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.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More found story pages

In this found story, or blackout poetry, or... (what?) I added more color than previously, including a bit of gold.
Tangles: Afterglo, Drupe/Fracas mash-up, Pearlz, Puffle
Thus far I seem to have been finding "stream of thought" series of words. I wanted to try to compose more sentence-like things. I'm having some success!
 My most recent effort incorporates a landscape, and the onion domes I adore. And sentences!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

SKYE - a new tangle!

Wow. I am really thrilled with this one! Yes, there are step-outs!

(Oh, alright! Skip to the step-outs! But come back up to see/read all the rest, okay?)

I noticed this interlacing on the box of the game Isle of Skye. It's a classic Celtic interlacing pattern, which, if you follow a strand, you'll notice is composed of two strands, not one. (I enjoyed the game, by the way.)
This is the pattern stripe from the game's box.

Deconstructing this pattern encountered a lot of false starts.

Once I had figured out how to draw it, I drew it a few times on a tile. I wanted to be sure I knew what I was doing before I pretended to explain it to others.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Pearlz, Skye, Tipple
Blue Skye! Honestly, I wasn't thinking that when I did this. I just had a tile with a blue wash sitting waiting.
Tangles: Bunzo, Crescent Moon, Pearlz, Phuds, Skye
The step-outs!
Don't forget to shade it, although it looks quite alright without. Have fun!
Tangles: Cruze, Elven, single Pearlz, Skye, Zonked
Tangles: Skye, Tipple, and wavy lines
UPDATE: 2016 May 19

Well, my goodness! People are having lots of fun with this tangle, to the extent that some are posting alternate step-outs and video demos. My goodness! Here are three videos offering basics and further explorations such as ending a row of Skye, and doing Skye in a circle.

The first is from Bunte Gallerie on YouTube:

The next is one is from Kathrin Bendel, also on YouTube. Kathrin is a CZT in Germany and made this (her first!) video as an additional instruction to some who were having difficulty drawing Skye.

And one from Ellen Wolters, who has done video demos of a great many tangle patterns.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I found a shell photocopy

I've undertaken a huge clearance project of All My Stuff. It's rather refreshing, although difficult at times, but I'm on a roll. So far I've gone through my clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewellry. I've also gone through my papers, which were in files and binders in a few different places. I emptied two 3" binders and I kept less than 10% of what was in them. I dumped some files and merged others. 
One of two large bags of papers to be recycled, and my papers/files now.
Now I'm on to my books. Unfortunately, in assembling all my books I discovered more papers. Oh no! But amongst the papers I discovered this photocopy of a cross-section of a triton shell. (The frilly edge of the shell is missing.) It looked like an interesting 'string' for zentangle drawing. 

It was an easy job to trace the outlines of the shell through a white tile.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Diva Dance (with 'bubbles'), Opus, Pearlz, Printemps, Tipple
I've been enjoying using blues on the Renaissance (tan) tiles and decided to do that and pursue the look of a shell cross-section.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Dragonaire, Pearlz, Printemps, Tipple, Tortuca
The photocopy kept catching my eye as it lay on my desk, and it always looked like a leaf, so I decided to try that idea. I had also recently seen a new tangle called Aloha (from CZT Suzanne Fluhr) a rather thick-lined leaf and wanted to try it. It became many leaves rather than one.
Tangles: Aloha, Hurly Burly, Leaflet, Tipple