Mandala for Spring???

Today we got more snow hopefully the last before Springs arrival, so to welcome the season I played with a mandala. Spring is in the air, I hope. This is definitely not a precision rendition of a mandala but like spring it grows and changes. I did the outer border as lace, not a perfect circle but that's okay with me. I need to get a compass so I can draw a perfect circle with my wee little crafty fingers!

This tangle also addresses Challenge #10 - The Space Between. My white spaces are filled with shadow but they are there.

AAAAAAhhh Dang Winter!!!!

Okay, It's time to rant and rave against the great mean winter of  Michigan!!!! My friend Jeanne and I were scheduled to fly out this morning at 6:40am - off to Whitinville, MA for the CZT training, but winter had other ideas!! We in Michigan got the big snow dump starting Sunday afternoon. Over 10 inches. We had been holding our breath as the training got closer hoping winter would let us be, but NOOOOO! Our flight was cancelled and when I called at 2am this morning to see when the next available flight would be, I was informed everything was booked until Wednesday night. I know it's nothing personal, but we were both so ready for this wonderful experience, now we have to wait till May, Grrrrrr! 

The good news is... Maria was able to get us into the May CZT training. It's a weekend training that is booked but at least we were able to be added. Look at the things to be grateful for. Spring is almost here, I won't say we can't get more snow, and we're all safe and sound. I will miss meeting all the wonderful people face to face that I've only experienced online. I'm sure it's going to be a great adventure for all involved.

So to make my self feel better (I've been up since 2am trying to get a flight fixed), I started tangling. The Diva's challenge this week is #10. I can hardly believe its going by so quickly.
So, Challenge #10 "The Space Between" create a tile or Zentangle inspired piece being aware of the space between the tangles, leaving some white space.

I love white space but I tend to fluctuate between leaving a lot of open area, on one hand, or not knowing or acknowledging when enough is enough. That's how I roll. Once I start on a tangle it's hard to stop. Each little open space screams to be filled with another lovely pattern, dot, swirl, dohickey... That is one of the most wonderful things about the process, I can let "my cup runneth over" and it's appreciated! At Christmas time, over doing it on decorating is the rule rather than the exception, the same can be said of many of my Zentangle creations. How fun to get that same rush all during the year! Thanks Zentangle.

As I said, I do have a fondness for white space, so I found this challenge enjoyable. In any drawing the suggested space can be the most effective. Seeing only part of a hand - the viewer completes the image. The same can be said for this challenge. Let the viewer breath and appreciate the white space and the unseen parts of the patterns. Remember, I haven't had much sleep so this may not seem as profound once I get a nap!

This does resemble and angry snail but I do like how it turned out. I may do more since I won't be bogged down in a wonderful CZT class - sniff, sniff.  Waaaaa!

Challenge #9 - Artoo

This weeks #9 weekly DIVA challenge asks us to use her new pattern called "Artoo", of course. She developed this pattern while in the hospital with her little guy who is now on the mend and safe and sound at home. It was great to see his little face posted on her blog.

Laura's new tangle just screams for tangleation which, I think, means it's a great pattern. We can all take it and make it into our own formation. Very fun pattern to do and it lends itself beautifully to the "relax, smile, and breathe" of the Zentangle process.

This is my first rendition of this challenge. I was inspired by the little child gates we put up to protect toddlers. I've been helping a friend out at her child care and have become very familiar with these barriers. Artoo is breaking free of the fences that have been keeping him confined; casts, hospitals, breathing problems... The gate/fence is lovely and delicate to look at but it's still confining. You go Artoo - Spring will be here soon when you can wiggle those sweet little toes in fresh mud created after a warm, gentle rain!

This second version is a little more stylized. This version of Artoo looks like sleepy, heavy lidded eyes overseeing the little ones while a sea of Printtemps dance whistfully by.

More Tangling...

I was noodling (shopping without purchasing) on Etsy and came across a kool flower stamp that had a weird android look to it. Very fabric print looking so I used it for a pattern. Very fun design. I have also received much inspiration while checking out all the participants blogs on the DIVA challenge over the past 8 weeks. Both of these events combined to inspire this tangle. I like how it turned out, especially the shading. I let the pencil strokes show on much of it and I like the result.

Thanks to the community of tanglers for all the inspiration and enjoyable hours spent reading the great blogs and viewing all the amazing creativity.

On the Mend!

This tangle began as a birthday card for my friend ,Sharrie, her birthday was in January. She got sick on her big day so I didn't get to celebrate with her. I created this tangle for her big day but as things go, we didn't get together. Then I heard from her this past week and she was in the hospital and had been for two days so this Birthday Tangle became a Get Well Tangle. So I guess I'll call it On the Mend! It did bring a smile to her face and she is out and feeling better, so this Zentangle did it's job, just not on the day I expected to share it.

Glad your feeling better Sharrie.

I incorporated echoism, up and down, a modified vortex, munchin, shattuck, zig zag, onomoto (sort of), and hybrid . I do like the way it turned out. No shading just the straight forward black and white.

Challenge Week #8 - Use two previous challenges together to create a heart

Sorry about the double posting link - I hit the "enter" key too quickly and had to repost! Brain freeze! Anyway...

The Diva's challenge for this week involves hearts (love 'em), TWO previous challenges combined, AND the gift of being able to send healing intent to little Artoo as we do this challenge.  I appreciate the shares by Laura as she goes through this challenging time with her little one, Artoo. She is such a trooper and continues the challenge she began 8 weeks ago while juggling so much in her life. My thoughts and hearts go out to her wonderful little family.

In commemoration of what Artoo is now enduring I chose the challenge "Breathe" from last week to help him overcome his current health issues, and Ixorus done with heart and swirls. Yes hearts are definitely the focus of my tangle this week and I hope she can feel the love and support we are all sending her.
As this tangle develops it looks, to me, like a award with the fluttery fescued ribbon hanging from the Ixorus heart/broache. Something Artoo can wear in his little heart to conquer this current challenge. Breathe and get better little one!

I also like this tangle rotated counter clockwise, choices, choices ...

Here is the horizontal version of this tangle
I added some little zen beings to shine down on, love and support little Artoo!


A Lovely Fairy Invitation

I'm working on illustrating a book of wonderful fairy poems with my friend Diane Light. She created 25 delightful fairy poems. The book which will be called Into Fairyland, A Treasure Chest of Fairy Stories is in process. This is her invitation to readers.

The Zentangle process has certainly influenced my drawing style and process. As a graphic designer I'm all about the computer. I had gotten away from my hands-on creativity but beginning this book and then being exposed to the art of Zentangle process has allowed me to open up my creativity and gotten me back into the process of drawing.

I find it fascinating that being artistic is not a prerequisite for getting into the joys of  the Zentangle process. It's a way to relax, get in touch with your inner creative self (higher self). I'm looking forward to the attending the CZT training this month with my friend Jeanne to begin my journey into teaching Zentangle. It has become such a major part of my life that it's hard to believe I only began tangling in August. Once Jeanne exposed me to the process on that summer's day, I was "hooked". 

New Tangle for Valentine's Day - Zen Bud

Since Valentine's Day is fast approaching I decided to do a tangle for a "Zen bud". I love drawing flowers and little rose buds or (Zen buds) are one of my favorites. The heart is the basis for the leaves so it seems totally appropriate for this holiday.
  1. Draw a spiral, I like to put a dot at beginning and end, gives it style!
    Make sure your oval is long and narrow in depth, this is the top of your zen bud.
  2. Next draw a heart, one side should be smaller than the other. Make the smaller side "kiss the beginning of your oval.
  3. Next, draw a second heart around the first one. Make the inside heart look likes its wearing a cowl neck, you're giving your leaf a "collar", start the second heart close at the points and then exaggerate the line to form your collar and pull it back in close to the inside "heart" for the end. You may have to elongate the bottom point line of your heart to meet the bottom of you bud, just play with it.
  4. Once you've completed your heart, outside and inside, then draw a "U" shape to form the curve of your bud base. It should start at one side of your heart, curve around the bottom, and then curve back up to meet the other side of your "heart" shape. You've now formed your outside leaves!
  5. Next, draw a short line starting at the outside curve of your spiral and draw down to meet the area that your "U" shape intersects with the outside petal. Remember to stop your line before the outside "collar" edge. You've now formed the inside of your "bud".
  6. Once your "Zen bud" is complete, draw a little "sepal", protection leaves, on the bottom. Just make a couple of pointed loops that begin from the same middle point and curve out.
Violรก, you've created your "Zen Bud"! (After all French is zee language of Love, no?)
This takes practice but once you get the rhythm down you can fill large areas for your Valentine. Vary the sizes and orientations of these little buds and repeat, repeat, repeat. It's important to not concentrate on precision with this tangle but the flow and variation. Have fun! 

I've included variations below, I like to shade them and add some little prickery vines and leaves. The shading adds to the "depth" of the bud. I like to shade the areas where one leaf is overlapping another. I accented those areas with line work also. Of course, adding a little color would be loverrrly too.  Play with them and Happy Valentine's Day!

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Straight forward line art, varying size and orientation
I added a little jeweled "heart string" for sweetness
Zen buds with shading and some
prickery rose vines and leaves added
sort of a "Hollibaugh" effect

Play with Art Nouveau

I've been doing some winter clean outs of my stash of old papers and files and ran across an old Dover catalog. Leafing through it I found an Art Nouveau floral stencils design cover that just screamed ZENTANGLE! Sometimes I'm glad I don't throw stuff out, what a great find. This should give me many hours of inspiration and tangling experiences. Whoo-hoo.

I've been interested in adding some color to tangles for a little variety. I've had so many great sources of inspiration through Laura Harms' DIVA weekly challenge which enables me to to view many of the participants work and blogs. Great stuff! I'm particularly drawn to LeeAnn's Zentangle-ing Fun tangles so I'm inspired to try some color. I like the purity of the black and white tangle but it's fun to branch out a bit.

Color sketch of trumpet flower vine and dandelion with leaf
 I'm playing with some color sketches inspired by my find. It combines the peach trumpet flower with tendrils and round textured lily pad-like leaves. I also incorporated a sketch from a dandelion inspired design that is based on the "Dekorative Vorbilder, an extremely rare early 20th century style book" the catalogue states. I'm going to have to try and find that, hope my library has a copy?

Nouveau inspired pattern on bottom

Challenge Week #7- Breathe!

The Diva's challenge for week #7 involves the Ceremony of the Zentangle® process. This week's Challenge is: BREATHE! She says:

When the Breath wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the Breath is still, so is the mind still." - Hatha Yoga Pradipika
If you've taken a class with a CZT®, you may have heard this: Relax. Breathe. Smile.
If you've taken any kind of class or seminar from Rick or Maria i KNOW you've heard this before.
I wanted to see where Zentangle® would take me if i consciously made the decision to Relax, to Breathe, to Smile.
As I began this week's challenge I realized how often I hold my breath, if left to their own devices, my hands can be fairly shaky when doing something detailed that requires a steady hand - Isn't that the definition of tangling? So, my challenge was to let it flow and concentrate on my breath... in and out. At times, I felt like I was doing a Simon Sez exercise, you know the one, while tapping your head do circular motions on your tummy, while hopping on one foot! Actually, it wasn't that bad, but it was challenging. Breathe, of course I breathe, most of the time?
I was pleased to realize that I do relax, and smile when I'm creating a tangle. I don't worry about the outcome, I do take it one stroke at a time, but the breathing and concentrating on that flow of breath - in and out - that's a big challenge.

When taking yoga classes the instructor often tells us "to breathe" and I initially think, how silly, of course I'm breathing, but I realized my natural reaction to any type of exertion, mental or physical, is to take a deep breath in anticipation and hold it while I complete the task. Right now I do have alot of stress in my life, as many of us during this recession, I try to strong arm my way through it, put my head down and push, not the easiest way to go through life! Another life's lesson... try to be easier on myself?

I decided to do three separate tangles using one of the three statements as the focus of each, keeping them as light and effortless as possible. The cursive font I created, to me to shows a flow and gentleness, one letter flowing and swirling gently into the other. Hopefully expressing harmony and light, which is what comes to mind when I think of the ceremony of tangling.

I'm taking the CZT® course at the end of this month. I'm trying not to be breathless with anticipation but Breathe, Smile, and Relax with anticipation!