Friday, February 27, 2015

Something OId~Something New...

string # 82, Fassett and Phroz 

... yet another TangleBomb.
I added a little painterly Printemps, inspired by the Diva's previous challenge to think outside the toolbox and use new tools. I tangled with watercolors for the first time ever and really liked the result.
I've also been inspired into going back to old challenges from the Diva and It's a String Thing and try to incorporate them into new challenges. I'm playing a bit of catch up over at the Square One-Purely Zentangle facebook page. The pattern of the week, last week, was "Strircles".
I used "Strircles" to also represent Simplicity~ Diva Challenge #1 

Diva Challenge #3-Eyes Wide Shut: draw a blind string
That's New to Me week 8: N patterns with some more Strircles

for Jane Monk's One Tangle: 52 tangles in 2015 facebook page challenge

Lastly, something borrowed? Jane provided this string for her challenge this week:

This would make a great banner for my blog.

Thanks for stopping by! Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Diva Challenge #206

watercolor on 4 x 5 inch tinted parchment textured card stock

This weeks challenge at I am the Diva is to think outside the toolbox, or use new tools you generally don't use when creating tiles, anything from a different drawing tool to different paper, on a rock, a stick in sand or even a sewing machine (I like this one and may try it later).
My usual tools are Micron pens, Rapidograph pens, graphite or grey Prismacolor markers for shading on either bristol vellum tiles or my sketchbook. I've had this little field watercolor set for 20+ years (I only recently pulled it out of premature retirement since art school) and just bought a waterbrush (it has a water reservoir). I've only used it for background washes in my sketchbook and other painterly projects.

Better late than never is last week's That's New to Me challenge~ S patterns. I spent so much time looking at and playing with different patterns I never got around to creating an actual tile. This is the sampler from my sketch book. I used the pattern "Struzzle" as the string. These are all new patterns for me. I'm a little OCD.

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's a String Thing Challenge #80

String #80
Patterns used: Inaura & Kozy

I know I'm sounding like a broken record but... Whew! what a challenge! Honestly, I was not having fun with either of these patterns. Perhaps it was just me feeling restless and dissatisfied with many things going on this week.
It seems I've developed a pattern of behavior when it comes to these string challenges. I will look at the string and the selected patterns and think "What the heck am I gonna do with this?"'s a struggle for me initially to wrap my brain around the parameters that at first seem somewhat limiting. In the handful of challenges I've participated in thus far, usually I'm thinking that there are too many patterns. This time I thought too few.
I really liked the string. It immediately brought to mind a cozy cup of coffee and the waves of warmth radiating from it. I thought that with a really thoughtful approach to this, I could ultimately come up with a great design for a blog banner. I gelled with the idea of Kozy emanating from my cup of coffee. I expected this to be nothing short of brilliant.
Well, as I read somewhere a long time ago, "Expectations are disappointments waiting to happen"
I practiced and practiced Kozy and it was one hot mess after another...and once again ( well...several times) thought about taking a pass this week but I kept coming back to this nagging thought: 
THIS is what this blog is all about.
I started the above piece in my "throwaway" sketchbook, a cheapie from the dollar store with pages so thin, the inkier spots will bleed through 3 pages. The paper surface is very smooth so it's great for just warming up, working things out and then I can tear out the pages and throw them away.
This morning I sat down with my coffee at the cafe and opened up the book and thought, well this isn't as bad as I thought it was the other day. Once I got into some of the heavier line work I just kept going and 2 hours later I'm thinking I probably won't have time to commit this to a real tile so for now, a page from my crappy sketchbook...and another tiny triumph!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Diva Challenge #205

Diva Challenge #205
2015-The Year of the Goat

This week's challenge at I am the Diva is The Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Goat or Sheep and the Diva's husband was born in the year of the goat, so that was her string of choice for the challenge. Somehow The Year of the Rat (my birth year) wasn't gelling.
I noodled around on the internet looking for inspiration. My initial plan was to use the character symbol for the goat or rat as the string. I Googled & doodled.
I found this really cool stock Vector image of a sheep and started doodling it in my sketchbook as a study.

Thanks for stopping by. Your comments mean the world to me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Two Challenges

This weeks submission for Jane Monk's week 8 One Tangle Facebook group challenge is another take on the ribbon thing I'm currently obsessed with.
This is the string line Jane challenged with:

I've been pondering the string I drew in  my sketchbook all week and just couldn't jump start it. Then after finishing last week's It's a String Thing challenge the other day, this just flowed out whilst watching Downton Abbey last night.

This is for the Made by Joey week 48 Challenge: Polka Dots. The parameters were to fill circles with a different tangle in each.
I'm just getting the hang of the white gel pen. This was done on a toned textured cardstock.

Friday, February 13, 2015

It's a String Thing Challenge #79

 Inapod, Buttercup, Puf & Poser
string #76

Once again, the string challenge really made me work. Four patterns to use within the given string. No matter how I played it I couldn't "lose" the string or get all those patterns placed with any kind of finesse. I almost gave up. There were a lot of fits and starts with this one and after much frustration,  procrastination and noodling around on the internet, I found inspiration from two artists whose work I really love.
I saw this on the Square One: Purely Zentangle facebook page which led me to the great AHA! moment. Many many thanks to Margaret Bremner for sharing her string strategy.  You wouldn't know the string was there. That's what I'd been aspiring to from the beginning with the strings. Then I saw this tile by Helen Williams. She's another artist who really thinks outside the box.
Then it emerged. I love when that happens.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Diva's Weekly Challenge #204

Here's a Boo-Kee of Roses

This weeks challenge at I am the Diva was to create a "Valentangle", a Valentine in spirit but hearts not necessarily required."Whatever tickles your fancy".
Yay! I've created a lot of hearty tiles over the past couple of weeks and I'm a little burnt out, so I welcomed the opportunity to find the spirit in other ways. This challenge played directly into my fancy to resurrect dud tiles or enhance pieces from my tile pile with a red marker in an attempt to build up a whole bunch of Valentine-y thangs that I can give out at work on Friday. I hope I can pull this off. There are a lot of people and I don't want to resurrect any grade school anxiety of leaving anyone out.
This tile fit the bill. I started this tile for a Square One: Purely Zentangle challenge a few months ago that focused on the pattern Gneiss but I abandoned it as it just wasn't gelling with me at the time. Shuffling through the pile yesterday I saw the roses and went to work. It wasn't until I was finished that I recalled the pattern name Boo-Kee...I mean how could I not?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

for Joey's week 47 challenge

string 39 
Luv-A, Hugs and Kisses and Marasu

This is the weirdest tile I've ever created because it started off with a very intentional direction then totally veered out of control...which is why I love it and hate it at the same time. It's definitely got its flaws but I embrace it because upon reflection, I feel like it truly embodies the Zentangle journey. It went something like this:
The parameters were to start with this string...

...oh cool! I'm still obsessed with the spiral pattern "Marasu", so I knew exactly what I was going to do first~ go rogue by not using any of the prescribed patterns...yet. I did the spiral- color, highlight, shadow, then pondered my pattern options;

Luv-A, Loveline, Hugs & Kisses and Kiss

By this point I was familiar with all but one of the patterns-"Hugs & Kisses". Upon investigation I was not keen on it and had no intention of using it. I ixnayed "Loveline" from the get-go because no matter how I've played it over the last several challenges, I can't get it to look good. I was going with "Luv-A" and "Kiss". 
I discovered "Kiss" awhile back while pursuing another string challenge. It's the background pattern behind the feather. I like this pattern a lot and had every intention of using it again.

As the tile moved along, "Kiss" disappeared and "Hugs and Kisses" clumsily worked it's way in, I considered abandoning it more than once but kept at it. I purchased my first white gel pen yesterday and figured it would at least make a good practice ground, so I kept going.
I thought it was finished more than once, but something kept me going with it. When I finally called it finished, I considered not posting it and had a fleeting thought to start a new one, but decided it was noteworthy whether I begin again or not. We shall see.
Anyhoo, thanks to all of you who take the time to read these musings and many thanks to those who take the time to comment. I truly appreciate all of you.

Monday, February 9, 2015

That's New to Me Week 6

New W patterns: Walp &Warped Eggs in the Well

"Well" was the pattern of the week on the current Square One: Purely Zentangle Facebook page challenge so though it's no longer new to me I though it would make a good string.
I like the cock-eyed version.
I kept it simple this time with only two new patterns Walp & Warped Eggs

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stormy Sunday

I've been down with a very inconvenient bronchial malady for the past 3 days. The stormy weather has actually been a comfort with the exception of being awaken from my Nyquil induced napping by the crashing trashcans tumbling down the street.
Last night, after a 12 hour nap, I popped "My Fair Lady" into the DVD player, made a big pot of tea and did a little doodling.
for Jane Monk's One Tangle: week 7 challenge

for the Square One: Purely Zentangle challenge using the pattern "Well"

the first post nap doodle
 a random heart
I'm a bit obsessed with "Marasu" at the moment
 and playing with "Vorago".

Friday, February 6, 2015

TangleBomb Friday

 It's a String Thing #78
Adele Bruno's string
patterns: Heartline, Hearty, LG & Lovelines

 for the One Tangle: week 6 facebook group challenge using Jane Monks string
New to me "M" patterns: Marasu, Msst, Munchin & Meteors 
for the "That's New to Me" Challenge

There sure are a lot of hearts going on here in the World of Zentangle. Oddly enough I find that I've been letting go (just a little) of my anti-Valentine leanings. 
The first tile is for Adele Bruno's "It's a String Thing" Challenge. This was a hard one. We were asked to use 4 specific heart themed patterns within the mirrored heart string. After a few failed attempts I considered omitting one and though there are no hard and fast rules, I follow rules. I stuck to my guns. Something about this string seemed to ask for symmetry.
I am also NOT a hearts & flowers kind of girl and never bought into the Valentine's Day hype relationship or no. Once I reluctantly started on these heart inspired challenges, I found the red, black and white theme fit into my world view and artistic sensibilities, especially when I found that adding black hearts and bold graphics tweaked a little jolt of glee in my jaded old heart. I'm particularly fond of those bullseye hearts above. That's my take on Adele Bruno's pattern "LG".

Diverting from the hearts is my first submission to the new facebook group One Tangle, Jane Monk's weekly challenge where she gives us a string of her own design and perhaps a suggestion of pattern placement. 
I really do not need another weekly challenge to a procrastinate around but I'm more productive when my pieces have a purpose or at the very least some kind of focus. I combined two challenges in one by using new 'M" patterns within Jane's great string for this weeks "That's New to Me" challenge by Suzy Mosh Creations. This was the perfect opportunity to explore Marasu, a coil pattern that I've seen done exceptionally well on Lily's Tangles and I've been wanting to try. This took me a really, really, really long time to draw.
I guess this could hardly be a TangleBomb with only two tiles so I adding this:

I resurrected this from the dud pile last week and just started embellishing it. I wish I'd taken a picture of it before. I think I just didn't see this going where I wanted back when I started it several months ago.  I pulled it out to practice some shading somewhere around the time I got the idea to go red marker crazy with hearts and stuff, came to life again. With the exception of Pokeleaf I have no idea if these are even patterns.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Diva Challenge #203 & Made by Joey #46

This weeks challenge at I am the Diva is a UMT~Use My Tangle. The pattern is called "Athitzi" , submitted by Seven.
The heart, oddly enough, was my idea. I do not buy into the whole Valentine's Day concept, but I'm sticking with my plan to create Valentine inspired designs.  Several of my favorite blogs are issuing challenges using heart themed patterns and this is what's in my toolbox at the moment. 
I was quite amazed to see how many heart themed patterns there are out there and how much fun they are to draw. 
I'm really liking "Athitzi". It's so versatile and really relaxing to draw. I want to keep doing more and since resurrecting my art school set of Rapidograph technical pens, I'm jazzed that I managed to clean 15 years worth of gunk out of them, I'm enjoying playing with all the line widths.

This is the challenge for Made by Joey: using heart-y tangles.
 Made by Joey Challenge #46

There are several gorgeous heart patterns at A Little Lime

Monday, February 2, 2015

Square One Challenge~Quandary

The challenge this week from Square One: Purely Zentangle is to explore the pattern "Quandary", the rice/petal shapes arranged in triangles which then sort of form into a flower motif.
This piece really was a quandary.
This was the first attempt:
I already had the "Hollibaugh" string drawn out with one segment filled with "Tripoli", so it seemed like this tile was destined for "Quandary". I liked the way the spiral looked in the corner and wanted to explore it in a larger area and started a second tile.
At some point I got distracted inspired by a piece I saw on Lily's Tangles and wanted to try "Hazen". After a Google-thon, searching for non-existent step-out instructions, I just tried it on my own. That was the real quandary. My "Hazen" was a bit of a train-wreck, but I'd spent a lot of time on it. It was a very relaxing tile to work on even though it didn't really come out the way I was hoping.  I was trying to work in some contrast and ended up losing Quandary a little. No worries though, such is the journey of Zentangle.