Thursday, May 30, 2013

Verve and Bales Mono-tangles

Monotangle of Bales 

Monotangle of Verve

Both of the Zentangle challenges I follow are working in mono-tangles this week.  The Diva is suggesting using Bales and Roy is suggesting Verve.  So I decided to post them together this time.  

The string I used for both this tangles is a double pencil string that Margaret Bremner suggested some time ago on her blog.  That is, I hold two pencils at slightly different angles in one hand and draw the string on each tile with both pencils at the same time. (One tile at a time, of course.)  Can you picture that?  It makes for really cool strings!  

I think the Verve tangle looks a little like two parrots, don't you?  

Pouring rain in the north woods of WI this afternoon and we are under a tornado watch until 7 pm.  

Cupcakes and the history of the paint tube

Tidings, Schway, St. John's Cross, Jemz, Widgets, Striping
I know, here I go again on the cupcake thing.  They seem to fascinate me how many way I can make them!  Hahaha.  So when I just need to relax and "zen" out, it's a fun thing to do.  I am going to put some into an art show...more on that later.

Also wanted to mention an article in the May Smithsonian that you might have missed.  My sister just sent it to me.  It is entitled "Color App".  And it's about the history of the paint tube.  Something most of us take for granted now.  It was invented by John G. Rand, an American portrait painter living in London in 1841.  Painters were carrying their paints in pig's bladders (I kid you not).  Once punctured the paint dried out quickly.  So en plein air painting was very difficult!  Made from tin and sealed with a screw cap, the collapsable tube gave paint a long shelf life! When it caught on, it was just what the Impressionists needed!  It's a great little article...if you don't get Smithsonian, stop by the library and turn to page 20 for a fascinating read.  Thanks Sis!  

Monday, May 27, 2013


Kitchener, Demi,  Dyzzee, Knightsbridge (v), Loopy, Ribnz, Tipple Kuke, Schway

Well, the "grad" in our family this spring is granddaughter, Abby!  She graduates from 8th grade next week in West Chicago, Il.  

What a talented and beautiful girl.
This card is 4 x 6.    

One Last Sketch

Sleeping cabin at Clearwater Camp Lake,  Minocqua

I'll be teaching girls 8-16 beginning June 24 at Clearwater Camp.  These sketches (yesterday's post too) are from photos I snapped on Saturday.  Just a small sketch about 9 x 11 on Arches 140#.

I want to have a few sketches of the camp itself to show the girls.  This is a nice one because it has a lot of shadows and several kinds of trees and also some rocks.  Trees, rocks, clouds, shadows...the things that take a little practice.  How to mix a gray.
That's about all there will be time for and there won't be time for even that...there is always the "organization" time.  Then there is dealing with bugs, wind, and hot sunshine!  And that doesn't count taking time to pick a subject!  Hahahaha.  

I want to wrap this up pretty much for now because I want to get on with getting my granddaughter's graduation card done to send tomorrow.  AND then prepping for Brenda Swenson's class that starts on Monday!  I have several show applications to fill out this week too.  ARGHHHH.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Volunteer Teaching at Clearwater Camp in Minocqua, WI

Arts and Crafts Building at Clearwater Camp for Girls, Minocqua, WI 7 x 9.5" on 90 lb Wet media Strathmore

Sleeping Cabin Clearwater Camp 3.5 x 4.5"

Bio submitted for the Clearwater Camp website: 

Ginny Stiles will be a featured guest artist this summer at Clearwater Camp for girls in Minocqua, WI.
She is a Floridian now but she hails from Wisconsin originally, attending Beloit College for her undergrad work and the U of Wisconsin at Whitewater for her master's degree.  She summers in Lac du Flambeau, WI where she and her husband enjoy having their 12 grandchildren visit them.  Retired now for 14 years from elementary school teaching in the Lake Geneva, WI area, she has embraced watercolor as her primary medium and travel journals as a way to record impressions of those travels and adventures.  She also works in pen and ink, mixed media, and acrylic and you can find all these mediums on her blog at
"En plein air"  (in the out of doors) has been one of her favorite ways to paint. Ginny (known as Cricket at camp) will be introducing the girls to "tube" watercolors mixed on a palette in combination with ink and enjoyed en plein air.  

Note: I will be teaching the introductions in the upper level of the arts and crafts building sketched at the top.  These are just rough hand drawing ink sketches done from photos I took yesterday since I did not have time to actually sit down and paint there.  
Obviously the building is located in a fantastic place right out over the water with a darling walking bridge out to the islands on one side.  From the windows we will see the sailboats coming and going and waterskiing.  Down below is the tennis court right on the lake side.  You can google Clearwater Camp Minocqua, WI and they have a wonderful website with a "virtual tour" of the campus.  The first class I teach is June 24.    

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Diva Challenge: Half White/Half Black

Croon and Earth Rising

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Day in Joyce Hick's workshop

Finishing up my watercolor sketch...adding details and shadows.

We had such a good workshop and it was really special to have such a small class so we got to really spend quite a bit of time with our own projects, questions, and painting!  Lucky us.

Joyce will be back around September 15 in 2014 Dillman's season.  So if you are going to be around at the time...put a circle around that week!  

I get a week off now to hopefully get the cabin open...which I have had to put on the back burner.  And to prepare for Brenda Swenson's class that starts on June 2.  

Also headed over to Clearwater Camp on Saturday afternoon to look at the facilities and meet Ruth Igoe who is working with me to develop a wc class for the girls this season.  I am volunteering to teach a few sessions.  More on that later.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My first painting in Joyce's class

Joyce did a demo this morning and then after lunch we got to work off our photos and value study from the day before. This where Aunt Cile and her twin brother were born in Clinton, WI 95 years ago.

This is a "sketch". About 10 x 12 on Arches 140# cold press. Not finished..I am now putting in the road.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Joyce Hick's Demo Day 2

This is Joyce's demo painting...very fresh and light and sunny.  So much planning goes into these!  Fun to watch. We spent a lot of time working today on how to take a photo you have taken (even less that great ones) and re-make and re-plan and re-compose them into really solid designs. Her reference photo looks very little like this painting!   

In the afternoon we went up individually and had a conference with Joyce about the painting we will be working on tomorrow from our own photographs.  We composed it together and then she did demo of a possible value sketch for each of ours. (There are 8 of us in the class.)

Tomorrow we will re-do both of these and move into doing a "color study".  Mine is a WI farm scene.  I'll try to show the steps tomorrow.  This is HARD work, guys! I fall into bed around 9 pm exhausted.   

Fengle: Roy's Challenge

Fengle, Tipple, BTL Joos
I know, I know.  This is "supposed" to be a mono-tangle.  Sometimes I JUST can't do it.  Fengle just begs to join up with other tangles!  So I am outside the challenge today!  You will have to shoot me in the foot.  I have trouble with rules sometimes.

It'll be fun to see how others approach this.  I have seen some very pretty Fengles in the past so I know it is possible to do a mono with this. 

ABSOLUTELY pouring rain here in the north woods of WI today.  Buckets coming down.  Dark dark.  But no wind, thank heavens.  Prayers for all those in Oklahoma in the wake of the devastating storms there yesterday.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Joyce Hicks WC workshop end of Day One

Here Joyce finishes a second demo for the first day of the Dillman's workshop.  These are all just "practice" paintings to start to get the "hang" of her approach to watercolor painting.  We painted two of these "practice" painting no with no references other than her demos.   

"Perfection is the enemy of great art" says Joyce.  Rather she wants us to work out our sketches and compositions and then put them aside to try to paint as much from "within" as possible and not be a slave to a photograph.  Although I have heard this many times, I think I am finally going to get this.  Joyce is taking us through the steps in that process slowly.  

Tomorrow she is going to work specifically on the photo to sketch process and then the sketch to the small color preliminary painting.  She says "the idea is more important than the object".

Practicing the technique

This tiny practice sheet is a study in washes AND in using a palette knife on a semi-moist paper. The actual tree is simple "pressed" out with a small knife and then as the background dried other colors and vales were added.

We also did a floral study. The first day is a day of practicing Joyce's ideas and techniques. Tomorrow we will work on composition.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Joyce Hicks Demo on Sunday May 19

Joyce Hicks

Joyce did this demo in about an hour.  (The drawing  was done ahead of time.) This was SO much fun to watch.  I love that she talks about her decisions all the time as she paints.  So helpful.

Joyce is from TX.  You can google her name and fine both a website and a blog.  Or you can go to my side bar on the right and find her there.

My class with her at Dillman's Resort starts at 9 am tomorrow morning. This is just 20 minutes from our north woods cabin.  How lucky is this?  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Needing a little ZEN!

Yale, St. John's Cross, Croon, Going Down, Cuke

Just a little relaxing Zentangle today as I "try" to put my studio back together again here in the north woods.  We arrived to a few piles of snow at the road corners (on May 18!!!).  This is a first for us!

And the spring melt, rain, freeze, melt, snow, rain, etc here in northern WI ended up leaving our annex with quite a bit of water on the floor.  (not the cabin, but our hobby area where Greg has his model trains and I have my studio.)  I lost some mat board and some sketching pads that got set too near the floor and wicked up water. Luckily most of my stuff is in plastic tubs or up on shelves. We had a lot of rugs to pull out sopping wet!  Fans going.  I have a heater going in my studio too to help dry things up.  

In betwixt all this I am trying to get all my materials ready for the Joyce Hicks workshop that starts on Monday morning at 9 am!!  We will be busy all Sunday with church and then with an open house at Dillman's with art demos and a dinner there to meet the artists.  Fun.  But no time to pack up art!  I may order the box lunch for the first day so I don't have to bother with that Monday morning. All in all I NEEDED a little Zen today!  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Diva Challenge: Kuke

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Zentangle on the Go

Sindoo, Tadpoles, Quare, Schway

I am still "on the way" traveling from Florida to northern, WI but when I have a little moment over coffee, I still like to keep up with the new tangles as they come through.

Right now I am in se WI and will be heading the last 300 miles north on Thursday.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Framed Watercolors

It is fun to see one's paintings framed!
A friend invited me over to to see them.
Thank you, Ann!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Watercolor travel journal

Sketching in LA at a beautiful plantation. This is a double page watercolor.

One of those most perfect days!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

On the road again

Well, time to hit the road. As we travel I have my sketching materials and camera at the ready. BUT now I also have a small "kit" in which I keep my Zentangle stuff.

I found this nice little pack at a garage sale ( of course). Just right for some tiles, some pens, pencils, stumps, and my reference book of tangles. This is my first opportunity to try it out.

We leave in a few hours heading north to Destin, FL to visit a friend there tonight. More adventures to follow so stay tunedL

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Play with Schway

Schway, Adente, Tippel, Laces (v)

Marie's new tangle Schway is amazing.  Couldn't wait to try it out.  It's one of those double vision things where you are either looking at the dark arrows or the light arrows and your eyes keep flicking back and forth.  I can wait to see what Margaret Bremner does with THIS!  

We are almost "on the road".  One more day.  I'll be putting the iMac computer "to bed" tomorrow afternoon.  It goes with us to WI and Greg packs the car the night before.  I'll be on the iPad then for 10 days.  Thank heavens for iPads.  They are better than sliced bread!!!  

The weather reports for northern WI continue to be absolutely, snow, cold.  I think we are going to "skip spring" up there this year.  People are sending me photos and one friend had to use snowshoes to get from her car to the front door of her summer place!  We are going to drive VERY slowly north.  

The up and down of it is nuts.  28 for a high one day and then 72 the next.  The birds and insects must be SO confused.  Notice the Schway arrrows are pointing SOUTH, not north!  Hahahaha.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Roy's Nzeppel Zentangle Mono Tangle

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The Diva's Blind String Challenge

The way this works is that you draw your dots and border as normal.
But then the string is drawn with your eyes closed.

Eureka, Tidings, Dansk, Sand Swirl, Verve, Jetties

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Zentangle for Wednesday

I am publishing from my iPad today.
I can't get quite the detail as I can with scanning on my iMac.
But it will do.

I worked on 4x6 card for this one.
Yew-Dee, Jemz, Striping, Warts and Wobbles, Hibred.

We are on the packing count down now....4 days and counting until we leave our warm and cozy Fl home and head toward a very iffy looking cold and wet northern WI. One would wonder why. My hubby is itchy for the old lake side cabin of his childhood. And I am excited to be taking Joyce Hick's wc class starting May 19! Here's hoping the ice is off the lake by the time we arrive on May 16!

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