I disappoint myself sometimes by my flagging commitment to this blog and to the Zentangle challenges that have engaged my energy and attention over the last two years. Apologies to my readers. Sometimes our hearts and bodies tell us what our minds cannot. But all is well, and I am still lurking around the edges, putting in my two cents on Facebook and other places.
One thing I want to say to those I admire on the various blogs is that I have found it impossible in quite a few cases to leave comments. I don't know why. I use my Google profile or my website link, or I sign into one of the other website accounts if I have it. Still problems. I click on the links on the Diva challenge board and once on the contributor's blog, I can admire all I see but am unable to post a comment. Guys, I still love you! Has anyone else had this problem?
That said, I think perhaps I am in a shifting mode. Where I have been dedicated to the most basic forms of Zentangle - tile with border, string, pattern, shading and sign - I am dipping my toe into some other expressions of this art form. I am trying to branch into some calligraphy, although my dedication there leaves something to be desired as well. I have slipped into my toddler span of attention in many cases. I have fallen in love with the ZenGems, so named by Eni Oken, the master of shading. My tools of choice for these gems is colored pencil and gray markers. You can see them used in my latest large work posted in this blog. And my brain is working overtime on cooking tools and techniques. My Amazon account is ready to explode with all the pans, utensils, specialty grocery items and cookbooks I have ordered or at least "wish-listed". I have been much more faithful with my yoga exercises than ever before, and am actually seeing results! What? Me, whose body has NEVER been my friend? I actually look forward to my yoga routine, no matter how baby beginner it is. That is a FIRST in my lifetime. How much can one old lady do?
Beyond that, my loving husband is on a travel kick. He feels (perhaps rightly so) that we should not let the grass grow under our feet at this stage, since in five or ten years we may not be able to pick up and go as we do now. The suitcases are dust-free these days, to say the least. I certainly can't complain about that, as we are having a ball! Just unpacked from a lovely trip to Tucson and ready to re-pack for Las Vegas. More trips in the hopper beyond that, too.
So, here I am after a month of neglect and really wanting to get a little traction back on the blog scene.
Starting a couple years ago I did a series of insect ZIAs on Renaissance tiles. The were a pleasure to do and a minor hit with my vast fan club! ;-D I have been experimenting with new types of pens and paper, and bought a few precious sheets of papyrus. I decided to continue that theme of antiquity and design a bejeweled scarab. This was a major project, and has left me limp as a dishrag after all the preliminary sketches, trials of various techniques and media on the paper, and the effort itself of working on this delicate textured paper. I used some distress inks to give the paper an aged look. I used a dip pen with calligraphy ink to draw and did shading with alcohol based markers in shades of gray. I used colored pencil for the gems. C'est finit! This guy is on a sheet of paper 25x17 inches, and is now hanging in our front entry. I'm in love with a bug!!
This week's guest blogger on the Diva website has challenged us to do something shiny, specifically metallic. I like how the metallic pens look on black, but since I am still hooked on Gems, I decided to combine the two. This tile has both gold and silver ink. I did some highlighting with white chalk pencil and shading with a black colored pencil. So far, that has been the least messy option I have tried using the metallic gel pens. Some markers work on the white pens without dissolving the ink, but on the metallic ink, I still find problems there.
I have been struggling to bridge the difference between the transparent looking cabochon type gems with the solid stones like lapis and turquoise. Here I have attempted some turquoise stones, but am not fully satisfied yet. They are better than my previous attempts, and I do like how the black tile paper works with these gems. The black gives you ready-made shadow edges and you just build up from there. It also leaves some bits of texture showing through, which is easy to convert into little fissures in the stones. There is much to be said here. I am still not sure of my color choices, though, and will keep working at this.
So, Gentle Readers, thank you for stopping by today. Know that I cherish all your thoughts and comments and would love to hear from you. Until next time...