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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How "Prairie Sun" came to be

Some years ago I saw a beautiful quilt while visiting a quilt show with my mother. I quickly drew the pattern on a zentangle tile I had in my purse. I wanted to do something with this design later.

Eventually, I decided to do each square (or 'quilt block') on a separate tile. Of course, I wanted to do this in color. I used a compass so that all the circles would connect rather than having irregular joins.

Earlier, I had done a black-and-white piece of tree trunks and branches, and decided that this would be the same size: six tiles square, mounted on a 24" canvas. Here are the 36 tiles, randomly scattered,  before I did the pencil shading.

There are a number of different designs that can be made with these squares by turning them in different directions. I tried a few and decided I liked best the regular concentric form. It took a lot of shifting and turning to arrive at the final arrangement with colors connecting where I wanted them to. Little colored brads are placed at the intersections of the tiles to mask the rounded corners.
I considered either a black border and sides, or colors that would blend with the tiles. I chose colors and did a mottled border and sides.
Well... no. I did not like it. It sat in the studio while I looked at it for two weeks before I decided that it was channelling My Little Pony way too much. I painted the sides of the canvas black as a means of separating the surface from everything else, and echoed the circles keeping some of the mottled color but painting the rest of the background white. The white is iridescent and not quite opaque so you get a hint of the color underneath. I think now the tangled squares have more prominence.

The last thing I did was to replace the small round brads with larger square ones, placed diagonally. Now it's finished! Here are a couple of details of the final piece.

And just for fun:
On another tile I had drawn a quick idea of the quarter-rounds and some possible tangles. It's on the left below. I don't think it was particularly useful, and I was about to throw it out when I thought, "No, I could do more with that." The end result is on the right, below.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

ZIA Ideas: Clouds

Puffy, poofy, soft-looking, marshmallowy, cumulus clouds.
Tangles: Floo, Tipple (Caviar version), Auras, and a tangle that's not yet public.
Susan Szathmary had done the color wash and the
green gem-pebbles. I added the 'clouds', the 'waves', and the 'sand'.
I received an interesting comment when I posted the above tile on a Facebook group page:
"I'm getting fascinated by your use of tangles to suggest textures... that would make a great blog topic if you wanted to share your thinking."
This topic is closely related to a class I offered at CanTangle 2015 drawing streetscapes and wonky buildings, and I've had a many inquiries about that. So, I've decided to start an occasional series called ZIA Ideas in which I'll offer suggestions, and show examples, of tangles that can be used to suggest particular things.
I want to emphasize here that a proper tangle is non-representational. A tangle is simply a pattern - a structured pattern - with a simple series of steps to accomplish the end design. Of course, many patterns are inspired by a floor, upholstery, a fence, a pattern on a carpet, a stack of dishes, a pile of stones, flowers, and the list goes on. But the intention is not to do a representative drawing of that thing.

Here are some of my favorite tangles that may give you

DUST BUNNY (from Margaret Bremner)
Find step-outs at this link.

ENNIES (from Zentangle)
Find step-outs at this link. Example below.
"Lollipop Tree" (c)2016 Margaret Bremner
FLOO (from Zentangle)
No step-outs online. Example in the tiles at the top and bottom.

POPCLOUD (from Carla DuPreez)
Find step-outs at this link. Example below.
"Mountain Ash" (c)2014 Margaret Bremner
PRINTEMPS (from Zentangle)
No online link. Example below.
Detail from "Overcast" (c)2016 Margaret Bremner

There are two tangles I haven't tried as clouds yet, but I think would be very good:

KANDYSNAKE (from Vicki Murray, CZT)
Find step-outs at this link.

GINILI (from Randi Wynne-Parry)
Find step-outs at this link. I find this tangle has more impact in a larger area.

Of course, there are tangles unfamiliar to me, 
and tangles that will strike you as perfect for a 'cloud' you need somewhere.
Experiment. Have fun. And let me know if you come across a jim-dandy 'cloud' tangle!
"At Home in the Clouds" (c)2015 Margaret Bremner
Examples of Printemps, Floo, Pop-Cloud, and even Opus and Pixioze as 'clouds'.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Travelling tangles

I've recently begun participating in a Facebook group called the Travelling Tangles Project. I tangle part of a tile and send it to someone, and they do the same for me. Then we complete each other's tiles. I've received some very interesting 'beginnings' that I've been privileged to complete.

Here are some tiles I've received and how I finished them.

Pat Floerke in Nicaragua sent a zendala tile that she'd begun using blue, green, and purple ink as well as black. I used more. :) She began with Finery and Tipple and I added Pearlz, something related to Maryhill, and a sort of triangular Well with one side different!

Fellow Canadian Susan Szathmary sent a tile with a blue-green wash and some zippy green gems/pebbles. As soon as I placed it on the beige oatmeal paper to scan it I knew it had to be a shore scene. I added Floo for clouds, Tipple (Caviar version) for sand, and a tangle that's not public yet for waves.

I received a tile from Barb Mavraganis with spatters of dylusions ink. To her Mooka and Zenith I added Pixioze, Ruutz, and more Zenith.

Loretta West sent a classic black on white tile with some delicate, ribbony tangles. I stayed with that theme, but the center seemed to want to be darker.

Finally, here's an ATC begun by Debra Huff. I kept seeing trumpet-shaped flowers so I went with it.

If you'd like to join the fun, seek out Travelling Tangles Project on Facebook.

In a future post I'll show some tiles I've sent and how others finished them.