Sunday, September 30, 2012

Zentangle® Tiles on Sunday

Chemystery, Koryl

Triange, Gyro, Bilt, Auraknot, Jalousie

Hi-C, Lacy, Hurry, Mooka, Confettus, Laces

BB, Steem, Crescent Moon, Wartz, Unyun
I had some short wait-time before and after church today.  These 4 little 3.5" tiles seemed just to appear. The first one I call "Bird on a Nest" and the second one is "Cornucopia".  No titles for the last two.  You can name them for me.

I have now put together a little "packet" of supplies that I can take with me as I travel (we leave Friday for Florida). Two pens #01 and #05, pencil, stump which I have put into an old toothbrush holder and a pack of blank tiles and my small packet of tangle references tucked into a pocket folder.  I miss having the "how to" instructions on some of the newer tangles or more complicated one.  But that book is too heavy and cumbersome to carry around with me. So it has to get packed where I can't get at it easily.  Sigh.  But I also have several watercolor packs I keep handy for travel too.  My poor hubby has quite a time getting me packed!  And we travel in a PT cruiser!  

4 days and counting.  AND we are supposed to have SNOW by Friday.  
Today, however, we have THE  most gorgeous color in the trees I think I have ever seen.  Lucky us.   

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Hour

Happy Hour
Well we are really down to the count down now...at this time next week we'll be in Fontana, WI (300 miles south of Lac du Flambeau.) The car will be packed TO THE HILT as it always is when we head toward our Florida home...how the sagging springs manage I'll never know.  "Most" of studio is packed now.  

We'll be busy all weekend helping out at the model train show in Hazelhurst.  Then on Monday I will be covering the windows in the studio and taking one last look to make sure I haven't forgotten something important.  Then we begin to bring all the porch furniture inside and it gets stacked in my studio AND then against the studio door.  So that ends that!  So what little happens art-wise from now to next Friday will be very little!  I always leave my sketch book out of course.  

My friend, Mary Warren, may recognize this bar from her trip to Boston a few years ago.  The watercolor itself was done a long time ago.  But today I resurrected it again and added some ink Zentangles to spice it up.  One of the patterns is called "track lighting" (see top left side).  Perfect for an upscale bar, right?  The big mirror behind the light has been tangled in some of my favorite "transparent" tangles like Paradox and Betweed.  I added tangles to the edge of the bar itself and a few other places.  One could go on and on..but it would be too much then.  Thanks Mary for your lovely photo reference.  You are THE best photographer!  Mary has a Flicker site to view more of her exquisite work!  

We wake up to 32 degrees most mornings now and we are at almost 85% leaf color in the north woods.  It's splendidly beautiful...I must admit that!  Greg and I are getting excited about our family time ahead and then our travels to the mountains the following week, in North Carolina!  I hope to post a few photos from my iPad.  If I can remember how!!!

The Happy Hour painting is fairly small 10 x 12 and is painted on freezer paper.  I kid you not!  I took the image off the freezer paper as a mono print AFTER I did the original on rice paper as a batik.  The batik is "okay" but the freezer paper was neat-o.  Go figure.  Hahahaha.  




Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fractured watercolor on canvas WITH tangles

Click on this image to enlarge
After I got back to my studio...I naturally had to add some "tangles" to this painting.
It is 12 x 12 watercolor on canvas.  It's not signed yet. So may need a little something here or there.  Sure was fun to do!
Me teaching the class in fracturing watercolor

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Christmas is 3 months from today....

This is an "almost" done version of the fractured wc piece that I did as our Christmas card and as a demo for the class last week. 

This is a close up of the right bottom side. 
This is a close up of the left bottom side. 
Here is the painting.
16 x 20 watercolor and multi-media on canvas.


Monday, September 24, 2012

ZIA and a Zentangle

 This is a "regulation" 3.5" Zentangle tile.  It is is my attempt to continue to extrapolate on the Auraknot tangle trying different ways to use it.  I have to admit, it is totally fun to play around with this tangle!  



This on the other hand is a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art).  A card-sized piece on Strathmore card stock again...this is a creative take off of some "fun houses" that Margaret Bremmer showed on her blog recently.  Must give her credit for the idea.  Her's a more "funky" and artistic but I have to start somewhere.  It would make a fun "welcome to your new home" card!  Because it takes longer to design the "strings" that will hold the patterns in place...a piece like this takes me twice as long to construct than a Zentangle®  

This has been a fun, relaxing distraction between packing jobs here at the cabin this week.  Greg is busy changing oil in the car today for the 1500+ mile trip back south (in just 10 days).  And the weather is cooperating for a change by getting up into the 50s and sunny. I got some indoor things packed and done.  I am teaching one more Zentangle class on Wed and and then the art studio will start to pack up too.  Not so much posting after that for a few weeks.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Auraknot in two formats

 So these two Zentangle examples are both done on Strathmore note card paper.  So larger than the 3.5" again.

Even though this first one "appears" to be two Zentangles, it is just a faux thing...I drew them both on one card "as if" there were two, shading slightly to pull them off the paper. One with a border and one without.   

Anyway the first Auraknot is the star-shape in the center (woven looking).  I traced the outside star shape to get the outside pretty even and spent time making the lines carefully.  I forgot to write down all the names of the patterns this time.  Sorry. W2 (Warp & Weft) is in the top left hand corner and I see Verve on there and Koryl is the round shapes on the dark background.  Also there is "Corner Box" on the right side and Paradox on the left.  The cool pattern just under the star is nameless...I saw it somewhere but have not found the name of it yet.  

This second card is a "wonky" Auraknot shape drawn really loosely and with the star points all different.  In this version I wanted to show a completely different "personality" to the same tangle pattern!  I used "Footlites" between the star shapes.  So this is really just two tangle patterns.  With a bright yellow colored pencil (Inktense) on the outside ribbon.  

There are countless ways to do Auraknot.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tangling a Snowflake

Footlights, Checkerboard, Verve, Paradox, Annee
 Well, before I tangled a snowflake I did one more "card".  So this is bigger than 3.5...more like 3.5 x 5.5 or something like that.  

The color is Inktense Poppy Red WC pencil (with a little water added to it. Inktense has knock out colors and they are permanent when you went them.  So it is sort of an acrylic pencil after it is wet and then dry.  Very cool.   

This is a wonky snowflake.
I saw one like it somewhere online that gave me the inspiration.  But...this is all my tangles (I am NOT going to list them all) and just lots and lots of fun!  I used an #.005 pen for a lot on this one.  

If I find the one that got me started I will come back and list who it was...probably Sandy Bartholomew as she has such cool ideas but it could have been Margaret Bremmer too.  I am on their blog sites all the time.








Maxwell House International Coffee

Lacey, Scraper, Crescent Moon, Gyro, Herald, Ving
Boy, the only thing keeping me warm this afternoon is a few cups of no-sugar French Vanilla Instant Coffee!  AND the neat little heater in my studio!

Hubby is off to a WWOA Field Day (Wisconsin Woodlands Owners Association). Hiking around in the wet woods in 40 degrees with 20 mph wind.  Oh boy.  What fun!  Sure hope someone offers the folks a warm place to eat lunch!!

IF you are a Zentangle person the names of the various patterns DO make a difference and I always like it when a tangle has the names.  I have one  more half day workshop to offer next Wed.  But the cool thing is that even though I will in, about 5 days, have to pack away all my watercolors, acrylics and mixed media stuff...I can leave out the Zentangle because there is not really a whole lot of stuff you need for it!  No brushes, no water, not much paper, etc.  Very portable.  This particular fun tangle is done on a Strathmore    card so is slightly bigger than the 3.5" required.   I have completely used up one #01 pen now.  It took quite a long time!  If you take good care of them they last.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Holiday Motifs

I give total credit to the fine Zentangle work of Margaret Bremmer and Pam Pincha-Wagener for inspiring me to the Zentangle art shown here.  Both have blogs that you can Google.  Margaret's blog is over to the right with the "blogs I follow".  Also Sandy Bartholomew's Zentangle blog. Sandy has authored a number of fine books on the subject!  

All of them think "outside the box" and give me ideas for things I might take years to think of myself!!!   

The tree trunk shape just made me smile and I had to try one of my own.  

The other two are more holiday motifs and would make darling cards, wouldn't they?  
The ornament-shaped Zentangle here is more my own idea though I think I have seen some real ornaments with tangles on them in my travels through the internet. 

 I do know that tangling on rounded surfaces is very difficult. So I personally would not attempt that. 

All the squares are 3.5" Canson Montval WC paper.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Annika Sylte and Zentangle

When you go to Annika's blog you need to click on "translate from Norwegian to English".  I  went there through someone else's Zentangle® blog, of course.

Annika is a fascinating artist who works in art journaling and other graphic design.  But her use of Zentangle goes way outside the box! 
It takes Zentangle to another level.  
Fascinating.  


Fractured WC class

I had 17 sign up for this class.  Wow...a really nice group!  And such nice gals!  Thanks to everyone who came!!!

Fractured watercolor is a design element introduced by Peggy Furlin.  But everyone has their own special "take" on it, of course.

Here is Mary Gayle working away...everyone really did a GREAT job.  I will show more of the results in future posts. 
 I believe that is Joan's to the left and Joanne's to the right.  (Incidentally they are both pronounced Jo-Ann).  I had two of them and two Arlene's!  

These watercolors are on canvas.
At the end...we all put the paintings up on the wall just to enjoy them!.  

Outside it sleeted and rained all day. A great day to make art. I played John Allen's wonderful piano music CD and we had a relaxing day!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Zentangle® on a Stool

Sanded and painted white.
Today was my day to try out that Testor's Paint Marker I posted about just previous to this.  So now I am working with black "enamel" paint in a marker sort of form.  Wow..a real challenge.  I expect that when I do the kitchen cabinets this way, I am going to have "fun".  

Stool Almost completed


The project took just about the whole paint marker.  It was running pretty dry at the end.  I can see I'll need at least one marker for each cabinet door!  Remember I am not doing the whole door...just a "river" running through the doors from one door to another.  Some doors will have more, some less.  Also I found myself rotating the stool for some patterns...not as easy with a rectangular door!  Wondering if I could put the door on a stool and turn it more easily?  The black paint does not dry as quickly as ink so I did use the hair dryer to set it up so I would smear anything.  This took about 2 hours or a little more.  I plan to spray coat it with clear acrylic.  What d'ya think?

Stool Top Ideas

I think I mentioned before that one of my CRAZY plans is to Zentangle my kitchen cupboards down in FLorida this winter.

NOT the all doors but rather a sort of "river" of Zentangles sweeping across the kitchen on the upper cupboards only.  The color scheme is black, white and touches of red.  

So now I am looking at all the "paint" markers (not ink markers).  There are a huge number of different ones!  Last week I picked up a "Testor's brand" paint marker (black) for about $4.50.  What I need to do now is "practice" doing this a little bit on white water-based paint on wood like the cupboard will be.  SO...

I have a nice wood stool in my studio and I sanded it and painted it white.  I am playing with possible designs for it.  The design above is WAY too complicated for this experiment but...it gave me some ideas.  

It is done on wc paper about 6.5" in diameter.  This was very fun to do!!!  Those of you following my blog will see me using some of my newer tangles in this one.  Including "Paradox" which I think I have finally mastered!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Grandson




Nothing like a birthday card! Homemade.
My grandson Alex turns 19 next week. 

So this morning I put together a little card for him.  
The patterns are: Chard, Unyun, Paradox, Striping, Hibred, Checkerboard, Koryl, and Flutter Pie.  
Blogspot is forcing me into using it's new "format" for posting" and so I am going to have to learn how to work this out.  So far I am NOT liking it very much.  But I have such a hard time with change.  



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Card Making


"You make me happy from the inside out" says the little round stamp that inspired this card. Enough to encourage some uncommon circles. Words that I would love to see fly off to someone.

I know I'd like to get them.



"Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy....." It could be "happy" anything. I was surprised when the shapes took on a fish silhouette.
Sort of. I think next time I will think more about that ahead of time. But I really couldn't see it until the Zentangles® were done.



Borders: Lacey, piano keys, black beads, braided chain...I couldn't seem to make up my mind, could I? All cards for sale at church next week. Money donated for the Deacon's Fund.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Time Disappears with Zentangle®

Slipped away today in studio for short bout with my Z's and sort got wrapped up in a LONG bout with a circular Zentangle.

I have never tried a circle shape string before. Suddenly I got really detailed! Yikes. Wanted to try out "Footlites" which is a fun "border" tangle and where you see fill in black it takes a lot longer...there seemed to be more of that in this tangle!

So most of an hour disappeared with this one! I don't usually spend that much time.
I really "zenned" on this one!

Now I am off for a walk cause we got lucky up here in the north woods of WI and we got a sunny 70ish day! Wow. Frost around the area here last night although I didn't notice any this morning...it was about 40 when I got up at 6:30 am. We may have missed it here by the lake. Nice again tomorrow and then whew...we will get socked with lots of RAIN and COLD next week. Maybe even...dare I say it...flurries! OH NO.

We still have a couple of weeks up here before we head to Florida. I would just as soon skip the mittens and ear muffs! But usually I am wearing them by the time we leave around early October. Leaves are coming down now too.

Happy weekend everyone.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Explaining "strings"

After teaching my first class of Zentangle® on Thursday I have begun to refine a few things that will go faster and smoother next time.

For one thing...explaining how "strings" set up the patterns on the Zentangle® tile takes more steps than it needs to. I simply laid a piece of clear plastic over two of mine and traced the original string so that it becomes obvious how that works and why strings are important to designs.

Now I can just slip the transparent strings over the design to show how I started!
Voila.

The strings sort of "disappear" after the patterns are filled in. At least sometimes they do. And folks take a while to see how the whole thing works together.

I was pleased that I started out with a short lesson on shading because that does not come easily to non-artists. And although Zentangle is designed for the inexperienced, that particular thing does need a little explanation. They caught on quickly. We had a good time. But two hours is NOT long enough. You need at least 3 hours.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stamps and Stencils

Okay...so here is a piece of canvas which has on it a "sampler" of watercolor textures and marks that can be added to the fractured watercolor paintings. In addition to spatter and random marks.

Optional only.

Being a mixed media artist, more or less, I am drawn to adding texture and design to most of my paintings. Most of what you see here is "stamped" with watercolor paint on to canvas. There are some "stencils" which I find are best put on with a stencil brush (bushy flat brush). But this is also only watercolor.

Some stamps are jar lids and bubble wrap. Others are professional rubber stamps I've accumulated over years of garage sales. The musical notes are painted by hand on to a stamped design...an experiment as I think I want to add some music to my Christmas painting.

I have not sprayed this, so with a wet sponge the could all be washed off. Now all these will work with fluid acrylics too (permanent then). And of course one could add ink lines, and watercolor pencil! And one could add a little gouache for areas of opaque paint! Endless variety.

Merry Christmas...a little early.


One of my demo pieces for fractured wc is going to be my Christmas card. This is just about as far as I will go on it before I start working with the fracturing...and I want to do that in class so folks will get a feel for how that works out. The class is a week from tomorrow. So I'll be putting this aside now for a week.

This is a little more complicated and detailed painting that I usually start with but I think it will work okay. If not, I am taking photos along the way!

Quin magenta is one of my FAV colors in watercolor. It has a wonderful sort of "burgundy" look about it...blends so well with Prussian Blue and Indian Yellow. All yummy colors. Everyone on here is made of those 3 colors although I did put touches of Aliz. Crimson on the holly berries to just get them a little redder. Since it is wc on canvas (not paper) the whole thing will be sprayed with clear acrylic spray at the end. No glass involved!

I plan to use stencils, stamps, and some variety of materials to make interesting textures as well as to "fracture". So keep tuned in. I'll have time to sort through materials to bring to share with the group. I also hope to have a little time to set up a chart with my favorite "triads" of color that the might choose for their paintings. That is important before they do anything else. Transparent colors work best of course.

Note: the original photo of the pretty burgundy candle holders was taken in SC at a garden center (with my sis and brother in law) last October. They had a Christmas section in the back and lots of neat things there. I often carry my camera into antique shops and gift shops and photo the window boxes, old teddy bears, and watering cans to add to paintings later.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Prepping for Fractured WC class


I am doing another sample for the class and refreshing myself at the same time.

This is a 16 x 20 canvas (although most of the class will use 12 x 12 gallery wrapped. I have so many in the class that I don't want to use any more of that size for demos.

After prepping the canvas I chose my palette...usually 3 colors that give me a good range of mixing.

In this case Quin Magenta, Indian Yellow and Antwerp blue. I primed the canvas with those colors in VERY pale shades. And then sprayed the canvas lightly with water while it was still wet for some texture. Then I let it get bone dry.

I know it's impossible to see in the photo but I drew a 3" mat/frame around the canvas with pencil and then I copied my pre-drawn subject matter onto the canvas using graphite paper. I like to paint a good part of the subject matter BEFORE I fracture it. Everything will lift off canvas so I can remove or add as I need to.
These are 3 rosy glass candleholders surrounded with pines and holly berries.

There will be a secondary subject with candles more to the right and I plan to add some musical notes and the word "Noel" somewhere after I see how the composition develops. Obviously a Christmas theme!

I try to mix all my colors from those three colors I chose.

You may not recognize this as the painting develops. It's WAY fun.

Note: when I took out my studio wc palette (which I haven't used in AGES)..some of the wc have turned to stone (hahaha). Blah. So there was a good hour to clean up the palette and refresh and paints!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Teacher's bag


I found this nice bag (actually TWO matching bags) at a garage sale a few weeks ago (25 cents each). Perfect for keeping all my Zentangle stuff when I go off to teach a class.

I have my first one on Thursday. I have a lot of teaching experience but in Zentangle...zip. The thing about this method of pattern making is that everyone sort of works at their own speed. So if I have 7 gals all working at different speeds...ugh. SO...I think I am going to introduce "shading" and "beads with highlights" right away. Then when they get done early...they can go and do that little bit of "homework". I also will have books there for them to browse. But hopefully we won't get that far apart.

Getting things to look "shiny" is kind of fun in a tangle pattern.

The odd shaped striped "thing" is shiny. Can you tell?

This is the last of the samples.
They sure were fun to do.

And I think they will help me in explaining the way the "strings" and "tangles" work together. I found out when I taught my daughter-in-law the other day that many people don't have a clue how to "shade" anything. One does take some things too much for granted. So I am also going to leave some "pearls" and "donuts" for them to shade for homework too. It all takes a lot longer than one thinks. I have 3 Zentangles (with several patterns on each) to teach but I doubt if I really will get to all 3.

It never got above 53 here all day at the north woods lake...dark, wet, rainy...burrrrr. I got out some of fall sweaters out of storage. It says 65 and sunny tomorrow. So that sounds a bit better. I baked 3 huge pans of Pumpkin Bars for Church Fellowship today. GREAT baking day. House smells of cinnamon!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Moving into Phase Two


I feel I have sort of "turned a corner" now with these lovely patterns.

Although I am still basically using ideas I get from other artists to push the limits of the designs. I am beginning not to just "toss the dice" in my decision about which patterns to use...I am more interested now in seeing if the basic good elements of composition can actually come into play...dark/light and busy vs calm, organic vs structural. I am more interested in shape and theme. There are levels of accomplishment in all art.

Any use of color, for me, is very limited. I still feel that in true Zentangle® the design should be primarily black, white and gray.

These two designs represent, I think, a step forward in my design presentation. They show a lot more confidence in pattern-making and they are beginning to flow better with more sense of confidence and personality.

I have begun to sort through the many Zentangle blogs and ferret out just the few that I think are REALLY artists in the field and those who are just "fiddlin' around" and having fun. Which is just fine, of course. Most folks will find that is just enough.

But like all artistic endeavors, there are levels to the playing field. Some of the Zentangle® art I am seeing is simple divine. I believe that in the next levels (should I choose to carry on) one begins to make up your own patterns and to devise ways to change and stretch the patterns that are already known into patterns that I make up myself.

I am now reading that there is one artist who is teaching classes on how to Zentangle on your iPad. Kind of fun. I'm keeping my eye on that too. Seems to me "shading" would be the issue there. For me, shading the designs is what makes this an elegant art form. But I'll be there is a way around that too.

Both of these tangles here are larger than normal ones...created in the 5.75" square for demo purposes and done with ultra fine sharpie because they are not on paper. I am numbering them (you'll see an 8 on one) so that I can refer to the patterns when I am teaching.

Right now I am basically enjoying using Canson Montval WC paper (#140 cold press) for my work and teaching. Fairly inexpensive but french made paper and pleasant to work on. The paper recommended for this art is Fabriano Tiepolo Printmaking paper. Dick Blick has it for $6/sheet and you could cut a lot of tiles from a 22 x 30" sheet. So when I run out of Canson I may try some this paper (Italian made). Over the past week I have sort of "inventoried" my pattern collection (about 100 patterns now) and starred those that are easy and those that I love best. www.tanglepatterns.com continues to tempt me with her pattern of the week which I enjoy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cathedral Point Painting


Every now and then I JUST have to get back to acrylics. I love the feel. I really really need to make some color charts and practice mixing colors.

Cathedral Point is part of the Trout Lake Nature Center in Boulder Junction, WI near the Forest Ranger Station.

Today in such a hurry to get going I forgot a lot of things...I didn't realize I'd taken so many tubes out of my back pack and ended up with a VERY spare and limited palette.

But it was a small canvas and I had primed it with gold paint (something I've enjoyed doing all summer.) I love the little flashes of it that peep out. I walked all around the point after getting there and we had a GREAT turn out of at least 6 or 7 painters in the crisp autumn air (mid 60s). I am getting so I like carrying a hand towel and using that for wiping my brush and getting my water less muddy that way. I also wear a rubber glove on that left hand so I don't end up with paint smeared all over my left hand! That works great too.

I had Greg take my photo with the painting after I got home as I forgot to ask anyone to do it on site. (You can see my impatiens did well this summer!)

Anyway you an see it is small and I remembered to wear my new Outdoor Painters cap. Where is Florie when I need her?

I did "tidy" up the painting a little from this painting to the one above...adding the Prevent Forest Fires printing and fixing some of the trees and adding some darks in the background. It's not signed yet. But it was a fun project and did it in about two hours. (Stopping for my thermos of coffee in between.) I skipped lunch with the artists today due to a sinus cold. After lunch I slept for over an hour. Feeling better now. Putting a nice meat loaf and baked potatoes in the oven.

Rain is headed our way. We want to cozy up and watch the President's acceptance speech tonight.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celebrating with my Sister!

I find these cute frames at garage sales, of course, and they call out "Zentangle". This is tiny...the photos are just 2 x 3". Kind of a white canvas covering. Tri-fold. Brand new and never been used! I loved it!

Just perfect for some tiny little photos of the new new grandchild for my sister! She is still in San Francisco spoiling this child.
Can you see the baby's initials in the middle at the top? L L H.

It'll be fun for on a desk or dresser or a coffee table or end table, etc.

Happy new grandma, Sis!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tangled Up


I tangled two more examples in the larger format of 5.75" square so that I'll have quite a few sample patterns to choose from in the two workshops ahead this month. Auraknot is featured here and looks impressive. It has taken me a few tries to get that down pat.

I taught my daughter in law a short lesson this afternoon which was a good practice time. Watching the questions she had, the time it took her to do a pattern and the difficulty she had with the shading was very helpful. I sometimes forget that shading does not necessary come naturally to people if they haven't had any drawing for years and years. I may start out with a little shading lesson first of all before we begin! Trying to squeeze at least two Zentangles into the afternoon is going to be challenging. I must remember to add a few patterns like Knightbridge here (checkerboard) that is just plain easy. It lends confidence.

It amuses me that folks are sharing "string" designs online. How can one not have a plethora of ideas for strings? You can always do your initials! :-)

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! I was especially excited as I became a Great Aunt on Sept 1. My sister's first grandchild was born in San Francisco.
Liesl Louise lives in San Francisco and is adorable. Lucky us!

Fall is really here in the north woods now.
So these last 4 weeks will be filled with so many activities. Off to do some wc now.

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