Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Diva Challenge #338, a Travelling Tangles Block Unblocked and Inktober

"White on Black"

I used the Gelly Roll pens for these. Something I saw on Pinterest inspired the above tile. I usually go for the Signo Uniball when doing white on black, less skippy, so I was just giving an old Gelly Roll a work-out and I really liked the way this turned it couldn't have been more Zen to draw.
I've adopted Laura's black gesso technique to create black tiles and recycle old rejects. I have a lot of rejects. The Gelly Rolls really like the smooth surface.

More White on Black
It's a really sunny morning so the white looks a little blue. 

I've been sitting on a stack of Travelling Tangles for well over a month. I had a pretty severe block which I tediously detail below. Fortunately I finally snapped out of it.

My finish... this inspiring start by Pat Floerke
traveling all the way from Nicaragua

Pat started this on a gorgeous eco-printed tile.  This was one of the rare instances where I'll start with one idea and something else suddenly takes over. I've been seeing some really cool pieces using the new pattern Membranart here and there. I sat down to this with organics and flora in mind, with every intention of starting Pokeleaf, one of my mac 'n cheese patterns. The shapes in the eco-print seemed a perfect host...then an opposing force took over, telling me to try something new.  I drew the first stroke of the arch and...well...there you have it.

my finish... another start by Pat

One of my favorite things is simple black and white on an official back in my comfort zone a bit. I have a hard time knowing when to stop because my pen is having too much fun;-)

my finish... the 3rd tile sent by Pat

I love to draw auras. I only recently learned to go super slow and keep the spacing as consistent as possible. I think it worked. This was very Zen;-)

my finish... this gorgeous start by Kim Aarts-Bruins
traveling all the way from The Netherlands

So. This was the tile that threw me into an unprecedented block and made me love the Travelling Tangles Project even more than I already do.
I've been a regular participant in this group for well over a year and I'm close to filling up my second album of collaborations. I complete my incoming pieces in the order that I receive them, so I couldn't move on until this one was done. That's just the way I roll. I abide by the saying "you can't wait for inspiration, you must chase after it with a stick" or something along those lines. The more challenging it appears, the more immediate the need to dive in.
This was one of those beauties I was hesitant with for fear of messing it up. I stared it down for a very long time. I put it away for a day and looked at it again. Kim and I have swapped before and I love her work. It's the antithesis of delicate and elegant. That was the first hurdle. Should I attempt to continue on (do I have the tools?) or aura it off and contrast it? I was also intimidated by the renaissance zendala. Always am. Whenever I get one, I sit on it much longer than I like. 
I decided to try a new pattern (can't remember the name) I saw on Melinda Barlow's YouTube's the one on the left with the alternating Fescu's. I only practiced it once because I use Fescu all the time. I went for it. I immediately hated it. I thought it was clumsy and the balance was totally off. I put it aside because I ALWAYS go back and find it's never as bad as it seemed. That didn't happen. Every time I looked at it, trying to find a way to fix it, I couldn't. I made myself a little crazy, because the thing is, the group is so encouraging and supportive. I could have posted anything and gotten positive feedback on it. I could have just not posted it at all and moved on. I know that happens because I have sent out countless swaps never to be seen again.
But, that's not how I roll. Each piece I receive is a gift. Not only a piece of someone's creativity and time, but it's a gift of artistic discovery and inspiration. There's so much more value to something you've struggled with...and after all...No Mistakes!!
I finally completed it after more than a month, continuing it one stroke at a time with one mooka here another fescu there until it felt balanced. I think it finally gelled for me when I finished it with the little black perfs(dots).
Then, I burned through all of Pat's tiles in less than 2 days with joy in my heart-)...and Kim, if you're reading this...thankyouthankyouthankyou and many thanks to ALL of you who got through this;-)

I'm a little behind with my Inktober drawings:

Inktober days 16, 17 & 18
When in doubt, draw the cat

Inktober Day 19

I took an excursion out to Flax last week. I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching YouTube videos of people doing art. One of my faves, Kendyll Hillegas, draws the most amazing food illustrations (I'm in the food business and love illustrated recipes so this especially appeals to me) and she had a video of one of her paper hauls. Normally, I just buy inexpensive watercolor pads from Blick or Aaron Brothers, but amped it up and I bought a couple of different 22x30 inch sheets of illustration and watercolor papers. I broke them down at the store by folding and tearing because I love deckled edges. It was a good day.

I got myself all set up to draw...
...Aimee had other ideas

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


  1. Wonderful white on black tiles and very beautiful traveling tangles. My favorite is the round tile. I understand your hesitating. I would have done also, because the beginning was so elegant and beautiful. You finished it gorgeously! Congratulations!

    1. Thank you Margarete! I appreciate your kind words. I tend to be either hyper-critical or very forgiving of my own work. Rarely in between ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I love your white on black tiles! And all your other tiles! And your kitty is so cute!

    1. Thank you! The black tiles were fun ๐Ÿ˜ผ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I likz white on black, they have a little bit of magic and you showed us three beauties.
    Traveling tiles are not always easy to finish but every time you succeed to make a wonderful final result. I like all the tiles but especially the one on eco-dyed paper and of course this delicate Zendala.
    Lovely drawings of your amazing muze too!

  4. Thank you Ria! I'm just happy to be over that particular hump. I think I just had too much going on. It's been a good week ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. All are beautiful! Especially I like the first one because its geometric look has a special and unusual expression!
    I like your finished travelling tiles, too!

    1. Many thanks Annette! I like the first one the best too and it was never meant to be a finished piece, just a warm up;-)

  6. What a lovely Zendala. I really love the eco-dyed tile, too.

    Creating art is such a process, isn't it? It seems that lots of artists have lost their mojo lately. I can name three different ones off the top of my head. I hope they all have a breakthrough like you did, too. :)

    1. Thank you Stephanie! Yeah, it was weird...I've never hit a wall like that, but now I feel revived and ready to Tangle On;-)

  7. All are so gorgeous...a feast for the eyes. Lovely.

  8. So much to look at on your page! Love your white on black!And your beautiful cat. And the rest of it!