Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tangled Tessellations

A tessellation is created when a shape is repeated over and over again covering a plane without any gaps or overlaps.

I have a book called Mosaic and Tessellated Patterns, from Dover publications. This design struck me as a perfect one to tangle, with large enough spaces to work in. Some of the other designs are intricate on their own and wouldn't be suitable for tangling.

First I transferred the pattern onto a piece of white Stonehenge paper so I would have pencil outlines instead of printed lines. I chose the patterns Maryhill (love that tangle by Betsy Wilson) and 'Nzeppel.

Then I shaded it, which took as long as the tangling did, even though it may not look like it! I love the way a pencil blends so nicely on that paper.

I'm really happy with the way this turned out. I'll have to look at my book again to find another page to do. The designs make great strings for tangling.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Shading with Markers

"Life isn't black and white. It's a million gray areas, don't you find?"    
 Ridley Scott

I recently (actually it's probably been a while now) purchased Eni Oken's e-book on shading with gray markers. Finally I got a chance to give the technique a whirl. I used Copic markers - N0, N2, and N4 - and worked on official Zentangle tiles. 

I wanted to see how different the shading with markers looked from shading with graphite, so first I took out a tile I completed a while ago with graphite. I erased a small section of my pencil shading and did it over with the markers. Below you can see where I used the markers on the big top section of Phicops, while the rest of the tile has pencil. The marker shading looks smoother and has a more silvery tone to it. 

I liked the way it looked, so I tangled another tile to shade entirely with markers.

Then another tile where I tried out the tangle Citrus, by Adele Bruno, for the first time. Here I show it before shading and then after shading with the Copics.

Another one using the new to me tangle Belle, by Sarah Harrison. I think the Huggins may have gotten a little overwhelmed by the shading.

Lastly, I did a monotangle of another new to me tangle, Op Art 1, by Ina Sonnenmoser.

It was fun working with the Copic markers for shading. I still need to delve a little more into Eni's e-book. I have the gray pens she suggests using to add the finishing touches, but have to admit that I totally forgot about using them on these tiles. Oh well, next time!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Diva Circles

"Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next."     
Joseph M. Marshall

Just stopping by with a quick post. I saw that the Diva's challenge for this week is to make a string out of circles and tangle it. Well, it so happens that last week I did just that, so I decided to post it now. 

I've been doing a lot with alcohol inks lately, and that's where the vibrant colors in this piece come from. Alcohol inks were spread all around on a piece of Yupo to make the background, and then alcohol was dropped in random places to form all the circles. 

Using a Microperm pen, I tangled the circles and added some white highlights. First I used my Uniball Signo white pen to do the highlights, but after a short time they faded  and were not very bright. So I tried my white Souffle pen and went over the same spots. This time they stayed bright and are puffed up a little from the paper, hence the name Souffle.

Patterns used: Munchin tangleation, Kuke, Marasu, and Purk

I had a lot of fun making this one. Hope you like it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Midsummer Tangle

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort."    Franklin D. Roosevelt

A couple of weeks ago I went to Buffalo, NY for a Zentangle retreat for CZTs hosted by Kelly Barone. I was hoping to escape the heat and humidity of SC, but that didn't work out so well. It was hotter than normal in Buffalo and not too different than at home! Despite the heat, I had a great time meeting people I had only met before through Facebook, and learning new techniques and new ways of incorporating Zentangle with other artistic endeavors. 

One of the activities was learning to marble paper, from Diane Yaciuk. Diane is an expert, and her papers are gorgeous. I, however, did not have quite as much success as Diane does. It was  a fun process, but I have to say that because of the messiness of it, I probably won't be doing this at home any time soon. Here is a picture of one of the very few papers that I thought turned out well.

Of course it had to be tangled!

Another project was "suntangles" taught by Kelly. We first tangled on a large piece of acetate, then brushed a special dye onto a canvas bag, placed the acetate on the bag, took it out into the sun and let it sit there for 10 or more minutes. Lo and behold, this is what I got.... the negative image of what I had tangled in black. Pretty amazing.

Kelly also gave us a brown ceramic tile to tangle on. We used black Sharpies, white gelly rolls, and gold metallic gelly rolls. The tile had quite a bit of texture on it which made for some challenging tangling, but it turned out better than I expected it to.

The last thing I have to share with you today is a combination of paper quilling with Zentangle. I have to say that as much as I enjoyed the whole 3 days, this activity was my favorite. It was taught by Sonya Yencer, whose Zentangle art work I have admired for a long time on Facebook. In case you are not familiar with what quilling is, according to Wikipedia, it is  "... an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs." Below is the Zendala that I quilled while in class, but then took home to be tangled there. I love the way it came out, and think that the combination of tangling and quilling is genius. 

Quilling doesn't need a lot of expensive supplies and is also quite relaxing. In case you would like to try it yourself, Sonya, along with Jenny Perruzzi, has created a kit that is available here. I'm working on some more quilling projects and hope to share them soon in another blog post.

What I've shown here is only some of what we completed during the retreat. I left there with lots of creative inspiration and some new friends. What more could I ask for?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Pre-strung Pathway Tiles

"The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere."     Terence McKenna

I'm very excited to share with you my latest creations. Another passion of mine, in addition to Zentangle and photography (as I mentioned in my last blog post, here), is working with alcohol inks. They come in bright, beautiful colors and flow smoothly across your paper as they blend and form new colors. The process of painting with the inks is nearly as relaxing as the Zentangle process is for me. And you can create great backgrounds for tangling!

Recently I began playing with plastic wrap on the inks. You spread ink on yupo paper (a synthetic paper with a smooth finish), lay plastic wrap on top, scrunch it all up with your hands, and leave it alone until it dries completely. When you peel it off, gorgeous and interesting "pathways" have been created on your paper. Some of you may be familiar with the plastic wrap method on other media, such as watercolors. When I saw these pathways, I knew immediately what had to be done! The inks had created a string on my paper to be tangled within.

Maybe a photo (or two...or many...) will help you to see what I'm talking about. Here is the first one I chose to tangle. You can see the pathways that I'm talking about.

Here's how it looked after I tangled it with Baton.

I absolutely LOVED this, and went on to do more... and more... and more! The next one I did, before and after tangling with Cadent... (I remembered before I got too far that I wanted to take a picture)

 And the next one...

By this time, I started thinking that these would make great tiles printed on paper that I could tangle with my Microns. What I had done so far were approximately 5x7 inches each, and because they were on shiny yupo, they needed to be tangled with different pens. So I tested printing them on various papers and found that I liked the Bristol vellum best, as it is similar to the regular zentangle tiles in weight. 

I cut the tiles into 4 inch squares, to allow for a little more tangling space than the standard 3 1/2 inch tiles. Here is a sample of some that I made...

Next is one of my favorite tiles, before tangling and after adding Baton (obviously one of my favorite tangles!)

Here are some more of my tangled tiles. Sorry, but I don't have the "before" pictures of these. The first one uses the pattern Static.

For the next one I decided to use 2 patterns, Cadent and Huggins. You will notice that on most of them I chose to do a monotangle, meaning I used just one pattern. I also shaded this one with graphite, whereas on most of them I have not shaded, instead allowing the colors on the tile to form the shading.

One using Knightsbridge...

A white gelly roll pen was used on this one to draw Printemps...

Then I wanted to complete some tiles by tangling behind the pathways instead of on the pathways. Personally I don't like them as much as the others, but several people have told me they do like them.The first one is Crescent Moon and the second is Munchin.

I have had such a blast designing and tangling these tiles and am happy to share that I am now selling the untangled tiles in my Etsy shop here for you to add your creative tangling. If you decide to try some, I'd love to see what you do!