Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Diva Challenge #273, Made by Joey #119 and more Travelling Tangles

Tangle Remix: Spiff up an old tile


This weeks challenge is to scare up an old tile that was either left unfinished or in need of a refresh. I found several. In light of my recent postings and obsession with swaps I chose this.
This ATC was a leftover from the very first swap I did after joining the Facebook group Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap. The date on the card is 07/07/15. I was a little a-scared about sending my art out into the world and I wanted them to be super pretty. The theme of the swap was Watercolor. This is where the watercolor backgrounds were born. I had decided from the get-go that I would use the repetition as a means to study and refine a particular pattern or technique I wanted to explore.
I chose to Mak-rah-mee them and work on finessing Mooka-ish pods. I did it over and over and over again creating 10 for the swap plus several extras. I was soooo happy with the way these came out. I wasn't a big shader back then, Now, this original piece seems a little washed out (maybe it faded a bit-not sure) and with the exception of a little dark rounding, there was zero contrast. 
I went in with grey markers to deepen the shadows then added a little blue and green colored pencil to intensify the colors a bit, then white pencil and white gel pen highlights to finish.

Circle String series using coffee rings
pattern: Gnarly (with tipple)

Patterns: Floatfest & Ahh
on a watercolor/salt ATC

Adele provided a string with two stacked curves in the right corner choosing patterns that . 
reflect a 4th of July celebration. I'm working on some swap tiles with a patriotic theme. Since my birthday is on the 4th of July, I chose to go with: Fireworks! as my theme, using patterns that could look like fireworks so Adele's challenge was a no brainer this week (thank goodness). 

and now for a little swap fun:
This Traveling Tangle originated from Down Under.  Thanks to Anne Marks who sent me this:
The tile she used seemed similar to the official tiles-such a dream to draw on so I kept it to black ink, I've got my Fave 5 patterns on the brain now as I prepare for a group swap at Tangled and Journaled: too. I made the leap and tapped into the resources in my own noggin to complete Anne's tile. I could have drawn "Sandswirl" forever.

These next two are Travelling Tangles I'm sending out to Michele Beauchamp and Jo Flaherty (there's a photo of Jo's finishing touches below):
Watercolor and salt background

These collaborations are very exciting. I'm a huge admirer of both Michele's and Jo's work so the opportunity to swap with them is super cool. Still wrapping my brain around restraint. It's hard for me to know when to stop because I find a pattern looks clumsy until it's shaded and highlighted. I also feel a little self-conscious about imposing my shading on the recipient.  I use a somewhat cumbersome layering method of colored pencils blended out with light and medium grey markers. Then I say to myself "This is the exact reason we're all doing this, silly!" to have a play with the techniques of others and get out of our comfort zone.
Look how Jo finished our piece! Isn't it wonderful?

Here's the other side of that swap:
This was a collaboration with Jo Flaherty who sent me this:
Jo's line work is so clean and graphic. I don't have the steady hand she does but I wanted to challenge myself to try. I chose two patterns by Julie Beland, "Eureka" and "Gooberz" using the watermark as a string. You can sort of see it in this picture above. (sorry about the inferior pics-my idiotphone doesn't like incandescent lighting or close-ups) Once I got the line work down I debated whether or not to shade. Jo had started the prompt to color with the blue corner and Julie's patterns lend themselves to that as well. I'm not comfortable with graphic coloring (yet) so I took this picture thinking I was finished as I was pretty pleased with my line work:
I put it away and the next day I picked up the marker and went for it, thinking that if I screwed it up no one would be the wiser. The shading got muddy in spots because the marker smeared the ink, but this is how I roll;-)

Anyhoo, thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me:-D

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Challenges, Travelling Tangles & Inspiration...

Black White and Red all over

I'm using two new patterns here. Lily Moon's new pattern, Andromeda (at center stage) and Rainking (bottom left)

Circle String Series #3: Coffee ring string with Maryhill (and Tipple)

The challenge was to use Maryhill but not in the center.

Nebel, Wud and Lokomotive

I'm only using patterns from of my library for the D&C challenges.

Adele Bruno's "It's a String Thing" Challenge #150
"150" string with Adele's patterns: Xav, Isa, Teenos and Uncorked

a collaboration with Stephanie Jennifer 

My latest swap obsession. Stephanie (the mastermind behind the TTP) sent me this gorgeous watercolor tile with the pattern "Ginili" drawn with what appears to a white pen with a slightly raised thickness to it:

I was a little a-scared because this was so pretty just on its own and the dominant white was out of my comfort zone. It turns out she uses a Uniball Signo broad tip pen. I can't even remember the name of the flower-ish pattern I ended up using, but it had the same feeling as Ginili and I think I used enough white to compliment Stephanie's design but not overwhelm it. This is such a brilliant project and a whole new leap for me. I'm going to have to seek out family sponsorship for my international postage habit LOL;-)

These next two (on the right) came all the way from Germany from Sabrina Kirjavainen:

I find I have to sit on these awhile before I dive in. This last one is probably the best example of how I chase down inspiration. I wanted to add some bit of color without going crazy and after noodling around the blogosphere, I came across a Lily Moon piece that inspired the border (no one can really touch her but one can at least reach). She'd had a looping band (far more cleanly executed than mine) going through her piece and...well... there you have it. My little tipple balls with the pops of color were stolen long ago from her work...thanks Lily Moon;-)
When I was in college I had an art professor who would say "Good artists borrow, the best artists steal". I touched upon copying in a previous post. 
Copying is study. It's how you practice and teach yourself technique. You'll eventually gel with something and make it your own. I copy fragments of work all the time. I mean, isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Diane & Carolien's Alphabet Challenge #61: D-C-A

Challenge #61: D-C-A
Dot Grid, Cloudfall & Aloha

 One of the Zentangle centric Facebook groups I belong to has an ongoing challenge they call "Tuesday Tangles". It's an effort to acquaint ourselves with new patterns and if so inclined, create journal art using collected patterns and create our own pattern library in any format we choose.
The admin posts 7 patterns and links to the step outs each Tuesday that ideally are drawn one each day.
This is how mine works:
I start with a template of 2" squares, add patterns that I like, some from Tuesday Tangles and others I just call "Other Faves". I don't collect step outs. Once I've practiced a pattern and then put it in the book I can usually remember how to draw it.
When the page is full, I post a pic at the group and then cut them out and put them in here:
I also keep trimming from larger watercolor works and make 2" tiles from those as well.

My idea for doing Diane and Carolien's challenges are to use patterns from my library and exercise the restraint I blogged about in my previous post to let the paper shine through.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Challenges and Restraint

This week Laura's challenge is inspired by the Beads of Courage Project and its fundraising Color Run. She introduced a watercolor technique I've not seen before, called "Hefty Hack" where you apply color onto a plastic bag (I used a small sheet of acetate), spritz or brush your white tile with a little water, then lay the tile onto the watercolor then lift it off. If you want you can add droplets of color and/or sprinkle with some salt (let it dry and then rub the salt off).

The Color Run
I OCD'd ran with this new watercolor technique, creating a whole new set of tiles and ATC's. By complete coincidence, one of my Facebook groups just posted a new swap challenge where one of the options is to use color and salt-Excellent!

Pattern: "Socc" with Mr. E and Tipple

Last week, as I was writing my post, it occurred to me to try using coffee rings as my strings, I mean, you'd think that was a no brainer for this blog but sometimes one can't see the forest for the trees. 
Anyhoo, I set up 5 watercolor ATC's last week using different sized cups...

...then added the smaller circles with a shot glass to this one when the string was presented on Monday. I'm really looking forward to these challenges.
A personal challenge of mine is trying to exercise restraint. I like to fill up space. It's my thing. It's my style. Nothing wrong in that. Mostly. Sometimes things get murky because I have to shadow and highlight everything. That became clearly evident when I found myself working these to death:
Tangle within a Tangle swap series 1-4
Big Skye/Little Skye

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with them, but there were a couple (not shown) that I pretty much covered up all of the blue background. So when I completed this new set of watercolors I decided to embrace "The Elegance of Limitations", as Rick Roberts says, so that the colors and texture weren't obliterated.
This restraint was also brought about by yet another swap group I started participating in last week. It's called the Travelling Tangles Project. I start a tile or ATC then post and offer it up to someone else to swap and finish (or I can request to finish someone else's offering). 

For the Travelling Tangles Project
Microns, markers, colored pencil and white gel pen on watercolor

I sent these out last week after creating a set of watercolor tiles breaking out of my usual color palette of earthtone/Renaissance browns and blues.

I'm pondering a series of posts inspired by my involvement in swaps. I belong to several groups now (the first one I've been doing for a year now) and I see comments all the time by newbies who fear that they're "not good enough" to participate, I know I was one of them. I'm hoping to try to encourage lurking members to participate, because there's no better way to improve your art than by doing it with purpose.

The most valuable lesson I learned: The sooner you get original art into your hands, the better. Then study, copy and practice, practice, practice. By copying, I mean teach yourself technique. I will go into this in a future post. Stay tuned!

If any of you are interested in doing a personal swap, please don't hesitate to email me at michelewynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com. or PM me at my facebook page. Let me know if there's a tile or ATC you've seen here that you would like to swap for.

Who wouldn't love to open up your mailbox and find this:
 These made their way into my mailbox today, each across a different ocean, from two friends at the Travelling Tangles Project, one from Singapore, the other from Germany.
I'll post the results next week.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your generous and thoughtful comments delight and inspire me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Made by Joey Challenge #116, Diane & Carolien's Weekly #60 and IAST#148

 Made by Joey #117
Circle string by Joey
patterns: Flux and Tipple

Joey has commenced with a new series of challenges based on circular strings. As with my last series, the Roman Numeral Set, I'm going to continue on with these watercolor ATC's I've been painting using renaissance tiles as my color inspiration. I'm also, as always, inspired by coffee.

This was Monday morning as I read Joey's challenge for the first time. I got right to work;-) I only just now got the brilliant idea to make coffee ring circles next time.

Here's the round-up of the Roman Numeral challenges:

These next two ATC's were created for a group activity at Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap on Facebook. Every other Friday one of the admins (2 are UK based hence the Fortnightly) posts a focus pattern and invites members to participate.

Fortnightly Friday Fun Event at
Zentangle Artists Trading Card Swap Group on Facebook
focus pattern: Cubine

Cubine off-the-grid

Diane & Carolien's Weekly Alphabet Challenge
#60: B-P-U
Batumber, Boomerang, Unme, Pokeleaf, Undling

This just in: a spontaneous ATC along with my morning coffee.

sAdele Bruno's "It's a String Thing" Challenge #148
I was playing with my watercolors yesterday, trying to venture out of my color comfort zone. I'm also venturing into a new swap project. Stay tuned;-)

Thank you for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Made by Joey #115, Diva Challenge #270 and IAST #147

Roman Numeral String Series: XV
Patterns: Seedlings, Garlic Cloves, Black Eyed Peas, Chard and Corn Rows

I've been out of my comfort zone/routine this week as I'm house/dog sitting for a new family. I managed to crank out some challenges in spite of a few technical glitches.
This is the last of Joey's Roman Numeral String Series introducing several "new to me patterns". This one did not really flow to my liking and I feel like I need to do another one. That being said, I usually don't do much better the second time around so I may just leave it. I'm thinking that for my next post I'll do a group shot of the series when I get back home.

 "Big Skye/Little Skye" #3

The Diva Challenge this week features Margaret Bremner's new pattern "Skye" thus making another appearance here. It's a good thing I like this pattern so much because it's showing up everywhere.
Moving along with the "Big Skye/Little Skye" series for my next swap, I just completed #3 to kill two birds with one stone. I'm using "Skye" as the string and also using it within.

Big Skye/Little Skye #2

Pixioze, Blooming Butter and Zinger

Adele provided the string of circles. Although I've seen it around quite a bit, I've never used "Blooming Butter" before. I love "Pixioze" and "Zinger"...this is a different attempt at "Zinger". I made up a set of watercolor tiles on some green parchment card stock a while back. 
This next one is on a tile from the same set. I created this last week for one of my Facebook groups which introduced a new pattern called "Aurora" by Sarah Harrison.


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