Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Houses from CanTangle

In mid-July I taught a session at CanTangle - a learning event for Certified Zentangle Teachers in Regina SK. We began a small artwork (5"x11") based on the rows of houses I often do. Some people were given cool-toned materials to work with, others had warm tones.

Such great beginnings! I asked people to share their finished work with me so I could share it with my blog readers. Prepare for a lot of wonderfulness!

Cris Letourneau used a blue wash to finish the sky. I like how the house looks as if there's bunting draped around it for some sort of celebration, and the shading under the bottom edge.

Aleesha Sattva mentioned that her moon had turned into a sun. She arrived home to discover that her paper had torn during travel. She worked with the rip and titled her art "TiMe WaRp". Enter through the door. :D

Laura Harms - of DivaCZT Weekly Zentangle Challenge fame - used her 'honor tangle' Diva Dance in the sky. And such lovely shading on the middle house, provided by the original gray wash.

Cris Titus' houses found themselves on an island. What fun! Note how she used gray pen to do Printemps in the sky. And I like her use of Leaflet for a tree -.

Debra Castaldi used Verve in one tree (gotta remember that one), with a lovely country pond behind it. Note how the crescent moon in the sky echoes the 'moons' on the lefthand rooftop.

Lynn Mead commented, "I was surprised when the sun became a tree and a walkway became a stone wall, but what really surprised me was when bubbles popped out the chimney... this was really fun." I like the border of long, thin stripes, and that's Lynn's tangle Fassettoo in the sky.

Susan Cirigliano's creation is just chock-a-block full of interesting patterns. Her Indyrella at the top left is wonderful; I have trouble with that one. What an interesting droplet-shaped window!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tangled up in blu-u-ue

(Anyone else live with a Bob Dylan fan? That song title just popped into my mind for this post!)

Each of these pieces began with blue washes, and a little gray. One is on a piece of mat board and the other on art paper.

approximately 6"x8"
(c) 2015 Margaret Bremner
Pens used:
Sakura micron blue 01
Sakura micron dark blue 05
Zig dual-tip gray
Zig dual-tip light blue
Sakura Gelly Roll white

Colored pencils used:
Prismacolor - various blues and a pale yellow (Cream)
Verithin - black


"Sleep Tight"
approximately 6"x8"
(c) 2015 Margaret Bremner
Pens used:
Sakura micron black 01
Sakura micron blue 01
Sakura micron dark blue 05
Sakura micron green 01
Sakura micron apple green 05
Zig dual-tip gray
Zig dual-tip light blue
Sakura Gelly Roll white

Colored pencils used:
Prismacolor - various blues and greens

Thursday, July 9, 2015

'Flying birds' string - so many possibilities!

String of four 'flying birds' with variations of Tipple.
You must have drawn those little flying birds, the ones that are just a line with a dip in the middle.
Of course, you can make simple modifications:
You could draw a very deep dip or a shallow dip:
I've been having fun using this simple line a few times in different directions to create a string. I seem to prefer three 'birds' but of course you could do only two, or four, or even more.
Three birds string with Bunzo, Knase, Paradox, and Tripoli.
Here are six possible strings you might get using this flying bird idea.
Top right: only two 'birds'
Middle left: four 'birds' placed near the edges of the tile
Middle right: three 'birds' placed near the center of the tile
Lower right: three 'birds', the points of two vertical birds meeting near the center.
The above lines are all parallel to the paper edge, but it could be done diagonally too. Here's a tile with three 'birds' drawn diagonally, and beside it, red lines to show where the string lines are.
Three birds, diagonally, with Aquafleur, Crescent Moon, Knase, Sird, Well, and Zedbra
Here's another with red lines showing the strings. These bird strings all dip to touch the border.
Three birds string with Coaster, Paradox, Prestwood variation, Tripoli, and Unyun.
Three birds string with Going Down, Paradox, Umble
In the tile below, one bird's wing is the Beadlines while the other wing swoops off the right edge.
Three birds string with Beadlines, Black Pearlz,
Peanuckle, Tipple, and stripes
These flying birds offer a huge variety of strings to work with. I hope you have fun with it! If you use this method, please e-mail me a photo and I'll feature some readers' tiles in a future blog post. I'd love to see what you do!
A 'three flying birds' string, with two points meeting, can result in a heart shape! :)
Tangles: Beadlines, Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh, Jalousie, Munchin, Pearlz, Shattuck

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tipple monotangles

The challenge this week from the DivaCZT - who coined the terms monotangle and duotangle by the way - is a monotangle using Tipple. That is certainly a challenge. Only Tipple, which is essentially only a lot of circles.

Here's my first effort, using a string idea I've been having fun with lately (more on that in a later post).

I had a tile with a string already on it, a star that I'd made tracing a set of cookie cutters. It had sat around awhile because I couldn't think what would work with it. Aha! All Tipple!

I wanted to do another one, so I did, but I fear this has exhausted my repertoire of Tipple variations. I'll have to look at others' contributions on the DivaCZT's blog and get more ideas.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dreaming in hexagons

King Me Boardgamery and Café is a new business in Saskatoon owned and operated by my better half. Having connections, I got involved in the decor!

The floors are diagonal black-and-white check (Knightsbridge!) with a deep red baseboard. A border resembling wainscotting, and matching the baseboard, was desired around the walls. Many contemporary games use hexagons for the game boards so I suggested a row of hexagons rather than a simple band of red.

I started with an 8" circle and made a hexagon inside that. I cut that shape out of a sheet of stencilling plastic intending to stamp the hexagons onto the wall. It leaked. Phooey. I think wall paint is too thin. Plan B: frog tape, which worked excellently.
First, a leaky stencil, then on to frog tape.
Many thanks to the Nice Young Man at the paint store who advised me that red doesn't cover well and I should start with dark primer. Good advice. Even with two coats of dark primer it took 4-5 coats of the red paint to get the coverage needed.
Five layers of red paint later... hexagons completed!
But wait! That's not all.

Of course, the hexagons didn't all fit neatly along the length of each wall. That would be way too easy, and not nearly as much fun. It was a good excuse for some funkiness. I added some offset, and some smaller, hexagons. I also color photocopied hexagon pieces from a few games and stuck them on the wall. There are only half a dozen of these scattered around the room, so they're a little surprise.
On the left: a large piece from the game Mage Knight.
In the middle: two announcements of the Catan World Championship in Berlin.
On the right: two planet hexagons from the game Star Trek Catan (yes, seriously).
On the left: the whole section of wall.
On the right: a close-up of tiny hexes from the game Castles of Burgundy.
One section is very short, bumping out around a post or something. It seemed to want a stop sign (octagon) and my husband suggested, "No, make it say 'Play.'" Brilliant. Wanting to get it right, research determined that the font on a stop sign is Highway Gothic. The wall beside it has smaller hexagons, oriented the other way.

And yes. I used some boards leftover from poking out game pieces for the smaller hexagons!

We had purchased a couple of interesting vinyl "paintings" at a yard sale thinking they might be useful. They're stretched on wood to look like canvas paintings.
They did fit quite nicely above a sofa in an alcove, but they really needed some hexagons, don't you think?

At the front, near the counter, is the unfinished back of a metal mailbox for the tenants upstairs. The wall is painted, but it looked quite rough and needed to be covered. I offered to do a painting. 24" square was a sliver too small so I worked on a 30" canvas. I planned a large red hexagon on a checked black-and-white background. I thought I'd tangle some patterns in the hexagon.

As you may know, one of my art mottos is "When in doubt, add more." The painting definitely became more. It almost took on a life of its own as I tangled away with some new paint pens I'd been wanting to try. Here are a few "in progress" shots:

Here are some detail shots of the red hexagon:
Hexagon friendly tangles: Afterglo, Beeline, Paradox, Phroz, Tripoli, Windfarm, Y-Not
And here it is, in situ near the front window. Well, that was fun!

And here are two photos of the business: the view from the front door, and the game library.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Twinchie. Two by two. And in the zentangle world: Bijou tiles.

I was recently asked by Cheryl Stocks if she could post an image of mine on her twinchie challenge blog for an upcoming challenge with the prompt 'flower of life'. You can see one of my zendala sized flower of life pieces there. I also did a couple of bijou tiles for the challenge.
 I began another flower of life pattern but got off on the wrong foot and ended up with this.
That got me into bijou mode and I did some beginning with a color wash.
I noticed that the twinchie challenge prompt back when Cheryl contacted me was 'amoeba', which sounded like fun so I did some for that too.
I posted some of my earlier bijou tiles here. I find it a bit of a challenge to work this small, but oddly somewhat liberating too. It's so quick to do, and I think I feel a little more experimental.

Cheryl has a list of upcoming prompts on the left on her blog, so if you want to participate you can plan ahead a little.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How "Palazzo" came to be

I was shopping for a frame for a piece I'd just completed (Ribbony), and the one I liked best came with glass, which I didn't need (but it can be saved). Because there was glass, there was a sheet of paper with a photo and frame information. The photo struck me for various reasons.
I like the large, Corinthian column capitals. The columns remind me of the tangle Romanancy. I like the sense of being drawn into the distance. I like the strong light, and that it's a black and white photo. I like the row of lamps and the pattern on the balcony railing.

I thought it would be an interesting picture to turn into a piece of zentangle-inspired art (ZIA), partly because so much of it is very plain surfaces. What would it look like crammed full of patterns?

I managed to trace the image reasonably well onto some art paper. It's 15"x13". I started with some masking fluid for the very white areas, and did some ink washes. The masking fluid was not one of my better ideas and I'll save it for canvas or another type of paper!

Here it is, partly done, pattern-cramming in full swing:

Next step, almost all the tangling done, but no shading yet. At this point I thought it looked like quite a jumble.

Oh the wonders of shading! I had to darken some areas and lighten others, then re-lighten and re-darken, trying for the right tone. Lots of darkening in the upper left; maybe more is needed? Here is the (almost?) finished "Palazzo".