Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Diva Challenge: Camelia

Whew…up to date.  Imagine that.

But with my knee injury…Zentangle has been just so comforting.  "Camelia" is the Diva Challenge this week (Day 30) so I am killing two birds, as they say.

Day 29 is called "Undling" and I have never used that one before.  It's is rather nice. I needed something calmer next to day 28.   

Day 28 I call "The Garage Sale"…as it has way too many tangles thrown in.  The tangle "Framz" reminds me of a garage sale jumble.  So I added "Chimes" off the the left of it.  And some "Tipple" as fill using Margaret's hint that if you put small ones on the edge and big ones in the middle you create the illusion of dimension.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Having a good excuse for being late….

Well, just one day behind now.  I'll have to tackle two tomorrow.  I wanted to use the new "Cat-kin" Tangle that I learned at Retreat to Paradise.  So fun.  AND I quite like "Log Jam" on April 26.   Alexia is also in April 26 but I think they kind of look like chocolate chip cookies to me.  

I have an excuse this time…for being a bit behind.
I am on crutches.  What a bummer.  On Saturday night, getting up from my computer, actually, I twisted my leg just right and my full weight came onto my right leg twisting the knee and the pain was unbelievable.  Uh oh, guys.  I did something bad. Passed right out on the floor…not kidding.  Saw primary doc today and she made the referral to the ortho docs for Wed and then I will find out for sure.  But most people I describe this to say I tore my meniscus…one of two bits that hold your knee joint in place on either side.  Usually an athletic injury. 

I can't even boast of a tennis injury or jump roping.  Getting up from a desk?  Sigh.  More on Wed…I am crossing my fingers that it won't require surgery to repair but I hear that it usually does require that.  And so I am trying to be cheerful that it happened here at home and not while we were traveling or vacationing.
Crutches are not good.  The old joke "funny as a crutch" was NOT kidding.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Watercolor on Canvas en plein air

watercolor and ink on 9 x 11 canvas on board 

Absolutely gorgeous morning…85 with slight breeze.  This is in my next door neighbor's back yard.  He does a fantastic job of gardening AND he has a model sailboat that he enjoys  sending out on the pond (you can just see it in the background off the right side of my easel.  

This canvas is primed for acrylic and oil, of course, not wc…so you have two choices: one you can prime it yourself or just use it the way it is and let is bleed softly (which is what I did this time.  After it was dry I added the ink. I see a few little things I am going to change.  The darker green behind the pond on the top left should come out on the other side of the tree just a little…the "rabbit in-rabbit out" rule.  And I may add just a touch more dark green in the center of interest near the back of the chair by the red flowers.  

Incidentally in my view you can prep inexpensive (not for wc canvas) in two ways.  One you can use a wet wash rag and just wipe it fairly vigorously to remove some of the gesso priming before starting.  This seems to set it a little more.  Sometimes I prime the background colors just slightly while this is still wet.  

Or you can use watercolor "ground" made by Daniel Smith (some others may make it now).  You have to thin this and apply more than one coat and then sand it with VERY fine sandpaper.  Or you can buy watercolor canvas which is already prepared for you.  It tends to be a little more expensive but it is nice to work on.  (Fredrix is the most well-known brand).  

I will spray this piece at least 4 times with a mat acrylic varnish and frame it without glass.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Diva's Earth Day Challenge (Amanda)

9 x 12 on tinted paper

I admit it, I did this at the Retreat to Paradise Zentangle workshop the first week in April.  But it just seems too appropriate not to post for Earth Week.  It is not totally done…but almost.  

Zentangle Calendar Catch Up…April 7-24

I know that Roberta thought I'd given up on my calendar!  I did slow down for a week while I was away at the Zentangle Retreat…not in doing the tangles but in posting.  Then I veered off on other tangents as you know.  But I really never got more than a day or two behind.  

April 16-18 is an interesting paper background that I invented on my iPad on iOrnament and then emailed it to myself and then printed it off.  Dorian thinks it looks like "rain".  I enlarged that one so you could have a closer look.  Done in white gel pen.  

The 19th is a nice new mono-tangle called Bellamy.

Pocket Happy

folded pockets fit ATC size cards

Just another "outside the box" idea for these little folded pockets.  These are made out of the programs from a wedding I attended on Sat evening.  So then I tangled the bride and grooms name and "love" on each of three ATC cards to insert in the pockets.  I think they will be cute for a momento and perhaps go into an album?  ATC size start out 3" x 12" strips.  There is no glue…they just fold up.  

Paper Folded Pockets as Gift Enclosures

Since we are a long distance from our grandchildren, we sent a lot of "gift enclosures" for events.  I think the little folded paper pockets are great for that.  This is folded from a "gelli plate print" on copy paper and cut 2" x 8" before folding.  These would be great for holding "inchies" too.  

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.