Thursday, August 30, 2012

Small But Fun

This is a small gallery wrapped canvas about 9 x 11". On this canvas I used watercolor!!

The Outdoor Painters were gathered at Little Bohemia...a well-known restaurant in Manitowish Waters, WI. The restaurant's claim to fame is that it is the site of of the Dillinger Gang's epic shootout with the FBI AND the site of the Universal Studio's modern setting for Johnny Depp's portrayal of Dillinger in the movie Public Enemies. If you click on the link you can even see scenes from that event.

Of course we all were all over the lovely wooded lake front site painting in different locations. The lodge IS attractive and some people painted the building as it hasn't changed much outside from 1929. But me, wouldn't you know...I was attracted to the old garage with the old signs and a bale of hay! What first attracted me were 4 huge old oxen wagon gear from the old lumbering days that they had hanging up in the garage! (There's a name for them but I don't remember what that is.)

Anyway, it was warm and lovely, sunny and overcast both and we all had a great time. Three people sold their work off their easels...I was one of them. Go Ginny!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mail from Australia! Lucky me!

I don't think I've ever had anything come directly to me from Australia. This is a first.

What happened was I got lucky and had my name drawn in a raffle held on line awhile back in conjunction with the promotion of Kass Hall's new book on Zentangles®.

The prize was a stamp designed by Rachel Greig of "Darkroom Door"...which specializes in art rubber stamps and photographic papercraft products. In Australia. Click here to see her website. She also has a Facebook page at

The stamp is really quite large and when you print it out it makes 6 blocks that look just like postage stamps. (see below for stamp itself).

Naturally, I filled each with a tangle.

I glued the stamp to an old block of wood. Not very fancy to be sure, but it's made to adhere to an acrylic block and I don't have one of those. So I made do. I think it will be perfect for keeping a little tiny piece of a tangle as a kind of quick inventory of my favorites. What do you think?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Have a Heart

I started this a while ago but after dinner tonight I slipped into the studio and worked on it a big more. You know me...I pick up these things for 25 cents at garage sales. I have always liked these pretty boxes.

I gessoed the top and worked out some Zentangle patterns. I will have to spray it with several coats of clear varnish to set the graphite shading. I am wondering about then maybe a coat of gloss gel?

I am thinking I'll leave the center of the heart blank. It would be a great place for someone's name or "Happy Valentines Day" or "Love" or something like that. What do you think?
I also think I am going to HAVE to paint the rest of the box white. Don't you? It's kind of "cream" colored as it is. I do not plan to try to put any designs on the sides as I have found working on curved surfaces to be a real challenge.

I also signed up for a drawing class in November (down in FL) this week. And a Yupo wc class in March. More on that later.

Did I tell you I am thinking of doing "tangles" on my kitchen cupboards down in FL? I need to find some black and white check curtains (cafe style). Anyone see some, let me know. I'll draw out some of the plans and let you know how it looks.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Working without a hoo

These two photos were taken with my iPad, bless it's bulky little soul! Then I email the photos to myself on my desktop! It works for me!

But I fell in the lake on Friday (getting into a canoe) and the camera was in my pocket. Guess what. It does NOT like getting wet. New camera ordered. At least my hearing aides were out and my watch was off!!!!

And I didn't hurt myself (just a small cut on one hand where I grabbed the canoe as I went in (tush first). It could have been rather I am really really grateful.

Anyway this afternoon I put together two more of the "teaching samples" on the larger plastic tiles (5.75") with Sharpie Ultra Fine pen. I admit that I botched up one so badly that I had to re-gesso the surface to try another day.

I know the names of MOST of these patterns although a few I just make up names for if I can't find them. Like in this one...the big funny one across the center I call "Tie-Dye" because when you tie dye fabric you squeeze and bundle it and put rubber bands around it and it reminds me of that.

If you go on the Zentangle® site you will see this one (sort of) in one of Marie's samples right on the front page...I borrowed big time from that one. I just love it for some reason. You are not supposed to have a "right side up" to a Zentangle but this one sure seems to look better the way I have it shown. I also did two cards today...a sympathy card for a friend and then a "love" card for my sister's son and daughter in law that is going into the box with the new baby gift tomorrow.

I need to get back to my watercolors now beginning tomorrow as I want to do another example for the Sept 19 Fractured WC class. We are finally without company now for September! But it will just fly by! I can tell. August is almost over! Boo hoo.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Enlarged Zentangles® for Class Examples

At garage sales yesterday I found some interesting plastic square tiles that are 5.75" square (instead of the normal 3.5' square) and immediately jumped out as a possible teaching tool!

(For some reason in the photo the shading looks a pink tinge?) It is not pink! Everything is black and gray. This one is Fish Net, Laces, Hurry, Gingham, and what I call Hurricane Isak (lower right hand corner...have no idea what that one is called!).

The plastic squares had something like "baby on board" or something on them originally on one side. Maybe you were supposed to hang it somewhere in your car? Some of them have a tiny hole in one corner and others do not. I bought 5 for 50 cents. She had 100 of them and but most of them were bright yellow. I thought if I gessoed the back side of the white ones I'd have 10 surfaces to make demo Zentangles on. I am picking the easiest to teach.

The surface took Ultra Fine Sharpie just fine and also took pencil shading. Then I sprayed with two coats of matt clear acrylic spray so the shading would not rub off. I would never use my Micron pens on any surface except paper. It's only in the photo to give scale.

This is the other side of the one above done on the gesso side which seems to work fine.

I am numbering the samples and keeping a record of the patterns on another sheet...this one is Onamato, Cadent, Hybred, and the Ribbon Aura.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Verve, Tri-Po, Shattuck, Auraknot, Girlande

Yes, now I have started keeping track of the "names" of the patterns I am using! Because I am going to be teaching a little 3 hour workshop on Sept 26, I decided I perhaps might need to pay attention more to where the patterns are and WHAT they are called.
The pattern names above are all on the first Zentangle®

You don't need to know the names, of course, in order to create little mini masterpieces (3.5" square) but it helps if you plan to share making them with someone else. This first one appeals to me for some reason...a nice composition. I am paying a little more attention to that these days.

On this Zentangle tile are Cruffle, Cabin Floor, Popsicle, and IX (Nine) which is one of the newest tangles just introduced at the workshop in Rhode Island!

Zentangle enthusiasts will recognize these and you can go to and find out the steps for making each one of these patterns should you so desire! She has an alphabetical listing of the patterns there by name.

I have organized my patterns in a 3-ring binder but I wish I had done it alphabetically now (too late for that). But at least I know have "tabs" with the names of the patterns and I think I'd like to go and put a * by the ones that are easy-peasy so I know to use those with beginners. I saw at the workshop ( that they use an overhead projector to teach new tangle patterns. Cool idea. There must be a lot of those floating around now as teachers more often use "smartboards" in their classrooms. I am thinking of purchasing a cheap white board (small) because I think that might be handy for demo. Meanwhile I will watch at garage sales as something may show up.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Art Show in Lac du Flambeau, WI

A lovely lovely evening at the Presbyterian Church Art show last night.

We were not allowed to "price" anything at the show but it may lead to some people contacting later.

There was live music (piano) and wonderful appetizers and desserts and a 15 artists! How great.

I got a lot of interest in the Zentangles! So I may offer a little class at the church some afternoon to erase the mystery OR more likely to INCREASE the mystery of how much fun they are to do.

I laid out some of my cards...separating the "custom" cards from more generic ones.

And I put out some of my frames and my "tiles" and even my hat so they could see that "anything that stands still long enough can be tangled".

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 more time

Okay. These are the last 3 cards for the exhibit. Now I have a nice "cache" of those all set to go AND 3 framed watercolors for the easels.

The first two cards are "generic" and for sale and the last one is a birthday card for my 6 year old grandson, Mike. Well, he'll be six on October 6. So I can tuck that away for him after the art show.

I just have to finish cutting the glueing the artist's name tags. Voila. Then I am ready for Thursday night.

The drawing of the clothes pin just sort of "came to me" when I was messing around. I actually had to go out and get one off the line to draw it correctly. Who knew what one really looked like?

I kind of liked the idea of having something "real" in the painting against the "fantasy" of the Zentangles. It surprises you. I haven't done much with color in these as I really like the black and white best. But I used my Derwent Inktense pencil (color "Bark") for the clothespin and wet it just slightly to enhance the color and set it permanently.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Zentangle® Greeting Cards

Getting ready for the little exhibit over at the Presbyterian Church on Thursday night.
I plan to have a display of some of the Zentangle-inspired art as well as some of my watercolors and maybe an acrylic.

I wanted to show a wedding (or Valentine) card, a birthday, a Thank you and maybe one sort of "generic" card. (I loved adding the piano keys to the heart.)

I am trying out using some of my stamps incorporated into the designs. The "banner" behind the heart is actually a "stamp". And the printing on the Thank You and the Birthday Wish are from stamps too. I have quite an interesting stamp collection so that will be a whole new avenue.

Now I have a little framing left to do, find my two easels, and finishing glueing up the name tags. Sigh...HAVE to go work out at Curves and get groceries too. NOT enough time in the day!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Zentangle® Frame: classic style

I picked up this little 5 x 7 frame at a garage sale for $1 and tangled it last night in about half an hour. Unlike the more "light-hearted" white one posted before...I decided to leave this in natural wood and just do a more "classic" design.

This kind is not quite as much "fun" to do as one with more tangles on it. But I think it is a satisfying result.

I did it with a ultra fine Sharpie pen.
Then went back and "stained" in some shadows with Derwent Inktense colored pencils. I wet the colored pencil (bark color) lightly with water and gently teased out some staining effects. This should be permanent as the Inktense, once wet, becomes permanent and impervious to water.

They are an amazing pencil! I sprayed the whole thing lightly with clear acrylic spray just to be sure everything was set and waterproof.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I've Been Framed

This is a very inexpensive wood frame I must have picked up at Michaels one day a few years ago. (WalMart might have them in craft section too?)
About 5 x 7". Just a small frame. Obviously any size will work but there is the time factor. Your decision on that!

I sealed them and sanded them lightly. Then two coats of white acrylic paint and let dry a few days to make sure they were perfectly dry (it's VERY wet and humid in the north woods of Wisconsin right now!).

I did this with ultra fine Sharpie pen and graphite pencil. Then when I was sure I was done, I spray lightly with acrylic mat clear spray to make the graphite shading permanent.

There must be hundreds of ideas of how to tangle a frame...I am sure that doing some designs ALL around the edges would be very effective too. And using a light colored background in some other color (yellow, etc) would work fine too. Or using colored sharpie pens might be fun too. I would think this black and white frame would set off a black and white photo or drawing nicely.

I am going to be teaching a beginner Zentangle class on Sept 26 so I wanted to have some samples of ways to use this fun art activity.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The perfect title: Miracle-Gro

The whole time I was doing this painting I knew the title was "Miracle-Gro" .
It just seems like sometimes a painting names itself!!! A little tongue-in-cheek but then I like those titles best.

Canson wc paper...140# cold press.
10 x 12.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Zoe Zentangle

I know, you think I have gone completely nuts now. But's not my fault. I mean this stuff is out on the web. I swear. I did not invent Zentangle jewelry.

Click here to read more.

So right after I read this Zentangle jewelry blog and printed out how to make these darling little wood shaped pins (sand, seal, sand, paint, sand, tangle, seal, glue on pin backing) I come across Zoe at a garage sale for 25 cents. I mean she is disguised as Raggedy Ann, of course, but I saw right through that!!!

She is plastic, granted, maybe not quite as posh as a wood pin. But lo and behold she already HAS a pin backing on her! And practically no prep!

Two coats of white acrylic paint. Dry overnight. Tangle.
Then I sprayed the finished pin with acrylic clear spray and then gloss gel. Voila. Wear to the next Zentangle class or art reception. Might get some interesting conversations started???

I can hear Cynthia Vose laughing her head off.

A Zentangle Hat

You knew this was JUST a matter of time, right? That I would start to "tangle" my world? Well, here we go.

Florie was kind enough to order me a new hat for our Outdoor Artists Group that meets on Thursdays. A plain white hat. Plain? White? Uh oh.

It looked JUST like a blank spot for a Zentangle to me! Or a few of my favorites.

I sprayed the brim lightly with a matt acrylic spray first just to keep the inks from bleeding.

Then when I finished I did two more spray coats to help to waterproof it. This fabric took the ink very well and I was pleased that I could do some graphite shading on it. Well, we will see how this holds up.

I have started collected photos of how people use their Zentangles (shoes, walls, pianos, jewelry, motorcycle helmets, greeting cards, etc) as well as incorporating it into Zentangle-inspired art.

(Cool, windy and rainy in the north woods of WI today. I have a ton of company coming now over the next week. Sure hope it clears up soon. Not much posting for awhile. )

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mother-Daughter Zentangles

My daughter has been "hinting" about my Zentangle birthday cards. My family has more August birthdays than any other month! It's keeping me busy!

No hiding her age either! Hahaha.
I think this is probably THE most intricate Zentangle birthday card yet. But totally fun to do.

And my granddaughter will be 13 this month as well On the back of her's I describe some of the names that the patterns have and promise her a Zentangle lesson as part of her birthday present.

Joan Stephen's poured painting class...

Joan did a great job teaching in Manitowish Waters, WI at the Wed workshop this week. Thanks so much Joan!!!

Although we had both done a similar workshop in FL in February, it was good to be refreshed again. Joan really has the hang of this method. I struggle.

You can see that after the pour had dried, I went back and lifted off two other flowers from areas I did not particularly like...the orange area behind the double flowers and down in the center of the painting in the greens. (This was not part of Joan's technique. I sort of invented it myself.)

My pour got so evened out that there was not a lot of negative places to work off. I cut out a flower from thin plastic (with a craft knife) making a stencil and then just lifted out color with a soft sponge. Then I added paint in the center area and laid Seran wrap on top of the paint and let it dry a few hours. When you lift it off, you have interesting "impressions" and that gave me something to work on in the area in the center.

Next I think I'll go back in and paint some dark behind the orange flowers. My weakness (among other things) is remembering that when orange and green meet you begin to get brown. Which is fine if you want brown. But not in this painting. So you have to think ahead where you are going to pour. Think ahead? Me? Hahaha.

What I'd like to do next is find another reference and try it again. I am not into floral right now.

Had fun with en plein air this morning with "the north woods outdoor painters" group. No photos taken however. Just did some little sketches.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zentangle a Nametag

I'be been asked to design the artist's name tags for the reception at the Presbyterian church in Lac du Flambeau, WI on August 16.

This is my first attempt at it but I am not sure I like the "chains" on the sides for some reason. So I may try this again. Something about "chains" is just psychologically not right for this!

The little red dot is the pin in the paper.
I kind of like a spot of color actually and I may go back (there are only about 15 artists) and color one little spot of color on the name tag!
It is about the size of a Zentangle (3.5" square) and I did discover that when you photo copy them, the shading disappears. Blah! So I am going to have to back and shade each one.