“Dingbatz Kind of Day” …

Today was “Dingbatz Day” at Icarus Creatives Arts.  But first, I had to get there …..

I’ve been suffering from a sore back the last month, with it flaring up this past week.  My husband helped me carry the class supplies to my car, along with my keys and cell phone.  I loaded everything up and took off down the street.  About 1/4 mile from home, I realized I’d forgotten my phone … figured it was in HIS pocket!  I didn’t really need it other than to take photos at the end of class – which I love to do.  I also needed gas so I stopped at my regular station.  I got out of the car, ready to pump and there’s this sign that the credit card reader doesn’t work, please pay inside.  There’s a line of people paying inside.  I decide it’s not immediately necessary, I’ll get it after class.  Finally, I’m on my way ….

I get off one freeway and on to another, go a couple miles and bam – all traffic is stopped!  There must be an accident.  I crawled along for about five minutes (I was in the “fast” lane), when I realize that to my left is the “Express Lanes/Car Pools” – which was moving freely.  I’m thinking – I have no cell phone to call the studio to say I might be late, my low fuel light just came on and there’s this free flowing traffic lane to my left.  YES, I did!  Whipped over and broke the law!  I rode a few miles in that express lane, past all the stopped cars and the accident, and was free and clear.  I was going to be on time with the little  bit of gas I still had in my car.

Class was great!  I shared a bit of history about Dingbats vs. Dingbatz, the uses of a dingbat, shapes and characteristics, and then we started to draw.  Once you get the foundation of a dingbat down, there rest is pretty easy and addicting.  Everyone enjoyed the process and I gave them each a blank mini-journal to take home and “get it dirty” with lotz of dingbatz!  The one day I really could have had some great photos and you know where my phone was – in HIS pocket!

I got gas after the class and I’m driving home thinking about how I really wished I’d been able to take photos and what a bummer – today’s work was really nice.  Once again, we all did the same shapes and patterns, but the results were so different.  I love sharing that through my class photos.

I arrived home.  I could’ve used some help to get my things back into the house because of the sore back.  I see the front door open which means he has to be close.  No dice.  I drag my bag up the stairs, moaning and groaning with every step, and finally his head pops up from the couch ….. “I would help you but I hurt my leg … running after you … when I realized I had your cell phone in my pocket!”  What? He injured his calf running down the stairs and was on the couch with an ice bag the whole time I was teaching class.  I even saw the dreaded crutches leaning near the doorway!  Oh my gosh – here I’m thinking about giving him the business because he forgot to give me my phone, while all this time he’s been laid up after running after me so I would have it.

I guess if a day like this had to happen, it would be the day that focused on “Dingbatz” – a little bit him, a little bit me, and two hours of a dingbatz class!

I have one photo to share of the final dingbat we drew in class.  We all picked our own shape, but used the same patterns – Mooka, Sprigs, and Crescent Moon.  This was mine (with a little extra square on the side).

This past month, we visited Trail,  British Columbia, Canada – my home town.  One night I decided to create a few dingbatz about Trail.  Below is my Trail Dingbatz Collage:

L-R
(1) fish my brother caught
(2) all the beautiful pine trees
(3) the mighty Columbia River which flows through the town
(where the fish used to live that my brother caught)
(4)  the old buildings of Trail looked over by the smelter smokestack (a Trail landmark)
(5) hockey sticks for the Trail Smokeeaters (the junior hockey team in town)

Those five little dingbatz show you what you can do with this process.  Everything doesn’t have to be a “for real” Zentangle pattern – just use the dingbatz foundation and basics, and go crazy … be creative. However, like I told the class, just be careful –

THEY ARE ADDICTING
HAVE FUN AND ENJOY!

 

Zentangle Basics …

This weekend, I got to share my passion for Zentangle with Debbie and her book club.  Six of us met at my space in Pacific Beach for an “Introduction to Zentangle”.  It was a grey and cool summer day in San Diego so a perfect afternoon for getting together to learn something new. Once a month they meet to do some kind of a project – for nine years now!  It was a pleasure to meet them all and create our tangled art.

The basic tile started with our usual Z string and Hollibaugh, Crescent Moon, Printemps and Bales.  We proceeded to shade, sign and admire from near and far.  As always, it’s a fun surprise to see what everyone creates even though we all used the same exact patterns.  They produced nice work for their first tiles!

Tile #1

Next up, I decided to switch things up just a little and use patterns I normally don’t teach in the Basic Class ….. in fact, we used six patterns on our second tile! ….. Fasset, a tangleation of Marasu, Onomato, Flux, Henna Drum and Tipple.  Once we got them tangled and shaded, I gave each lady a white charcoal pencil so we could add just a hint of a highlight on the Marasu section of the string.  This always is a “surprise” when you can hold your tile at arms length and see just how that little bit of white seems to “shine” on the paper.

Tile #2

One comment made after class was “I really wasn’t sure about coming  because I thought it would be too hard” – I assured them all at the start of class that EVERYONE can do this.  We’re going to take it one stroke at a time, just relax, no mistakes, and enjoy these two hours that you’ve given yourself to spend with your friends learning something new.  I believe this mission was accomplished.  Look at their great work!

Thanks again, Debbie, for bringing your friends to learn the Zentangle art method.  I hope you’ll all continue with your tangle journeys … remember it only takes a piece of paper, pencil, pen and tortillion/blender!

“Found and Tangled Words” …

Although today’s class was small, we had a nice quiet afternoon creating “Found & Tangled Words”.  In fact, after today’s class, I think the only way to have this class is in a nice, quiet environment …. it’s hard to look at those words on a page, pick out your favorites, then create a simple phrase or saying!

While preparing for the class this week, I decided that as a way to keep our “Found Art” all in one place, I would buy each of us an old book – with pretty yellowed pages – and we would do our work in those.  We can now have our “tangled and found collection” all in one place.  I think it was a great idea.  I know that I have so many tiles and loose papers lying around, it can get kind of messy.  At least now, my “tangled & found” pages are all going to be in one place.  (You can also tangle on the cover – as a side bonus!)

This method takes a few times to get it – don’t read the page, just pick out words that jump out at you, go back and try to fit them into phrases, from top to bottom, or bottom to top.  Once you’ve done that and framed those words, it’s time to tangle on the page.  These can be your favorite patterns, or maybe push yourself and find patterns that fit with your new saying.  Finally, go ahead and add some color to the page.  Of course, you can keep it black and white, but the color just makes the page and words pop!  Lots of fun …. and somewhat addicting.  Once you get it, you want to keep finding more!

I didn’t get class photos today, but below are a couple of mine done in preparation for the class ….

 

 

 

“Linen Panels” and “DingbatZ”!

Last week, Judy and I got together for our monthly tangling session.  Julie usually joins in as well, but had other obligations this month.  Having just returned from Tangle U in Portland, Oregon, with fresh, new ideas, I decided we would give the tangled linen panels a go.  This medium was shared by Kim VanZyll, CZT, during her class at the conference.  (FYI – the panels are linen art boards, not actual linen fabric.)

Using black and brown Identipens, along with a white Sakura Gelly roll pen and Fabrico marker, we mixed up the inks and created nine beautiful patterns to fill our 8×8 panels.  This is a very fun project as the patterns are drawn bigger than normal and use the larger end of the pen – a lot different than drawing on the usual 3.5 x 3.5 tile with the Micron 01!  As always, it was an enjoyable evening, but we missed you Julie!

As I shared in an earlier post, after participating in Brian Crimmins, CZT’s “Dingbatz” class at Tangle U, I have been hooked.  These little pieces of art (real name – dingbatS) were used in olden times by artists, publishers, etc. to decorate pages of books, manuscripts, etc. We’ve all seen these before, but probably never paid them much mind.  Rick and Maria, Zentangle creators, came up with a Zentangle-influenced way to create these little gems – therein dingbatZ (with a Z).  Using the small details of dingbatS, but incorporating Zentangle-inspired patterns for the art.  They are addicting.  So much so that within two weeks of Brian starting a Facebook page just for dingbatZ, there are over 1,000 members!!!

I treated myself to a beautiful, hand made journal to hold all my dingbatz drawings.  This journal came from River Twist in Jamestown, NC – owned by Jan Galloni, CZT.  I was afraid to “mess it up” when I received it, but finally just opened it up wide – didn’t start at the front! – and started dingbatzing!  Here’s my first two pages.  This is definitely going to be an upcoming class – SO MUCH FUN!  I’ve already decorated Mother’s Day and Birthday envelopes, along with inside their cards, with my little drawings.  Just a nice personal touch to people you care about – and you make it yourself!

 

“Tangled Trivets” ….

Last Sunday at Icarus Creative Arts, five of us came together to tangle us some trivets ….. 7″ cork trivets covered with a Kraft-tex “zendala style” tile.  I decided to draw out the string ahead of time to save on class time as sometimes two hours is barely enough time to finish a class. I wanted to get their tiles adhered to the cork before they left.

Our pattern was quite geometric, almost bordering on the concept of “zen buttons”.  After our tangling was finished, we used Sakura Gelly Roll pens to give the trivet color.  The Kraft-tex paper is similar to the Levi jeans “tag”.  I was introduced to this medium by Wendy Gray, CZT, who shared this project with the local CZT’s in San Diego last Christmas.  The Kraft-tex, when used with the Sakura Micron pens and gelly rolls, holds up to a wet glass being placed on it – no smearing from water droplets!  (Think how long those Levi tags last on the back of the jeans – outlive the jeans themselves!)

Next up, in June, is “Found & Tangled Words” – a Zentangle spin on Found Poetry.  Should be a lot of fun.  If you’ve taken your “Basic Class” from a CZT, come join in this class.  That is the only pre-requisite.  All supplies will be provided, and Icarus is a peaceful, relaxing (and stimulating) studio to create our beautiful art!


“Tangle U 2018” …

I’ve just returned from Portland, Oregon and attending “Tangle U 2018”.  Tangle U is a gathering of CZT’s from far and wide, coming together to learn new techniques and ideas for our Zentangle practices.  It was attended by about 125 people this year and held in downtown Portland.  It was a very good time, meeting new people and learning new things.

The teachers for Tangle U are Certified Zentangle Teachers.  The classes I attended featured  Marie Browning, Eni Oken, Brian Crimmins, Annie Reiser, Kim VanZyll and Sampada Agarwal.  All classes offered something different, however, we were able to tie different pieces from each class within each project!

In the evenings when classes are over, there is “studio time” where everyone can meet to socialize, tangle, or learn something new.  This is where I met Terri Oliver Young from Corpus Christi, Texas.  She was teaching a few other ladies how to draw feathers (courtesy of Amanda Clifford) so I jumped in.  So much fun!!!

After four days of tangling, my poor eyes were tired and getting hard to focus when I looked at things far away.  It was a great time, but it was also great to get back home.  Look for new classes with some of the ideas I’ve just learned!

“African Mudcloths” ….

Sunday afternoon was spent at Icarus Creative Arts Studio tangling Zentangle-Inspired “African Mudcloths”. This technique involved pre-prepped paper, black, brown and white inks.  Six ladies and “Fama” (another Canine Companion in Training) joined in.

I prepared the paper before class as it takes a little time – sprayed with water, then crumpled over and over until it becomes cloth-like, and then the paper is ironed out so you can put a pen to it.  All in all, we used ten different patterns to create our 8×10 piece. These patterns included Bateek, Pinch, Inapod, Printemps, Riverstone, Fassett, Bee-Light, C-Stem, Courant and Croon.

Fama
(she was precious – just weeks away from meeting her “Forever” Companion)

Liliana & Teri

Judi & Marilyn
Judy & Linda
(bad photographer – me!)

These are beauties — so bold, vivid and sharp.  Teri and Linda took their “string” in a little different direction by adding some curved lines.  Looks awesome with just that little extra twist.  Looking forward to next month when we take on “Tangled Trivets”.  See you in May!

FYI  – “The Kitchen at Bernardo Winery”,  the new restaurant  on the grounds of the Bernardo Winery, is now open.  Dining has returned to the restaurant/patio featuring “Sicilian Old-California dining”.   It was beautiful there this weekend with 80 degrees and sunshine, a wedding on the grass area, a bridal shower on the back grounds, and the usual wine tasting and live band at the Tasting Room.  There are several small shops to enjoy, and a visit to Icarus Creative Arts is a must.  Icarus has a retail store on one side and their art studio on the other.  They carry one of a kind items from a variety of artists – from jewelry to mosaics to oil paintings to raku ceramics to furniture.  Just remember, the Winery is closed on Mondays.  See their website for more details.

“Just Patterns” ….

Six ladies, and one dog, joined me for an afternoon session at Icarus Creative Arts Studio this past weekend.  They learned eight new patterns to add to their tangle libraries.  I think sometimes we get stuck using the same patterns over and over and are somewhat reluctant to learn new ones.  This class presented just that opportunity.  Each lady received a nice, simple journal to use for learning these patterns. I like to use a journal when I practice something new and wanted to share this with them.  I think it’s fun to fill up the page with your tangles, right or wrong, and then look back in the journal to see your progress, or just how cool “a whole bunch of tangles look” on one page!  It also helps with all the clutter that tangling can create – pens, paper, tiles, journals, colored pencils, etc.!  I seem to have collected almost as many journals as pens, but I always love to look through them to see what I’ve done.  I’m hoping that these ladies will use theirs in the same way.

Just a few from my journal collection ….


 

Saida, a Canine Companion in Training, joined the class with her trainer, Linda.  A couple ladies didn’t even know the dog was there as she was so quiet and just minded her own business with a two hour nap!  Something about a dog just being present in the space feels so good!  Hopefully, she’ll make a return appearance soon. (Just had a thought …. how cool would it be to have a room of trainers and their canines in a Zentangle class all at one time …. ultra Zen!)

Linda and Saida
(with Judy Jankauski, CZT in back)

New classes have been scheduled for April, May and June at Icarus.  Take a look at the “Class” page above and see if one is just right for you.  Icarus is such an awesome space to spend two hours being creative. Come join us!

“Scallop Boxes” …

“Scallop Boxes” were the order of the day this weekend at Icarus Creative Arts.  Five ladies and one grandson came to create one of these magical little boxes.  The template is from Mirkwood Designs.  This site features lots of different paper folding ideas, along with the templates.  The scallop box was shared this with our local CZT group a couple years ago by Suzanne Wilka, CZT.  I often tell my classes that I’m not much into crafting, but this was pretty much as close to it as I get!  Lots of cutting, folding and sticking, but the results were worth it.

When I present a project that is more “Zentangle Inspired Art” (ZIA), I like to use a more dramatic pattern as the focus and then compliment it with just a few others.  This time we used Fengle, Flux and Marasu (uncoiled!), along with embellishments of orbs and auras.  We added a little white Gelly Roll ink and gray markers for some highlights and “shading”.  As the box might be handled  more than a regular tile, we used gray ink to prevent smearing.

I have to add that David, Judy’s 7-1/2 year old grandson, made his second appearance at one of my classes, while visiting from Pittsburgh.  (His Nana, Judy Jankauski, is also a CZT and shares Zentangle with her grandchildren.)  David has quite the knowledge of patterns and really picks them up fast.  He is into his work the entire two hour session.  I have to apologize to him that when taking photos after class, I didn’t get a good picture of his box!  For some reason the photo turned out completely black.  Maybe I had it upside down!  Trust me …. it was a great job!

Next up in March, we’ll learn several new patterns to add to “tangle libraries”.  This class meets on March 18th, 1-3pm at Icarus.  Come join us for a Sunday afternoon of stress-free creative enjoyment.


Intro to Zentangle …

Ten ladies took “Football Sunday” off and treated themselves to learning the Zentangle Art Method.  It’s been a while since I’ve held an Intro Class at Icarus, so it was fun to get back to the basics.  It was great to meet new faces and show them what Zentangle is all about.  And, it was also fun to share what I’ve been talking about for four years with three of my family members, who took the time to join in with the class.  EVERYONE did a great job and I hope will continue their tangle journeys.  Thanks for coming ladies!

2018 Basic Zentangle Class …

If you’ve been thinking of trying something new in 2018, I’ll be teaching an Introduction to Zentangle Class on Sunday, January 21st at the Icarus Creative Arts Studio on the grounds of the Bernardo Winery.  Class time is 1:00pm-3:00pm.  Come early, bring a friend, grab a glass of wine and come into the studio for two hours of fun AND relaxation!

“White Ink on Black Paper” …..

I had a very pleasant, peaceful and relaxing afternoon class at Icarus this past weekend with Judy and Sharon.  We used the new Sakura Gelly Roll white pens with black paper to create our own Zendalas.  We each started with the pattern Cyme (using four or five petals) at the center and went out from there.  Amazing how three tiles look so different even though they pretty much originated from the same beginning.  We all agreed that the new white pens are awesome and have us hooked on white-on-black!  I also shared how to create two-tone tiles (Project Pack #2) which adds a whole new medium to our “toolboxes”!

Coming up next is an “Introduction to Zentangle” class for all of you who’ve been asking.  It will be held Sunday, January 21st from 1pm-3pm at Icarus.  Get a friend, come early, grab a glass of wine, and come in to Icarus to learn something new.  Remember that seats are limited so pre-registration is necessary for this class.

If you’re looking for something new to learn this year, this might just be for you.  Give yourself the gift of time, relaxation and creativity.  As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at tanglesbythesea@gmail.com.

Two-toned Bijou tile

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