Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dips, Colors and Cartouche

Gentle Readers,

I come today with a slightly different focus and some steps closer to my ideal of what I want to present in terms of Zentangle and calligraphy.  I also have a better relationship with the journal I received in my initial Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) class.  Took me a while! Do you mull over ideas for artwork in your head to the point where you can't sleep, but then never make anything?  Do you to a million little test runs but never actually take it on the road, so to speak?  Do you have white page panic? That's me.  It's like I keep thinking about diving into that pool, but I would need to be pushed to actually get my feet to leave solid ground.

I have been practicing my script lettering and have determined some things I like.  This is thanks to the online encouragement of Lindsey Bugbee at The Postman's knock. Her tips and the beauty and gracefulness of her work are so inspirational. I find I enjoy using walnut ink, which gives that beautiful antique coloring to my work, but also allows for very fine lines, which just plain make me happy.  I know there will be times I want a true black with waterfast qualities, but I haven't gotten to the stage where I am actually MAKING art with my lettering, just playin' for now, thanks.  No thanks, I'm just looking... :-) For that super black look, I have found I love the feel and look of Ziller Soot Black.  So de-e-e-e-e-p.  Perhaps I should start lettering envelopes for Christmas.  Only 238 days to go.

The best part is I have found my true love in a nib.  While G style nibs (Nikko, Zebra and Tachikawa) are great for many purposes, I love, love, love my Leonard Principle EF nibs.  Just the right amount of flexibility and lovely thin and thick line variation.  They make even my clumsy beginner stuff look great.

My next challenge is to make friends with actually planning and measuring a project.  Ya think? I know, that's WORK (a four letter word when you are lazy and retired).

My second goal is to incorporate subtle color.  I have been playing with all kinds of watercolor and gouache, tubes, pans, metallic, water-based markers, colored inks, etc.  Imagine my surprise to realize that some of the most talented Tanglers (Zen Linea, you are foremost) add color with watercolor pencils and a water brush pen.  How easy is that?  I have been able to work well so far with single colors, but I still need to find that  sweet spot for blending the colors.  How much color to apply, how much water, is there an intermediate blending step of some sort?  I must persevere...

Now the plan begins to take shape.  I purchased the Zentangle Project Pack #5: Cartouche.  Oh, so right up my alley!  I have plans to make more of the actual finished frameable product, but I am starting slowly.  I did a tiny key on a 3Z Renaissance tile, and I think it turned out really well.  Pretty cute if I do say so.  I have a ton more vintage keys that have been waiting patiently in their storage cache to be put to some view-worthy use.  Soon, soon...

What this pack did bring me to was to dive into those lovely ivory journal pages with renewed vigor and quite a lot less white page panic.

A couple months ago I started some pages dealing with embedded and illuminated letters, and the incredible pattern Icantoo by Hanny Nura, CZT.  I'm in love with it, and I can't stop drawing it everywhere.  Here I filled a double journal page with it, and even added a little color with the pencils.

I also revisited an old tile from my earliest tangling days and used it in Tranzending. The huge curvy shape contrasts with the tight and tiny patterns on the tile, and I'm really pleased with it.

I kind of feel I'm Tranzending in my Zentangle journey.  Where I used to try every new tangle and worked on drawing them very precisely, now I gravitate to a few Tangles I really find comfort in and enjoy playing with different versions.  I hope I have learned some things from other tanglers, specifically Eni Oken, Lynn Meade, Margaret Bremner and Zen Linea. They are all fabulous and inspirational. I've been tangling since about 2012, and I still find it fresh and new.  I love that those I see as masters - even Rick Roberts, Maria Thomas and Molly Hollibaugh - are still evolving in their expressions of Zentangle, adding new techniques and tools that give beautiful results.  I hope my journey is just beginning!

For now, Namaste.


1 comment:

  1. Haola, Antonine....While searching for a new tangle to use on a sea shore themed project...came across your very first published tangle (name escapes me, but resembles border of a shell with a pearl) loved it ... used it.....than saw this post. Your journey with Zentangle is reminiscent of mine. I took up the dip pen when I saw Maria's work at CZT 14 retreat. I too found Lindsey watercolour...etc. Just binged on all your posts. You are very creative, sharing, joy filled and downright jolly. So glad I found your blog....Namaste!