "owned processes" to draw you toward creative conclusions. Thus, the miracle of creativity is regularly reborn. It's a blessing to see your world, your studio and your hands within it, first thing, like a child, with baby eyes. It's also a blessing that pervasive private curiosity can be rebooted a thousand times in one beautiful turn of the carousel.  Robert Genn

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March wrapping up...

March flies faster than almost any other month down here in Central Florida.  Guests, end of the season parties and activities, church events, taxes, Lent, and just the joy of watching the azaleas and the bottle brush tree bloom again.  Then there is bird song and the smell of orange blossoms. (We had 50 Cedar Wax Wings in our yard last week!)  The migration is on!

I end up kind of combining some of the tangles for days in the calendar while I try to figure how how to find time to get things done.  And I am on the count down to Retreat to Paradise...a Zentangle 3-day event on the beach in Melbourne, FL.  We leave in 11 days! 

Tomorrow I have a Zentangle reunion in the afternoon.  50% chance of rain tomorrow so it's a good afternoon for that!  

I have a couple of art projects laying on the tables in the studio I'd like to work on.  This week might have a few little spots for that too.  

My sinus allergies do kick up in the pollen filled air which makes me  more tired than normal.  So that is in the mix of things too. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Historic Howey Mansion

Ink and Watercolor 10 x 12 Arches 140 Cold Press

Today our Fine Arts group from Hawthorne park got together at the Historic Howey Mansion here in Central Florida in Howie-in-the-Hills.  

This was a really quick sketch with an .03 Micron pen and then watercolor.  About 45 minutes total.  This was the back of the house where there is a garden house.  

The mansion was built in 1925 by citrus grower William Howey.  Now, all these years later it is hopefully going to get restored and used again.  
You can find some wonderful info and photo on the Facebook page.  Click here.

We were given a guided tour of the inside.  I took a ton of photos and I will share some later, but there are really good ones on the FB page too.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Zentangle Calendar March 16-18

16: Crescent moon  17: Snag, BTL Joos  18: Hollibaugh

A nice string of beautiful Florida days with THE exception of Monday...whew--several inches of rain on Monday.  But now...back to sunny skies!

Farewell to Mary...back to snowy Wheaton (near Chicago).  Great to have you Mary!  

Here, by the way, is one of the animals greeting Mary on our boat ride Saturday morning on the Dora Canal.

Tomorrow, I am off to do some en plein air painting at the Howey Mansion in Howey-in-the-Hills, a near- by small town.  Built in 1925, for citrus grower, William J Howey.  Photos to follow.