Thursday, April 19, 2018

Diva Challenge #360 and the Duo-Challenge

Duo-Tangle: Shattuck & Tripoli
"All of your Art is practice for more Art"-The Diva

I'm really enjoying the DIY art journal for these challenges lately. I started out thinking of the watercolor background as a stand of trees, then I saw feathers. Feathers and trees. Why not?
Tripoli is one of those patterns that took me  the longest time to wrap my pen around  so I was quite pleased with myself at being able to corral it into that oval whereas in the past I'd always been so intent on getting the triangles consistent that it went off the rails and frustrated me. Now I know better;-)
This quote came back to me while I was working on the shading. I was remembering what Laura said while she was finishing up her YouTube video of last weeks finger string challenge about having an art practice. Wise words;-)

The start

The Diva's quote could not have been more relevant as I struggled worked my way through the duo-challenge.

Duo Challenge

Duo Challenge
I got stuck

Joey starts this one off with "Relly Telly One" Front and Center. Adele's curvy/loopy string brings "Tupuk", "Flec" and "Fassett" into the mix and flowed quite nicely from the point of  RellyTellyOne which I'd drawn on Monday. I ended up partially using the loops in Adele's string to inspire the curved and wavy lines I eventually built Tupuk on.
It started off so well because all of the patterns were either ones I've enjoyed before or in the case of Tupuk, a new-to-me pattern that not only fit into my wheelhouse, but it's creator Ria Matheussen is one of my ZenPals (as is Jem Miller, the creator of "Flec").
Then I got stuck. It happens all the time with these and I've learned to take a break or two. This one vexed me more than usual, but as soon as I recalled The Diva's wise words I reminded myself that these Duo-Challenges are meant to be exercises in balance and contrast. It's busy and a bit cluttered  but that's ok.
I procrastinated a bit over at the Zentangle Mosaic app and saw one of Maria's tiles where she "Orbed and Aura'd" Crescent Moon. More wise words "When in doubt...Aura! " So there ya go;-)

Other artsy stuff:

Abstract botanicals
DIY art journal
brush pen

Blue Botanicals
DIY art journal
Platinum Preppy fountain pen
Iroshizuko Kon-peki blue ink

Multi media art journal

She cracks me up when she does this
in the midst of grooming she'll suddenly freeze
and stare into space 

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Diva Challenge #359 and The Duo-Challenge

Finger String

Hi all. I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today as I'm having some technical issues and problems getting my pics loaded.
This week's challenge is to trace your fingers in some creative way and use that as the string. Once again, I felt compelled to break out the DIY art journal. This previously painted page seemed like a good fit:
The string is placed

I started out trying to use the white space around the border as another way to break up the string. Things got a little busy and it took much longer than I thought, but I like the way it came out. I was drawing this at the cafe on Monday. The text says "today,  a woman at the cafe asked me if I was an artist. I caught myself hesitating before I said 'Yes. I am an Artist.' "

A Challenge Duet

I'm quite happy with the way this one came out. The parameters of Joey's "Finish my Tile" challenge is to start with the focus pattern, Breach, "Front and Center". I went rogue and off-set it a bit. Symmetry makes me...uneasy and given the unknown of IAST at that point, the tweak gave me some leeway. 

Napping is tiring business๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Diva Challenge #358, a Challenge Duet & more mixed media

"The journey begins with an idea, so many possibilities, so many what if's to explore"

This week's challenge is a UMT (Use My Tangle) featuring "Pickpocket" by Tomas Padros. It's a beauty, but it's also very high focus.
I felt like this was a good journal piece because it's definitely something I want to remember. I'd previously set up a few watercolor pages in my DIY journal and went for it.

A start inspired by this video

A Challenge Duet 

Another long exploration done and dusted. At first, I wasn't too crazy about the IAST pattern selections but I liked how the string played into Joey's Mak-rah-mee. I had done all but two of the Mooka  tendrils on Monday, hoping I'd be able to carry them into IAST. Now, that's my least favorite part of the page. My favorite parts are the two IAST patterns Kaboom and Kulecane. Go figure. It's always a journey;-)

Other artsy endeavors:

My DIY Journal
inspired by this video from CeeCee's Creations
I used a Platinum Preppy fountain pen
filled with Iroshizuko Tsuki-yo blue ink
on a previously watercolored background

More DIY Journal flowers

My new mixed media journal cover art
that's actually a bronze acrylic so it looks much better in person;-)

First page
inspired by another of CeeCee's morning pages

These next two pieces, I worked on simultaneously, starting with a large watercolor practice sheet I cut in half. I find that I really like doing these circle flowers and it's a great way to give my old tiles and watercolor rejects a new life. The original background was a light turquoise wash with orange and blue splashes and spray. I hated it. Yet, it inspired the results of both of these pieces.

  made from used baby wipes from my paint clean-ups;-)

"cat among the flowers"

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Diva Challenge #357 and a Duo-Challenge

Monotangle featuring "Paradox"

This one just started off as Paradox practice. It's one of those patterns I only use as space filler here and there and I can't seem to vary it.  I had this murky watercolor page set up in my DIY journal quite awhile ago and figured it would be a good place to explore. While I was noodling around, this YouTube video came up on my playlist (this channel is my latest binge obsession-love it!). The quote she was using seemed to really gel with the fleeting thought to finish this and make it this week's submission: "Sometimes there is no next time, no timeouts, no second chances. Sometimes it's now or never".

Duo Challenge:

Monday Morning

I'm not gonna lie, this was a really awkward page to set up and work through. I set it aside a few times and finally finished it last night and once again, I look at it and think "Geez, how the heck did I do that?"

Mixed Media Art Journal

Most of my art time was spent working in this journal. This one was a fun one. I started off with a bunch of the scrap strips of colored art tissue that I saved after making tiles. ..then came various layers of gesso, acrylic paint and stenciling. The cool thing was finding (buried in the back of my closet bookshelf) an old book of black and white folk art patterns. I cut out a bunch of circles (a technique I learned in one of CeeCee's videos) in varying sizes to make the flowers. I finished it with black ink and puff paint dots.
One of my personal rules with this whole mixed media thang is to hack use stuff I've got at home (those 3 little bottles of puff paint have been bouncing around in an old shoebox for at least 10 years) or can pick up on the super cheap. I only purchase minimum tools and mediums, things that can be re-used like stencils and a few stamps. I don't go in for buying packaged embellishments. I have to say that this page is my favorite so far.

Aimee's not so impressed ๐Ÿ˜❤๐Ÿพ

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Diva Challenge #356 & a Duo-challenge

"What's in a Name"
String Theory


Happy weekend to you all. It's been a busy week getting ready for the California Artisan Cheese Festival this year. I managed to get the challenges done in little bits and pieces, finishing up the duo-challenge yesterday morning before heading up to Sonoma for the big event.
As some of you may know, who have followed Coffee & Creativity for awhile, I'm a cheese seller at small specialty market. 
This was my 2nd year participating in the Ultimate Best Bite Competition. My mission (along with 20 other cheesemongers) was to create 200 bites for festival guests, featuring a cheese that's been assigned to us 2 weeks prior.

Although I didn't win, I had so much amazing feedback from a lot of guests. It was a lot of work and a very long day, but I had a blast. Glad it's over;-)

My illustrated breakdown of my bite

"I like cheese"

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Diva Challenge#355, Joey #207/It's a String Thing #234 Duet


A challenge so nice, I did it twice;-) I love "Verve"! It's been a while since I've used any of my tiles because I've been so focused on my many journals and eco-print papers. I pulled out an experimental piece where I tried a bubble technique I saw somewhere. It was so long ago that I don't even remember how to do it. I had a small stash of these blue bubble tiles that I've never used. I have a vague recollection that I made them for a Travelling Tangles swap I never followed through on.
I wanted to keep it light so I used the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners in two shades of grey and one lavender. I used a Tombow brush marker to shade.

The starter

Verve II
I was wiling away a rainy morning at the cafe, watching a YouTube video when a new one from one of my fave channels popped up on my feed. I was reminded of a new brush pen I got at Daiso last week and fortunately had it with me as well as this colored tile I've been toting around.

Joey 207 & IAST 234 Duo-Challenge

my Monday morning set up
Joey #207 & IAST #234 Duo-Challenge

When I saw Joey's ribbon flourish, I immediately thought of the black shiny ribbons that Jem (aka The Ragged Ray) does frequently on her that started me off and I was happy to see Pokeroot (one of my Mac 'n Cheese patterns) featured too. Late Tuesday evening when I got home from work, I got the IAST challenge and did this:

Late Tuesday night
which way to place the string?
This was almost too easy

Most of you who comment here have mentioned that these Duo-challenges are your favorites. Thank you so much for all of your encouraging feedback because if not for your lovely comments, I probably would have given up on these a while ago.
I have a Love/Hate process with these. It is literally a roller coaster of doubt and triumph as I work my way through one and I have to stop and start a lot. This one took me all day.
A couple of you have requested a video of my process. Unfortunately, I just don't have the bandwidth to produce and edit videos, but I'll do my best to photograph some steps when I can remember.

My Multi-Media Art Journal
Last weeks Diva Challenge deconstructed


Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Diva Challenge#354, Joey #206 & IAST #233 duo challenge

Use My Tangle Monday
Siri by Simone Menzel

It was great to see Simone's pattern "Siri" featured this week! Simone and I have shared some Travelling Tangles swaps so I'm fortunate to have some of her original art of  my very own and I find her work so inspiring. I don't think I've ever used this pattern beyond playing around with it a little when she first published it on her blog. It's pretty high focus. My approach to something like this is to go big and go slow.

My background options

I find myself  falling down the rabbit hole of multi media art journaling. I bought a Dylusions ink starter set last week and played around with the sprays and stencils. "Siri" felt like it would be a good fit on one of these and after a lengthy stare-down, I decided to scatter fragments of Siri using my Platinum Preppy blue fountain pen and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

Duo Challenge

Joey started us off with an untitled wave pattern  (bottom left corner) she found on Pinterest.  I laid in the corner line work on Monday, then once I saw the IAST challenge I drew the Pi string on a separate piece of paper and then turned it around and around to decide which direction felt right, then carried a string line over to Joey's side.

I've been doing these in a multi media sketchbook using only my fountain pens and graphite (sometimes a Tombow grey marker). The only thing that keeps me going with this is how much I love using the fountain pens and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I finish. This is an exercise in problem solving! Composing these pages are mostly Zen, but there are several moments throughout the long process where I get frustrated because I don't like the way it's going. It has ALWAYS worked out in the end and that always surprises me, but it doesn't come easy by any means.

I added "Mosi", a new to me pattern featured this week on Square One: Purely Zentangle (as if  this wasn't hard enough;-) I felt like the Joey side needed something organic to balance out Frunky and though "Mosi" wasn't really gelling with me, I loved how the challenge artist, Tomas Padros added sort of an  "Icanthis" component to it and because I'm into botanicals lately, I went for it. I hated it! I took a break and later went in with a black brush pen to add some weight and little leaf tips. Better.

The required patterns in place:
Mystery Waves (untitled)

More drippy watercolor circles
Botanical studies
in my DIY sketchbook/journal

One of my creative goals is to draw botanicals. I like the whimsical styles of a few of my YouTube faves at Authentic by Frani and Shayda Campbell and have been following their tutorials.

I want to work on more intricate, detailed studies and alternatively do some fun abstractions. I'm also still having fun with the drippy watercolor circles. I had a palette with some remnants of dried up, cheap, Daiso watercolors that I was about to rinse off when it occurred to me to set up a few more pages of miscellaneous watercolor splashes to inspire future drawings. The flowers above came about a few days later.
I have always preferred a muted color palette and am only now breaking out of my comfort zone into brighter, more vibrant colors. I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought a Daniel Smith starter set plus a few bright tubes and have been having fun playing with the florals. But, you know what?, I prefer these silly Daiso watercolors. Everything is still practice at this point.

She is so camera ready!

Thanks for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.