Sunday, May 24, 2015

Night on the Canal

I'd seen pictures of these step-roofed buildings and wanted to try them on my houses.

I began with a random gray wash in a few places, and water-soluble color pencil in others (all light-fast materials). It's a little odd that I left a few places simply black-and-white, but I think it works. I also used colored ink on the houses, and color pencils for some shading.

The moon was a bit of an issue. It's quite large! Originally I used silver leaf but it just wasn't working. I scraped it off. The art sat around for a while as I wondered what it wanted. (I think part of inspiration is patience.)

Then it struck me: I've saved a few bits of holographic papers! I knew they would offer varying colors depending on the angle of view. I cut out the moon shape and glued it on. I liked it! But... it was a bit stark and too obvious. I thought of drawing a little on it, but the paper is very slick. Thank you Sakura microperm pens! I added wiggly lines and now I'm quite happy with it.
Night on the Canal
(c) 2015 Margaret Bremner
Tangles: Bunzo, Diva Dance variation, Flux, Nipa, Pearlz, Sanibelle, Seljuk,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Onion domes - two new pieces

If you follow me at all you'll know I love onion domes. They are lovely bulbous shapes, sort of like pears. Here are a couple of new pieces with onion domed buildings.

They measure 6"x9". Each began with a random gray wash over parts of the paper, then I tangled in black ink and shaded in pencil. Occasionally I used gray ink for mid-tones or shading. There is the odd bit of white ink: the stars and Msst in the top piece and in the clouds in the second.
"From Noon to Midnight"
(c) 2015 Margaret Bremner
tangles: Black Pearlz, Florz, Flukes, Flux, Keystone, Knightsbridge, Lamar, 
Msst, Pearlz, Printemps, Sanibelle, Seljuk, Sindoo, Sird, Spinning, Tipple, Warble
"Way Station"
(c) 2015 Margaret Bremner
tangles: Brix, Bunzo, Diva Dance, Flux, Keystone, Meringue, Msst, 
Palrevo, Pearlz, Printemps, Sanibelle, Sindoo, Sird, Tipple, Wud

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bunzo/Dex (not rolodex)

One of my favorite types of challenge, a duotangle. The term was coined by our Diva on her blog. The two - and only two - tangles we are to use are Bunzo and Dex: a curvaceous one and a square grid one, a good combination.

First, I thought I'd try having Bunzo come out of the hole in Dex. You don't really get that impression but I was still pleased with the tile.
Second, I had the brilliant idea of using Dex in the alternate stripes of Bunzo. It's not quite a brilliant as I imagined, but still interesting.
Third, I used Dex as a string. I wanted to honor the dark/medium/light tones of Dex and that meant I needed a darker than normal Bunzo. On one half I did thin white stripes with wide black ones; on the other half I added a single line through the white stripes. Then I needed to make half the border light and the other half dark. I think it worked quite well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How "Ribbony" came to be

I recently completed a piece of artwork that I'm calling Ribbony. It has sort of a woven look, but I've threaded some ribbons through it.

I created 20 tiles with no border and a similar string, then arranged them and mounted them on a 16"x20" canvas, leaving about an inch all around. This is the type of string I used for all the tiles. The black perimeter line is the edge of the paper tile. I left the four corners blank, and filled the other sections so it would look as if parts were going over and under each other.

Here are two of the 20 tiles I used. I actually did a few more so I'd have some choice when it came to arranging them. Once I had them matched up to my satisfaction, it was necessary to add a bit more pen drawing in a few places so the flow was smoother.

I felt there was a need for more 'flow' and I love adding non-paint-and-paper things to my artwork. With this piece I added some actual ribbon, some with white dots on black, some with black dots on white. I used a pointy X-Acto knife to cut through the canvas, poked the ends of the ribbon pieces through the holes, and glued them in place on the back.

At the edges of the canvas I painted black where the 'ribbons' would have extended, and white in between. Here's a detail of one edge. You can see the two kinds of ribbon that I used, and also - at the top and right - some of the black paint at the perimeter.

Once it was all assembled, the places where the corners of the tiles met looked too uneven, so I put a small black brad at each intersection. This is the back of the canvas, showing ribbon ends and brad flanges.

And... ta-da! Here is the final work, 16"x20". It's still unframed but I'll look for something black with a bit of detail.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


If you follow the Diva's zentangle challenges you'll know that this week we're all doing labyrinths. I chose a classic 7-circuit labyrinth, and the zendala tile as it afforded me a little more space to work in. I hoped that by changing the tangle every circuit it would help avoid too much sameness and also too much jumble.
Tangles: Hibred, Knase, Lotus Pods, Pearlz, Zedbra, Zewm
I've been doing a bit of black-and-white on tan paper lately and wanted to try a labyrinth like that. I used Strircles and quickly realized that It wasn't going to work in the usual manner - the U-turns were going to be problematic. So I added black and a darker brown to my pens and tried to think a little more when I came to those U-turns. Nonetheless, it did get messed up and the two outer rings are independent of the rest of the it! Oh well. No mistakes. :P
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Pearlz, Strircles, Tipple
I'm not really thrilled with either of them, but they've given me an idea for another piece!

Even more fun than drawing a labyrinth is walking one. I used to live a few minutes walk from one in Saskatoon. Now I'd have to drive, but still, there are a few in the area. If you'd like to find a nearby labyrinth, check the Labyrinth Locator website here. I'm not sure how well it will work for you. Many more search criteria have been added since I last looked at it and it couldn't find any near me, although I know there are.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Opus 'quilt'

This is my most recent Opus tile, 10.5 inches square and the same lovely Tiepolo paper as the original zentangle tiles. This had some gray wash from a previous project and I wasn't sure what to do with it, but the wash went nicely in two directions so I began by tracing squares all over. The square template is a left over board from game pieces.

For some reason I seemed to be doing a different tangle is each little section and it became a bit of a tangle sampler. However, there is some repetition! I added a few dashed lines to simulate stitchery.
Tangles: oh, so many!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Artists' Workshop exhibiton

This past weekend the art group I work with once a week through the winter had its annual show and sale. Of course, I showed all zentangle-inspired art: some small, some large; some color, some black-and-white; some trees, some houses, some onion domes, some mandalas, some fish...  :)

Here are my two boards the afternoon before the opening reception.

It's always interesting to hang a lot of recent work all together. I hadn't realized how much I had been using browns and blue/teal/turquoise. I've also done a lot of trees this year. I sold quite a few, one of which I'm mailing to Florida and another will be picked up by the purchaser when she passes through Saskatoon at the end of May. What fun!

After all that standing and socializing, when I came home on Sunday I needed to chill out, so of course I tangled! Here's the tile I did, using Sue Clark's tri-shape string, drawn blind. I like how Sand Swirl is standing in for the border of Crescent Moon!
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Knightsbridge, Paizel, Pinbawl,
Sand Swirl, Tipple, Tripoli, Zewm