Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How "Ancient Spirals" came to be

"Ancient Spirals" was created on paper I had eco-dyed some time ago. (Click on "eco-dyeing" in my subjects list on the right to see more about this technique.) It is also inspired by a compositional method I learned during a class from Lynn Mead through TangleU.

It began with a sheet of paper I'd eco-dyed a while ago.
In pencil, I divided it into 2" squares, leaving a thin border.
Using the eco-dyed marks as guides, I added some arcs to create partial circles.

I had noticed spirals in some places and decided to pursue that imagery.
In pencil I indicated the spirals and some shells and leaves, then
 added a bit of color with Inktense and Graphitint water-soluable pencils.

I began adding details with fine-nib pens: a leaf, a few spirals.
A whole quarter finished.
What are those scallops at the bottom? Feathers? Leaves?

More Inktense. More Graphitint. More tangles.
More leaves. More spirals. More details.
Blue seems to be running diagonally.

Almost finished.
Some of the eco-dye patterning is so beautiful
I want to leave it without any additions.
Colored pencil for final shading.

Aaand... done!  Albeit a bit fuzzy in this photo.

Here's a short video of the progression:

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Pre-strung fun

Tangles: Bunzo, Ennies, Moon Pies, Pearlz

It's a hashtag, too! #prestrungfun. Have a look on Instagram and Zentangle's Mosaic app.

"Pre-strung" means that there are pale, gray lines provided on the paper so you have a string to start with. Zentangle(R) offers many tiles like this.

This project ("challenge"), the brainchild of three CZTs, is based on one of Zentangle's pre-strung zendala tiles, pictured below. I admit, this is not one of my favorite pre-strung strings, but I had two white ones so I thought I'd do two. Why not?

Sometimes an idea grabs my collar and whisks me away on a wild ride of creativity. Usually when I don't expect it. This was one of those times. I found myself working on one tile while ideas for another one flew at me.

Come along for the wild ride with me...

The first two I did were on white tiles. One is at the top of this post. Here's the other.
I tried using the tangle Kahla as another string, wondering what would happen if I tried to overlay two strings.

Tangles: Kahla (the overlaid string), Moon Pies,
Pearlz, Pepperish, Romanancy, Striping, Tipple, Wud

I wanted to do more! I hunted, and discovered I had some tan and black tiles with this pre-strung string. The first began with smears of copper ink from a leaky pen; the second was going to be the 'mosaic' border and something else in the middle, but you know how things go!

Tangles: Ennies, Pepperish, Printemps, Snail

Tangles: Hmmm... well, it was going to be Seljuk
but it ended up being gradations of gray Moonlight pens.

It worked well with Kahla, so on this tan tile I wanted to try using Within as an overlaid string.

Tangles: Within (the overlaid string)
Apacore, Paizel, Pearlz, Pepperish, Seljuk

Colorful ribbons wanted to play on a white tile.

Tangles: Aquafleur and Tipple

And finally, on a tan tile, sort of paisleys. And more. A lot more.

Tangles: Crescent Moon, Ennies, Purk,
Soul Star, Thumbprintz, Tipple, Within 

I understand there will be another Pre-Strung Fun event. Hope you can join in!

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Stoic (a.k.a. Twile) and then some

Stoic is one of the original tangles from Rick and Maria, inspired by the pattern on a rug seen in Stowe, Vermont. 
It's also known by some as Twile which can be found on Linda Farmer introduces it as, "...instructions for drawing CZT® Lesley Scott-Gilliland’s Zentangle® pattern Twile. Lesley unknowingly deconstructed the Zentangle®-original tangle Stoic."
It has not been shared by Zentangle (to my knowledge) except with CZTs at seminars. I'm a CZT3 so it will always be Stoic to me.

The tile at the top shows Stoic in its basic form. Below are four variations on one tile.
Stoic with Cubine in the middle.
Stoic with a variety of patterns in the 
Stoic with a simple line through the 'ribbons'.
Stoic with a simple addition in only one direction.

It's always interesting to try a square grid tangle curved into a circular form.

Here are two way to treat the "corners", each of which gives the impression of the tangle being curved. The square grid in A below is drawn as if the square were there; in B the square fragment is converted to a triangle.

In the tile below I had done a variation that I thought was too busy for this tile. I blacked it over entirely, then drew in white ink, and used white chalk for highlights.

Stoic (like Cubine) can take on different looks by varying the size of the "hole" in the middle. Have a look at the diagonal band in the tan tile below. (There is a gold wash in the upper right which looks a little faded here but is quite lovely in person!)

Shaving square grids gives a very interesting effect. Here's an example of some shaved Stoics.

You can read more about shaving grid tangles here. Scroll down a short way.

I had a tile with a blue wash and decided to try to work Stoic through the brush marks. I penciled the pattern and whited-in the central squares. The dark-filled column is one point of interest, while the orange/yellow area becomes the focal point.

What other variations can you think of for this simple square grid tangle?

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Visual Haiku

A while ago I took an online class called Visual Haiku with Serena Barton (through TangleU). Serena uses traditional haiku poetry as inspiration for her non-subjective artwork and she took us through her process.

I was looking forward to bringing in a lot of mixed media elements and trying some techniques I don't often use.

Here is my completed piece, which looks nothing like Serena's work, and was not inspired by a particular haiku! 🙄

8" square • acrylic mixed media

The moon is a blob of dried paint that I'd peeled from the lid of a paint jar and saved. Why? Apparently for this piece! It rises off the surface a centimeter or so. I had fun smearing paint with a palette knife, spattering gold stars with a toothbrush, and collaging bits of my own old artwork onto the hills. I used stencils to create some patterns, then mostly covered them. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Leaves collaboration

I'm involved in a collaboration among four artists. The other three are from Queensland (Australia), Labrador (Canada), and Oregon (USA). Each of us has begun four artworks, and has sent one to each of the other three, keeping one for ourselves. Now we'll each complete four pieces.

We decided to do something with leaves from our own area, and I chose the Garry Oak. Before the last ice age, Garry oaks were part of an extensive hardwood forest in British Columbia and points south. Their range was wider during a warm, dry period after glaciation, but it has diminished in the current wet and cool climate. They're interesting to me because the leaves are quite rounded, unlike most other oak leaves.

I chose two of the Garry Oak leaves I had collected in a nearby park, 
then drew outlines in pen.

 Below are the four "starts" before I sent them on their journeys.

Here's what I received. From Queensland, Maidenhair Fern; from Labrador, Black Spruce; and from Oregon, and a variety of leaves. One is on simple brown craft paper and I'm looking forward to using some fun, non-archival materials on it.

Of course, there will be tangling! More on this project later.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

My Book is filling up

I'm nearing the end of this not-a-journal/not-a-sketchbook that I began in the summer of 2018. There are only a few pages left. 

I used the retail sock hanger in which I always see an elephant... do an elephant page.

I had purchased this book at zenAgain 2016 and had stamped the first page with the logo. Recently I added a two-pencil string. I was going to add a tangle to the ribbon, but decided I like it simple. I might change my mind.

I had begun a picture of a table for four viewed from above. I planned to use (for the first time) some interesting colored pencils with three colors in each pencil. What fun! But... I didn't like it. I quit. I did other pages. Much later I came back to it. I had another idea! 😄

The beginning, and the pencils I planned to use.

The result! I'm calling it Al Fresco. And I want those plates.

Tangles: Circfleur, Gingham, Kuke, Sprouts, Within

I've been seeing examples of "map tangling" and it looked like fun. So, I gave it a try on the inside front cover, right-hand page. Next time I'll leave a little more white space.


For previous Book pages, check these posts:

  1. How it began
  2. Next steps
  3. Inserting an eco-dyed paper
  4. Back cover, an alphabet, gems and paisley
  5. Hexagons
  6. Celtic-style tangles, and W2
  7. Frontispiece and photos of my grandmother
  8. Space junk
  9. A sunflower, and the flower of life
  10. Knightsbridge and magic squares
  11. More space junk
  12. For now
  13. Mongolian roofs
  14. Cubine and Fassett
  15. Nautilus
  16. Notanical - combining Notan and botanical imagery
  17. An 'oops' page
  18. Inspired by Project Pack 7
  19. Four more pages: twisted striping, and borders
  20. Three more pages: leaves, tea, and spirals
  21. A month of joy
  22. A few more pages in my marvelous book: a dragon, neurographic drawing, and BrixBox/Cantire
  23. Five more Book pages: Salt, Morrisseau, found text, flowers, and more

Monday, June 14, 2021

Zentangle's Project Pack 14

Take time for yourself. Chill out. Breathe. Recompose.

Mental health awareness is the inspiration and theme of this project pack, and how art and Zentangle can be beneficial to well-being. Included in the pack is a booklet - in which we did our drawing - of quotations about making art. Also, a medium gray Moonlight pen and a metallic green pen!


Noom (aka Noom Repus) and ribbons.


Striping (I did Striping with a twist), Sampson, Tipple, and a loopy little edge.


Paradox, Hollis, and Moon Pies.
Plus an illuminated letter, and a tiny pink heart.
You can see here some of the supplies in the project pack.


Verdigogh variations and Springkle. I added Paizel, Opus and Icantoo.


Gradual variations of the tangle Well.


Purk and Vega and various border tangles.
(There is no evidence that Einstein ever said this,
but he did comment about imagination.)

Tangles: Coaster, Icantoo, Prestwood, Purk, Seljuk, Sprouts, Unyun


Dingsplatz, coffering, and more. (Balloons!)

Tangles: Black Pearlz, Dingsplatz, Knightsbridge, Pearlz, Purk


On the final page, an invitation to draw our own conclusions.

Tangles: Black Pearlz, Rayga, Seljuk, Sprouts,


A Tripoli inkwell and a Fescu plume. I added the scroll.

e didn't fill all the pages in the nine days, and I still have one page left.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Aquafleur, Pepperish, and stripes

I love Fengle for its proclivity to do what it wants, wander all over the place, 
and break the rules like an artist.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, BTL Joos, Crescent Moon, Damsel Leaf,
Fengle, Fescu, Icantoo, Moon Pie, Paisley Boa, Rayga, Tipple, Trifle, Zonked