Posted in Draw, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday Kick-off Week!: July 28-30th

Welcome back to my Flashback Friday Kick-off Week!

Now we are starting to get into the heart of my journal with the very start of my year – my birthday!ArtJournal 3 The first entry highlights in an abstract way the elated feelings I have around my birthday. The drawing technique is a Zentangle inspired pattern “Tumbleweed” brought to you by my favorite artist Helen Williams from ‘a little lime‘ blog site. The drawing was colored using my favorite medium from Derwent – Inktense blocks and pencils!

ArtJournal 4My second journal entry for July 30th is also inspired by Helen’s amazing artwork is my version of her patterned flower found in her ebook “Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String“. Her book is amazing with very clear instructions on how to re-create the drawings within her book which also includes links to step-by-step videos.

While both entries are from inspirations rather than original artwork. They both allowed be to break the “blank page syndrome” that plagues the start of my journals. In general the journal is more about exploration of different techniques and found inspiration then trying to capture something original on my pages. This way I stop procrastinating and just practice having fun creating art. That is what art is all about – having fun!

Thanks for stopping by! Until tomorrow…

 

Posted in Updates

Still Here

imageI find it ironic that every couple of months I fall off the face of the planet only come back to apologize and vow never do it again. LOL

Life is never that simple.

I realize this is one of my longest breaks ever since starting this blog and I feel bad that I have not been true to myself. Being true to myself means I realize how much I actually get out of blogging. It’s not about sharing my artwork or my little journeys. It’s about taking the time to write. It’s therapeutic in a way that I can’t get from anything else in my life. Including creating art.

My absence is mostly due to the break-in that happened to us in early November. While I am very grateful we didn’t lose everything, we did lose one thing that was very important to us – our computer. It may not seem like much, but I stored everything on there- photos, memories, writings, my art. The thief took all of it. We had no back up, the only the things we still have is what we shared online.

I hate the fact that we were violated this way and had our lives turned upside down for a period of time. But that is how it goes sometimes. We have to cry, get mad, get over it and move on. I will admit, I pouted over our loss for quite some time. I didn’t want to have anything to do with any computer; including blogging. But I realize now, how much I miss it. I started finally blogging yesterday on my knitting-spinning blog. And you know what? It felt really good to start sharing again. So good in fact that I wanted to start blogging on my art blog too.

So here I am finally, ready to post and share again. Life moves on and I am still here.

Posted in Pen & Ink

Black Hills Majesty, Part 1

image

It’s been over 2 months since my trip to South Dakota in May and it still feels like yesterday when we were exploring those majestic Black Hills.

My husband and I traversed three states and close to 1,000 miles to experience the beauty of South Dakota’s most alluring area. Clean air, fresh pines surrounded our little cabin in Keystone, SD. We explored the hills to our hearts content and relaxed our evenings away enjoying stunning sunsets and beheld the eerie mists that rolled through the pines at night.

Our tour of the area included kayaking on Sylvan Lake, taking the wildlife loop through Custer State Park and driving through the wondrous Badlands. It was a trip I will never forget.

Our trip incorporated plenty of down-time where I could take a moment or two to draw or knit. I ended up knitting two sets of socks and three tangled tiles. Here are some photographic highlights taken during the course of the trip:

Stayed tuned tomorrow as I unveil day two’s tile with more commentary and photos of our adventure through South Dakota!

Tangles Used: Flux, Betweed, Tat, Fescu

 

 

Posted in Draw, One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Forty Two, Creation Forty Two

20140709-203211-73931575.jpg

The day has finally arrived! I final got off the procrastination bus and completed the last drawing for my self imposed challenge “One Zentangle a Day” from the book by Beckah Krahula!

I knew going in that I would not be able to truly complete this task in six weeks, but little did I know that it would almost take me over a year!

My life took many twists and turns along the way from work stresses, to distractions to beloved family members passing away. Each tangle I completed was like a little bookmark in my life. I will treasure each one always.

For this last day’s challenge the author asked us to make a simple line drawing and combine it with the tangles we learned throughout the book otherwise known as a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art).

I finally sat down this evening and started drawing some traditional pen & ink petunia flowers and added some of my favorite tangles like “Fescu” and “Tat”. I took a very free-flowing approach to this drawing. It was nice to finally take the time to start and complete this drawing in one evening.

I don’t know why I kept putting this off for so long…

Now that I completed this challenge what is next for this little artist? I can tell you one thing, it won’t be another challenge any time soon.

I think I will take the time now to explore other avenues. Why not take the time to learn some more tangles, create new ones or simply have fun filling in my visual journal. After all, I started this blog to chronicle my art journey. Not for profit, not for notoriety, but just simply to relax and enjoy the process!

Now that I am back, stay tuned as I will post the tangles I created during my South Dakota trip.

Until next post 🙂

Posted in Journal, Updates

Quick Update and a promise…

Okay readers. Enough is enough. I need to stop knitting and start creating more art!

I know I am tough on myself, and I logically know I have been truly up to my ears in knitting projects since April. I just haven’t made my other passion important enough. If you are curious about what I have been doing since April, feel free to visit  my other blog dnknits.wordpress.com.

A couple of posts ago, I alluded to needing more balance between my two passions so the moment has finally arrived… my vacation starts tomorrow!

Yeah!

This may be a lofty goal during my vacation, but I really want to get back to finishing the last day of my One Zentangle a Day challenge that I keep  putting off, creating more Zentangle tiles…daily, and draw more in my visual journal. Lofty again, I know…

So it is my hope that this vacation brings relaxation and art focus back into my life. It is a great time to re-charge my batteries and reflect what is truly important in life.

So before I go, I wanted to leave you with the one and only journal entry I have made since April…

image

Until next post…

 

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Forty One, Creation Forty One

imageOne more day to go and I will be finished at last with my One Zentangle a Day challenge!

Today’s task asked to incorporate traditional folk symbols and use them as tangles.  I gave this challenge a lot of thought and research (hence the delay in posting this challenge) and decided that I would honor my Native American Heritage by selecting traditional Native American symbols into my tile.

With all the recent loss that I experienced this past year, I choose symbols that represented the Native American view of our life cycle. Life, Death, Wind, Passage of Time and the Great Spirit. To complement this tile I found a Native American quote that spoke to my heart and expresses how I am coping with my recent losses:

“The wind that gave me my first breath gave me my last sigh…”

They symbols I chose to represent this quote perfectly. I picked some basic tangles like Tipple and Florz to fill in the tile without taking anything away from the Native American symbols.

The tile itself was treated to a sepia watercolor wash to give it an old rustic feeling. I mixed both black and sepia toned ink for the symbols and tangles to bring both contrast and beauty to the tile.

Overall this was an emotional tile for me to create and hope you like the final result.

Until next post…

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Forty, Creation Forty

image

Okay gang! I finally made it to day forty! This little milestone is marks nearly the end of my 42 day journey from the book One Zentangle a Day. I definitely did not create a tile every single day, but I have for the most part drawn every day since starting this quest. The in between days of my journey have been filled with learning new tangles and created many practice journal pages. I also overcame many life-altering obstacles include home responsibilities, work stress and loss of loved ones.

Through it all, I have continued on this little voyage to make it to the end of the book. I am almost there.

Today’s challenge asked me to create a tile using letters as strings. How fun! As a refresher, a ‘string’ is lightly pencil-drawn intersecting shape, usually abstract, that you use as a guide to fill in with tangles. Letters are most definitely not abstract, so this creates a very different feeling when creating a tile.

I wanted to have an inspired short saying for my tile. After a brief search on the internet, I settled on the phrase “Be Happy”. After all, an overwhelming number of people, including myself, strive to make this their number one goal in life.

I filled in each letter with some favorite tangles like Tipple, Nekton, Zander, Knightsbridge and Printemps. To complete this tile, I wanted to add a simple but fun tangled border. I was recently asked to check out a cool tangle called “Riki Tiki” that was created by follow tangler Renee King . This is fantastic geometric style tangle that was a perfect complement to this tile. This tangle was very easy to learn and was fun to use. I encourage you to try this tangle yourself. The steps to create Riki Tiki can be found on TanglePatterns.com which is a great resource for everyone that tangles their days away!

As you can see, color was a must for this tile. I used colored Sakura ink pens and created color shading with my favorite Derwent Inktense pencils. For a final touch I used my new TomBow markers to add a splash of yellow with a blender marker. Overall, I liked working with letters, but I can tell I could more practice in experimenting with different style fonts and tangles. Perhaps I will try another lettered tile in the future, but for now, I need to make it to the last day of this journey.

Until next post…

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Thirty Nine, Creation Thirty Nine

imageOkay so today has been totally awesome! I discovered that my very first tangle I created, Lazy Eights, was published today on TanglePatterns.com! How great is that!? I have received great feedback so far and became totally pumped up!

Then I became totally guilty. Yikes! I haven’t published anything in a couple of weeks and now I have new followers. Oh the shame!

Blame procrastination. Blame lack of responsibility. Blame life. However, in my defense, I was putting off working on this day’s challenge for a couple of reasons. Day Thirty Nine’s challenge was drawing texture on a unique medium – mica sheets. Mica is an iridescent mineral that can be found in paper-like sheets. However, Mica doesn’t grow on trees around these parts and I was not going to pay for shipping on something I would probably only use once.

That’s where the procrastination part of this challenge set in. No mica, no inspiration. I needed to actually use my brain outside of the office and come up with something creative to work around this challenge. Today was the motivator I needed to get out of my procrastination slump! So fresh off my publishing high, I headed for my little art room upstairs and set to work.

I re-looked at day thirty nine’s challenge and focused on the word “texture”. “Hell, I can create texture with some paints and tools I have lying around up here!”, I thought to myself. So out came my paints, gels and mat-boards. I cut small tile out of mat-board and then set adding acrylic gel medium liberally over the top of it. Since I am still pining for spring, I choose to add bright green and orange paints as my colors of choice. Since I was going for texture, I used “a lot” of paint. Once I was satisfied with the blending of the colors, and while wet, I took out my new embossing tool and scratched tangles right through the paint! I was careful to keep wiping the excess paint off my embossing tool as I went along. I choose very simple tangles like Flux, Mooka, and Shattuck.

The idea to scratch through the paint was inspired by the ceramic art technique of ‘Sgraffito’ I learned in college. The technique uses two contrasting tinted clay slip added in layers on an unfinished ceramic surface. When you scratch through the top layer of the tinted slip the second contrasting color comes through creating a textured design. In the case of my tile, I let the white be the contrasting color that popped through the paint. Here you can see from an angle the texture this technique creates.

image

I had great fun in creating this little tile and was glad to find a creative way to work through this day’s challenge. I think I am ready to finish the remaining days I have left in this challenge. Just four more days left!

To all you fellow tanglers out there, thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for inspiring me to create today’s tile. Feel free to try this technique on your next tangle adventure and let me know how it comes out!

Until next post…

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Thirty Eight, Creation Thirty Eight

imageCool! Now I get to add bag designer to my art resume! As you can tell, today’s creation involved tangling on fabric. Similar to yesterday’s post, this creation required a little forethought before diving in.

First off, I needed some fabric to tangle on, so I headed over to my local craft store to scope out what my choices were. I landed on a cute basic white canvas bag which I thought would be perfect to tangle on. Second, I needed something that would easily draw onto the fabric and also be washable. After looking around the fabric section, I picked out a black permanent marker that was design to go right onto the fabric. How awesome is that? Now I was ready to roll!

Now here is where the risky part came in. Now that I had my choice of fabric and the means to draw on it, the hardest part is deciding to begin. What if I screw it up? What if my cool new marker leaks all over the place and ruins the project?

The what–if’s definitely can freeze you in your tracks, but I know I wanted to complete this challenge so I foraged ahead despite my worries. So, I literally had a blank canvas before me and decided what the hell did I have to lose. I went for it!

Without any pencil string or anything to guide me, I drew some familiar tangles free-hand right onto the fabric. I let my hand and my heart be my guide as I drew each pattern. Without any real forethought, I began using very organic style tangles and ended up with a very floral like pattern on my bag. I started with “Tat” with other Tat tangleations and added “Flux” “Scoodle” “Sedgling” to the mix.

Overall, I loved how my little bag came out. I am super glad I got over my worries and just went with it. Now it’s time to move onto the next challenge.

I wonder what it will be?…

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Thirty Seven, Creation Thirty Seven

image

I will say up front starting from day thirty six, and including today’s creation, that all of these current challenges required some minor research and purchasing some materials. With that said, what an awesome challenge this was!

Day Thirty Seven’s challenge asked us to gather some material together to create a mono Zentangle print. Now I will admit, I was put-off from this challenge because of the suggested method and materials required to create a mono print. I knew there were easier methods out there back from my college days, so I took at brief cruise around the internet to find the perfect method for me.

I stumbled across a mono printing demo from Derwent Pencils using their awesome Inktense blocks. After watching the brief demo, I was immediately hooked on the method. The demo they showed was using their Print Making set, but unfortunately all the art stores around me were sold out of the kit. To work around this problem, I took another look at what was in their kit and found that I could replicate most everything in the kit with what I had at home. Here is a list of supplies I gathered:

1. Gray Foam Craft Sheet
2. Set of Inktense Blocks
3. Embossing tool
4. Brayer
5. Water bottle spritzer

image

Since I knew I would be printing on 3.5″ square tiles, I made sure I cut down my gray foam sheet into a 3″ square. With my embossing tool, I drew a simple tangle patterns using a new tangle called “Warmth” and an old standby “Florz”. Mono printing requires you to use very simple design, so I kept to just two tangles for this creation.

The rest of the process is very similar to the one you see in this Derwent Pencils demo:

This was such a great experience that I am totally in love with process. After creating my first print, I still had so much color still left on the gray foam block that I was able to reprint two more tiles:

image

image

As you can see, each tile is different from the next one. I guess that is what I love most about this process. You just don’t know what you will get once you remove paper from your printing block. I had some much fun with this process and this was incredibly easy to do. I may post a video tutorial in the near future on my exact process, but I hope I explained this well enough that you can try this method for yourselves.

Well, it’s time to go for now. I hope you enjoyed this post and mini tutorial.

Until next tomorrow…

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Thirty Six, Creation Thirty Six

image

Just seven days left in my One Zentangle a Day self-imposed challenge and what a trip it has been so far! I can’t believe I have completed Thirty-six tiles and almost just as many practice journal entries. It has been great to go back and review all the tiles I have made over the past couple of months. It has been an amazing journey.

This section of the book from “One Zentangle a Day” explores all the creative ways you can continue your Zentangle journey and day thirty six marks the first day of this creative exploration. Today’s tile(s) explores the possibilities of creating “Ensembles”. Ensembles is simply a group of tiles placed together like a puzzle to create one larger Zentangle tile. Traditional ensembles uses nine tiles, however my approach to creating my ensemble was to limit it to just four tiles placed side-by-side.

To start, I used temporary glue dots under each tile and placed them side-by-side to keep from moving around too much as I drew ‘string’ across all the tiles. I then proceeded to fill each area of the individual areas of all the tiles and was careful to carry tangle patterns over to the next tile. In selecting my tangles, I was encouraged by the book to use two somewhat new tangles “Zander” and “Stickers”. Stickers was an entirely new tangle for me to learn, but Zander was something that I used in the past when I first began tangling. Since this was my first ensemble group, I wanted to keep the accompanying tangles I used to be very simple. I choose easy tangles like Knightsbridge, Holibough and Isochor to fill in the larger areas and filled in smaller areas with Tipple. To finish, I took the most time to shade each area to give illusion of depth and character.

At the end, I was very excited to put all of my tiles together to complete this Zentangle ensemble art puzzle. I loved the final result and this technique of creating “Ensembles” will definitely add to the many different ways I can create Zentangle artwork.

Until next post…

Posted in One Zentangle A Day, Pen & Ink

Day Thirty Five, Creation Thirty Five

image

What an awesome Zendala challenge this was! The last two Zendala creations focused on two very different template styles. The first one had an organic style and the second one was very geometric in nature. Today’s creation  incorporated both organic curves and geometric shapes for one awesome combination.

To start this tile, I knew I wanted to use color, so I brought out my relatively new Gelly Roll Sakura pens and started tangling away. I began with a favorite tangle call Isochor and added Tipple to the smaller open areas. I then used my absolute favorite tangle Betweed for the center area. For shading I used my Derwent Inktense pencils and added water to each area to awaken the ink.

The colors I choose was in hopes that spring is around the corner and that this perpetual winter will soon end. I encourage you to create your own creation in honor of spring. Together we will put an end to winter! YAH!

Until next post…