In the last few weeks many people have been impacted by Hurricanes. So many of the Zentangle family have been impacted either by flooding by Harvey, or experienced catastrophic losses because of Irma. Still more will be impacted as Maria churns once again across the Caribbean. While I and others waited to hear that members of the Zentangle community were safe, many of us began to make " heartzen" tiles, while thinking of friends impacted. One of my friends loves to use gelly roll pens top make beautiful colorful art. Thinking of her I pulled out my own gelly rolls. I had intended to make flowers, but the image of the churning rotation overcame the tile.
We now know that all of our Zentangle family is safe.
It is possible to place a letter iin a tile such that it is difficult to see, because of all the tangles around it. This tile holds an embedded "S". I used the two ends of the "S" as an infinity point. Lines radiated out from that point.
The piece was shaded with graphitints and water color pencils. The deep shading between the rolls radiating out from the infinity point was made with a soft 9B pencil, which was softened with a tortillion. The result is as swirly as the "S".
Tripoli is one of my favorite tangles. There are many ways to begin this versatile tangle. It consists of three lines joined together to make a triangle. Once the first triangle is made, all you do is aura one of the lines that made up the triangle and complete a second triangle. you continue to aura one line of the triangle for the first leg of the next.. Simple, but the results can be stunning. This is a mono-tangle of Tripoli.
Once the triangles had been completed, I took each one and made aline from the center to each of the corner. basically turning each triangle into three triangles. To shade the tangle, I used a 4B pencil to shade the bottom triangle of each set of three. A 4B is a very dark and soft pencil, One side was shaded with a 5H pencil. A 5 H is one of the hardest pencils and makes a very light shade color.. The final side was stroked with a tortillon that had already been loaded with graphite. The result made the triangles look 3D. Some of them receding into the tile like indentations, and others bulging out of the tile.
Sometimes when you begin a tile, you may start the tile in a way that you are less than pleased with. You may have made a mistake in your eyes in the tangle you were doing at the time. I say mistake in your eyes, because as we all know, there are no mistakes in the Zentangle Method. I don't know about other tanglers, but I have a basket where I throw my less than stellar starts, in the hope that I will be inspired at a later date to finish them. Recently I was reading a blog post on Zentangle.com by Molly Hollibaugh. She was giiving a technique of her which was, " When in doubt - Aura" After reading the blog post, I fished out one of my not so happy with tiles, and finally managed to finish it.
Here I started with the crescent moon. Even though this is a beginning and basic tangle, sometimes I struggle to make the aura lines even. This was the case with this tile. Not happy withe the crescent moon I threw it into the basket. The next iteration added ovy and a barber pole to one side of the crescent moon, and a line of orbs on the other. Once again the tile ended up in the basket. After a read about " when in doubt aura" I pulled this tile again. Adding flux, instead of my usual printemps or orbs inside, I started to aura each flux until it touched the next one. Ina pod is also and aura tangle, as is striping\. Both of those were added into the tile. Some angular showgirl also with auras finished the tile. Now I was happy with the result. Sometimes just have to wait for the right inspiration to finish them.
The are many techniques for rescuing tiles. They include" When in doubt aura", cover the part you dislike with a Bronx Cheer, or black it out completely and re tangle in white. Maria Thomas has on occasion cut out the offending part, and then pasted another tile underneath. Often you cannot tell where one tile ends and the one beneath starts, and the cut out part is so cleverly done.
So if you find a tile that you are struggling to finish or you are not happy with it, throw it into a basket, and wait. Eventually the tile will tell you what to do next.
Petosky stones are both stones and fossils of rugose coral. The stones were formed as a result of glaciation, and are mostly found In Michigan. It is the state stone of Michigan.
You can see the hexagonal coral fossils when the stones are polished.
Jane Reiter, who lives in Michigan was a guest contributor to the weekly challenge at I am the Diva.
She asted us to use the idea of the stones to tangle a tile.
I started with a hexagonal grid, which neatly divided into six triangles. To make the radiating kines I used an 08 pen make the hexagons, then turned each hexagon into the tangle Gneiss.. As I made gneiss in each hexagon, it made more of them in between. The tile looks like a fragment, though it began as a radiating gneiss.
In chapter 7 of the Zentangle Primer, there is a chapter on how to use reticula and fragments to make unique tiles. Often even though the fragment is the same, by mirroring it, or reversing it, different meta patterns can emerge . All of the reticula have an R- letter and number running from R-A1 to R-L3 Each reticula is different, ranging from regular grids, to triangular and circle patterns.
For my tile I chose R-C 1 which has a holibaugh type grid in one direction and a regular grid in the other. Both sets of lines are on the diagonal. I chose a rectangular fragment Y 1 with a hibred tangle in one corner.
I reversed and mirrored the fragment to create rectangles.
Sometimes it can be difficult to keep the fragment the right way up on each of the grid squares. A lot of concentration and focus initially, but once the fragment is undeway, the process becomes a zen like meditation.
The tile is R-C 1 Y1
On occasions I can start a tile, and not be happy with how it is turning out. I never pitch tiles like this, but I have a bag into which I hide them. I was reading the blog on the Zentangle website. Molly Hollibaugh was describing the technique of aura. She noted that "When in doubt aura". One of those tiles that had been hidden in the bag for, maybe 6 months, suddenly cried out to be finished.
I had begun with a crescent moon and a line of little circles, then I was stumped as to how to continue. So "When in doubt Aura".. and the tile came back to life.
Last Friday, I got together with my good friend Tammie Jo Renfro CZT, for an afternoon of tangling together. We had been looking at tangles we hadn't done before. One of these was Zonked by Barbara Finwell. The pattern has the look of a fragment in a triangular reticula. When the pattern is completed as a mono-tangle, which means it is the only pattern on the tile, a rather interesting grid meta pattern emerges. The completed tile is somewhat hypnotic which is also fun.
I have been working on the last of the tiles people sent to me in July. The theme for July was lollipops. It was suggested that printemps might be a good tangle to represent lollipops. I received tiles from Germany, Texas and Canada. Some of the tiles were beautifully water colored. Here are the original tiles.
As you can see they were all beautifully drawn and colored. Sometimes I find myself intimidated, to finish tiles that are so beautiful. I worry that my choice of tangles might mot complement the tile, or that the originator of the tile might not like the way I finished it. The voice of self doubt. Then I remember that in the Zentangle® Method, there are no mistakes, only opportunities. With this in mind, I find myself more confident to complete the tiles. Here are my finishes to each of the tiles.
I needn't have worried, each person loved the way the tile had turned out. I felt some pride in the finishes, and I have tiles from from Zen friends around the world in my collection.
A while ago I downloaded several e-boooks from acclaimed artist and CZT Eni Oken. She talks about how to organize the many patterns that we collect over time. There are so many tangles out there. The original tangles developed and deconstructed by Maria Thomas, but there are hundreds,maybe even thousands more. I am sure many CZT's and novice tangles, scour the internet to see the possibilities. Even on the Zentangle Mosaic App there are endless possibilities.
I will admit that I have been guilty of doing this, printing pages of step-outs and putting them in a large binder. Eventually this became unwieldy, but more than that, I really didn't know how to draw all these tangles.
I have begun a new method. Instead of printing out a million tangles, I look at the tangle I like on my iPad. Using a step out template, acquired from Acadia Laser Creations on Etsy, the size of a regular index card.
Once you have made your own step-out card, the line by line drawing of the tangle has been done many times. I note the name of the tangle. I feel that it is only courtesy to acknowledge the CZT whose creativity and generous sharing has allowed me to find the tangle. I also note the type of tangle it can be.
Very often that means that you can draw the tangle really well. On other occasions the step out is more complicated and much more practice is required. In that case I often use a sketch book to practice. Sometimes, however, I search to find a video of how to draw the tangle. Melinda Barlow who authored this tangle has many wonderful video lessons on U tube to help you to draw the tangles. Sometimes just watching someone else draw the tangle is all you need.
Once I feel I can do the tangle competently I create a bijou tile of the tangle.
I keep the bijou tiles in coin pouches into which they fit perfectly.
When I go to teach a class, I can decide which tangles I want to teach, and take the step out card and the bijou. Then on the document camera I can demonstrate the tangle using my step out. The bijou gives students an idea of how the completed tangle can look.. On the back of my step out card I often detail other ideas of how the tangle could be done. So much easier than a sketch book or binder to carry around with me. As at any class, only a few tangles are taught at a time.
As you can see I am slowly making alphabet cards to go at the top of each page. A-C done so far, I guess "D" is next.
I have been tangling since 2015. I found out about Zentangle from a colleague who had taken a class. Unfortunately, the person with whom they took the class, lived a considerable distance from me. Searching the Zentangle Website I found a Certified Zentangle Teacher much closer to me. After classes with her, for the best part of a year. She showed me that this was an art form I could feel comfortable with and find the creativity that I didn't think was there. The rest they say is history. In April 2017, I traveled to Providence RI to attend the training to become a certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). I am privileged to be CZT 26.