Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Quotations and art - Circles

For many years my focus in art was mandalas, and - consequently - circles. I love that they are a symbol for so many things I hold important: unity, eternity, safety, wholeness, oneness. At that time I collected a lot of quotations about the circle and its symbolism.
I still create mandalas, and sometimes they show up unannounced. 

"Until we extend the circle of our compassion
to all living things, we will not, ourselves, find peace."
Albert Schweitzer
"Les Quartiers de la Ville"
Commission for individual
2007, 24" square, acrylic; 
©2017 Margaret Bremner

"Everything the Power of the World does, is done in a circle. 
The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests where the Great Spirit meant for us 
to hatch our children."
Black Elk, medicine man and visionary of the Oglala Sioux
"Expecting Triplets"
7"x8" mixed media, ©2017, Margaret Bremner, available

"Let your vision be world-embracing,
rather than confined to your own self."
"Playful Planet"
10.5"x10.5" mixed media, ©2016, Margaret Bremner, sold

"A wheel was shown to me, wonderful to like a wheel, a circle, a whole, that can neither be understood, nor divided, nor begun nor one has the power to divide this circle, to surpass it, or to limit it.” 
Hildegard of Bingen
3.5" square, mixed media, 
©2016, Margaret Bremner, sold

Want more? See A few favorite quotations... (and art) here.
And Quotations and art - Ways of seeing here.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Shaving tangles

Shaving: removing a small amount or a (thin) slice from the original form.

Almost any tangle you'd care to draw can be changed considerably by shaving it, but I find this idea works best with tangles that are composed of lines, like Emingle at the top here, rather than tangles that already come with black areas. 

I introduced shaved square grids here. Here's an example of a simple square grid (albeit curvy), shaved on two sides of the squares, with added Pearlz:

I introduced shaved Paradox here. Below are tiles done at a workshop I gave.

This technique can be used with lots of other tangles. Sometimes I shave inside the tangle, sometimes outside. Here are more possibilities:

The Zentangle-original tangle Stoic (a.k.a. Twile) shaved.
On the left, shaved at the permimeter of the squares.
On the right, shaved inside the squares.

All Boxed Up, shaved.
You'll need a wonky grid for this to work well.

Jalousie, shaved. Once I had that tilt happening
I decided to angle the "bubble on a stick" too.

Shaved 'Dillo

Shaved Bales, Cubine, and Knase

Shaved Tripoli, Dewd, Copada, and Paisley Boa.
Sometimes I like to make the shaved part look shiny,
or to add Pearlz in the shaved area.

It's also a great way to even things up if something you drew feels too wide, or to darken a tangle if you feel there's too much white (thanks to commenter Ragged Ray for that insight!).

Choose two or three tangles to shave, and see what happens!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

My Book is nearing the end

Here are some of the final pages in my non-journal/non-sketchbook. 

The Garry oak is native to this part of the world, and I used a leaf from a tree near me to prepare four 'starts' in a collaborative project. I did another in my Book, more or less duplicating what I did for the collaboration.

Over the past decade or so I've depicted many onion domes and wanted to include these in my Book. I couldn't decide which of the three crescent moon shapes to include, so I included all of them and have called this piece The Passage of the Moon.

I took an online class from María Továr about drawing droplets (or "zengotas") with reflections. Of course, I had to include that in my book, too. This is on the inside front cover (I'm filling all possible places!) The photo is a bit too bright.

I have something quite special planned for a final two-page spread, something I've never tried before!


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
  24. My Book is filling up: elephants, a dinner table, and map tangling

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?