Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Line drawing lessons

Some time ago I started doing Simone Bischoff's series of lessons for sharpening one's line drawing skills, so I thought I'd share my efforts with you. Originally in German, the short series is abbreviated in translation on tangle-patterns.com. There you'll find the details of each exercise. I did all my work on zentangle tiles.

Lesson one: ways of connecting dots 
Simone shows various ways to connect two dots. I used Black Pearlz for three of the dots.

Lesson two: lines in waves
This didn't work out the way Simone's did, but it is wavy lines!
Two tangles that use a series of wavy lines are Diva Dance and Magma.

Lesson three: fantasy flowers

Lesson four: spiral forms
First, a helix, a double helix, and a spiral.
The second idea in this lesson is to use the three spiral forms all starting from the same place.
It started going rather haywire so I just let it do that, and added more.

Lesson five: angled lines
Using straight, and angled lines first, then adding geometric shapes on the lines.
Some tangles that use this type of angled lines and shading are Raddox and Static.

That's as far as I got (thus far, at least). It is a fun exercise and offers new ways of thinking about mark-making. Give it a try!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tile salvage (and a recipe)

I recently attended a pot-luck event and took one of my favorite summer foods, George Bernard Shaw's cook's stuffed green peppers. I didn't have time to make a label before I left, so I made one at the event. The only paper I had in my purse was some zentangle tiles.

After the event, not wanting to waste that lovely paper I decided to tangle it. I designed some pencil 'strings' around the text on the tile.

And then I tangled!
Tangles: Beadlines, Florz, Knightsbridge, Pearlz,
Printemps, Seljuk, Tipple
And now, I digress. Here's a photo of some of the stuffed peppers. I don't like cooked stuffed peppers, but these are raw. So easy to make. So yummy!
And here's how to make them:
• small green peppers (enough to feed who you want to feed)
• lots of grated cheddar cheese (I prefer aged cheddar)
• equal amounts of mayonnaise and mango chutney (minus the big chunks of mango)
Halve the peppers lengthwise and remove stems, seeds and membranes. Try to slice them so the halves will sit flat and not tip over. (four bump peppers work better than three bump peppers!)
Mix the mayonnaise/chutney mix into the grated cheese, so the cheese holds together nicely. Stuff into pepper halves. Really pack it in.
Crunch, munch and enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Running 'round in circles

I often feel that way.
"I need to do this!"
"I forgot to call so-and-so!"
"I need to do that, too!"
"I'm late with... something!"
"I'm supposed to plan this thing!"
"I also need to plan that thing!"
Thus felt the DivaCZT on her recent wonderful, but whirlwind, family vacation. Thus her challenge this week: use circles. Any way. Any how.

I've always loved circles. For more than a decade I focused on mandala artwork, drawn, painted, and mixed media. So this challenge was right up my alley, and as often happens in that situation, I move from one idea to the next fairly quickly. I had the notion that we were to do concentric circles, so that's what I began with, often using a blind string.

My first tile was three circles in classic black on white.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Paisley Boa, Pearlz, Prestwood, and
Tortuca, plus stripes, lines and Auras
Next I tried four circles in color.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Diva Dance, Knase, Niuroda, Perfs,
Paisley Boa, 
Pearlz, and Wud plus lines and spirals
Third tile, a tan tile. I love working in browns on these tiles even though brown in definitely not my favorite color.
Tangles: Ennies, Paisley Boa, Pearlz, Snaylz, Tipple and more
I had really wanted to try Tina-Akua Hunziker's recent tangle Niuroda so I got out a zendala tile and went to town.

Back to black and white. I was quite taken with a pattern I'd seen earlier today of interlocking circles with Rounding at the intersections. It turns out it's Bublz from Lori Byerly.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Bublz, Drupe, Ogen, Tipple
and circles with Rounding.
The broken apart Drupe in that previous tile gave me an idea: use tangles that are circular in format (or could be) and use only parts of them. Here's the result.
Tangles: Arukas, Cirqital, Daggerly, Drupe, Tipple, and Zonked

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MooOViNg TAngLEs

My last post was about Travelling Tangles. This one is about moving tangles. They're different.

This week's challenge from the DivaCZT is to tangle while you're in motion: in a car, on a train, some place where you're being bumped around a bit.

Two or three years ago I replaced my computer desk chair with a big red bouncy ball. ('Exercise' ball sounds so uninviting.) I decided to tangle while bouncing vigorously.
Part of my studio.
Along the top: some of my all-time favorite Zentangle (R) tiles.
On the computer screen, the DivaCZT's blog page.
On the right, the blue bin which now contains all my files
since I weeded and dumped many of them a few months ago.
As always when I attempt Zentangle out of my comfort zone, I opted mostly for comfort tangles, some of the basic, simple first ones we learn. This time I also used an Apprentice tile and a larger pen.

I used Tipple, Knightsbridge, Hollibaugh, and Phuds. I chose Phuds at the end because it doesn't require a lot of drawing and has some solid blacks. Although, I think the most difficult thing for me with this type of project is not being able to do good solid blacks.

I took hold of my pencil and started bouncing. Up and down and up and down! Dots. Border. I love the wibbly-wobbly border that happened! Bounce bounce. String. A simple 'X' with four sections. Up and down and up and down! Now the pen. Tipple. Knightsbridge. Hollibaugh. Bounce bounce bounce! Phuds. Shading. Up and down and up and down!

At one point I got so into the bouncing I put my pen down and started waving my arms side to side. Up and down and up and down! I had a drink of my iced coffee.

That was an ill-considered move.

Here's my tile.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Travelling Tangles, sent and finished

Earlier I posted some tiles I'd received through the Traveling Tangles Project on Facebook. They'd been started by others and finished by me. Here are some tiles that went the other way: started by me and completed by others.

I sent Diane Claus a classic black on white tile and she gave it some wonderful additions.

Sabrina Kirjavainen in Finland received a Renaissance (tan) tile from me and finished it echoing my Paradox and adding more wonderfulness.

I sent an ATC with a strip of holographic paper through the middle to Sandy Kelly-Jones. She continued the black-and-white theme on the other half.

I sent a colored ATC to Debra Huff and she completed it with two of my tangles (!), Skye and Copada.

I sent similar tiles to four people for a "Summer" theme swap.
Kim Aarts-Bruin in the Netherlands added to it, minimally and beautifully, with some Ruutz and little flourishes.

Prairie Kittin in the US borrowed a purple pen from a friend to complete this tile! So nicely done.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


A very good friend of my eldest daughter recently had her first child. My daughter commissioned me to do a piece of art of her name Sophie. Sophie's mum likes blues and browns.
"Sophie" - a baby gift; (c)2016 Margaret Bremner
Tangles: Blooming Butter, Crescent Moon, Ginili, Pearlz, Phuds, Pixioze, Sanibelle, Tipple and elements of Drupe,
plus some leaves and drawn gems.

It's done on 'kraft brown' Stonehenge paper. The matted size (shown here) is 6"x8". Framed it's 11"x14".

I did the name on scrap paper with a calligraphy brush, tidied it up, and transferred the outline to the art paper. The little hook on the 'p' is a happy accident due to the blue wash I did in the beginning.

I used blue acrylic wash for some initial random shapes and lines. Besides Sakura micron pens in blue, brown, and dark brown, I used Pitt brush pens in similar colors, another pen with lighter blue ink, and colored pencils.

Here's a photo of Sophie and her parents.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Black and white, and RED

What's black and white and re(a)d all over?
The original answer is 'a newspaper'. (Red. Read. When you hear it you can't tell the difference.)

The Diva this week offers the other popular answer: a sunburned zebra. One could also say 'an embarassed panda' or 'a penguin with a rash'. A darker answer, from my years in elementary school, is 'a nun rolling down a hill' but nuns don't dress like that anymore. Of course, none of these uses the word play of the original answer.

Anyway, that's our challenge this week: create zentangle artwork using the classic black and white, but also add RED!

First, I wanted to try the tangle Maryhill in two colors so this was a perfect opportunity. I used a Bijou tile and it required a lot of changing back and forth between black and red, but the effect is nice. Also in the photo is a bookmark I made a while ago using black and red.

You know art's primary colors of course, red, yellow, and blue. I suspect that black, white, and red is a popular combination because they are primal colors. As languages developed the first color words were words for black and white (or dark and light). The third color word added in any language is a word for red, probably because of its association with blood and life and death.

Soooo... back to zentangle. Here's my first full-size tile on this theme. The string seemed to alternate on the two sides, so I decided to try to alternate the two ink colors and the tangles also.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, Crescent Moon, Ginili,
Pearlz (sort of), Ruutz, Tri-dots
The next tile had a string with three 'blobs' emanating from the center. I decided to do them in red and the rest of the tile in black.
Tangles: Paisley Boa, elements of Bunzo, and stripes.
Here's something a little different, from some years ago: black and white on red paper. The whitest sidewalk squares are collaged. I call it "It Takes a Village" and it's found a new home.
It Takes a Village (c)2010 Margaret Bremner