Monday, March 11, 2013

Going back to basics- and beyond!

Day 2 tile
 As you may remember, I have been practicing the art form known as "zentangle" for several years now. When I first learned of it, I did it every chance I got.  As time passed, I spent less time doing it on a regular basis, so of course my skills deteriorated.  You don't have to be an artist to do it, but there's a sort of vocabulary to it that I wanted to refresh.  Along came Beckah Krahula's book,
One Zentangle a Day- which immediately went on my Christmas wish list.  Apparently no one read my list, so I had to buy it for myself a few weeks ago. 

It's a really great book, introducing all the terms and tools available- and two or three new "tangles" (the repetitive patterns drawn to create a "tile") to familiarize yourself with each day.   I began the book as if I had never done this before: reading all the instructions, practicing in my sketch book, and using only the daily tangles in my work.

It gets a little frustrating at times, because Zentangle is meant to be intuitive and sort of meditative- and here I a following instructions!  I think a few of my tiles show that.  Working on the black paper was especially hard for me. 

But learning new tangles has been a lot of fun- and practicing them in my sketch book allows me to sort of dissect the ones I have trouble with until I can find what works for me.

This is a sort of mosaic of all the tiles I did the first couple of weeks.  The smaller ones are done on ATC's
(artist trading cards) instead of the standard square.

It was about this time that I discovered there is a blog following along in the book.  I have fallen behind, so I read the daily blog post only for the chapter where I am working.  It's interesting to hear some of them say the same things I am saying about the book- and also to see others' work!

Using colored paper (I believe) makes a tile something called Zentangle Inspired Art.  I did this on some paper I got in the scrapbooking section of Michael's.

 The shading is a little different on colored paper, so to test some different techniques, we were told to copy a few of our earlier tiles onto colored paper

 The original black and white tile, shaded with graphite.

Below is the copy, shaded with a white graphite and the graphite for highlights and lowlights.

Again, this is the original .  Below is the copy, using the white graphite and colored pencil for  shading.  I think this was my favorite technique.  The colored pencil alone didn't do anything for me. 
I am moving on to more color and more ZIA in the next chapter.  I may not ever do some of these techniques again.  But as with anything we do, it is good to learn as much as you can.  That way if you do want to do it, at least it's in your "toolbox".
I also believe sometimes it's good for us to go back to basics. 

I was amazed how many water and soda bottle I saw laying alongside the road this morning.  Now that the snow is all melting away, the winter detritus becomes more apparent.  It's surprising that even in NY- where we pay a 5 cent deposit on them- we have people who just toss their bottles out the window.  How hard is it to carry an empty bottle home?  If you see one of them in a parking lot, or sidewalk as you get out to enjoy the spring, pick it up!  Even if the label is gone and you can't get the nickle, toss it in  your recycle bin to keep it out of the landfill!

I am grateful for:
Home made macaroni and cheese
Starting tomorrow I have Guy for 6 days!
The overwhelming excitement that comes with beginning a new project.
Lucas has a signed purchase agreement for a house at last!
The fine spring weather we had over the weekend which brought singing birds, a few flowers and eating on the screen porch!

1 comment:

  1. Oooo . . . pretty Zentangles. I bought the book and tried the first lesson. I hate working in black ink. I've already switched to doing the sketches in colors. I may get brave enough to post a few of them. Thanks for the link to the blog. I'm going to check it out.