Intro to Zentangle …. Finally!

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Liz and Sally.  They are cousins who came to my “Pacific Beach Classroom” to learn the Zentangle Art Method.  We had tried and tried to find dates that worked for the three of us over the last few months, and it finally happened. It was great to finally put a face to the emails!

Liz had already taken a look at Zentangle on the internet and had created a greeting card using a few tangles – two of which I was teaching them during this session.  Sally was excited and eager to learn about this whole process.  We tangled the basic “First Tile” using the letter “Z” as our string.  We filled the tile with Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh, Bales and Printemps.  Our second tile consisted of six more patterns to add to those four.  Seems like a lot to accomplish in two hours – we actually went 1/2 hour over as we also had to do some visiting in between, but the results were worth it.

All the tiles turned out awesome.  As always, I pointed out that even though we all used the same instructions and same patterns, look how different the tiles turned out.  It was a really nice way to kick-off my Easter weekend sharing my passion for Zentangle with Liz and Sally.  When they left ….. they signed up for my next class at the Bernardo Winery on May 19th!  I’m excited to keep their Zentangle journey’s moving forward, and for them to meet the other tanglers that are a part of the Sunday classes at Icarus.  Thank you Liz and Sally … see you in May!

Zen Buttons ….

My Sunday afternoon class at the Bernardo Winery saw five of us trying our hands at Zen Buttons – a technique started by Marguerite Samama, CZT.  This is a fun way to create your own “string”, and include squares, circles and triangles.  This technique is also a good way to implement “fragments” of patterns.  (See – “A Zentangle Collection of Reticula & Fragments)

For this class, we used an original Zendala for one of our buttons and then a Strathmore Toned Blue mixed media tile for our other.  Zen Buttons use a white chalk pencil for a special effect and it works nicely on the toned paper.  It’s takes a little more work for the highlight to show through on the white tiles.

Attempting two tiles in two hours, which included drawing out one of our strings and using a funky little “compass”, took a little more time than thought.  We almost finished our second tiles, which I had already drawn to save time, but they still needed the shading and white highlighting.

I found that planning ahead for this class took a little more time.  I felt that once you got your circles, squares and triangles down on the tile and start with a pattern in the middle, you should just let the next pattern come to you – rather than force another planned pattern.  The ladies did a great job, had a few oops, but the work turned out lovely.  Everyone still wonders at how we can all get the same directions, but the work turn out so different.

Next up – “Just Patterns”
Learn four to six new patterns
then incorporate into a take-home tile
Sunday, May 19th, 1-3pm, Icarus Creative Arts Studio


Dingsplatz …

Imagine this – you take a handful of tangles, throw them up in the air and let them land.  What do you get …. “Dingsplatz”!  That’s one of Zentangle’s newest concepts that I shared with Judy and Juli last week.  I offered two new patterns to them – Pixiozes by Margaret Bremner and Belle by Sarah Harrison, and we were ready to proceed. 

Dingsplatz can be drawn on a round or square tile, so we used one of each.  Judy elected to use a blue pen, then shade with a blue pencil for her square tile.  Turned out very nice.  I’ve seen this technique used by others, but never tried it before.  She was up for giving it a go!  We did a little shading with our graphite, then added a few highlights with a white charcoal pencil.  All in all, a nice evening with some fun tangling.

Tropical Gardens ….

It was March 17th and the temperature was 80 degrees at the Bernardo Winery.  There couldn’t have been a more beautiful, “almost Spring”, day to tangle a tropical garden.  Inspired by the work of Cheryl Moote, CZT, six of us learned five new patterns and then created beautiful, colorful gardens using “Monster Leaves, Reticulated, Dragonair, Chainlea, Aura-Leaf and other floral-type patterns.  

Once the drawing was complete, everyone used their favorite watercolor pencils and Tombow blending pen to add some life to the drawings.  We used paper that was 4.5″ wide by 12″ long.  Once all was complete, we folded our pieces into three sections so they could stand on their own for display.  So much fun, and such beautiful work.

Constance (aka Connie), a Black Lab Canine Companion for Independence in Training, came with her trainer, Teri, to see what was going on, then decided she would just rest for the next two hours.  Teri and Linda train CCI dogs and often bring one to class. Just the presence of these dogs and what they’re all about adds to the “zenful” atmosphere of the Icarus studio.

My new class schedule has just been released for April, May and June.  Upcoming on April 14th, “Zen Buttons”, and followed by “Just Patterns (Purely Zentangle)” on May 19th.  Then, we’ll start up the summer on June 9th with “Four Corners”.  All classes are held on Sunday afternoons from 1pm-3pm.  Hope one of these classes sounds fun to you.  The Bernardo Winery is a beautiful location with a wine tasting room, coffee roasters, sit-down restaurant receiving great reviews, and plenty of shops to wander about.  Lots of free parking is available too. On Sunday afternoons, there’s live music on the tasting room patio.  Come out and join the fun!

Bijou Frames ….

In February, a group of us met at Icarus Creative Arts Studio to learn how to make “frames” for the Bijou tiles.  We took a 3.5″x3.5″ white tile and first created a border around the outside using the pattern Fassett (Lynn Meade, CZT).  Then we took out a Bijou tile (2″x2″) and formed the “centerpiece” of our little ZIA.  We used our initials to tangle and then fill with gold jelly roll pen.  We put two slits in each side of the larger tile and stuck our Bijou inside, softly folding so they inserted and remained “puffed out” a little – more dimensional.  Our second piece was a mono-tangled Bijou using the Zentangle pattern Aquafleur, with a border of Ditto (created by Sue Jacobs, CZT).  

They turned out really nice – we all agreed these would be great little gifts for someone.  Everyone received a small black easel to showcase their tiles.  This was a really fun afternoon!  

I had high hopes that we could finish three tiles in this 2 hour class, but it didn’t happen.
The Bijou top middle with Tootsie was going to be the third – using a little color this time!

Next month – “Tropical Gardens” inspired by Cheryl Moore, CZT.

Black to White…White to Black …

On a recent Sunday afternoon, eight ladies joined me for “tangling turtles”.  For this ZIA project (Zentangle Inspired Art), we started with a white background, then added three strips of black paper to create our foundation.  From there, we traced out a turtle pattern then proceeded to tangle using both black and white pens – transitioning whenever the opportunity arose.  It was a fun process, a little confusing at times, but the end projects turned out beautifully.

You’d never know it from looking at the photographs, but two of the people who joined this class, just completed their basic Zentangle class two weeks prior to this class!  Nice work by everyone.

Next up are Bijou tiles inserted into standard Zentangle tiles that are decorated as “frames”.  Another fun project, with a little more Zentangle then “Zentangle Inspired Art”.  See you on March 17th at Icarus Creative Arts Studio, 1:00pm-3:00pm!

New Year …. New Discovery ….

This past weekend at Icarus Creative Arts Studio, nine people were introduced to the Zentangle Art Method.  They treated themselves to discovering something new in this New Year!  It was great to meet all of them and share my passion for Zentangle.

We started off with our basic “Z” tile and discussion of some of the Zentangle basic strokes.  Once we brought out the pencils and shaded our tiles, we all saw what great pieces of art each person created and, of course, how different they all were even though we all had the same instructions and used the same patterns.

The second tile introduced five more patterns (or fragments thereof) and a more organic example of how Zentangle can be used.  All of the work was incredible.  It was hard to believe this was the first class for these nice people.  I had to teach the class coming off of an ugly cold, something I haven’t had to do before.  Hopefully, I got all my points out there and the eight ladies and one gentleman enjoyed it enough to return for another class.  Even if they don’t come back to Icarus, they are now armed with enough Zentangle basics to take a class from a CZT anywhere around the world!  Yes, anywhere in the world – Zentangle is an internationally taught form of art and CZT’s can be found in almost every country!  Treat yourself to a new discovery this New Year – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Next Up – “Black and White Tangled Sea Turtles” – switching off between black and white inks on black and white tiles!

Beautiful 1st Zentangle Tiles 
(missing three others)

REALLY beautiful 2nd tiles – this was an introduction class – such great work!

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