Sunday, April 26, 2020

Finished with Zentangle Project Pact 9

The "gratitude" project is finished.  Designed by the founders of the Zentangle method, the 9 videos divided the project up into manageable size.  

At the close of the project I decided to fill in the empty spots that were left around the words I had chosen to honor in gratitude.  In other words to feature the words too, instead of just covering them up by layering the Zendalas one over another.  Pretty as that looks.

Laughter, hope, friends, family, trees and love were my 6 words. So the tangles surrounding the words are just "playing" around myself after the project was done.  

It was a pleasant project and very meditative and I was sorry to see it over.  

It's been a kind a strange week for me.  Nothing special that I can think has caused it except the accumulation of a lot of isolation and a lot of bewilderment and now and then interrupted sleep with odd dreams. I know I am not alone in this.  It's a very very strange time all over the world. 

It's as if life is now two dimensional instead of three.  We listen to the news in the evening for about an hour and I read the online newspaper in the morning.  We are doing a lot of the same things as other people.  Trying to keep our sense of humor, trying to balance things.  But I am finding it more difficult as times goes on.  I am sure you all feel the same way.  

Monday, April 20, 2020

Pandemic Zentangle Project

Periodically the Zentangle® family gets together and tries some new creations.  Sponsored by Zentangle founders, Rick and Marie and their come "project Pacts".  This is #9.  All of the instructions for all the packs is free online.  All different kinds of fun ideas.  Such creativity.  The Packet components can be purchased online.  But usually the materials are things you can find around the house if you have done Zentangle before.

Every Christmas is a pack called, of course, the 12 Tangles of Christmas.  This particular one "unofficially" called the Pandemic Packet.  
And it's a wonderful distraction.  

The Demos arrive in your inbox about 2 pm every day during the project.  If you want to do them that day (or some other day) whatever is fine.  There is a Face book group for sharing what happens.  

As you can see above there are 6 Zendalas (4.5" across) and they are prepped by doing a "string" using some suggested organic tangles.  Options are always open, of course.  

Then the 6 videos on "suggestions" of how to fill the Zendalas arrive one per day. So there has been one prep day and now 3 days of the project.  

Here are my first three.  And then below my friend Maureen is taking the challenge too.  Note how the same and how different they are! 

Maureen even chose to cut out her Zendalas with fancy scissors so the edges have a nice design.  When we have all six done, I'll post them again so you can see how they look all finished.  

These are also known as "grateful" tangles.  In the white space we are supposed to be lightly writing something we are thankful for.  I'm going back to do that in the morning.  There are so many!  

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pandemic Days

So here we are together...many of us pretty much quarantined at home trying to make some sense out of what is happening in our world, in our lives, in our families, in the universe.  

Or you may be one of those folks are are still out there in the working world trying to navigate safely and still provide services and needed products.  

In either case, the news out there is not good.
I read an article in the New York Times this morning called "What Day is It?"  And this is not really is a real issue...we are all almost dizzy with the huge changes that have come almost overnight.  And it causes all kinds of unhappy mysterious moods.

All our structures, routines, and ordinary ways of being have been so disrupted and in such huge ways.  In such obvious ways there is no point in even mentioning them.  You know what I mean. It's just important to me to know that I am not alone. That what I am feeling is fairly common. 

My sewing machine hasn't seen the light of day in years.  But there it is on the table now...with the goal of sewing some masks to help  get us through the days ahead.  Right next to my jigsaw puzzle and across from my art studio near the stack of books.  I appear to be "nesting" in some familiar ways.  

Pandemic Days.  Two words I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I'd be writing on my blog.  

Friday, April 10, 2020

A Journal In the Time of Corona Virus

And so life does go on.
But certainly never in our wildest dreams like this.

The more folks I talk to the wider and more diverse the reactions. 
I am worried for the high school and the college kids and the young folks just out trying to make a life.  They feel so robbed and so at a loss for what to do.  Business folding...dreams dying.  This will be part of our collective memories forever.  

Some days a lethargy sets in and I can't seem to finish anything.  I start things and then drift off to something else.  I have disturbing dreams and although I surely have projects galore...can't seem to get going on them.  

And other days I make a list and actually accomplish a few things...makes me feel better when that happens.  Things like Zentangle and journaling help free me.  But each night for the PBS news hour...startling raw images and statistics lay me flat again.

In between my ups and down,  I Zoom and Face Time and email and text with family and friends. Staying in contact has become so essential.  I do my jigsaw puzzle, read, paint and sketch, help Greg with his wiring project in the model train room, and walk.
The weather here is lovely...absolutely NO complaints there...sunny most every day and in the mid 80s.  I can't imagine dealing with this in a snow or rain or cold.  But many people have to.  And then there are those living alone.  That is another story!  

We haven't left the park in 3 weeks except to go to Greg's eye appointments.  (His eye injury is healing nicely).  We wore our masks.  I cancelled our routine dental appointments next week. We continue to have groceries delivered.  

I found that author, Mitch Album, is writing a story on line week by week that takes place in "the time of Coronavirus".   He puts chapter online every Friday.  Check it out.  It's called Human Touch.

Greg and I took communion at home together in front of the laptop computer screen with our minister and his family on Maundy Thursday from their home.  My goodness that was a first.  We saw images of the Pope in Rome alone in the empty cathedral.  This will be a very different Easter for Christians this year.  (And celebrations for Jews and Muslims too).  We are so reminded that a church or any religion cannot be defined by a building.  

Blessed Easter everyone.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Finishing up Sketchbook Revival Prompts...Day 10,11,12

Day 10...actually a demonstration of a frozen lake...quite nice with limited palette.  But frankly I could not get my head around sketching a frozen lake when it's 85 degrees and sunny in Florida.  The artist was interested in sharing her technique of using cling wrap to make watery/icy texture in the I just transferred it to the view out my studio window with the pond beyond.  Then she suggested pasting a bit of cling wrap right there to remind yourself how you did it.  So I did.  The second prompt had to do with perspective and although I enjoyed watching the video I was not even remotely interested in the prompt.  

For some reason I got emotional about this prompt...a delightful demo of ink/watercolor (which is, of course, right down my alley). The artist did a very free form sketching ink drawing which fit well with the subject matter and she allowed us to download the subject inspiration photo as well.  Hundreds of sunflower samples appeared on the face book group after this one...everyone was inspired.  And each sunflower looked different.  I wrote a bit about it, how it symbolized "hope" as although it was finished blooming it carried the seeds for spring.  I had over 85 responses on the page. Below is a slightly better photo of it.  I had to fold it to fit into the sketchbook.

Below is the last prompt for this time around.  I was disappointed actually that for the last one, something a little more dramatic might have been chosen.  One was a talk about discipline and how it figures into how you get things done.  I liked her analogy that discipline is like a riverbed holding and shaping your life (the water) so that it carries along and doesn't wander off.  So I sketched a river for that one even though she had no art activity to accompany the prompt.  

The last prompt was by Karen Abend herself and she suggested illustrating some of your favorite quotes.
I ran out of steam for illustration and made them very tiny. I picked "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything!" by Mark Twain.  AND "The true measure of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit" by Nelson Henderson.

I said to Greg this morning, that now that the discipline of having a prompt to open each morning is done, I need to find my own personal prompts as the weeks of isolation continue here.  We brainstormed some ideas...adding a card game after lunch, cleaning a cupboard I've been meaning to get to, doing some more work with clay that I enjoyed getting into during the prompt, working on finally finishing my memoir.  

I added a face mask to my "littles" this morning as we have now all be cautioned to wear them outside the park.  We did need to go to the eye doctor yesterday so Greg could check out the eye injury he got a week ago as to the healing.  (He is healing well, but the redness will take time to dissipate).  

I stopped at the post office for stamps on the way home in a little town nearby where I was pretty sure there would not be a lot of people (one other one) and I wore my mask for the first time.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Sketchbook Revival Days 7,8,9

The prompt for Day 7 had to do with floral watercolors.  The example was "okay" but not what I felt like I put together my own bouquet.  That felt nice.   I continued my effort to do a Zentangle each day as well.  The second prompt had to do with a portrait.  I was quite fascinated with her approach but I did not have time in one day to do it justice. see on Day 8, below, I made that prompt on an improvised "envelope" and put the paper for the future portrait in the envelope.  I'll pick that up after the prompt series is over.  

Day 8's prompts were interesting.  Noah had us put 100 dots on the page (on the left).  Completely random.  (I framed the envelope with my hand-made washi tape.).  Then he suggested we look for shapes and see if you can connect the dots to make a picture.  The pictures people found were amazing!  I found a little landscape and used colored pencil to color it in.   The second artist, Youhjung Son, had us work with clay.  Obviously that kind of prompt would not fit into a sketchbook...unless, like me, you had paper clay (which I just happened to have). If interested, I did another one of these on canvas awhile ago.  See here.

I rolled out my clay slab and imprinted it with a favorite sunshine stamp.  Let it dry thoroughly overnight. Then I painted it with gesso and let it dry. Then painted it with acrylic clear gel and dried it.  Then I painted it all over with black acrylic paint and let dry.  Then I removed most of the black paint with alcohol.  I touched it up with a dip pen and India ink.  Then glued it into the journal.  

Day 9 was working with old photographs.  The artist herself picked photos that really had no relationship to her and found artistic ways to feature them.  But I could think of no reason not to use an old photo with meaning.  So this is a photo of my mother...I think it may have been her high school graduation photo.  I used gouache paints for the background.  The second artist was an "inspirational coach" and I so there wasn't anything to draw.  She wanted us to consider how our art journey's developed.  I did write about that in the pink box.  Then the Zentangle was inspired by Molly Hollabaugh's talk-through prompt on line this week.