Tag Archives: zentangle

It’s All Lynne’s Fault

Yes, yes. I know. It’s been forever since I posted. I’ve been bad. I’ve been neglecting my faithful readers. Both of you. I’m so sorry.

My excuse was a good one. But I fixed it. Yesterday. Not really. It was fixed a while ago. I’ve just been otherwise occupied.

I’d tell you I’ve been busy cleaning my house but that would be a lie of enormous proportions. No, no… that’s not true either. I have been cleaning the house. I clean one area and while it’s getting a makeover, the rest of the house continues to be buried under stuff and dust. I think my housecleaning efforts have become more of a rodeo chase. I wrangle one mess and turn around to find a new one behind me. While I clean that one up, the first one escapes my knots and scatters itself everywhere. Yup. I live in a barn.

Reality time… summer break. A fabulous Caribbean vacation down south with all my boys.  A lovely camping trip in New York State. A couple weeks of summer day camp and all manner of mud coming home from the mountain biking trails.

And now… the first year of high school for my eldest son. Wow. I’m not in high school. He is. Why does it seem like I have more homework all of a sudden? And grade 6 for the younger one… holy doodle! There is not enough time in the evenings for everything to get done. By the time the homework is done (yeah, right), dinner is eaten and the kitchen is clean again (snort) there is barely any time for playtime outside or for a chat with mom before the dreaded bedtime call is bellowed.

Yes, I’m behind. Don’t sue me. I have no money. I gave it all to the roofing company. If you really want to, you can climb up on the soon to be newly shingled roof and dig through the eaves for anything the squirrels have stashed up there. Actually, I wouldn’t recommend it. They’re probably full of rotting leaf gunk and shingle granules. Better find a different snack.

Now then. Lynne’s fault. You can thank Lynne Knowlton of the spectacular blog, Design the Life You Want to Live, for this post. It’s all her fault. She recommended a new plugin (comment reply notification) which I installed. And then, per her suggestion, I tested it on her page. It works! I love it! She replied and commented on my blog. Sort of. Nevermind. But, since she commented, I have to update my blog! Now! Holy carp! See. It’s all Lynne’s fault! Her and her furry jerks. Secretly, I have a great fondness for furry jerks. Don’t tell Lynne.

for-jan-small And, because this blog is supposed to be somewhat related to the artistic-goings-on in my life, here is a small piece. It’s approximately 5×5 inches. Watercolour, pen, metallic pen and pencil. It was done while sitting in the shade, beside a swimming pool, on the Freedom of the Seas, in the middle of the Caribbean. The theme arose from some of the underwater scenery from our snorkeling adventure a couple days before. Not for sale… it’s already framed and in a private collection.

I’ve been back to my regular painting class for the last 6 weeks. Getting up to deliver the boy to his 7am Jazz Band practice has taken a toll on my freshness by the time I get to my class at 10am. Nonetheless, I’ve been painting. Some has been good, some has been bad, some has been amusingly horrible. You don’t get to see any of those ones. And a couple of the good ones… you don’t get to see because they’re part of a series that is in development until I get it right. Then… maybe. I’ll let you know.

OZAD – Days 14 & 15

It seems to have been a long while since I posted an OZAD assignment. If you were worried about being overwhelmed by too-frequent blog posts, you can stop worrying now.

ozad-14-1 One lesson a day… ummm… no. I accept that there just isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish everything I want. And I really do try to create every day. It’s just that there are so many things clamouring at me to create them. Among the usual weekly errands there has been a movie night, the testing of a new grain free recipe, a bit of geocaching when it wasn’t absolutely pouring rain and a geocaching event. There has also been a flurry of knitting which I’ll tell you about in the next post. I have come to the conclusion that OZAD for me is OZITMA (One Zentangle If Time and Mood Allow.) And, really, isn’t that better than being under pressure to de-stress? I know you agree.

Day 14 is titled Decorative Value. Shading planes with no discernible light source. Seems like it ought to be easy but I don’t think it was in the end. I started with the practice page for the Dyon, Chainging and Keeko patterns. I finished it several days ago and thought I was done with it. Today, when I photographed it and looked at the image on the computer I decided it wasn’t done when I finished it but that is the way it’s going to stay.

ozad-14-2a ozad-14-2b Next was the actual assignment using those patterns on a white tile. Yup. Might not be done this one either. I like it but I think I could have shaded the bottom layer a bit more as the decorative values aren’t jumping out at me.

The second part of this assignment was to pursue decorative value on a black tile. No surprise that Flux and Amaze showed up. Am I getting predictable? Mostly, I found it much harder to think in reverse so I used patterns that I don’t have to think about too hard. I’m not entirely sure I’ve gotten the decorative value thing under my belt. At least not when that was the assignment. I wonder if maybe I’ve forgotten how to do my homework.

Sometime between Day 14 and today, I worked on Day 15. Like I said… lots of other creativity going on around here.

Organic patterns. Yay!

Yincut is new to me (sort of) and I don’t really think of it as organic. More like a tile floor. Locar was a fun one to learn and I’m sure I’ll continue using it. Verdigogh reminds me of Douglas Fir branches. So much so that I can smell them. I like this one and really should use it more often. One thing I discovered with the two leafy, branchy patterns was that those fine cut details are very difficult to tangle behind. Especially with a cat trying to sit on the tile. Pandora has a different opinion about zentangle. She thinks Zen involves me putting the pen down and rubbing her belly. Now.

ozad-15-1 The first one included Yincut and it worked out not too badly. I didn’t shade this tangle at all. Just used the density of the patterns to further address day 14′s lesson on decorative value. I think it worked out a bit better with the Yincut definitely being on a plane behind the Locar. I think that aspect got a bit confused with the Verdigogh appearing to part of the same plane as the Yincut. Perhaps I should shade it and see what happens. Or maybe I’m just analyzing it too much.

ozad-15-2 The whole thing had a tile floor in the middle of an organic environment look to it so I did it again. The second tile reads as more organic with a sea floor feel to it. Sea weed and sea urchin. Jumped right from forest to ocean. My background isn’t showing here at all, is it?

Wet on Wet with Tangles

Last year, my son’s teacher asked me to help her with an art project for her grade 7 classes. First step: a private lesson for the teacher so she would know what to do. She got a demo of wet on wet watercolour painting to produce a colourful background. No pictures… just colours in shapes, swirls or streaks and let the water do it’s magic. I provided the watercolour paper, paint in a limited palette and painting boards for the students to use. Then, the teacher went to town with all her grade 7 classes.

Second step came after the watercolour backgrounds were entirely dry and flat-ish. The students were provided some guidance in choosing patterns, time to practice them on paper and then they were provided Sharpie Ultra Fine point markers. Alas, the arts budget is too small! During one of their art periods, they had a substitute teacher who commented later that she had never, ever seen a class so focused while working. The room was almost silent while they concentrated on their tangles. The final result was a collection of amazing pieces of art. I was able to see lots of them but didn’t have my camera. This one is my 2012 Mother’s Day present from Aidan. I think it’s pretty wonderful. zia-by-aidan

OZAD – Days 12 & 13

Day 12 was a challenge. Balance… I’m a klutz. Harmony… only if you give me a big bucket to carry the tune. Variety… that I can manage although I admit to being hooked on a few favourites. For example, one of my favourite easy dinners is in the oven right now. The kitchen smells divinely of roast chicken, onions and garlic. Does it get any better than that?

Back to zentangle though… balance, harmony and variety. The exercise using tangleations of Beelight and Bales just didn’t work for me. It didn’t work so badly that I didn’t even bother scanning the several attempts I made. No matter what I did, the tangles ended up seeming much too busy. Balance seemed to be lost to a blob of sameness as there wasn’t enough variety between the two patterns. I’m pretty sure all the tiles were singing way off key. Shading didn’t help. I will need to revisit this challenge someday but before I get frustrated, I’m moving on.

Deconstruction and reconstruction of patterns was a much more appealing lesson on Day 13. I spent a morning filling a page of my journal with a huge mess of many patterns, each morphing or blending with its neighbours. The end result had a lot of satisfying little sections but overall, it was a confuzzlement of practice tangling. Not scanning that either.

ozad-12 But this one, I did scan. Florz and Onamato are patterns I only use occasionally so it was a refreshing exercise. I tried to keep it very simple and only added Tipple to the decon/recon mix. End result feels a bit like something you might on the ocean floor and I’m resisting the urge to ocean colours.


Zentangle by Scratch

The lunchtime art club has been over for a while but one of the kids brought this and I had to share it. She was given a scratch magic doodle book. You know the stuff… it’s got bright colours underneath a layer of black that you scratch off to reveal your very colourful picture. She decided to use her book to create zentangle inspired works of art.


Phrases “far out” and “neat-o” come to mind. I think they would be probably be misunderstood by the 11 year old who created these pieces of art. I shall stick with “holy doodle!” Aren’t they wonderful?”


OZAD – Day 11

ozad-11-1b Auras and rounding today. The first tangle has Flux, Mooka, Tipple and Amaze. You must be astounded that I chose those ones again, yes?

ozad-11-1c For a bit of variety in the organic theme: Flux, Opus, Rain, Fescu and Tipple.

ozad-11-2 This assignment involved using a brush tip pen and shading with water. Since my pigma brush pen was waterproof, I used a bit of watercolour to do the shading. Then I had to add a bit of colour. I seem to be working with a mossy theme these days. Must be spring trying to emerge in my sketchbook.

By the way, the website is 2 days old now and I’ve been backposting a lot of stuff. At least this particular category is all caught up. I’m reminded that there are lots of adventures to post. For now though, I’m going to go sit down and sip tea. And then, maybe I’ll continue with Day 12 exercises.

OZAD – Day 10

ozad-10-1 Lessons from landscapes. I think my lesson here is that this landscape is too busy. Not enough contrast between the layers.

ozad-10-2a Punzel, Cubine and Indy-Rella for this one. I like it better but now that I’m looking at it from a distance, I think the Cubine needs something more and the shading isn’t quite right.

ozad-10-2b I think it was raining on the day I did this one. Or, quite possibly, I’m longing for moss.

OZAD – Day 9

Woohoooo! Shinies!

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I have to say that I enjoyed this one bunches. I went digging through all the old pencil crayon boxes and tested all the whites and bright colours on black paper. And then I dug through the pens drawers and found all the Gel pens that would show up on black. Then it was playtime. I tested everything on both cardstock and black Canson Pastel paper (98 lb).

ozad-9-1a Between the Crayola, Laurentian and Prismacolor pencil crayons, the Prismacolor wins hands down on both paper types. I haven’t scanned the tests for the coloured pencils but Prismacolor showed up much better than the other types. The bright colours were vivid on black and many of the darker colours were quite visible. For the pens, the Sakura Jelly Roll in white and metallic both show really well. The Sakura Jelly Roll Star pens often didn’t show much colour but they did leave a very nice sparkle behind. The Sky Star and Marine Star seemed to have the nicest effects on black. Although it’s hard to see in these scans, it looks very nice on paper.

ozad-9-1b I also tried a Pentel Sunburst white pen with a medium tip. It produces a much finer line than the Jelly Roll which is going to be very useful even though the white isn’t as solid. It works well on the rough pastel paper but on smooth card stock it skips too much to be useful.


ozad-9-2a After playing with various implements for a while, I got around to doing a few tangles. The monotangle of Pardox is one I often do in classrooms with kids who are waiting for the next step of an art project. It’s easy to learn and the kids always have success with it, even if they struggle to understand the method in the beginning. How can you not have success with such an elegant little doodle?

ozad-9-2b Then, after all those straight lines, I had to do a tangle with organic shapes. Looking at a scan of a tile works sort of like stepping away to get a better view. Now that I’m looking at this tile on the screen, I think I need to carry the Fescu further across to the right.

Looking forward to some free time to play with the other coloured metallics and sparkles.

OZAD – Day 8


First, Chapter 2 intro assignment. The tonal value study was much harder than it looked. When I finished all the patterns on the squares, cut them apart and rearranged them I discovered that I had clusters of tones rather than a nice transition from light to dark. Sooooo… tangleations of some of them to adjust the tone a bit. I suppose I could have continued adjusting the values with some shading but I wanted to leave them unshaded. End result was that there was an improved gradient that still had clusters. I may well repeat this exercise in the future.

ozad-8-2 Day 8 assignment – from flat to 3-D in twenty minutes. Isn’t that what we all wished for when we were 13 years old? Not sure if this is an Easter egg or Christmas decoration.

OZAD – Day 7

ozad-7a The day 7 assignment was to create tangleations of some of the patterns we had already used in the book. I’m not posting the sketchbook exercises, just the two ATC sized tangles that were assigned. Once again, I’m using Hollibaugh. First a tangleation of of Hollibaugh and Crescent Moon. Seems a bit busy to me and the depth somehow isn’t quite right.

ozad-7b I liked Beckah’s example in the book and changed it up a bit for the second tangle. Hollibaugh as a net to support Flux with a dark background of Amaze underneath. These patterns all speak to me and I think the combination works well.