Friday, April 29, 2016

May Calendar (already?)

Arukas, Knightsbrige, Angel Line, Geared, Pipes, Leather Belt, MA-VIII, Fedr, Crease, Fran, Agora, Ando, Ynix, Snail, Cathedral, 3D-room, Ellish, Facade, Eclipse and Paradox.

It's pretty compulsive to complete your May calendar BEFORE May begins.  :-)  

Well, I figure with packing, finishing up chores here in FL, company and travel time there won't really much tangling time left.  So over the course of the last 3 weeks I began tangling this one.  Addictive, of course.

88 today…time for a swim at the pool.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Touch up on the watercolor painting...

12 x 12 wc and ink on canvas
photo taken in artificial light

same painting with corrections taken in day light.

So my helpful blogger critiques pointed out some problems with the first painting and agreed with my own critique.  

1. I straightened out the handle on the cart.
2. I changed the flowers so that flowers were of different sizes and added more white flowers.
3. I darkened the couple in the background at the table to try to make them barely visible.  

(the orange color of the cart is more what the color actually looks like in the 2nd photo.)

There was actually some printing in the stripe that goes horizontally across the window but I decided not to put that in.

I am considering darkening the shadows under the cart, what do you think Barb and Cynthia?  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Making choices in painting.

12 x 12 on gallery wrapped canvas
wc and ink

Photographing a painting can help you critique it. 

I like the shapes in this painting, the blocky grays help to set off the flower cart.  

I am trying to decide about my effort to show the reflections of the art tents in the window.  Are they distracting and unreadable?  It would be easy to paint them out at this stage but I keep thinking about it.  The working title was "Reflecting on the Art Fair".  I am also thinking about shadowing out the two people at the table so that they are not so distinct.  

I also don't like that the flowers are too evenly spaced and almost all the same size.  Fairly easy to correct.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Diva Challenge…stripes

Tile 1

Shading Tile 1

Adding color to Tile 1

Tangles: Bask-it, Snail, Akoya, 3D-Room, Sonnenband

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Journal Prompt this week is "Trees"

Journal prompt for this week did not grab me although I surely do love trees.  I think the prompt was so open and so "unlimited" that I had trouble getting inspired.  (As we say in Zentangle, "there is freedom in limits").  

I wrote a little "bit" about the Jacaranda Trees in bloom down here in Florida and my love of the white birch up north.  Afterwards I thought I should have just listed all my favorite trees which would have been a rather lengthy list, but fun.  

I am sure the prompt was inspired by Earth Day last Friday…so the response could have gone that way.  There are poems about trees that knock your socks off.  I could have gone that way.  I ended up tangling some tree images on faux tiles at the bottom right which was VERY time consuming.  

I think the whole page is "okay" but it reflects a kind of "off" mood I am in right now.  Having a bout with sinus pain this week and it makes me tired and out of sorts.  When this happens I lose my centering and flit from one thing to another.  

I did finish up the book for book club.  We are reading Jody Picoult's fascinating book called Leaving Time.  Fun shifts and surprises in it.  Reminds me of that wonderful movie "The Sixth Sense" with Bruce Willis.  Remember that one?    

We are having absolutely gorgeous weather in central FL.  High 80s and sunny.  Despite the fact that it is Biker Weekend in Leesburg this weekend (noisy) we are totally enjoying it.  Getting ready to host my sister and her hubby for a few days next week.  
Always great to see them.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Another before and after Zentangle shading

One of my Facebook groups (focusing on shading) asks that I post the before and after version of my tile.  Friends have told me that the first one looks like the "coloring book" version…not my favorite analogy actually but I sure know what they mean.  Zentangle® without any shading is very much like a color book line work.  

The string on this tile was sort of experimental in that I was "playing" with a fine line marker filled with paint.  I laid out several tiles and just swept over them a few times and let them dry.
Voila.  Strings.  The paint was orange/red shade.  Which makes it easier to see in the first image.

The colors were all Derwent colored pencils and the colored dots were Moonglow Sakura pens and the white dots was a Uniball Signo pen.  Tangle names were: Ta-da, Voga, Verve and Fedr.

Today was a nice day…the art club celebrated it's teaching staff and we each got a rose and a thank you card and a balloon!

SO I am feeling special today!  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Floor Cloth Painting

Acrylic on canvas: 18" high and 2.5' long

Floor cloth: actually an old form of making art that was pretty practical as well.  My idea on this "canvas rug" was to make lot of interesting stones and rocks.  In this photo I hasten to say they look a lot more like meatballs to me!  😃  Although that could be good for a kitchen rug too!  

But in person they look more rock-like and I may actually have some grass and leaves strewn about…not sure.  I also plan to use more grays in the rocks for a second coat.  

My kitchen theme is more about granite, rocks, and stone.  This is to be my entry rug or at the kitchen sink…which ever looks best.  
 Most people do very cutesy floor cloths or use geometric designs.  They have animals, barns, etc etc. 
I have never been one to "follow the crowd!" 
When complete you have to varnish it three coats.  
Acrylic paint is pretty tough.  

So I'll keep you up to speed on this project and let's see where it goes.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Diva Challenge: Boing String

Before shading.

3.5" tile with ink and watercolor pencil

Gosh, Laura could really use some "boing" about now with her son back in the hospital again!  Sure hope they both get some rest now.

This before-and-after tile uses Crease and Schnek and followed her prompt of a "boing" string looking like a spring string.  Complete nonsense, of course, but then a lot of my work is dippy and light and playful.  

Before and After Using Shnek

Sort of "before" with minimal graphite shading

"After" with some colored pencil added

So…(don't you find it annoying how many people now begin half their sentences with "so"?)

So, what I have gone and done again is join another Facebook group.  For me Facebook is all about "groups".  I mean I have an account and 40 or 50 friends (I staunchly refuse to add more than that) and enjoy seeing photos of my family!!!  

BUT, the most fun are the groups.  I don't want anything posted on my main FB page and you can set that up.  I just go to the groups when I feel like going to them. They do not intrude themselves on me.

I love my group of Gelli Print enthusiasts Group. We have over 4500 people on that group now!!! 
One is for the Zentangle CZTs.  One (called Square One) is for purist tanglers who only tangle on 3.5 tiles with pen and plain gray graphite.  And one is for my Journal Prompt group…prompting once a week.  Again, optional but totally fun.  

And my newest group is for Tanglers who want to learn to do amazing shading in color or black and white.   Trying to remember to take a scan or photo of the tangle BEFORE I do anything is the hardest part!  

So (here I go again with so)…so this tangle is called Shnek and two of my groups are using it this week.  That's handy.  

The shading group is a spin off the Square One group.  So usually whatever the Square one group leader chooses for the week's theme, so does the Shading group.  A two-fer.  So I can draw and shade in graphite for the first one and then decide how to do "over the top" shading for the second one using color without actually having to do another tile.  I think quite a few people do this as I see many of the same names.  A lot of us in the Shading Group have purchased some of Eni Oken's shading books and now we want to "play" together while practicing.  She mainly uses markers and colored pencils in her work but there are no rules.

In addition I do follow "the Diva's" blog where she posts a weekly challenge in Zentangle.  Sometimes I try to work that in too!  There is never a dull moment.  


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sketching Your Life

White Chicken Chili and Egg Salad

the Tea Cup from Niagara Falls

Bloom's Cafe in Leesburg, FL

Two friends doing Urban Sketching with me

Taking an online class is a wonderful inspiration to get out your materials and "get going".  Liz Steel's class is lots of fun…many inspirational videos and lots of great hand outs.  (I am putting them in a 3-ring binder!!! )  Taking a class that way is so convenient as you can work at your own speed.  Mary Gayle and I both love these kinds of classes.  She's been taking Sketching Skool.  

With Liz you are reminded of all the different styles and techniques of sketching and she urges you not to get "stuck" in any one format.  My soup and sandwich sketch was lightly penciled in to get the "measurements" sort of right and then loosely  washed in wc and then inked afterwards.  Bloom's Cafe was penciled in wc pencil lightly, inked and then washed.  In Bloom's cafe I tried heavier in markings in the foreground.  The brush pen is water soluble so I had to do that AFTER the wash.  Unless I wanted a totally different look.  

Seems like whenever I try to get a group of drawers/painters together outside, weather is not good.
So that happened again yesterday.  The Farmer's Market fell through due to poor conditions including high winds.  But we went to Bloom's and had a nice lunch and sketched for awhile inside.  As long as a restaurant is not busy…they usually do not mind if we "hang out" awhile.  

Weather now this week looks fantastic…sunny and in the mid-80s.  Of course now I am pretty booked with lots of places I have to be!  But I'll drag my sketching bag along with me.  Opportunity sometimes knocks anyway.  

The history on the tea cup is funny…I like tea but rarely use a real "tea cup" as I prefer sturdy mugs that keep things hot longer. But way back (maybe 12 years ago?) I was invited to a tea party where we all had to bring our own tea cup and it was suggested it be a pretty one.  Pretty?  I did not own a pretty one!  So off to the thrift shop I went and I came upon this one which a souvenir cup from Niagara Falls (a place I have never been actually).  The china was all swirly in different colors and it was fun.  So I've been hanging on to this cup (that I never really use) for years.  Liz (from Australia) is a BIG tea drinker and apparently there are a lot tea opportunities in Australia (she's from Sydney).  She takes what she calls "tea breaks" in her teaching all the time and demonstrates various techniques with her own collection or at cafes around Sydney.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Zentangle® groups

3.5" tile/ink and graphite
Cruze, Wheelz, Jetties

3.5" tiles w/watercolor wash
Agora, Swirl, Phroz, Enyshow in "slit"

These two tiles are in response to a couple of new tangles I wanted to try out AND the Square One group on FB is using "Cruze" this week.  Remember, no color allowed in that group.  

The second explored Agora for the first and a small section of Phroz ("froze") which I had not really tried before.  Supposed to look like frozen crystals.   Also apparently there is a group on FB that using Zentangle with "slits" such as the one on the right bottom of my tile where something is slipping out of a faux slit in the paper.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

12 x 12 for Scholarship Sale in Wisconsin

I am working on a 12 x 12 canvas this afternoon that is a fund raiser for scholarships in my art group up north.
This is totally a ton of work, by the way.
I had to special prep the canvas to work with watercolor plus several sandings.
(gallery wrapped)

Then I had to adapt a landscape photo to a square format (glad for the app on my iPad for that).
Then I had to draw the rather complicated picture (gridded).  
Then TRACE it on the canvas.  This is all fiddly stuff and takes SO long.

I had the drawing done another day.  So today I did the tracing and started the painting.
The photo ref was taken in downtown Leesburg, FL a few winters's ago.  Don't remember if the flower cart is still there or not.
The store (Sweets and Treats) is not there anymore either I don't think.

Quite a ways yet to go but I did make a dent in it.  We all sell our paintings for $50 and it earned quite a bit last summer!  

It is a gorgeous day here in central FL…85 and sunny.
Dinner in the crock pot so I'd have lots of time to play in the studio.
Now time for a glass of nice cold wine out on the patio.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Diva Challenge for this week…tangle a globe

Ink over acrylic 
Globe diameter 6.5"

On line sketching with Liz Steel

Above is my breakfast sketch in ink and watercolor.
Below are my lunch sketches in two different techniques.
The upper one is done in wc pencil with harder lines.
The second in wc wash with more soft lines.

There are several different "studies" that Liz shares in her class.
I'll be painting ( I hope) at the Farmer's Market on Saturday in Leesburg and I hope to be able to try some of them out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Edges Class with Liz Steel

Our first assignment was to work on planes (objects in various positions in relation to each other) and using colors to do the same.
Liz gives lots of hand outs and give us videos to watch.  Fun.

Then Preliminary to Lesson II...

Liz suggests we do some practice with the writing/drawing tools that we own…one set of marks with ink and one with pencil including watercolor pencils.  And then a little experimenting with different journal papers.  

Here are a few of my favorite pencils which include some soft and some hard pencils and also different thicknesses of lead from 03 to 07.  Some of the pencils are water soluble.   

These are just a few of my pens…the ones I would be most likely to use for sketching.  One is a fountain pen, one a gel pen, several are Zentangle pens (microns) and some are water soluble like Tombow pens and a brush pen.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Baseline figure sketches

So I really do not like any of the above.  But I need to establish a sort of base line in my sketching of figures.  These are tiny in my 3 x 5 sketchbook.  05 Micron Pen and some wc and in the second one I used a Sketch and Wash pencil first.  

Gestural sketching takes a lot of practice…ya have to start somewhere.  My people look "wooden".  

Cathy Gatland is who I want to be when I grow up.
Her gestural figures are wonderful.
Look at her wonderful line sketches of people!!!! 
I mean they look like "different" people too.  
More practice ahead!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Diva Challenge: Fassett

3.5" Zentangle Tile

Fassett, Crease, and a version of Niuroda.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Practicing my sketching skills

I have started a self-paced sketching class with Liz Steel from Australia.  I love her work.  BUT the downside is she uses "Flicker" for folks to post on and it's a total pain to have to sign up with Yahoo first.  I have spent over an hour trying to figure that out and being rejected over and over for something I am not doing right.  

In Jane Davies class, Jane just pulled up a special blogspot and we all enjoyed putting our work on it.  No problem.  
Well, I guess it doesn't really matter if I can't post my work but it is nicer to be able to see what other people are doing and get suggestions and ideas.  Sigh.  Guess if I had known this I might not have signed up.  

Very cool weather for April here…we'll be down in the 40s tonight and I don't EVER remember that before.  Greg is pleased…he loves it cool and sunny.  And since I injured my foot two weeks ago and it's very slow in healing…I can't be in the pool anyway.  

Having fun watching the Master's Golf tournament in Augusta, GA the past couple of days.  It's been so windy there that it's affected the scores!  At least it is dry and sunny.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Journal Prompt 14: Shadows

I think the prompt writer was trying to get at people taking a look at their "darker" side.  She called it their "shadow" side.  I had some trouble thinking exactly how to pursue this.

Optimism and faith and light put shadows and shadow feelings "behind" you and while I don't think there is anything that completely eliminates this in our lives…we have choices.  I choose to face forward.  

I used to teach a whole unit on "shadows" when I taught kindergarten.  I did it around Valentine's day because so many valentines classically included "silhouettes".  (Did you know that there is a person named Mr.  Silhouette and that's where they get their name?)  Look it up.

Anyway my feelings about shadows are scientific, artistic, and amusing.  I think of Peter Pan and I think of Robert Louis Stevenson's wonderful poem…remember…"I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me…And what can be the use of him is more than I can see…."

So focusing on my darker side using the shadow metaphor really didn't work.  Maybe by the time you get to be my age, you have "resolved" this paradox in life somewhat?   Thoughts?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reluctant Urban Sketching

Some sketches you would just rather not do at all.  Here was one.
Everything is going to be just fine.  But it took three hours to have someone say it!  And they were not even crowded!  Sigh.

You can tell from the detail that I was there a long time.
But all is well.  Not to worry.

Thank heavens for my sketchbook.  
And I read National Geographic cover to cover twice!  
That got old.  
Artists are lucky that way aren't they?  
This was my small 3 x 5 folding sketchbook and a #05 Micron.

Make your own coloring card

My grandson Patrick will be 10 next week.
I am sending him some tracing paper in his card so he can trace this and make his own "coloring card".  

En Plein air today and a birthday card in Zentangle.

en plein air sketches this morning

A Zentangle card for Maddy

We had a huge fast moving storm here at 8:00 am.  But by 9:00 the sun was out and it was gorgeous.  So I trotted next door to Katie's yard to do a few sketches.  I was all by myself.  The storm scared every one away!  I wanted to try some new paper and some new ink so it was fine. I was there about an hour and a half.  

The card is for my granddaughter's 26th birthday which is coming up in a few weeks.  She lives in CA and I haven't seen her for over a year (except on Face Book).  Sigh. Miss her so.  The black tangle on the right bottom is Chloe…a new one.  It's a lot more work and concentration that I at first thought.  But I like the outcome. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Urban Sketch

5-1/2" square moleskin

Did this little sketch at Napoli II restaurant over in Wildwood, FL yesterday afternoon.  (on Hwy 301) We had about 30 friends get together from the old Pilgrim's church gang.  

Been reading and studying two new books over the last month: Lynne Chapman's book Sketching People: An Urban Sketcher's Manual to Drawing Figures and Faces and Thomas Thorspecken's lovely book Urban Sketching: the complete Guide to Techniques.  

Also playing with some new line making materials and friend, Lou, gave me a new "square format" sketchbook that is very fun to work with.  I have a long way to go on the figures in the sketch category but the thing is…I've been sleeping with the books under my pillow for a month and it has not helped.  It appears that you actually have to practice!!!  

I really expected the service at the restaurant to be slow with a group that large and I thought sketching would be helpful to get through the wait.  But the staff did a splendid job with the service!  We were all amazed.  So I really did have to sketch fast and furious and in between lots of visiting, of course.

Have a plein air event this Thursday I was geared up for but now it says rain.  Nice all week but rain Thursday.  Sigh.  We do have a rain date for that event.  Then on the 16th there is an group meeting at the Farmer's Market in Leesburg to do some "urban sketching".  No rain date for that one so have my finger's crossed.

My north woods en plein painting group in Wisconsin has a great schedule for this summer.  I missed so many of them last year….weather and mosquitoes and company.  We meet every Thursday morning during the summer beginning June 2.  Hoping for better attendance this year.  

Am showing art work in the Hawthorne Library the month of April so have been busy with getting the 7 paintings ready for that display.  Taking them down to the the display this morning.  


Saturday, April 2, 2016


3.5" Zentangle tiles with Morse and Lollywimple

This is the challenge for this week on "Back to Square One" which encourages tangle lovers to use just the basics…white tiles, black pens, graphite shading.  No color, no changed sizes, no up or down and nothing that is recognizable.  Just the basics.

Morse is a tangle with a bit of challenge to it. 
Get's it's name from the "dots and dashes".  

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Postcard Project

Post Card (on card stock) 5.5 x 7"

A challenge from my art group here at Hawthorne Park, in central Florida.  This is a "coloring book" art project that our bulletin board chair is putting together for the summer months. Something that will look cheerful and fun while most of us snowbirds are off in other places leaving some folks looking at a blank bulletin board!

There are maybe 4 of each design passed out so lots of different ones.  
Of course this black and white one said "Zentangle®" to me so I started with that.  Then at the end I acceded to the original plan and put at least put ONE colored butterfly into the mix.