Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Gift of Zentangle

Good Morning lovely tangle friends. Here I am, before the crack of dawn, with my coffee and finishing up Joey's latest challenge (which was the perfect string to head this post). I tweaked the string a teensy bit but, without further ado...

The 5 names I just pulled out of the ginger jar:

Joey (Ms. "Made by" herself)
Susan (South Africa)
Jean Chaney
Yorkshire Tortoise
1 Art Lady Kate

Many thanks to everyone for your regular visits to my blog and for being such generous and thoughtful commenters. This activity inspires me and constantly excites me as an artist. I love seeing all of the work you guys create and the challenges that continuously push us all out of our comfort zones. This community means so much to me.
So ladies, please send me your snail mail address and I'll get these out to you as soon as I hear from you:         michelewynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com. 

These are the Bijou refrigerator magnets I'm just finishing up. Sorry for the blurry pic. The sun still hasn't quite come up and my camera hates incandescent light and they're laminated so a little reflection doesn't help matters. Yes...more gems.

HaPpY hApPy HoLiDaYs!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Holidays!

tree template/string using patterns
Tipple, Reticulated, Echo, Eyehook & Sanibelle

This was tricky, trying to get all of these patterns within the string. To make it even more challenging I had like, 3 tools with me when I got to the cafe this morning.

This week's Diva challenge is to give the gift of Zentangle.  I'm currently assembling a collection of tiles that I intend to laminate and magnetize for family stocking stuffers, frame some illustrated recipes and finish several handmade pocket sketchbooks. In the midst of all of this I've been involved with two Zentangle inspired swap groups which I wrote about in a recent post. One of the pleasures is opening the mailbox and receiving art. 
These are 5 ATC sized pieces I've created as responses to various challenges over the last few months and I would like to send these off to 5 of you out there. These are all done on my hand painted watercolor backgrounds and I will send you the original ATC. Just leave a comment below and I'll randomly pick 5 on Tuesday December 22. Check back then and I'll post the recipients as well as my email address so I can get your snail mail address.

As ever, thank you so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments always make my day!

Wishing the happiest of holidays to all of you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

String Challenge #122

It's a String Thing #122
String #122
Patterns: Verdigogh, Kuke and 63Y

Here's this week's challenge at "It's a String Thing".
My first challenge was just learning "63Y". I had a hard time wrapping my brain and pen around the step out. I found it very complicated and aggravating because I just couldn't get it to look clean, asking myself  many times "Why?" It's not required to use all of the patterns but that's why they call this a challenge.
I went back and looked at one of Linda Farmer's notes where she uses a zig-zag to assist in creating a more seam-less hexigon. Then it clicked. Once I started on the tile though, "Verdigogh" had other ideas and pretty much took over the whole deal and I had to figure out a way to get "63Y" back into it-"Kuke" was a no brainer so I just added more balls;-) The whole thing is a little over-worked and one of my balls is a bit wonky, but I was home sick today and didn't have much energy to do anything else but nap and watch "Love Actually" 3 times;-)

Thanks for visiting my blog! Your thoughtful and generous comments make my day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Diva Challenge #247 & Made by Joey #90


These challenges fit well together. I'm in the midst of making Christmas presents. I've been working on little pocket sketchbooks:
I made the watercolor covers using the same technique I use to make my watercolor ATC's.
This is a scan of one of the finished covers

This was the first one I made a couple of weeks ago. There are 4 sheets of medium weight sketch paper stitched inside for a total of 16 pages.

Julie Beland's tangle: "Beauchamp"

This month over at the Facebook group Zentangle: Tangled & Journaled,Too, they are featuring 25 Days of new tangles from various members. I love Julie Beland's tangle "Beauchamp". It reminds me a little bit of "Borbz" and it's the perfect vehicle for playing with gemstones. I spent way to much time doodling around on this one but it sure was fun.
As ever, many thanks to all of you for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments always make my day and I promise to return the gesture.

Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Art into the World...

"Niuroda November"
black gesso on white watercolor paper
black ink, white gel pen, grey watercolor pencil, white Prismacolor pencil
for the ZATC Swap group

Several months ago I embarked on another Zentangle journey. I began participating in the Facebook  Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap Group and just this month in the Zentangle: Tangled &  Journaled, Too group. For the last 18 months I'd been hoarding my little pieces of art, much of it stashed away and forgotten entirely. It was scary at first, sending my art out into the world, but I quickly became addicted to it.
There are so many layers of satisfaction in this process, from deciding on a theme (based on parameters set by the group administrators) to executing variations several times over, becoming more and more solid in my technique with each piece, then wrapping it all up and finding that perfect card to protect my piece while adding to it's presentation. It's so pleasing to create a piece of "Happy Mail" that will hopefully make opening the mailbox a joyful experience for my swap-mates. Then there's the joy of opening my mailbox to find a hand addressed envelope. I love holding original art in my hands.
It amazes me how my work has developed over these few months. I challenge myself with each swap.
My approach to the black and white set above was inspired by one of the weekly challenges over at I am the Diva where she swiped black gesso over a standard tile. White on black was previously uncharted territory for me so I challenged myself to get comfortable with it. 
The parameters of this particular swap was to use black & white only (with grey shading) and to use only patterns that began with the letter N. White on black was not required. I decided to go with one pattern, Niuroda, and  refine the hell out of it. These came out pretty cool. 

for the ZATC swap group December swap
watercolor, watercolor pencil, white gel pen, blue Rollerball pen

The announcement of the ZATC December swap coincided with the tragic events in Paris. The theme was to represent support for the city of Paris. The parameters were to use Blue, White, Red and Silver and the use of Parisian themes was optional. I'm not a particularly politically charged person in my art, but I wanted to create something that represented Humanity to me, not solely a focus on Paris, but for all victims of terrorist violence. 
This concluded in pieces that were multi-layered and inter-woven. 
I started with the watercolor washed ATC then using watercolor pencils drew spirals and dots, then outlining them with white gel pen. The top layer is a blue Rollerball pen with watercolor pencil shading then finished with white Prismacolor pencil highlight. I love the way these turned out.

"Blue Renaissance"
watercolor, sepia and brown Micron pens, watercolor pencil and Prismacolor pencil

These 9 ATC's went out a few weeks ago to the Facebook Group Zentangle: Tangled & Journaled, Too. There were no parameters for this swap except the ATC format. I was in the midst of my black and white Niuroda November and was detoured by work I'd been seeing on renaissance tiles with brown tone inks and pencils. More uncharted territory so I made a set of renaissance inspired watercolor ATC's and started some more Niuroda's working in browns and blues.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments make my day!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Playing Catch-up

Aquafleur tree

The week of challenges commenced with the Diva's guest blogger, Dilip Patel's prompt to create a monotangle tree and Joey's "Zinger" monotangle. 
I had many ideas cooking but no time to execute. Then came Adele's string challenge to create an "Aquafleur" tree using Carol Ohl's beauty as an example. I was blown away by the beauty of Carol's tree and began a couple of ill-fated attempts at it. I've never used "Aquafleur" before. I love it but it is extremely labor intensive and requires much, much practice. It wasn't until I was well invested in this one that I realized the tree is lopsided;-)

"Zinger" monotangle

One of my first ideas was to make a "Zinger" tree. My original attempts on tiles and ATC's did not go well, as I kept starting with the tree and getting cramped and badly balanced zinger's in the end. I went back to the drawing board, so-to-speak. I picked up the sketchbook this morning and tried drawing the zinger's first. Much better.

From last week:

Diva Challenge #245

It's been a super busy month and there's no sign of let-up until after the new year. Cafe time has been bountiful with swap tiles I'll share in a separate post. So here are some challenge pieces I've been trying to catch-up on:
Diva's "Hollibaugh"...got a bit over-shadowed by those dang gemstones that are all the rage over on many of the Zentangle inspired Facebook groups.

"Yuma" monotangle

I couldn't resist a touch of gemstone on this one too.

Explore a new "I" tangle:  "IX" by Zentangle HQ
Artist Focus: Sue Clark's "Cheers"

I did this in my little homemade sketchbook.

One of a series of nine ATC's I made for the Zentangle: Tangled & Journaled, Too Facebook Groups.

As ever, thank you for visiting my blog, Your generous and thoughtful comments always make my day. I'm playing catch-up as well with my visits and comments to your blogs too.

Wishing all of you the Happiest Holiday Season ever!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Diva Challenge #244/#243, Made by Joey #87, String Challenge #119

Tripoli Triptastic

Hmmmmm....Tripoli. This could have gone so many ways...for me it's usually off-the-rails. This is one of those patterns that works better in the hands of others. I started off slooooowwwly, really concentrating on the space between the lines and it was going okay until I started shading. I don't hate it but don't love it either.
Diva Challenge #243
A Tiny Taste #1

A Tiny Taste #2

This is a little catch-up from last week. The challenge was to leave more blank space than filled. This got me thinking about creating a series of labels. I'm going to try this again in just black and white.

Xplode monotangle

The black card was an ATC I made awhile back whilst practicing the application of black gesso onto white watercolor paper. Xplode seemed to demand a trip to the dark side.

String # 11
using Adele's pattern "100", "Bublz" and "Ripples"

For this week's "It's a String Thing" Challenge, Adele's prompt is inspired by the 100th anniversary of Coca Cola, hence the bottle shaped string and the chosen tangles.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments always make my day!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Antonine's Throwback Thursday #6~Reflection

I just got back from a road trip to Oregon. I brought my tangling gear with me but there was just no time, so I'll probably be playing catch-up with this week's challenges into next week.
Antonine's TBT challenge struck a chord: Reflection and thinking about a piece that made you feel good and since this one was already in my toolbox, at least I could check one challenge off my list. 
I immediately remembered this Square One challenge. The pattern was Gneiss and it was one of the first pieces I ever posted. I was not all that crazy about the challenge as I started it.
I do not have a steady hand and really cannot draw a straight line to save my life. I remember being frustrated at not being able to achieve the precision and consistency of linework I was seeing in the work of others. I created and tossed several tiles before I got to this. I remember looking at the almost finished piece and being really unhappy with my rounding. After dealing with the fear of messing it up, I plunged in and started to scribble. It was then I explored and embraced my sketchy/squiggly internal aura technique. and I remember how pleased I was with the results and how it gave me confidence. 
From the road:

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your generous and thoughtful comments always make my day.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

That's New to Me #44 & It's a String Thing #117

TNTM #44
explore a new "M" pattern: Marble
Artist Focus: Kathy Barringer's "Antique"

It's a String Thing Challenge #117
Adele's new pattern: Sand

I don't like the way this is scanning but the photo's not so great either. Not sure which is the lesser of two evils.

This was my practice page in a little handmade sketchbook I made the other day. I fully intended to create a real tile because I really love this pattern, but time ran out and ....well. that's a total lie,.. I went all ADD with this:


As if I don't have enough to distract me from the few obligations I have in my life, I added another Zentangle ATC swap to my plate for the FB group Tangled and Journaled, Too.
I've been seeing so many beautiful renaissance tiles out there and decided this would be a great excuse to explore it as a series for the new swap. I was initially inspired by Antonine's beautiful insect series she posted for her Throwback Thursday challenge #5: Unusual.  
I started by creating a set of ATC's with my version of a renaissance watercolor background wash. I'm still working on the Black & White Niuroda series for my other swap group,  so I just played around with it on the little trimmings from my ATC cuts, auditioning every brown drawing tool in my box figuring out how to shade it.
I'm using a brown gel pen, Micron Sepia 01 & 05, Micron brown (it's actually rust) and Prismacolor pencils Henna & White.
I'm calling this one finished... for now. I'll probably do a final drop shadow.

Anyhoo, thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your generous and thoughtful comments always make my day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Diva Challenge #242 and other stuff...

Diva Challenge#242

I've been noodling around in the sketchbook a lot this week. I had already been playing around with "Gourdgeous" over the weekend when the pattern was published on tanglepatterns.com. I created the one above this morning when I randomly pulled out one of my trusty old watercolor ATC's and just let it flow. Both "Verve" and "Gordgeous" came on my radar over the weekend and it all morphed together for my Inktober entry that day. To be honest "Gourdgeous"... it's not my favorite pattern. I practiced it A LOT before I had anything worth sharing.

"Verve" & "Gordgeous" with a little "Diva Dance"
for Shading Zentangle 
Made By Joey Challenge #85
"Verdigogh" Monotangle

I had some ATC's left over from last months Zentangle Artist's Trading Card Swap and Verdigogh seemed  like an appropriate fit.
Some of the  ATC's sent out into the world via the ZATC "Everything Autumn" October Swap

These next two tiles are my start to this month's Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap. The November theme is black and white, using only patterns that start with N. I took a page from the Diva challenge from a couple of weeks ago where Laura used black gesso swiped over an old tile. 
Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap
November~Black & White N tangles
The theme of my approach to this month's swap is Niuroda November with a touch of 'Nzeppel.

Square One Purely Zentangle
 Shading Zentangle 
Pattern Focus is "Verve"

Throwback Thursday #5
for Antonine's Tangles
Fun with a tangle

I think this was a Square One challenge focusing on "BB" (I never labeled anything back then).  I remember being pretty uninspired by the challenge at first and had many fits and starts until I stumbled upon "Pots 'n Pans" and it all came together. I remember having a lot of fun with it and I still enjoy looking at it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

TangleBomb Monday

Stones and Ceremony

This week's challenge was put forth by guest blogger, Paula Bramante. The inspiration for Stones and Ceremony comes from cairns, man-made stone formations/markings placed by travellers in out-of-the-way places. added to by multiple passers-by. as well other stone formations that are ceremoniously placed. There were several examples and inspirational photographs of stone mosaics. 
I started with an ATC I created awhile back that had a stone like feeling and I began drawing a stone spiral based on a garden mosaic photograph I found on Pinterest.

"Undu" Monotangle

I love drawing "Undu". This one came up in a previous String Challenge and I also think I used it before on a TNTM piece. It's so relaxing to draw.

New "U" patterns: "Unme" by Debra Castaldi & "Use" by Elena Hadzijaneva 
Artist Focus: Elena Hadzijaneva's "Join" and "Hypnotic"
Inktober day 26

There were a whole bunch of new patterns I felt compelled to explore this week and I was delighted to find an old fave amongst the small collection of  Elena's patterns: "Hypnotic". The rest are all new. I'm playing a little catch-up here with my Inktober dailies.

revisit an old love
Inktober Day 25

When I started my tangle journey, around 2 years ago, one of the first patterns I learned and loved was "Crescent Moon" and my favorite thing to do with it is weave it through a string. I made several Valentines that year using it on a heart string then filling it with black pearls. I haven't done that since. This was such a fun and relaxing entry for Inktober too.
Square One: Purely Zentangle
W2 with a little Nymph and other doodly-do's
Inktober Day 24

I'm still not over 'Nymph". I love that pattern. I went a little OCD on W2.

It's a String Thing #115
String #116
Patterns: Fandance, Swarm & Cruffle
Inktober day 23

This was last week's String Challenge that I finished at the 11th hour.

Thanks for bearing with me here. As ever, thank you for leaving such generous and thoughtful comments. I'm always inspired and delighted by the journey they lead me on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"You can't wait for inspiration, you must chase after it with a stick "

I don't know where I heard or read that quote but I've been carrying it around with me for years.
Sunday, I spent a lovely day at the California Academy of Sciences looking at all sorts of natural beauty, inspired by the vivid colors I saw everywhere.

I'd also brought along a little sack of works-in-progress should the muse arise. It did whilst sipping a glass of wine and pondering the vivid blue table top.

I'm creating several ATC's for this month's Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap. The theme is Everything Autumn. I've been waiting for a reason to use leaves. I started this about a week ago, collecting, pressing, tracing and stenciling.

I made my watercolor wash backgrounds,  laid down leaves and hand cut stencils from those leaves and did a final spray of color. I cut the ATC's and started tracing leaves and drawing the string of veins. 
It was at this point I saw This post on The Diva's Weekly Challenge Facebook page and it all came together. I loved the technique she used to tangle within the leaves and incorporated it into my framework.
This morning, The Diva's Weekly Challenge #240 was posted and I was delighted to see those leaves appear as this week's challenge because I was already there.
Scanning my artwork has proven to be an exercise in patience.
Diva Challenge #240
Autumn Leaves

Here's another one:

More challenges:

New "P" tangle: Neil Burley's "Pearl Drops"
Artist focus: Sayantika Ray's "Woodlock"


Another white on black for me. I love this pattern and diggin' the dark side. I love the technique Laura linked to in last weeks challenge where you go back over the white with black. I'm also exploring the black gesso technique for the next Zentangle Artist's Trading Card Swap.

As ever, many thanks and much gratitude for visiting my blog and leaving such inspiring comments.