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.    

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March calendar with Zentangles

13: Diva Dance, Crescent Moon  14: C-Bun, Charlie  15: Birdie Feet, Merryweather

Just managing to get my daily calendar done these days with company here.  But it's been so fun to share Florida with my friend, Mary.  

One more set of company the end of March when my daughter comes to visit with her family.  

My "Retreat to Paradise" excursion to Melbourne, FL is rapidly coming up now too.  We leave on Thursday, April 3.  

Weather is more consistently nice now...we'll be in the low 80s most of the next few days.  We are taking Mary to Silver Springs to go on the glass bottom boats today.  Then a boat ride through the Mount Dora Canal tomorrow afternoon.  We may get some rain on Monday so that will be a day for Zentangle class, card games, a movie, and dinner out.  

I hope to take my sketch book along today to do some sketching!  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Diva's challenge for this week

Diva Dance/Crescent Moon

Just posting one calendar entry today for the Diva's Challenge.  Headed off the the airport now to pick up my friend and figure my Zentangle time may be a little more limited this week.  "Touches of Green" added for the upcoming holiday, of course.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mail box cover

mailbox cover for FL home

Special thanks to Ginny Sullivan, my tutor in this project.  She teaches floor cloths, mail box covers, placemats and coaster, etc. all made out linoleum.  She has cut most of them in the appropriate dimensions. Or you can cut them yourself.  We buy our supplies from her and she coaches us on the the way to apply paint and finish the project.

Ginny provides stencils if you want them and has tons of cute samples to look at to inspire you!  I did this one free hand.  And if you could see up close details the house number is on the front of the engine.  

Since my neighbor's mailbox is RIGHT next to mine, the back side really does not need decorating.  But, if you had a stand alone box, you could have something on each side.  These are craft acrylic paints and then coated with 3 coats of Delta Satin Finish Varnish.  The cover is connected to the box with magnets clued along the bottom edge!  

In our park you cannot paint directly on mailboxes themselves but you can have a removable cover. Many people make the seasonal ones that can be flipped off and on at the appropriate times.  Very fun.

March marches on...

10: Hurry, Charlie, Chartz  11: Ditto, Pebble Flowers  12: Cadent (v)

The march toward St. Patrick's Day continues...5 more Zentangles until it arrives.  Touches of green continue.  I found an interesting green stamp to add to "12".  For "10" I enjoyed finding a way to use Charlie that pleased me.  Up until now I was not sure about this tangle.  And aren't Helen Williams' Pebble Flowers interesting?  She is so "organic" in all her tangles.  

Friend Mary is flying in tomorrow morning from snowy cold Illinois.  Crossing my fingers we'll get some nice warm and sunny weather.  She's flying into a little rain tomorrow.  ARRGH.  But I don't think it will rain all day...the weather symbol now shows some sunshine too.

Finished painting my "train mailbox cover" in acrylic at Ginny Sullivan's class this morning.  I put the final 3 coats of varnish on and now need to put on the magnets.  Should be ready to install in a day or so.  Photos to follow.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March Zentangles

7: Cornerz  8: Lokomotive 9: A mix of striping and random designs

The busy busy weekend has come and tomorrow (the 9th) is our big art show at Hawthorne Park. 
I'll be dropping off art at 9 am on the way to church and then spending the better part of the afternoon there.  

Seeing "the writing on the wall" I did two tangles today. Being ahead is so much easier for me than getting behind!  #9 is inspired by something Maria did a long time ago and I admired it so much.  

In March our family starts writing about summer plans.  How can I blame them after the wild and wooly winter they have just experienced in the midwest AND are still experiencing!  At least temps look above freezing in the Chicago area now.  Although they continue to get snow on and off!  Lac du Flambeau is still 9 degrees this morning in northern WI.  Winter hangs on hard up there. 

Our temps in central Fl are up and down too...with some very nippy night time temps for March!  80s for highs by Tuesday but then a drop again down to 65.  Things just can't seem to settle down!   

Friday, March 7, 2014

Everyday uses for fun stamping and collages....

Example of black stamps on tissue paper added to journal with gel medium

8 x 12 wc paper with acrylic paint, hand painted papers collaged on top, stamps on tissue paper and stamping.
Some pen and ink added.

Here the piece is cut into 4 postcards.

It's really fun to watch Jane Davies demo this postcard project.  Click here.

I definitely want to do several more.  Now that I tried one very quickly, I can see what I need to do to prepare better.  I have lots more papers to paint that is for sure.  

My journal pages above are sort of "Everyday Life" pages of movies we've seen and places we have been.  It's really fun to look back and remember!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Stamp making on a rainy Thursday afternoon

These kind of home made stamps are so quick and easy to do.  Cynthia showed us how at a workshop earlier this winter.  It is all made with self-stick foam that you can buy in any craft section.  I used cardboard and foam core for the the back supports.
When you consider the cost of manufactured stamps these are so inexpensive!!!  And I think more fun.  

Today I used black acrylic craft paint and stamped on white tissue paper.  Jane Davies has a whole section in her collage book on how having black shapes on tissue is so handy to be able to cut up and use anywhere you want.  When applied with acrylic mat medium the paper become transparent and disappears almost like magic.  

I like the handmade...slightly imperfect stamps as they add interesting "wabi sabi" to art.  

Charlie meets Tootle

Charlie and Tootle
Charlie is the Diva's challenge this week but I added Tootle which is another new one (at least for me).  
This was a total "zen" tangle for me.  Just let it go where it wanted.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wearin' of the green...

Ah the wearin' of the green continues for March 1-17.
Trying to find different mediums and shades of green for Roberta...left...watercolor apple green and yellow mix.  Center is Pitt brush pen green.  And on the right a nice fine line green wc pen.  Incidentally "Pop't" on the right is supposed to look like popcorn.   I think when you draw it smaller, it does look a little like it.  
Not so much in my version.  Wheelz in the middle is a study in pointillism.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Zentangle Calendar: March begins

1: Bowties  2: Chainging, Dex  3: Crusade (v) Shard

My calendar challenge for March 1-17 is to have a teensy bit of green in each one.

Lots of company coming in March...the winter weary are headed to Florida to re-charge. Our granddaughter just left yesterday to go back to frigid New York!  14 degrees there as I write this at 9 am EST.  Oh my.