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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sepia Zendala

Last year, I did an art exchange with some on-line friends.  It was a lot of fun.  I was just getting into Zentangle and made tiles for each of the people that I sent stuff too.  In return, they sent things that they made back to me.  One sent a knittted hat and beautiful jewlery that she made, another sent the most adorable knitted cupcakes (which my 5 year old promptly claimed for himself.)  Since I enjoyed it so much, I proposed to do it again this year. 

I had four takers interested in doing a "creative swap" with me.  As I only had four takers, I figured that I could really have fun and make some larger zentangle inspired pieces.  My skills are better than they were a year ago (I hope.) and I saw this as a chance to give back something beautiful to friends who had sent me such wonderful things.

Mandalas and Zendalas have really been inspiring to me as of late.  I created one for an auction at my son's school and wanted to keep going.  Once again, I started with mandala design that I traced out on to watercolor paper.  My geometry skills are at a solid F so I have to rely on a shape created by someone else.  Wanting to keep with the Indian feel of the mandala, I chose to draw in sepia.  I used the micron speia pens in a 01, 05 and 1 sizes.  I did most of the drawing with the 01 and used the others for fill in and where I wanted a thicker line.

Mostly done here. Just needs some shading and a few highlights.
It took me about 3 weeks to get it all done.  In that time though, there were days when I didn't work on it at all and other days that I drew most of the day.  I finally got it all finished this morning and I am soo pleased with the finished product.  I am tempted to keep it and hang it on my own wall. 

All shaded
 As I was working, I was afraid that the many different patterns would make it too busy.  Often I want to fill in each section with something different.  Once I started shading though, the different sections started to pop out and pull back into their own spaces giving them enough seperation that I think it works.

The final size is roughly 7" and will be framed in a 12X12 frame with a 8X8" opening.

Tangle Pattern: Whistler

As promised, here are the steps to my newest tangle Whistler.  This is really quite similar to other patterns out there.  Whistler is really easy.  I just sort of scribble in the oval shapes in the squares but if you are so inclined, you can always draw in your shape and then fill it in.

I named this for James Whistler, the artist of the Peacock Room.  This room is chock a-block full of patterns.  This little detail was on one of the book shelves, carved into the wood. 

I hope that you like this one.  I think that it will be a great one for a background or to fill a larger space. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Moebius Trip - Challenge 55

Has it been 55 challenges already? I started late in this journey but it sure doesn't seem like 55 should be where we are.  I guess time flies when you are having fun.

This week we were challenged to tangle a mobius strip or to make a tile including the Moebius Syndrome Foundation's logo.  This was to honor/raise awareness of The Diva's young son Artoo who has Moebius syndrome.  You can read more about the challenge, syndrome, The Diva and Artoo on her blog.

I wasn't up to the challenge of making a mobius strip althought that would be pretty cool.  Time was not on my side so I went with the logo.  I used paradox in the white space of the strip to keep with the whole infinity thing.  After I got that done though, I was unsure where to go next.  Then I decided to use Artoo (the tangle) because, well, it is all about Artoo isn't it?  :)  I used the purple gel pen from last week to color in the petals.  I didn't get exact with the color either.  I wanted it to have some character.  Then, I added bales to the background.  I was going to add more tangles but I changed my mind, as I wanted the logo and Artoo to stand out.  They are the main/important parts here after all.  I kept shading to a minimum as well for the same reason.

I wish the best for The Diva, Artoo and their family.  They face challenges every day that many people would run from and beat them down as the go.  I admire that.  Go on Artoo! Grow big and grow strong!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Study in Purple

This week the Diva gave us the challenge to use purple in our tangle.  I went on and used all purple in this one.  I have several purple pens and wanted to explore with those a bit.  I used a purple Micron size 01, a Pentel Sunburst metallic gel pen and a Bic Mark It ultra fine point marker.  The micron works the same and as well as the black pens that we all use.  The ink is dark though.  You know it's purple, but I think I would like a lighter color if I was going to use it a lot.  The Pentel is a nice pen.  The point is not fine, it's medium.  The sparkle of the metallic is nice and I hope that you'll be able to see it in the photos.  The Bic was just used a little as it bleeds a bit.  I used a note card for this challenge.  It started as a trial and I just went with it.

This challenge became a chance for me to explore the ink more than the color.  I wanted to see how the inks behaved and worked together.  I really ended up exploring patterns as well.  The light purple is the Pentel and the Bic is in the lower left corner with the Pentel over the top.

There in the lower center is a new tangle that I've decided to call Whistler after James Whistler.  I saw this pattern in the Peacock room.  The peace sign looking one is another new one that has no name yet.  I'm working it out and once I think of a name I'll get the steps done and posted along with Whistler.  Any suggestions on a name?

This was a fun challenge.  I think the purple and the different pens allowed me to be a bit more free than I usually am.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Undine - Challenge # 53

A New Year and the Diva's challenge has returned!  I woke on Monday to find not only a new challenge but a new tangle as well.  I have to say that I am really intrigued by the new pattern Undine.  It looks so complicated but it is so easy to create.  Well, for me easy is still a work in progress as my Xs were not evenly spaced or numbered but oh well.... :)

I look at Undine and can see all the possibility in the tangle.  I didn't experiment with shading this one as I made it on the small side.  I think that if I remember to make it bigger next time though, I can find some room in there for shade.  As it is, I added a black oval in the center to give it a little more detail.  I think it looks like cells under a microscope.  I'll definitely keep this in mind when doing something nature or science themed.

I made up a little tangle there on the right bottom.  I think anyway.  I'll have to explore and see if there is one like it already.  It's based on a pattern I saw in the Peacock Room in Washington, DC.  I need to work on it a bit more as well as it isn't quite how I'd like it to be.
This is a short post today.  I am working on a sepia zendala and I can't wait to get more done!  Have a great day!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Time Lord Tangle

Another blog post, another gift!  This, as the title may imply is a Dr. Who inspired tangle.  I have a very dear friend that is a big Dr. Who fan.  She has turned me into a fan as well.  I'm not as versed on the lore as she is so I was walking a bit in the dark with this one.  I kept checking my self though so I hope that I didn't get anything wrong.

The symbol in the middle is the Gallifreyan symbol for either Gallifrey or the symbol for the head of the Time Lords.  (For anyone who doesn't know, Gallifrey is the planet that Dr. Who comes from.)  I found several different notes on the internet as to what it is exactly.

The language of the Time Lord is most often shown as being circular.  It is quite steampunk looking and really cool.  Because of the circular language, I decided to use a lot of circular patterns as well as other patterns that look "spacey".
After I got Rain done and took a look from a far I was so excited that it reminded me of bow ties.  The angle that I made the triangles look like bows to me which is great because the current Dr. often wears a bow tie. (Bow Ties are cool!)

I hid a TARDIS (Dr.Who's ship) up in the top with Strircles. You can't have the Dr. without his TARDIS so I wanted it to be there but to blend in as it were.  :)

Over on the right side, I wanted to further involve the TARDIS but from the inside.  In many versions of the TARDIS, there are the great panels on the sides of the wall that have circles in them.  So I created a pattern to call this to mind. My 11 year old says that it reminds him of the Daleks body (the villains in many an episode).  I confess that it does a bit so I guess this pattern will have to pull double duty.
To frame the finished piece, it is 10X10 (I think.) I picked out some scrapbook paper in "TARDIS Blue", mounted the drawing, and then put it all in a 12X12 frame. 

I am happy to report that Kara got it all in one piece and is quite happy with it as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Quadrifoglio Zendala

Hello everyone!  Happy New Year!  I hope that the holidays were good and restful to you all.  Things were pretty busy for me up until Christmas but after the 25th, things got back to normal and I could relax a bit.

In the middle of all the Christmas preparations, I found a note in my sons backpack asking for silent auction donations for his school.  I love his school for many reasons.  One is that they do a fantastic job teaching and nurturing the children.  The other is that they don't do fund raisers.  I hate fundraisers.  I know that they can be a necessary evil but they can be a drag.  That look in your coworkers eye when you approach them with a sign up sheet often resembles a deer caught in the head lights.  The school has found many creative ways to raise money for the school and I love them for it.  This year the head of the PTA is going to try out a silent auction at the yearly spaghetti dinner.  When I got the note, I wondered what we could do to help.  Naturally I thought of making a zentangle or zentangle inspired art right away.  A few emails later, and I was officially making art for the auction.

At first I had thought that I would make a Valentine's Day inspired piece as the auction is just a few days before.  After talking it out and thinking it over, I was concerned that Valentine's Day theme might limit interest.  I have been interested in zendalas lately so I figured that I would give one a try.

In looking for a pattern to use I came across Laser Forge Designs and their beautiful designs. I ended up using the Quadrifoglio pattern for my starting place.  After staring at the traced out design for a while, I decided to just pick a pattern and get started. 
Approximately 7" on watercolor paper using 0.1 and .005 Micron pens with pencil shading.
I wasn't sure at first how many patterns I should use as I didn't want to get too busy.  I kept Cadent and Bales basic to start.  I figured that I could always go back and add some variation once I was done.  I was doodling a copy of the pattern and found that Shattuck made a nice pattern when done "in the round" as it were.  After that I looked for other patterns that would come out the same.  Purk was a natural for the shape and Sanibelle is just beautiful here (I think.)  The fourth presented a problem so I kind of made up a design.  I added Arc Flower, Tipple, and Scoodle to the little sections at the edge.  After I got the shading done, the whole piece felt unfinished so I went back and added variations to Bales and Cadent.  I also thickened up a few lines to make them pop out more.

I have it all framed up and will deliver it soon.  Here is the piece framed.  Sorry that the photo is a little awkward but photographing the stuff framed is not easy.

12X12" framed with 8X8" opening.