Thursday, March 31, 2016

Warm FL early evening PLAY in the studio

It's nice when you have a little block of time to gather up some things that have been calling to you.  Like a new pen to play with in your sketchbook…trying out a Uni-ball 207 gel pen (.7 mm) to see how it will flow on a Stillman & Birn (Beta series) sketch book.  Just a little 30 minute sketch of my studio.  I'll add color later.  

The following you won't really understand unless you do journaling and enjoy seeing journals.  Having a "blank page" stare at you when you are ready to write or draw or use mixed media is somewhat of a downer.  So many of us take an afternoon and prepare "backgrounds" or altered pages so that when we are ready to journal we have some colorful backgrounds from which to choose.  This one above is gelli-print on the page directly and some collaged paper and some washi tape.

These involve prints, stencils, brayer wipe off, softened edges with glazed white paint.

Trying out some new "Delusions" acrylic paint with stencils.

I glued this deli paper gelli print on with YES glue which I think reduces the
wrinkles in the paper.  Then applied fine line white paint faux hand writing.
Sometimes you do want a white page to begin with.  I have plenty of those too.

So the idea is that none of these is complete…just a "background" for more art work that will go on top.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Addictive Zentangle Calendar

April begins on Friday…
Some people are REALLY prepared for April!
They even have their April Zentangle Calendar all drawn!

You have to remember these things are really addictive!  :-)
Once you get started you really cannot stop!  Well, at least on some rainy days in Florida you cannot stop. This is so therapeutic and restful.  BUT then you have to have pizza for dinner.  

Lucky for me, I don't have a May calendar yet!  So now I can go on and do other things!  Whew.  Okay so you won't be seeing any more calendars for at least 3 weeks.   Relax.

Diva Challenge this week.

The challenge (guest challenge) on the Diva's blog this week is to achieve a "layered" look for a frame around a Bijou tile (2" tile) in Zentangle.  

The suggestion was to use actual layers…that is cut out 5-6 layers of paper/cardboard each 1" larger than the last and then tangle them and glue them together to form a dimensional art piece.
My outside edge is 7" square.

As soon as I read the suggested steps, I groaned.  I loved the idea but the TIME involved in such a project was fairly significant and I really did not want to put hours and hours into this prompt. It is actually sort of a square Zendala if you think of it that way.  

So…this is a faux layered look.
I put the art on a 7" square piece of Bristol paper and outlined the various "layers" with a pen.  I actually have 5 layers but decided at the end not to color in the last inch around the frame.  So I have 4 faux frames. Well actually the Bijou tile in the middle is a real tile and it is glued in the center.  I used my new favorite tangle "Lollywimple" on Bijou.  The borders are "Rain", "Omen", "Golven" and "Striping".  

I tried to shade the faux layers to "look" a bit like they have dimension.

Even with this much adapted version I spent well over an hour on this prompt.  I can't wait to see what other people do.  This WAS a challenge.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

Playing Catch Up on Calendar

Rainy central Florida Friday afternoon so I went back and finished up by January calendar.  I started on these "new" calendars in February so I never got around to going back to finish up January.

It's kind of amazing to see how many tangles you can fit into an 8.5 x 11 calendar!  Of course I push the borders a little!  
The "faux" flowers in color are a variation of Yuma.  

If you are interested the tangles used are:
Lamar, Drua, Abundies, Auroknot, Corsace, Elven, Emingle, Sinchun, Yuma, Y-chain, Curly Bracket Feather, Brabs, Bunzo, Cadent, Chainging, Chemystery, Fiore, Flux, Footlites, Frostflower.

Looks like we'll have a wet Easter weekend here.  Warm..mid- 80s but wet.  We need the rain but it 's a shame it had to come this weekend!  In any case…Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March Calendar and Diva's Challenge

8.5 x 11 Calendar on Copy Paper

Diva challenge this week is Shattuck and although it is suggested that it be a mono-tangle…I decided to put it into my calendar as day 23/24.  I then pushed ahead and finished the calendar as I was  feeling "on a roll" and had a little time after dinner. There were a few new tangles for me to try.

In case you at all interested the calendar tangles are 
Diva Dance, Lollywimple, Cubine, Ruffle, Shard, Squaro, Spiteria, Swags, Zonked, Printemps, Snowknot, W-2, Roscoe, 3 Loops 6, Knightsbridge, Shattuck, Jonee, Soluna, Yuma (variation), and Ping.  The one on #29 and #30 has no name yet that I know of.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Finding creative time

What I am writing about today is a comment to Anne Lamott's latest blog on her Facebook page.  You can read the full article here

She says:  the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.
Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.

And of course you cannot "make" time you have to "find time.  I was joking with friend Lou the other day about how I bought a new book on some new art technique and I had been putting it under my pillow trying to absorb it over night.  But then I figured out you actually have to read it and PRACTICE.  Duh.  

What Anne is trying to do is to get us to remember that time is precious and that "creative expression" time is more than precious.  It is essential.  And that time can slip away from us. Which we already know, of course.  But we need reminding!

Most of my friends are "creatives".  In fact for many of us deciding WHICH creative things is the problem.  We want to do so many things.  But that is not really a bad problem, to my mind, as long as one spends enough time with each thing to receive the gift it has to give.  With me the question often is which medium shall I work on today or this week or this month.  And I stave off the temptation to put too many eggs in my creative baskets.  (A good analogy for a Easter blog, right?) However, some would argue you can just get another basket.  And I wouldn't really argue with that.  

My point, however, is that if your studio is just filled with baskets that you flit from one to another frantically than you have created the same time issue you tried to stave off in the beginning!  You need to be able to spend some QUALITY time with each basket and if that become too difficult..give some baskets away.  Pick the baskets that fill your emotional and creative needs the best.

My Zentangle® basket is always near by.  I love my Gelli-arts basket and the mono-printing journaling and collage that spins off it.  I love working with fonts and calligraphy (a new basket for me but one that blends into the others) and I adore my watercolor basket and watercolor sketching baskets. That one is never far away from me.  I play now and then with my basket called "multi-media" which gives me real freedom to "free up my creative juices" and use my journaling to sort of map out that journey.  If I pick a new basket, I sometimes have to put away one of the others for awhile.  The joy in these choices is that they fit the moods.  

Part of Anne's blog suggests that we also need to "get outside the studio often" into nature.  This will inspire your creativity no matter what you like to do.  Whether a walk in the neighborhood or a jaunt down to the river side or beach or woods or….?  I really do agree with her on that one.  

So we are all given the same # of minutes each day.
And I know things interrupt us…family and friends need us and you get a cold and unexpected interruptions just happen.  Excluding those, give some thought today of how you spend your precious creative minutes.  Where could you find some that are being wasted?  (Naps don't count…as they are useful and important.)  I'd love some comments on this.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Zentangle Calendar for March

I've worked a wee bit ahead to March 22 on my calendar.  With a bit green for St. Patrick and a few flowers on the first day of spring.  

Remembering Georgia O'Keeffe

Journal page 9 x 11

Acrylic/paper collage/pen and ink Zentangle®.

Our week 11 prompt had to do with somehow putting some of Georgia O'Keeffe's work into our tangling life.  I just enjoyed putting some of her work with her image and tangling it together a bit.  Next week's it's MY turn to put out the prompt on the Facebook page.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Finishing the botanical.

wc Iris botanical on Arches 140# 12 x 14

Just about finished with this one…just a few little "tweaks" to complete it.  

Lovely summer-like weather here in central FL now with temps getting up to 88 the next couple of days.  Pollen from the "slash pines" is flying everywhere…landing on cars and lawn furniture and making us all sneeze and cough.  Probably another week and it will finish up I hope.  Until then I have to keep the windows closed and AC on.  Gorgeous high flying cumulous clouds in the sky moving pretty fast this afternoon with brisk winds.  About 10 of us got together to work on our iris in the art room of Hawthorne Park  this morning!  Such a pleasant time.  

Fun to have girl friend, Lou, here for a few days.  She is an artist too so we talk art non-stop.  

Tomorrow we vote in the Florida primary.  
The campaigns so far have been so outrageous and so violent and so unlike anything we have ever seen in this country.  There are NO republicans that I would trust with the presidency this year.  
The attitudes are so widely divided that I would not even consider putting a bumper sticker on my car for fear it would be vandalized.  I think that is awful to have to say!  

I pray all the educated and thoughtful Americans will vote.  That's what we need to get back on some sort of sane track again.  
It's obvious that American are tired of lobbies, tired of fiscal inequality, tired of the NRA running things, tired of a congress that can't compromise, and anxious about terror and immigration issues.  Just to name a few.  I keep our country in my prayers constantly.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sketches at DeLeon Springs State Park

These two little sketches (20-30 minutes each) were done Tuesday when we took some good friends to DeLeon Springs State Park, FL.  Nice setting.  In the Sugar Mill you make your own pancakes in the middle of the table.  Sprinkling on the toppings of your choice: pecans, bananas, chocolate chips, blueberries, etc.  

You can roughly see from my small map that we are 40 plus miles north and east of Orlando and about 25 miles from Daytona Beach.
Then we went for a boat ride with "Captain Frank" to see birds and alligators of course!  We saw a nest of baby alligators as this is mating/breeding time for them in FL.  

Like so many of our state parks, this one used to be privately owned and operated as a swimming and camping area.  Many parks we go to like Silver Springs were all privately owned at one time.  Some were private zoos or ski and swim shows and other tourist attractions.  It's hard to compete with Disney, Universal and Lego-land now.  But these old-timer parks have a lot of ambiance and history.  Many originally on Seminole Indian land.  

These sketches were done with and 01 Micron pen and my small Winsor Newton WC kit and a water pen in my moleskin journal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tangling the Calendar in March

Okay…here comes March..up to the 9th already?  
I am following friend Stephanie's lead and sort of tangling the days 
"into" each other.  Now and then I'll leave the number showing.  
When you have company, you find less time…have you noticed that?  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Diva's Challenge: Wicked Fun (using something shiny)

page is 9 x 12" and Zentangle® is 3.5"

This bit of shiny metal (key hole) was found in a knick knack store in Mount Dora, FL last fall.  The metaphors for locks and keys are everywhere.  I loved the kind of swirly design on the key hole too.

The Diva's challenge to tangle using something shiny just seemed to call for this.  (I had to add a key for the lock too.)

I love these two tangles that are new to me: Lollywimple and Zonked.  

There is only one of YOU in all time….

It's the birthday of Gerardus Mercator, born in Rupelmonde, Flanders (now Belgium), in 1512. He developed the world-mapping technique that we still use today and call the "Mercator projection." He developed a method to accurately project the globe onto a flat surface so that longitude and latitude lines would always be at right angles to each other.
When he first published his world map in 1569, it revolutionized navigation. For the first time, sailors could plot a route between any two destinations in the world using a straight line, and then follow that route without having to adjust their compasses.
To project the globe onto a flat surface, Mercator straightened the vertical lines of longitude into parallel lines, and he added space between the horizontal lines of latitude. This distorted the distance at the North and South Poles, which is why Greenland and Antarctica appear so large on flat world maps. The Mercator projection soon became the authoritative world map. Mercator was also the first person to use the word "atlas" to refer to a book of maps.

I get these "bits" off Garrison Keillor's amazing blog sent to me each morning for my perusal.  Included is always a poem.
I highly recommend his blog called "Writer's Almanac" and if you want you can hit "listen" and he'll read it to you in his wonderful drawling voice.  (I rarely do this).  But it's a shame because he's fun to listen to. Why am I in such a hurry?

Anyway he picks and chooses bits that "happened on this day" in history. And there is almost always at least one that fascinates me.  

For one thing knowing now that Gerardus Mercator even existed is a new piece of knowledge for me.  I'll bet you never heard of him either, right?  And think what an amazing thing he figured out and how it changed everything.  One man, one bit of genius shared, one world changed.  Sounds almost like a prayer, right.  I feel like saying "amen".  

Even saying the name of the place he was born is magical…who knew about Rupelmonde, Flanders?  And because I am an American and I think my country is the center of the world and everyone is like me, this sounds mysterious and and exotic.  Bringing to mind how traveling to other countries helps to de-mystify that concept.  But I digress.

I think my original point in commenting on Mercator is that I was again wowed by the concept that each of us is so unique and that we must not hide our creative lives because there is only one of us and it will be lost to the world ... our contribution however small or large if we hide it.  

Brings to mind Martha Graham's now famous thoughts about this….
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
Martha Graham

So despite the inspiration not always working out (see graphics above) we must always try…not give up.  I probably won't invent a new word like Gerardus did but I will affect the world in some way.  Even if it's just through my offspring or because one of my painting might show up on Antiques Roadshow and bring the owner some amazing amount of $. 

Before me lies another precious day to amaze the world.
Off we go then…carry on.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Unfinished vs Finished

Botanical "Iris" 10 x 12 Arches cold pressed

February Calendar Fun…Old favorite tangles and come new
8.5 x 11 "  Finished

Thanks to botanical artist Pam McKee, I had my first lesson on how to paint a botanical.  Intimate views of plants, roots, leaves, flowers, and any growing thing.  Pam tells the class that a true botanical artist is extremely careful to be accurate in size, color, and relative positions as well as accurate in correct leaves for the season of the flower in question.  Accurate as in "measuring" the items to be painted.  Fascinating emphasis on detail.  She gave us the drawing of the iris ahead of time so all 15 of us painted the same flower... but naturally they were all quite different.  I hope to get the flower done yet this week.  Otherwise you know how these "put off" jobs go.  It gets lost in the shuffle!  

Finished is my little Calentangle for February.  It's quite fun to do a "snippet" tangle for the day.  Stephanie has posted a calendar for my sake starting on Sundays.  Apparently in Singapore they use a Monday start most often.  But the Monday start was too confusing for me!  

Gorgeous 80 degree Tuesday today.  I feel pretty lazy.
Doing up sheets and towels as my daughter, Julie, left to return to snowy cold WI this morning with a stop in sleety Detroit on the way.  I hope she made her connection!  

We'll be watching the returns for Super Tuesday primaries tonight. (Fl votes on March 15).  You all know I stand with Hillary Clinton.  It's so important that all Democrats vote! AND we welcome any thinking Republican to cross over.  If ever there was a reason, it's this year!