I made this using a free template from Ben Kwok’s “Ornation Creation” Facebook group. There are some great templates there and I look forward to using more of them!
This was a gift for someone, so I went ahead and framed it. I *love* this frame + mat combo I found at Hobby Lobby! (No big surprise since blue/black/white are the colors in my office.)
My creating has been sporadic these past nine months…a little Zentangle…a little embroidery.
. . . and in color
. . . and framed
. . . and framed
I really did get rusty, going that long without doing embroidery!! It almost felt like being a brand-new embroiderer all over again. (And I’m sure I’ll feel the same way when I do another Zentangle!) I do have an embroidery design picked out and ready to transfer, but I’m not sure when I’ll actually do it . . . although I do feel pretty certain it’ll be sooner than next year ;-).
I sure like the flowy, organic tangles moreso than the ones that are more geometric or architectural.
This Zentangle is comprised of only three tangles: Squid, Springkle, and Zinger.
The more I futz around with Zentangle, the more I enjoy working in B&W . . . which is interesting because I never had been a fan of B&W. I think the change of heart has come about because I’m getting more comfortable with shading — it really does add a depth that I haven’t yet figured out how to get when I use color.
For today’s art project, I wanted to draw something I could complete in just an hour or two, and which contained a Santa’s hat. This fit the bill =).
This is drawn on a Zentangle tile, which is approx. 3.5″ x 3.5″. The cat-with-Santa’s-hat design is some freebie clipart I found HERE. I wanted to use quick-to-draw tangles, so opted for Sez (cat), Yincut & Ahh (hat), and Springkle & Zinger (doodads on outer edges of tile).
I had a little scrap of unused watercolor paper that I’d tossed in my bookmarks pile, so I turned it into this:
Nothing is safe from being turned into a Zentangle these days ;-). I really love the “Zinger” tangle (the one I used in-between the letters) — it has sort of a Dr. Zeuss feel to it, I think. I’ll use some self-seal laminate paper on it so it won’t get tattered, then it can be put to work.
I started on this last night and actually fell asleep while drawing! I’d originally been sitting up on the sofa, filling in the letters on the bookmark while watching tv. Then I got tired and stretched out, but continued filling in the letters while stretched out. Then at some point I realized I’d dozed off, pen still in-hand. Oops!!
My teen and I are on a wacky sleep schedule because of him being sick all last week (he’s still not feeling great, but at least he’s able to sleep for a long stretch of time now, rather than sleeping in increments of only 3 or 4 hours), and now we’re trying to navigate back to a more normal sleep schedule again. He’s in a play that has performances starting next weekend, but the nasty cold he’s had has aggravated his asthma, which impacts his energy level. So, we’ll be trekking to the doc this coming week to get some heavier-duty meds to help get the asthma under control, which should help him feel more energetic and get him over the “just not getting better” hump, so that he’s able to perform at an optimal level in the play. This is the third theatre workshop + play he’s participated in this year, and this is only his first year of participating in theatre — I think it’s safe to say he gets a big kick out of it =). He’ll have a couple months’ break, then will be diving into the spring workshop + play, which should be lots of fun as it’s a Dr. Seuss-themed play!
Now that I’m done with my Zentangle-patterns organization project, I have the itch to spend some time practicing the tangles I’ve learned this week. I was industrious today and drew up a couple different things.
This one was a lot of fun! I didn’t plan ahead on which tangles I used, and after I added the first two (Courant and Kathy’s Dilemma) I was not liking how things were looking and almost ditched the whole thing. But I decided to keep going, and then things began to fall in place — I really like the last five tangles I used (Gneiss, Onamato, Cyme, Zander, and Zinger), and the shading finished things off nicely.
Earlier in the day I tangled this Christmas-themed picture:
Verdigogh is one of the tangles I wanted to futz around with more and I thought it’d make a good Christmas tree, but this didn’t turn out quite like I envisioned — it’s a little too much “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” ;-). Ah, well, experimenting is part of the fun!
I haven’t abandoned Art Every Day month, but I’m futzing around with some Christmas gift ideas and don’t want to post spoilers.
I’ve also been working on organizing my Zentangle patterns/”tangles”. There are, thus far, 140 official Zentangle patterns . . . but when you add to that the tangles that are made up by folks other than the official Zentangle folks, well, that bumps up the number of tangles to at least 600 . . . although I suspect that is a very conservative estimate! (In only the month or two I’ve been doing Zentangle, I’ve seen anywhere from 8 – 12 new tangle designs pop up on the innerwebs each week.) There are A LOT of tangles to try to keep organized, and, for me, it’s an overwhelming amount of options from which to choose when working a design.
What I’ve decided to do for now is to stick with the current list of official Zentangle patterns — 140 patterns is more than enough, especially since many of them have variations. I want to get familiar enough with the official tangles that I’m able to work them without having to refer back to the “step-outs” (step-by-step instructions). That will be a particularly handy skill if I want to work on Zentangles away from home, since all I would need would be paper and something with which to draw — there’d be no need to have a reference book of any kind with me. Once I have the official Zentangle patterns down pat, then I’ll begin adding in other tangles bit by bit. I think this will allow me to build my repetoire without encountering information overload in the process!
I made up a chart in Word that is somewhat similar in format to the Tangle Patterns 2012 Tangle Guide (which I did purchase), but with slightly bigger squares. I’m drawing a thumbnail of each of the 140 Zentangle patterns — by drawing up a thumbnail myself (rather than copying them out of my copy of the Tangle Guide), I’m getting the opportunity to practice those tangles and to get familiar with them. It’s a time-consuming process, but also very much a “zen” one =). It’s not dissimilar to embroidering a free-form sampler to use as a reference, actually! It helps with muscle memory while also being relaxing.
For those of you looking for ideas of how to organize tangles, there’s a great discussion at Tangle Patterns. Lots of good tips for using electronic media, and lots of good tips if you prefer a paper-n-binder approach.
Unless I get a wild hair and draw something unrelated to either of the above two projects, it may be a bit quiet around this blog for a week or two. For those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I wish you Safe Travels if you’ll be traveling!!
Today’s artwork was inspired by how much fun our son’s participation in a youth bowling league this fall has brought to our entire family.
I used part of the youth league’s logo since I can’t freehand-draw very well (and there is a serious lack of good bowling-themed coloring book pages on the innernets).
The tangles I used are: Bales for the ball; Crescent Moon, Bushy, & Echoism for 3 of the pins (I don’t recall the name of the tangle I used on the smallest pin); and Ahh to help fill the white space around the ball and pins.
~ I did end up going to bed early last night. I read two or three pages in the “A Feast of Ice & Fire” cookbook before falling asleep with my glasses still on, the cookbook still open in my hands, and Food Network on in the background ;-). I woke myself up snoring LOL, took off my specs and set aside the cookbook, and promptly went back to sleep…with the tv still on. Then I woke five hours later, turned off the tv, and went right back to sleep. It cracks my husband and son up that I am, more and more often, falling asleep with my glasses on and a book in my hands ;-). Insomnia is very definitely a thing of the past for me!!
By the way, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and/or the medieval period in time, the cookbook I mentioned above is worth a look-see. The food styling is fantastic, and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading the snippets from the 15th century “cookery” books the authors used as a reference. George R.R. Martin writes some gorgeous food scenes in the Ice & Fire series, and this cookbook absolutely does justice to his writing. He’s written a very nice intro in the cookbook, as well.
~ When September rolls around and we’re still experiencing unrelenting heat and our grass/plants/trees/garden are all suffering because of it, it’s hard to remember that our climate allows us to also experience springtime beauty in the middle of November. Case in point:
No art today, folks.
This morning I decided to tackle some paperwork that I wanted to have completed before Thanksgiving, and ended up spending the whole day working on it. The good news is that, other than making copies and preparing address labels, I completed the project (all in one day, to boot!); the bad news is that my brain is like mush tonight because it’s out of practice of doing that kind of work for that many hours in one day ;-).
This evening I went to bowling practice with my kiddo, which I always enjoy, but once the bowling alley begins to get busy with evening leagues, I find the noise level to be very overstimulating, and I found myself feeling physically wiped out, on top of having mush-for-brain! I caught myself looking at the clock an hour ago, wondering if I could pull off crawling into bed something like four hours earlier than usual. My eyes are letting me know that as soon as I stretch out to read, they’re going to completely close and probably not open again until morning, so if I have any plans about reading “for a while,” well, it’s probably not going to actually work out that way ;-).
Ironically, I did have an idea for tonight’s art project, but I’m going to listen to my body and get a long night’s sleep. There will be time to work on art tomorrow!
In tonight’s artwork, I put some “jungle” into the “concrete jungle” ;-).
I actually started this tile yesterday — I wanted to try the Cubine tangle and decided to work it inside a circle. After I completed filling in the circle with Cubine, I had a strong dislike for it that I couldn’t shake. It reminds me too much of a skyscraper full of cubicles or apartments — and I am not, in any way shape or form, a “concrete jungle”, cubicle, or apartment kind of gal — been there, done that, on all three of ‘em and hated all three of ‘em! I just could not get the “concrete jungle” association out of my head yesterday and found myself in “stuck” mode for this tile. So I set it aside to work on another day and did a completely different project for yesterday’s post instead.
I had a lot going on today, and once the busyness of the day was done I didn’t have much brain power or oomph left to spend on today’s art project. So I grabbed my Cubine-in-a-circle tile and decided to see if I could use it tonight. I asked myself what I didn’t like about my “concrete jungle” experience, and it was the fact that when I looked out that 43rd floor window I saw nothing but buildings, cars, and streets — none of which are soothing to my eyes. So then I asked myself what I would have liked to have seen when I looked out that window, and without any hesitation my answer was “greenery!” — trees, shrubs, grass, and lots of it. And that was how I got un-stuck and turned this tile into a finished project =).
The tangles I used are Cubine (inside the circle), PopCloud (the sky), and Bushy (the “jungle”).
~ “November is Art Every Day Month” info
~ “Art Every Day Month” Flickr pool