Thursday, August 13, 2020

Crescent Moon, and then some - lines and centers

Tangles: Crescent Moon, Windfarm and Rounding
My first 'Crescent Moon, and then some' post a week ago, was all about the 'bugs'. 
Today we'll play with the lines and the centers.

Instead of a simple series of lines around the 'moons' try something different. 

Alternate black and white stripes, or leave a highlight, both shown below. I'm showing two types of highlights, Maria's "sparkle" of a broken line, and rough-edged black.

You can gradate the separation of the lines, starting close together and gradually adding more space between them. This is a gray tile that I had stained with a hibiscus teabag. It also shows Crescent Moon moving outward instead of inward.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Pearlz, Within, and Auras

Three more possibilities are shown on the gray tile below.
--  Leave more space between the lines and fill some of the spaces with perfs, or a series of lines, or whatever strikes your fancy. (top)
--  Connect the lines alternating as you would drawing Hibred. (right side)
--  When the lines begin to meet at the base, continue to draw down to the base instead of Aura-ing. (bottom)

Classic Crescent Moon has a black center, but there's so much more you can do!
  • Continue a tangle that's outside Crescent Moon (see the tile at the top of this post).
  • Fill with a single (Archimedian) spiral.
  • Fill with another tangle. For starters try Tipple, Knightsbridge, Printemps, or Tidings. 
  • Continue the Aura lines all the way to the center.
  • Simply leave it white. Maybe add shading inside the last Aura. 
  • Carefully leave some white dots (or add them with white pen afterwards) to create the look of a night sky.
  • Fill it black, let it dry, and tangle in white ink.
  • If the 'moons' end up with a large space, let the center flow out.
  •  vcnbbvv bffv (that's my 6-month old granddaughter helping me type) 😊
  • What more can you think of?
Tangles: Beadlines, Crescent Moon, Knightsbridge,
Unfortunately the graphite is really interfering
with the black ink in this photo.

AND... I've just updated the "moons" post with another possibility - Mars' moons! Go to the top of this post for the link.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Crescent Moon, and then some - the 'moons'

Crescent Moon is one of my go-to tangles. I can hardly believe I haven't explored it in a blog post yet!

We often call the partial 'moons' in this tangle ladybug shapes. So why not actual ladybug drawings? You could even use red ink. :D

One of my favorite things to do is to add a small highlight to the 'moon'. Here's a tile with highlights, and also the original Crescent Moon with the 'moons' all black.
Tangles: Beadlines, Crescent Moon, Pearlz, Tipple

The 'moons' don't have to be arcs. Try different shapes. Here's one with hearts.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Ixorus, Lotus Pods,
Paradox, Perfs, Tipple 

Crescent Moon can be layered, instead of a single row, and it doesn't have to go all the way around the section. Try partial Crescent Moon and use it not on every side. Here's a tile showing both those ideas. (You can probably guess that the string here is a blind contour drawing of a bowl and spoon!)
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Irradial, Wunderwall

I learned that Mars has two moons. That inspired this Mars' moons version - two moons nestled together. We won't even go near Jupiter's 67 moons.

The 'moons' don't have to be uniform in size. Try starting tiny and gradually get larger, and maybe back to small again.

Quite a different look is obtained if you leave the 'moons' whiteI loved Julie Willand's crazy Crescent Moon from the Project Pack #10 video, Day 5. Here's Julie's example from the video, and mine from my booklet. She left the 'moons' white, so I did the same.

Go large! Draw very large 'moons' and fill them with something other than black. In the tile at the top of this post I've filled two 'moons' with floral-like things. Here's one with three leaf/petal shapes, each with a different fill in the 'moons'.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Hollibaugh, Hollis, Mooka

Sometimes I like to continue the 'moons' into the adjacent section, creating orbs, but leave the new half white. I find Tipple an ideal tangle for that second section. See the top of this post, as well as the third image, for examples.

Here's a tile with a several things going on. There are white 'moons', 'moons' filled with spirals and with Tipple, a partial Crescent Moon, a three-scallops shaped 'moon', and more.

What other ideas can you think of?
This has been all about the 'bugs'.
Of course, you can also vary the lines and the centers. 
But that will have to wait until another post.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

More agate explorations

Further explorations of creating agate using Zentangle's Auras.

Having done a green wash for the malachite, I tried a red wash over an eco-dyed image of maple leaves. The wash ended up rather pink so I used a lot of red pens. I fear it's a bit too much!
Original art is 6"x8"

Some paper that I eco-dyed was a little too flimsy and corners fell off! Undaunted, I remembered 'no mistakes, just opportunities' and thought about how I could use this 'oops'. I'm delighted with the result! 
The paper is mounted on birch board. The corners are actually quite black and there is sparkle paint at the centers where there would be crystals in a geode. Below the finished piece is a photo of how it began, and a photo showing how I painted the sides.
Original art is 8"x6"

This went in a very different direction! Less realistic, wildly colorful, and quite a variety of centers.
Original art is 12"x9"
Here's a detail photo... because it IS very detailed!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Creating asymmetrical mandalas

There are those who are not fans of the geometry and regularity of a classic mandala. One blog follower commented:
“I am not enamored of round Zentangles … I think it is purely that I cannot bear to do the repetition involved as well as not enjoying having to get things to work out so precisely… Too much like geometry? Too mathematical.” 
Compositional art theory knows that some repetition contributes to the unity of the whole. It could be repetition of pattern, but also color, shape, texture, technique, etc.. When I was doing larger mandalas in acrylic paint, some of that repetition became rather not fun, but for the result to be what I wanted, the repetition was necessary. Here's one of those paintings.
"Bindu Lotus" 16" diameter, acrylic paint
The repeat aspect of structured patterns is part of the zen of Zentangle, but I understand that repeating that same tangle pattern six or eight or twelve times around can become dull!

For those interested in circular work, but who balk at the repetition, I have a few ideas.

Choose a tangle with circular possibilities, perhaps Fengle, Auraknot, Aquafleur or LinQ. Depending on the tangle, you may choose to begin at the center or the perimeter. The tile below uses LinQ towards the periphery. You can see that the sections are uneven, and they are detailed in a variety of ways.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Bunzo, Flux, Krli-qs, LinQ, Pearlz
Start with an irregular, looped string. Below, while I didn't use the same tangle in all the 'petals', there is some repetitionI also used two variations of Tripoli outside the white 'petals'. Ixorus provides the many thin, white stripes.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Ixorus, Pearlz, Tripoli,
and some things I just felt like doing at the time.
Draw pencil circles as the string but do them deliberately off-center from each other. You might want to collect a few lids of different sizes for this, or draw them freehand for more irregular 'circles'. You can fill each ring with a different 'border' tangle, or whatever you feel like.
Off-center circles by Jean Chamberlain Therkauf.
Tangles: Coaster, Fohbraid, Lamar, Marasu, Paisley Boa, Wud
Using an organic drawing process will give you some imprecise elements. Go to this blog post, watch the video, and give it a try.
Find a simple mandala design you like and draw it with your non-dominant hand, or draw it blind if you feel more adventurous! Here's a little African bowl and the drawing I did with my left hand. Below it is the tangled zendala tile.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Doodah, variations of Sez, Zewm, Zonked

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Teabag stains

Recently I noticed a hibiscus teabag in the kitchen sink and was struck with the beautiful, rich red of the water seeping from it. I decided to try staining some paper and saved a few more teabags. It's curious how the pink/purple shows up so well on gray paper, but not at all on white or tan. Still, the grays are lovely.
Here's the first tile I did with the first small batch of stained tiles. I've used some of the teabags three or four times and they're still staining very nicely.
Tangles: Ayame, Finery, Mooka elements
I added some white vinegar to the water in which I dipped the teabags, but I'm still rather concerned about fading. Most of these stained items will likely become ATCs or bookmarks - things which will generally not be exposed to light. The ATC below is at the lower left in the selection of stains above.
Three zentangle-tile-sized pieces.
Henrike Bratz, a CZT in north Germany near Denmark, contacted me on Instagram about the colors not showing on some papers. She advised me to put a dab of lemon juice on my finger and touch that to the dried stain. It worked beautifully, as you can see below. Apparently the acidity of the lemon juice is what's needed.
Here are two tiles done for Hanny Nura's Full Moon Mosaic on Instagram. The first uses the tile in the lower right above.

Finally, every time I looked at this next tile I saw a little crab. So that's what it is.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Exploring agate

I've been having a lot of fun exploring the idea of drawing agate using various colors and widths of auras. Eco-dyed paper provides an interesting mottled surface and possible 'centers'.



Malachite is a very green stone and the browns of the eco-dyed paper just weren't going to work, so I did an all-over wash of phthalo green acrylic paint. That's the first photo. The second is the final artwork.

You can see other agate drawings in this post. There will be more. I'm already working on some!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

A few favorite quotations... (and art)

...interspersed with a few favorite and appropriate Zentangle tiles.

Anaïs Nin is a French author whom I suspect I would not have liked much had I ever met her. But she's the origin of one of my favorite quotations. 
"Life expands or contracts in proportion to one's courage." 
Tangles: Paradox, Pearlz, Rain, Seljuk
The drawing above is on gray paper. Whatever I'd done in the upper left corner, I hated it so much that I cut it off. I loved the interestingly shaped tile! Then a black tile slipped behind it and I preferred that, so I cut a bit of black paper and glued it behind the gray one.

Artist Robert Genn maintained a website called "The Painters' Keys" that was continued by his daughter (also an artist) after his death. On the subject of thinking and creativity he offers the thought that 
"Thinking is good, but your brain
is perpetually thundering down the tracks 
with intent to derail your creativity." 
The tile above was created during InkTober 2019 following the prompt Tread. 
I think of it as Rainbow Demolition Derby.

Life is lighter without grudges. Forgive someone not for their sake but for your own. Be good to yourself. I consider myself fortunate that I've never had to draw on this quotation. I expect it's much easier said than done, but I appreciate the idea that
"Living well is the best revenge." 

You may be familiar with the book "The Little Prince". If not, try to borrow a copy. It's short and it's fun. And the author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, 
"Love is not gazing at each other.
Love is looking together in the same direction."
"A Soft Place to Rest My Heart"
(c) 2019; 9 cm. (3.5") sq. on paper; Sold
Pen and ink, acrylic wash, colored pencil

"Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." 
An actual quotation from Albert Einstein, as far as I can determine, unlike the popular "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." credited to him (which I kind of prefer, but oh well).
I refer to this as "my brain on Bosch".
Bosch is a delightful tangle, usually done as a border.

"Anything is possible, one stroke at a time."
The tangle Crusade, from CZT Wayne Harlow, flummoxed me for quite some time. Others have had this challenge with tangles such as Skye and Amazing Spider. But I liked it enough that I kept at it, eventually understanding it well enough that I can now do it on curved lines and in wonky strings. Yay me!
Tangles: Crusade, Pearlz, Tipple

"The well-being of the world, its peace and security, 
are unattainable unless and until its
unity is firmly established."
You may have noticed this one in my e-mail signature. It's from Baha'u'llah, Founder of the Baha'i Faith. I've been a Baha'i since I was 19. I love going barefoot when possible, on a sandy beach or grass at a park for example. I feel more connected to the earth.
"Mud Between My Toes"
(c) 2013; 11.5 
cm. (4.5") sq. on a pre-strung, tan zendala tile; Sold
Pen and ink, acrylic, colored pencil