Judy, Julie and I met last week for their monthly “Tangle Night”. This time sea turtles were the topic of the day, using the sea turtle template from “Tangle Easy – Sea Life” by Ben Kwok. There are so many great templates in this book – if you want to create a ZIA with a sea life theme, this is the book for you. Ben’s designs are incredible; it’s so awesome he has shared these in the series of books called “Tangle Easy”.
Instead of just a plain white tile and our tangled turtle, we used strips of black bristol paper glued onto the white bristol 8×8 background. Next, we traced our sea turtle template on top of our newly created black and white “tile”. This technique calls for alternating black and white pens to get the overall effect. We used Sakura PN pens in black and the Sakura Gelly Roll 08.
Keeping in mind the two hour time frame, I precut the black strips so we only had to glue them down and the templates were ready to trace. We used fairly simple tangle patterns to fill the turtle – Emingle, Flux, Zander, Printemps, Myrr, Crescent Moon, and Tipple to name a few. We ended with embellishing the areas around the turtle with various patterns of “sea like” characteristics – Rixty, Crazy 8’s, Angelfish, Tipple, and Printemps. We ran out of time for shading, but felt the black on white did give us a nice shade effect so it was OK!
This was a fun way to create a different medium for our drawing. It’s always fun to mix up the pen colors. Just in case they really like this project and wanted to try it again – I gave Judy and Julie smaller pieces of paper (5×5) so they could create their own backgrounds, as well as a small fish template. I also shared a bookmark that I made combining the “Tangled Forest” idea, that we’d done in the past, with the black and white theme. Again, very fun … something different.
3×3 fish with stripes going horizontal
This past weekend saw eight ladies and one young man creating “tangled forests” – a class shared by Marie Browning when I attended Tangle U earlier this year. It was a fun class to create on a very warm San Diego afternoon. Everyone received a pre-colored 8×8 panel, three dual brush pens, and a dragonfly cut-out. (The pre-colored panels and dragonfly cut-outs helped save valuable class time as we only have two hours to complete our work.) A few other items made it into the packets just in case they want to give this project another try at home.
Four of the ladies picked this class to celebrate their friend’s birthday – Karen, Karen, and Barbara came to have some fun with birthday girl Sharen. They all had taken classes before, but it was their first visit to Icarus Creative Arts Studio. Judi, Judy, Sharon, Cherie and David rounded out the rest of the class. David is Judy’s grandson and a real Zentangle enthusiast. This was his second or third class at Icarus. He lives on the East Coast and shares tiles back and forth with his Grandma (who is also a CZT)!
After a brief demonstration on how to make a splash background, should they try this again, we were ready to start. We went through the project as a group, then when it was time to color, they went on their own blending the three pens that we had to use. Knowing that maybe some would prefer more than just the three colors, I brought multiple colors of dual brush pens so they could add just a little extra color to their work, and to their add-on dragonfly if desired. The outcomes were all quite different – again, amazing since how you all use the same patterns and instructions, but the outcomes vary so much.
Next up, September 16th, is the tangled linen art panel – we’ll use three different colored pens (black, brown, white) to create a beautiful piece of art, using many different patterns. Come join us – great way to spend a Sunday afternoon – and it’s air conditioned!
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:
(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!
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!
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.
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!
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 ….
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!
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!