Saturday, 27 April 2013

Earth Day

My Earth day Zentangles

The first just happened. I didn't really know where I was going with it. A friend commented that it is very botanical, likely because here in cool Alberta I really want spring. Too true!

The second was inspired partially through Helen Williams at A Little Lime because I really wanted to learn how to do a scrolled feather... and I love the pattern! This is also my first foray into including colour in Zentangle art...

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

What is Real Beauty?

I love Dove commercials. Even though I don't buy the brand, I love that they depart from the mainstream of perfection and Photoshop, and reveal people as their real selves (I worry that I'm missing some deception, but that might just be paranoia). 

See the newest Dove mini documentary on Real Beauty here. I found it thoughtful, and it reminds me that we must, we MUST! be more self- compassionate.

I'm getting a cold (yes I'm whining). Here's my next contribution to the Diva's challenge.

I used a negative star shape and learned several new tangles. I was kinda surprised when the Paradox rose out of the page after shading it! But the 3D effect is kind of fun...

I think this turned into a starfish... it has an aquatic feel.

Tangles I know I used: Bitten, Florez, Paradox, Mooka, Droplets (?), Verdigoh, Wist, Msst

Monday, 15 April 2013

Seek and ye shall find?

I was given a daily calendar for 2012 – everything geared towards gratitude. And while I agreed with the sentiments, I thought it would be mostly kitschy. Every so often though, it surprised me with quotes that caught me where it counts. Thoreau was one (you can see my surprise here) but it was Winston Churchill that hit me the hardest talking about hobbies.
“To be really happy and really safe
one ought to have at least two or three hobbies,
and they must all be real.”

Scared the willies outta me. Especially when I saw excellent science that backed up this wisdom (my post here). So I've been on the keen look-out for what might fit for me.

In late March, a friend suggested that we might put up his friend who would be taking a course here in Edmonton. Through her emails, I saw she was a CZT. After looking that up, I suggested that she could teach me something about this interesting activity. She said yes, but she doesn’t come for another week and a half. Being patient is not my strongest point … so I started looking at Zentangles and they have HOOKED me!

For years I’ve avoided doodling because it made me mad. It never turned out anything like I had in my head. Tangles are tools that allow me to get those pieces out.
Hallelujah, I have a hobby! (A second hobby, because I read very widely).

Yes, I’m a little frustrated because I don’t yet know very many tangles (“patterns”), and shading techniques seem to be less explained. But I am really enjoying all of this. The practice, even the train wrecks. I see patterns everywhere. (Oh, I saw those before, but honestly, I had nowhere to “put” them.)

I promised some promising links, as many of my friends newly introduced to my new introduction are asking questions. Someone should start a Wikipedia page, because there isn’t one yet!
While they can look complicated, Zentangles are made a stroke at a time. There is no pre-determined pattern or solution yet there are limits on the freedom, and it’s these constraints that provide potential. It’s pretty cool!

Founders Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas have a website and a blog.

There are hundreds of patterns:

There are some good books. I have purchased a couple e-books from the site, as well as “The Joy of Zentangle” from Chapters.

Lastly, I found a blogger ("the Diva") from Saskatoon. She puts out a weekly challenge – so I’ve committed to trying to submit something for that challenge weekly…  The best part is the worldwide submissions posted each week, and the creativity for each challenge is awe-inspiring.

Did I mention that the sun SHINES brighter, the grass is GREENER, and food TASTES better?  
Tangles I know I used! Papyrus, Twilight Zone, Chemystery, Sandswirl, Msst, Zinger

Friday, 12 April 2013

all boxed in

This week's challenge from the Diva is to use a box string to form patterns.

To be honest, only having started with Zentangles this at the beginning of this month, a mere 10 days ago or so, I wish I just had time to play and learn the patterns: I'd just sit and do them in order so I could practice, memorize, and get better at them!

Instead, I start by looking at the links and then finding patterns I want to learn to use.
Then, to keep it challenging, I wanted to incorporate initials of Sue and Tim, who are recently engaged. I understand that creating a tangle that has a "right side up" is not quite fitting into the rules (if you look at the first photo posted, you will see that I could turn it around and any side is "right"), but I enjoyed the challenge of working within the requirements of their initials. This one was my second try as the first was too busy. The reason it is so sepia toned is that I used an Instagram filter... and I liked it even better than the black.

I'm off tonight and will give this tangle to Sue at her "giftless" shower... No, I never WAS very good at obeying the rules!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

All tangled up

I was struck to cold immobility by a comment BrenĂ© Brown made in conversation with Oprah: “Unexpressed creativity is not benign.

After a moment I recovered movement and replayed the clip; indeed, to my horror, I’d heard correctly: “Unexpressed creativity is not benign. In fact, it metastasizes.


So much in trouble. (And oh, how I hate to be "in trouble"!)

As a little girl, I never wanted to be a singer or movie star; I dreamed of and worked towards being an artist. Everything else looked boring or difficult. Now, after years of non-artistic endeavor, I've found that being a nurse, working on research or policy is actually pretty interesting. And important. And rewarding.

A note here – early and middle adulthood is all about developing a career, building and making a home, having and raising kids – it is pretty distracting. I have continued to read, but my creativity outlet has dwindled.

I have known for years (maybe decades but that’s my inside voice) that I should (I need) find that outlet. Without descending into whining, it’s been very hard to find. I haven’t had much time to practice, so when projects have been less than stellar, that’s been another excuse – it “doesn’t look good”.

I dabble in projects here and there by building a house or planning an event, and at other times tell myself that being an appreciator of beauty in all its forms is pretty much being creative in the flesh. (Insert rude sound here). Nope. It’s not really a substitute.

A friend of a friend is staying with us in a month. She sent me some links to her blog (to be real we need to have an online presence?)… and I found something pretty darn interesting for me. Zentangles. A type of codified doodling...

I’m trying to do one every couple of days to learn the patterns. I have some projects in mind but I’m the student for now.

Here’s today's:
I have a small sense of a gentle spring rain misting down...