Friday, July 24, 2020

Project Pact #10 in Zentangle

Periodically Zentangle (Central) offers a series of "project pact" videos to just fire up the Zentangle groupies everywhere.  The idea is that you will buy the "kits" from Zentangle and then tangle along.  The kits include the pens and papers and etc that you need to complete the videos that are offered free on YouTube.  Just google "Zentangle Project Pacts".  Each one is a series of videos.  
If you wanted to buy a kit go to

BUT you do not need to buy the are encouraged to make do with whatever you have around your studio in order to follow along.  They often provide a pdf as a supplement so that if you want to run them off, it will help you with doing it on your own. That is always the way I've approached them.  If I were going to use them in teaching Zentangle I'd never expect students to "buy" a kit.  (The kits range from $10-$30 each).  

So anything you see here printed off is a pdf that I have cut out and glued into the project.  Most pens and materials can be either improvised or purchased separately from art supply sources or local art stores.  

I just happened to have a small 4 x 4 notebook that I picked up somewhere (garage sale?) and it fit the bill perfectly.  I've had to draw all my own strings to fit the book, of course,  but that was a fun part of the challenge.  The 20 sided die I still had from a previous kit BUT they are for sale inexpensively on Amazon.  

Here's an example of one of chapters in the project (there are I think 12 chapters).  Only about half of the tangles are demonstrated for each of the days.  Then you are encouraged to use some your favorites to finish it off.  With 20 tangles per day...there is no way I could finish this "as we go along".  So I just start with drawing the strings based on the video and then fill in some of the tangles that I like.  This section above is based on "textured tangles" and "drama tangles".  Drama meaning a lot of black/white contrast.

This section is based on "crazy" or slightly "wonky" tangles.  You can take regular tangles and make then crazy. Or you can find tangles that were wonky from the beginning!  I still have 4 to go.  Wonky appeals to me.  You won't be surprised by this!

This section above was all about "spiral inspired" tangles.  A bit of a challenge on this one.  Remember there are 20 of each topic.  So this is just 10 on this spread.  There is another 2-page spread following it.  

The idea of the whole thing is that you toss the die and whatever # shows is the tangle you start with on your tile for that day.  The names of the tangles are recorded on another page.  It's a way to make a "random" tile without going through the step of "deciding" what you are going to tangle that day.  Most tiles require several different tangles to complete.  So you then pick a section and throw the die and off you go.  

Of course you always have a few preliminary decisions to make when doing Zentangle.  Size and shape of a tile, string, color or just black and white.  But once that is decided the little book and die can be employed to help finish it off.  It's also just fun to look through.  

I'll probably post a few more completed pages later on.  It's a nice project for keeping you meditatively inspired during the pandemic.  

Monday, July 20, 2020

July Art

When I did the composition on this I left room on the right to add a few more flowers.  So hopefully you will see this again....someday soon!  

A little sketch experiment done from a photo.  

The Hawthorne Outdoor Sketch group met the 13th.  We nearly melted even though we got down to the river by 8:30.  By 11 we had to leave.  95+ and high humidity. Whew.  But we had a nice time.  6' apart and when visiting we wore our masks.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Working to Find Hope

"Recalculating" (collage, ink, acrylic on paper) 8 x 8

Kenneth Samual writes this morning:  "Social grievance and angry protests across the country.  School systems thrown into quandary over online learning.  Stagnant business operations and economic growth. Racial tensions at boiling levels.  Political polarization and personal stress.  Over-zealous policing and under-funded mental health resources.  Mounting pressures imposed by an unabated pandemic. Social malaise spiraling upwards."

It seemed like a fairly good summary of what is up with life right now.  Kenneth is the pastor of Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain, GA.  Great name for a church.   

Last night after I watched PBS's Amanpour & Company (my new favorite interview show)after which I turned out the lights and turned to reverie...I found myself silently weeping. Social malaise translates for many people like me into personal malaise.  

The show last night was actually a re-run of her May 8 show but I had not seen that one.   Her choice of guests and solid interviewing and her slightly distant viewpoint (from London) give the show a real poignancy.  She, and her 3 other interviewers, are smart and to the point.   Like taking a painting and placing it at a distance so you can actually see what is going on...weakness and strengths. 

She interviewed Jane Goodall for one.  (An amazing women to be sure).  Among many thoughtful comments Jane mentioned that she fears her beloved Chimpanzees in Africa will in fact get Covid 19 from humans at some point.  Jane points out we are all living too close together now and we've taken away the environments that kept us safe like the forests and wide plains and lost our ability to think in "the long view".  

Here in Florida, the pandemic is spiraling out of control AGAIN and now I have found that someone I know (from church) has tested positive.  She is young and I pray she won't be too ill.  She has a young child.  But who has she passed it on to?  Luckily I haven't been with her for months.  But I find it chilling as the circle draws tighter.  

I consider myself fairly stable person.  A fairly positive person.  But believe me, these days I am concerned. The fact is that the spirals of hurt and anguish keep coming over and over again so that our futures and hopes and dreams keep getting pushed farther and farther from us.  I see videos of a "normal a looking grandmother" doing a sit in in a grocery store because she was asked to wear a mask.  I think for some people the edge is a lot closer than for others.  And I am worried a little that I am getting pushed in that direction too.  

One of my friends suggests not watching the news.  I thought about that.  So just try to pretend that nothing is happening?  Well, I know they are just saying not to get "consumed" with the news which is so disheartening.  I understand that.  With so few distractions, a person can be overwhelmed.  I get that.  We limit ourselves to the New York Times Brief in the morning (online newspaper) and then PBS on TV at night.  

This Sunday night I will zoom with my great granddaughter, Violet Virginia,  in CA as she celebrates her 2nd birthday.  All the grandparents will be present (from Illinois and Michigan) as well as some of the aunts and uncles.  This will help bring me back into the focus of those I love so dearly. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Life Goes On

You have no doubt seen bits and pieces of this group of "littles" or "smallies" on and off from time to time as it proceeded along.  

It took me 3 months to do this page.  

It is my ninth completed page...I've started these on Jan 21, 2019.  
9 pages in 16 months. There's no rhyme or reason why some months I jotted down a square almost every day...and this time, it was 3 months to finish one page.  

But the slower pace this time is for all the reasons you probably could think of yourself: a loss of the sense of time as reality, lethargy toward creative process, a feeling of purposelessness, anxiety about the future, loss of personal connections,  and being overwhelmed with the huge events affecting all our lives.  

Speaking of which...This morning's NY Times briefing had an amazing list of the things that the authors felt worth listing that have happened since January 1...the first 6 months of 2020. 

And we haven't gotten to the election yet.  

The list helped me to get some perspective on why I feel overwhelmed in so many ways.  And why our country and the world is reeling from one event after another.  
As the title does go on.  Balancing it is difficult but we have no choice.