Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Diva Challenge 211, Square One Flux. New To Me "L", and a rerun of Zendala 100

Crazy week out there!  Everybody commenting on "too cold", "too hot" (we are actually hearing that here in Arizona), poor Laura's Artoo having some troubles again (best wishes to that little cutie for a speedy recovery), and a milestone Zendala challenge. I'm posting that entry here again even though I did a separate post a couple days ago just because it was a big deal for me.

It took a while to get to the "That's New To Me" challenge because I've been not only working so hard on my other entries, but also have been baking cookies, treated to parties with friends and getting ready for some upcoming travel.  I originally posted without this entry, but wanted to get it on-air early.  That said, here (as of April 1st) is my entry of new-to-me tangles.  I used LaMar (my new FAVE border!), Lokomotive and Lachrymose.  By the time I finished all the fill-in areas, I thought I might just as well have started with a black tile! 

It's a La-Loko-Lachry-Mos-Tive-Mar!

I really liked working on the Flux challenge, as I did see the recap in the Zentangle Newsletter, and the beautiful works by Maria and Rick are so inspiring.  They make it look effortless, but somehow mine never quite reach that kind of elegance.  Oh well, that's why they are the "originals"!
Diva Challenge 211 - Flux

The Square One: Purely Zentangle focus is Squid.  Mine looks more octopus like, but it was fun.  I added "Sucker" by Lizzie Mayne and a little ever so basic Knightsbridge.  This was fun!
Squid with Sucker and Knightsbridge
Here is my entry for the Zendala Challenge 100.  The image is a lit a little unevenly because I snapped it with my phone rather than scanning it, but I think it's OK.  If you read my previous post, you know I am just really learning to work with Zendalas.  I didn't have any more tiles, so I used a tan sketchbook for this one.  I'm pretty proud of myself, if I do say so.  I was surprised at how nicely it turned out.  It does take longer than a regular tile, and I think there is more planning to do, but once you get going, it's pretty relaxing and satisfying.  I like the egg shapes, and it looks like I added some of my favorite root beer jelly beans, too!
Zendala 100 - black and brown ink with chalk pencil and graphite shading.

Have a beautiful week as we move into our Holy Week and Passover celebrations.  Thank you for stopping by and know that I am always honored by your comments.


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Bright Owl Zendala Dare 100!

I thought this was momentous enough to warrant a separate post.  For a couple of years now I have been marvelling at the beautiful work done by others on the round Zendala tiles.  I tried a few of the prestrung tiles, but never really connected with the form.  I somehow found them more restrictive than other tiles because I rarely use existing strings, but just let my pencil flow and see what I get.

Since I have been participating in various challenges, I have warmed up to the constraints of each one and viewed them as a growth opportunity.  Still, I resisted the Zendalas.  Then I started seeing some impossibly beautiful work by some tanglers - Lily Moon and Sandy Hsiao, you know who you are!  I decided it was time to rethink this Zendala thing.

I don't remember how I found the challenge on The Bright Owl blog, but it probably was someone's multiple challenge entries I found while checking out submissions to The Diva challenges.

I ran out of Zendala tiles (messed up so many over the last couple years), so I did this one in a tan sketchbook.  It took me a while, but I do like the outcome.  Thanks to you wonderful tanglers out in cyber Zentangle-land for the inspiration and push I needed to start these challenges.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Diva Challenge #210 Spiral String, SQ1 Mooka and That's New To Me #12 "O"

Today is my first wedding anniversary!  I had a first brief marriage that produced three beautiful daughters, but ended unhappily leaving me divorced and too occupied with parenthood and work to allow for much else.  Finally, at a time in my life when my girls were all grown and I had pulled back a bit on the career thing (no path forward, just treading water and being thankful for that), I met my wonderful husband and entered a new happy and delightful life.  Yay old age!

This week's theme of spirals and the circular layout I used on my TNTM tile reinforce the idea that life does turn all the time.  Never think "this is all there is - ho hum".  I am here to tell you that when you are ready for good things, they come to you.  Often you have to get through a bunch of bad stuff first, but press forward in good faith.  All the old sayings, particularly "what goes around, comes around", really are true.  You do reap what you sow, even if you have to spend a bit of time pulling weeds.  And on, and on...

Here is my tile for the Diva Challenge.  I kept it simple and used my tangle "Paris".  Sometimes I am grateful when my pen is running out of ink.  It gives me the ability to do soft little lines. It has a sort of shiny snakeskin look, I think.
Square One on Facebook focused on Mooka this week.  What beautiful things are all over facebook now!  I particularly like Michelle Beauchamp's entries.  She is truly the Queen of Mooka!  That said, here is my humble contribution.  I love drawing Mooka, even when my renditions don't turn out as graceful or inventive as some others I see.  It's just so much FUN!

Two "O" tangles were new to me.  I chose "Open Wide" by Linda Rea (what fun!) and "On Target" by Barbara Finwall.  I added a bit of Tipple.  Again, that almost over-with pen allowed me to blend the ink strokes with the pencil strokes.  I enjoyed this bit of new technique for me.

I have been watching for a new Zendala challenge, but didn't see one as of yesterday, so this is all I have this week.  It's enough!  I'm off to book club and then home to whip up a fancy little weeknight celebration dinner for Mr. Wonderful and me.

Thanks for stopping by and check out all the rest of the wonderful artwork by my fellow tanglers.  I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ah, St. Patrick's Day! - Diva Challenge #209 and more

So, here we are at St. Patrick's Day.  The wearing of the green.  Historically, this was a mid-Lenten feast day of the Church calendar that allowed consumption of meat, hence the corned beef and cabbage connection. Good Catholics were expected to go to church and pray, but a pint or two after Mass was lovely.  Today, it is the Irish American version of Mardi Gras - can't let those French types in New Orleans have all the fun, eh?

Now, I am not Irish, not even a tiny bit (unless someone back in Italy strayed from the fold somehow...), but as a born and bred Chicago girl, I know full well the major importance of this mini-Bacchanal that included multiple parades (sadly the infamous South Side one has been banned)with every politician in Chicago  marching along with the bagpipers, horses, costumed Irish dancing girls Chicago's famed Little People (hilarious - look them up sometime), beer, beer, green beer, and wearing green all day or there must be something wrong with you.  Don't think of wearing orange, as you could get beat up (for being a subversive Protestant supporter, don't you know).  Italians, you just wait a couple days and wear your red.  (St. Joseph's Day is an altogether different type of celebration involving fathers and every kind of yummy Italian pastry you can imagine.) But on St. Patrick's Day everyone is a little Irish (except maybe my dad, the eternal resistor).

Tonight we have our monthly Wine Club dinner in the Arizona "over-55" place where we live.  It's not specifically themed, but  I will be wearing my new green dress along with some saucy little St. Pat's tattoos my sister-in-law gave me.  No green beer but we will have fun anyway.

So today I meet the Diva's green challenge with something quick and fun.  A cross between Shamrocks (Sh'rocks) B'Twined on a trellis and the spring basket-like Cruze.  I added color with TomBow markers and a green metallic Gelly Roll pen.  Yep, I did green nails (they are green-er in real life) this week!

For the Square One: Purely Zentangle board, the focus tangle was OoF.  I bordered it with Akoya and punctured it with Black Pearlz.

Suzy Mosh's That's New To Me challenges.  I really had fun with the B challenge as I have been wanting to use Sandy Steen Bartholomew's Bollywood for a long time but never seemed to have the right vehicle.  When I looked at Helen Williams' Brax, I just started thinking of India and put them together. 
Week 11 Letter B - Brax and Bollywood
Week 10 Letter A - Akoya, Arcodos, Axlexa and Acrosstick

 I have begun a Zendala challenge.  This is something rather new for me (see my previous post), but I am going to try to continue.  This is a different skill and mindset, I think, and one I am anxious to develop further.
So, thanks for stopping by to see the results of my busy week.  All your comments are appreciated.  Happy St. Pat's!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Zendala Dare #99 - New Pathways

Zendala!  I've only done a couple of Zendalas in my Zentangle life of three years or so, and there are a few reasons why. 

One, they are HARD WORK!  It seems like they will never end - you just keep doing the same thing and then do it some more and more.  Grinding monotony.  But this time, I began to get a  new perspective on that process.  If you have ever walked a labyrinth, you get the same feeling.  You think "when will this ever end?" But then, suddenly, there you are in the center of the circle and you really can't say just how that happened.  The way back out is much the same.   I felt the same sense of a need to just keep going on my Zendala.  I knew that eventually I would be surprised to find I had come to the end of the journey.  It truly was not difficult, but required that I trust and keep going. 

Second, I often use a loosey-goosey approach to strings, finding them optional in many cases.  Sometimes on a tile I will use one just to be able to say, yes, I followed the Zentangle steps of dots, border, string, draw and shade.  Sometimes.  With a Zendala, the string is much more important.  It is the string that guides and inspires your design, and it has a beauty of its own.  I don't know how to design a Zendala string, but I know if I went back to my old geometry textbook, I could probably do it.  But again, is that restful, meditative or inspiring?  This time, I found that it could be, thanks to the challenge presented.  I found that reflecting on the shapes of the string was its own meditation.  I didn't have to choose the design - that was done for me, and that alone made this more relaxing. 

Third, Zendala's take a long time to complete.  Yes.  They do.  But I found myself with a little unexpected time on my hands and decided to submit to the pull of the challenge for once.  However, a couple of hours thus spent is far better than hours watching reality TV (I don't) or playing games on the computer (I admit, I do). 

So here is my response to The Bright Owl's Zendala Dare #99  I used Striping, Orbs with black auras, Akoya variation and generally just some rice shapes, lines dots, and a fan shaped thing whose name I don't know (if  indeed it has a name).  I have taken a new journey that required me to just keep going and trust.

Thank you, and Namaste.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Diva Challenge #208, That's New To Me #9 and SQ1 Focus Bunzo

Another week, another set of Tangles to share!  I keep looking at the plethora of Zentangle challenges and focuses, things I'd like to experiment with, things I greatly admire from others - "oh, I wish I could do that!", and wish I had more time and energy to dive into everything.  I have forced myself to limit to three.  As it is, I sometimes struggle to keep up.  Somewhere I heard that Zentangle was supposed to be a no-pressure relaxing process.  Hmmmm...

Oh well, press on!

This week, our Diva, Laura Harms, set a duotangle challenge.  Usually I like that concept because it keeps the tile focused and allows for pattern play, which makes the tile very interesting.  I must have tried in my sketchbook three times and then produced three tiles out of sheer stubbornness before I was ready to post them.

The first one, I tried to bring in some shadow play.  Maybe I was brain-tired or whatever, but I gained no satisfaction from this.

The second one, I pared down to one cube.  I keep remembering Georgia O'Keefe's paintings with the solid color canvas with a couple of dark squares.  Her critics said she was going abstract on them, but she said, not at all.  That's what my windows look like.  Yep, in New Mexico, that is true!  So here is the pared down cubine.  I like it better.

Finally, I decided to have a little fun, so I grew some black cherries.  One didn't ripen...
The challenge letter for Suzy Mosh's That's New To Me was H.  I chose Hako and Henna Drum.  I always admired Henna Drum, but thought it didn't fit my designs.  Here, with Hako, I like it very well!  Black and brown ink on a Renaissance tile:
Finally, the focus tangle on Square One: Purely Zentangle Facebook page was Bunzo.  I like that tangle, and have had lots of fun looking at all the varied interpretations. 
Here is mine  - Wandering Bunzo:

Happy Tangling, all.  I thank you for visiting and truly appreciate all your comments.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Weekly Challenge #207 Unbatz (yes I know I skipped 206...), SQ1 SeZ and Painting Class

OK, so I sloughed off last week! New tools and techniques make me nervous, even though I get excited by the idea.  I just can't seem to make myself put the idea into action.  Must work on that issue...

On to this week - Unbatz.  I looked at this pattern and at first thought Nope!  I don't seem to be into the little flowery looking patterns lately.  However, when I looked at the variations, I warmed up to it a bit more.  Once I got going, I REALLY liked it.

I used String 125 and tried a technique I have been wanting to play with.  I kept the pattern consistent but changed the coloring as it crossed the string line.  For examples of how this can be exceptionally beautiful, check out Margaret Bremner's work.  She is AMAZING!!!

I was quite happy with my somewhat tentative attempt at this, and my husband liked it a lot, so here it is:
Unbatz on String 125

The Square One focus pattern this week was SeZ.  Easy-peasy, I thought.  Until I tried it.  It looks similar to Printemps, which is among my Top 10 choices, but the drawing process is totally different somehow.  Getting the circles to end without little tags and keeping the circles consistent and evenly spaced is crazy hard.  But, in the spirit of "no mistakes", I exaggerated my wonky lines and added a bit of Diva Dance so you might just think it was on purpose (Hehe...)
SeZ with Diva Dance and Knightsbridge
On another front, I have been working hard on my painting classes.  I really want to thank my instructor, Bonnie Kitchens, for her valuable insights, criticism, encouragement, and for teaching me that I have so much more to learn.  Someday I'll even learn how to paint glass convincingly!  Here is my latest finished work.  Everyone wants to know just what is this little girl thinking?

Girl With Tasseled Parasol

Happy Week!  Check out all the inspired tangling at http://iamthedivaczt.blogspot.com/ and on Facebook on Square One:Purely Zentangle (https://www.facebook.com/groups/squareonepurelyzentangle/?fref=nf)