Monday, July 27, 2015

Diva Challenge #228, That's New to Me #30 & Made by Joey #71

explore a new "L" pattern ~"Lampions" by Mariet Lustenhouwer
& the works of JJ LaBarbera~"Leafy"

 I enjoy several of JJ LaBarbera's patterns. I've used "Vercut", "Verve", "Ticking" and "Allium" before, but I found a new one and it also starts with an "L". I love "Leafy". I also discovered "Lampions" which is similar to one of my fave's "Zinger". I may have drawn it closer to "Zinger" now that I look at it again. Mariet's shapes are a tad fatter and more lantern shaped. Oh well...
This ATC could also cover this weeks Diva Challenge brought to us this week by Cari Sultanik who challenged us to go organic. I could do this all day, every day.

I'm still sort of obsessing with Mak-ra-mee and I had a couple of these blue-green watercolor ATC's laying about, thus I ended up with something quite aquatic.

"Hollibaugh" monotangle

I decided to keep this one simple. Unfortunately, my cheapo cell phone cam did not pick up the nuances of the watercolor background that prompted me to pick up this particular ATC and not cover it up with a lot of stuff.

These two tiles are works-in-progress that I'm noodling around with for the Facebook Group Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap. The challenge is to use one color and three patterns only per tile. The colors can be different for each tile and the patterns can be different, but each single tile has to be monochromatic. This is NOT my forte. I like to draw with black ink. My toolbox only includes a couple of random blue and sepia Microns, oh, and one kind of rust color and I only ever use those to create fillers. This is going to be a major challenge.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Your comments always make my day.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

That's New to Me #29 & It's a String Thing #102

D pattern: Dicso
Artist Focus: Sandy Hunter~Batiki & Oodle

Dicso is a new pattern that was just published on I love it and thought it would do well on this bright green and blue ATC. Then after scrolling around on Sandy Hunter's website and looking at all of her beautiful patterns, it became clear that "Batiki" and it's variation "Oodle" would be a good fit since the watercolor background reminded me of Batik.

It's a String Thing #102
String 102
patterns: Frost Flower, Sez & Graancirkel

Frost Flower is one of my favorite new patterns because it's really relaxing to draw, so when I saw this week's challenge I was anxious to get going. It took a couple fits and starts trying to figure out where each pattern wanted to go.  I've been using a lot of water color lately and used it to shade.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your comments always make my day.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Diva Challenge #227 & Made by Joey #70

Tropicana, Fescu & Cack
ATC watercolor wash, Rapidograph fine liner & Caran d'ache watercolor pencils

It was a relaxing morning at the cafe today. After a lovely visit from a dear friend and playing tourist in my hometown for a few days, I'm getting back to my routine.
Today's challenge was put forth by the Diva's guest blogger, Lee Darter CZT. We were asked what came to mind when thinking of the circus and given a set of patterns to utilize.
I'm not a fan of traditional circus but I love Cirque du Soleil. I have a background in theatrical costume design and I remember how influenced and inspired I was by the magical characters and acrobats and of course, the colors and hand painted costumes.
I had previously made up a bunch of these painted ATC's, and at the risk of being redundant, I continue to use them here. The colors of this particular ATC felt perfectly "Cirque" to me.
"Cack" brought to mind decorative swirling umbrellas handled in stylized movement by elegant and fluid acrobats-"Fescu", emerging through the forced perspective arches of "Tropicana".
This was such a fun challenge~thank you Lee!
"Girdy" Monotangle

The watercolor background for this ATC was inspired by rust. I have a bunch of inspiration saved here on my Pinterest page. Rust is beautiful. I have to say that "Girdy" is not a pattern I particularly like, but after looking at the other submissions I was inspired. "Industrial" came to mind, which made me pick up this rusty ATC. The idea to create the look of flexible piping (I have no idea what that stuff is called) came midway through the tile when I realized that I didn't want to fill the vertical lines with solid black.

Thank you for stopping by and big, big thanks to those who take the time to leave comments. They always brighten my day.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Made by Joey Challenge #69 & It's a String Thing #101

Monotangle with "Florez"

This week's challenge at Made by Joey was to use "Florez" in a monotangle. I love  "Florez" because it's similar to my favorite pattern "Nzeppel". I'm not sure how it works as a monotangle though. Maybe my brain is lacking the bandwidth this week to think outside the box and explore variations but I've fallen back on the crutch of color.

Rixty & LG

I had no intention of making this the tile for this weeks String Challenge, but ran out of time. I had a couple of pieces of flimsy card stock I'd stuck in my bag from the scrap paper bin at work, I use them for taking little notes. I was noodling around with the water colors, trying to match the colors of rust from a Pinterest photo I'd saved. It turned out nothing like what I was going for but it had some merit. 
I picked up a pen to practice some "Rixty". This is not a favorite pattern of mine and I only use it when challenges make me do it. Anyhoo, this emerged. It actually looks better here than in real life because the colors photographed much more washed out and don't fight the patterns. Another happy accident!

Thanks for stopping by. Your comments always make my day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Diva Challenge #226 & That's New to Me #28 and a How To

"Finery", "Munchin" & "Beadlines"

This weeks challenge at I am the Diva was put forth by guest blogger Katie Cromett: Simplicity.
The challenge is to use no more than 3 patterns, don't fear the white space and know when to stop (I have trouble with this).
I've been in watercolor mode for a while so I welcomed the challenge to get back to basics. I got back to Square One, a Zentangle inspired Facebook group that challenges us to focus on one pattern each week, though other patterns are allowed within the tile, the perameters are to use white tiles only, 3 1/2" square, black ink and graphite shading. I used Margaret Bremner's flying bird string. So simple but so effective.
"W" pattern: Wilted Lettuce by Suzanne McNeil 
Artist Focus: Erin Olson CZT

This is an ATC using some watercolor cards I had left over from an ATC swap. I loved the pattern "Bault", a new-to-me pattern found on Erin's blog The Bright Owl. I searched and searched for new-to-me "W" pattern and landed on this very simple "Wilted Lettuce" on Suzy Mosh's pinterest page, a great collection of patterns which includes many patterns you won't find on the Tangle Patterns site.
Last week, I created a series of ATC's for the Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap Facebook group and got a few inquiries about how I did the watercolor wash when I posted some pics. I really enjoyed making them and as I got set up to do another one, 'cuz now I'm totally addicted to them, I thought I'd attempt some process pics. 
Please leave a comment if you found this helpful, or not, or if my instructions are lacking or confusing. There are some great You Tube videos on doing water color washes too.
I used 11 x 14" Bristol vellum

1. Tape the paper down to a hard surface (this is the back of a large masonite artists clip board).
2. Wet the paper really well with mists of water from a spray bottle or a large paintbrush.
3. Paint on your chosen colors (I get my inspiration from rust;-), keeping it all quite wet. Yes, this looks like a hot mess. If you don't like what's happening blot it off with a paper towel and start again.

5. Blot with wadded up plastic wrap to get some texture happening. 

See, it's looking much better.
6. Finally, splatter a last layer of color. I load up the color on one brush and tap it across the wood of another brush.  You can also use an old toothbrush for a finer mist by scraping your thumb across the bristles to spray the color.
7. Use a hot blow dryer. This will significantly diminish the rippling of the paper. When it's completely dry, carefully pull off the masking tape. 
8. Trim away the edges and cut to size. Voila!

 I trimmed the corners to round them slightly. Now I'm ready to tangle!

Thanks for stopping by. Your generous comments always make my day.

If you would like to swap an ATC with me, leave a comment below and then message me here with your mailing address.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

It's a String Thing #100 & Triumph!

a Zentennial Celebration

Congratulations to Adele on 100 Challenges! I've been in watercolor mode lately with some ATC's I'm preparing for a swap, and I thought that Adele's Zentennial Celebration was perfect for some festive color. Adele created this string and pattern especially for this challenge and it was so much fun.
The string challenges are special for a number of reasons. I find the prescribed strings and patterns eliminate the paralysis of choice. I'm the world's worst procrastinator, even when it involves something I love to do. I waste a lot of time searching and Pinteresting patterns to use in other challenges or blog surfing as I look at other interpretations of the challenges. It inspires but mostly  keeps me from the task at hand.
More often than not, fitting the patterns seamlessly within the string is my greatest hurdle and frustration ensues, but once vanquished the results bring satisfaction. I feel the greatest sense of triumph when I've completed the string challenge.
My favorite thing about It's a String Thing is that Adele collects the submissions via email and they are posted every Monday and include comments from both the artist and Adele. That's a lot of work! The results aren't visable until the challenge is over. I absolutely love opening my Monday email and the scrolling through the gallery of submissions. It's great to see how many different interpretations there are of the same perameters and also great to hear that others generally share common frustrations and triumphs. Way to go Adele!

These are some of the finished ATC's I'll be sending out this weekend for the Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap Facebook group. I have to thank Suzy Mosh's That's New to Me Challenge for inspiring the bulk of these with her current challenge to focus on Michele Beauchamp's work and using a new H pattern. I discovered "Heartbeat" and absolutely love it as a border.
I don't do swirls particularly well so I chose to focus on Michele's "Mak-rah-mee" pattern and how she incorporates those beautiful bulbous swirls and curls and Flux's. Once I started getting the hang of it I couldn't stop. I ended up creating more ATC's than I need to send out. I'm a little OCD:-)

If there's anyone out there who wants to swap an ATC with me leave a comment and either email me at michelewynne1 (at) g mail dot com. or message me on Facebook.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Your generous comments always make my day!

Monday, July 6, 2015

I am the Diva Challenge #225 & That's New to Me #27

ATC using "Frost Flower" & "Soo Flowers"

The Diva is enjoying some much deserved vacay. This week's guest host~blogger, Jen Crutchfield's prompt is to go forth with some color, not a rainbow but 2 or 3. 
I'm currently working on some ATC's for the Facebook group, Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap. The theme is watercolor. So I'm directing these two challenges into my ATC's today.

a new "H" pattern and artist focus on 
Michele Beauchamp (aka Shelly Beauch)
Mak-rah-mee & Heartbeat

I decided it was time to learn Mak-rah-mee. I've made a few clumsy attempts at this pattern in my sketchbook in the past and it vexes me every time and I give up. Shelly's work is nothing short of amazing... so delicate and elegant. I had a hard time searching for an "H" pattern to go with it. I ended up going with "Heartbeat" and tried using it as a fill first. Not successful, but once I tried it as a border I loved it. I'm definitely keeping it in the repertoire. 
It was gorgeous today so I headed to the park to draw. More "Mak-rah-mee":
These are all works-in-progress that I will be sending out into the world within the next couple of months. I'm a little OCD, but each one got a little bit less crappy.

Thanks for stopping by. Your generous comments always make my day.

Friday, July 3, 2015

It's a String Thing #99 & The Alphabet Challenge Week 9

Diane & Carolien's Alphabet Challenge week 9:
YZA~Yale, Z-trik & Auraleah

I'm a little closer to getting caught up on the Alphabet Challenge. This one's been a lot of fun. I'm using Aquarelle watercolor pencils here.

Tearce, Tripoli & Tracery

This was done on one of the watercolor pages in my journal, though it's very faint. It took me a while to get into the groove of this challenge. This is my second attempt at it. I was not gelling with Tearce at all. I just don't find it a very attractive pattern. I have a love/hate relationship with Tripoli. I see it done so well in capable hands, but it goes off the rails very quickly in mine.