Thursday, 16 November 2017

all the leaves are brown

This week the Diva asked us to work big. For me one of the joys of Zentangle is its small size, but I thought I'd allow myself to grow at least a centimetre here, a millimetre there.

I worked on a piece of khadi paper - a rather uneven surface but a pleasant change to work a rectangle rather than a square. This piece measures 11 x 16 cm. I decided to work all in colour, using Faber Castell Pitt Pens in sepia, sanguine and orange. I used two sizes, a 0.3mm and a jumbo 0.7mm!

I expected to find that the thicker pens felt uncontrollable, but in some ways they were more manageable, and less liable to show my wobbles, especially on the bumpy paper.


I had a moment when I'd finished the three stems of Aloha when I wanted to stop, leave the paper with nothing but this delicious minimalism. And perhaps I'll revisit this design, and stop a little sooner, but for now I carried on.

I added an orange Printemps background, which I then coloured over with Distress Ink (Frayed Burlap). Some shading with sympathetic coloured pencils and graphite, a few white highlights and there it is.   True to the rules of Zentangle I turned it round once I'd finished, to view from all directions and far preferred it upside down!


A snapshot of autumn. The last leaves are still clinging to our trees, maybe later than usual this year, but one committed wind and they'll be gone.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

half way between here and there

I haven't tangled much of late.  I've been busy with other things - mostly a 6 week creative writing course that I'm coming to the end of.  I've loved it, but I've missed the other things I love too, including and especially tangling!

I'm having a couple of weeks downtime starting now, but after that I hope to be back with more regular posts.  I have plans to play with a few tangled ideas during my downtime. 

Tangles used - Vega / Mooka / sort of Fescu

But before I go.  A farewell-for-now tile that I made this morning, prompted by the Diva's invitation to try white on black.  I find it so hard to make something that I'm happy with, but I'm persevering, and every time it gets a little bit better.  I think the thickness of the white gel pen after the Micron is the shock, so I'm very much looking forward to these thinner Gelly Rolls hitting the UK shores - no sign of them just yet...

Friday, 8 September 2017

I don't know why I dream this way

Today I want to introduce you to my latest tangle.  It's been haunting me for quite a while, popping up in bits and pieces on many of my tiles.

You can see - bands of it running through my twisted rope string tile -
it edges Batumber on my grey tile - I use it to create a simple but
favoured fill for Dreamcatcher, and it was the perfect choice to finish
a Travelling Tangle sent to me by Elena Greer

For a long time I thought it wasn't really enough in itself to class as a tangle.  It has so many tangle-relatives, which it shares less or more characteristics with.  To mind come Isochor, Indyrella, Barberpole, Marasu, Sugarcane, Starcrossed, Ticking and Kristillis - I'm sure you can think of more?  All of these tangles particularly appeal to me, and all rely on those repeated curved lines for detail.  But each has a particular initial shape which defines it and the detail lines are almost an afterthought.  I wondered what would happen if the lines became the star of the show, and the structure merely the framework to hold them...

And so Clob was born.  Clob because the little lines work best for me when I draw them as I would a CLOsed Bracket!  Of course the name might not suit you if you prefer to draw open brackets instead!



I find the repetition of the Clob line so relaxing.  Shading is so simple - you just pop a line of pencil into the valleys and smooth it out a bit, making it as dark or light as you like.  And suddenly the tangle is transformed - it really seems to shine, and jump out from the paper.



There are so many variations possible, depending on how you lay your initial lines.  Parallel or not, straight or curving or spiral, closer together, far apart, laid over each other, or with gaps between.  You can even embellish within the little brackets.  And of course it plays well with other tangles.

White on black - always the trickiest combination for me. 
Clob accompanied by Flux.



Renaissance tangling - Clob dances with Henna Drum and Cat-Kin.

Call it washed-out or call it dreamy?  Blue and purple tones
give a soft look to Clob with big bright Printemps.

Last but not least the simple elegance of black and white.
  Abukas with bands of Clob and a handful of Fescu.

Perhaps by now you can see why I think those little shiny lines deserve a tangle and a name all to themselves?    I hope you have fun playing with Clob and I'd love, as always, to see your results.

[Hopefully this pattern doesn't replicate any existing tangle I might have missed, in name or appearance, but please let me know if it does.]

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

stones in my pockets

Much of my recent tangling has taken place within a journal, thanks to being caught up in the Tangled and Journaled Facebook group and their Little Summer Project.  I've enjoyed following the prompts and working within a journal has been a new, challenging and only infrequently frustrating process.  That particular project has come to an end, so I'm looking forward to getting back to work on some loose tiles.

The first of which was a tile for this week's Diva prompt - a guest post by Jane Reiter who invites us to tangle with the wonder of Petoskey stones held in mind.  I did, but perhaps they rattled around a bit too much, because their influence was a little lost by the end!  I pencilled a light hexagonal grid and then added a 6 sectioned variation of Moonpie.

Coloured pastel paper / sepia Micron pen /
brown, white and graphie pencil shading

Until I have something more current to share with you, I'll offer you a set of green tiles I finished a couple of months ago - companion pieces to the grey and honey tiles I posted way back in May.

Green pastel paper / green Copic ink / green Inktense pencil / white pencil and gel pen / graphite


I've also had the thrill of being involved in another Mosaik Project - where I sent this tile to Annette -



which she then turned into wonders like this -


only far more fabulous as her mosaics also involved the work of 28 other tanglers.  Follow the button to see the results and go on, join in with the next one when it is announced at the end of October!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

enjoy the silence

I've found time to tangle of late, but not always to share what I made.  So, in a break from my usual routine, this post will be mostly pictures, few words.

Jessica Davies is guest hosting the Diva Challenge this week -
and she asked us to use a heart string.  I'm not partial to hearts, but am smitten
with Jenna Black's Cross-UR-Heart - so all came good on this tan tile.
 


We've had a couple of spikes of unseasonably hot weather recently - one in June, one last week. 
On both occasions I tangled onto a tile dyed with tissue paper.


As the temperatures fell, clouds gathered and the rain began.  I tangled this
for It's a String Thing #202 - but ran out of time to send it to Adele!


And lastly, but not leastly - my tanglefriend Michele is guest hosting
Joey's challenge this week.  She asked us to use Margaret Bremner's
rope string and step away from anything other than the tangles we held in mind.
  Which left me with Printemps, Beadline and those shiny lines
I can't resist drawing everywhere!



Thursday, 29 June 2017

a little uncanny

Not much time to tangle this week - but how could I resist the Diva's invitation to play with Aquafleur

I took a rather yucky yellow tile and went all angular on it - inspired by Rick's Aquafleur triangle and the Aquafleur with a hollow middle on Shelley Beauch's blog this week.  I also popped in a few Deco-style fillers which I've been playing around with all week.


As I was tangling my partner was busy in our kitchen, baking a surprise cake for my birthday tomorrow.  When we'd both finished our makings I went through and she revealed the cake to me - lemon and poppyseed.  I had no idea what she was planning and she had no idea what I was tangling - but if ever a cake and a tile could match, these surely do!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

breaking the rules

Anything that encourages me to slow down and take my time is a good thing - so meeting Margaret Bremner's Dansk tangle via this week's Diva Challenge was most welcome.

Margaret suggests we don't start with too many individual Dansk sections - but it's always tempting to want more, more, more of a pleasing tangle.  I kept my numbers fairly limited in this first tile drawn onto a background I'd coloured using Distress Inks. 


There was no additional colour added - just graphite and a little white pencil for highlights.  It's tempting to shade with more colour but sometimes I like to stick the muted tones of the background alone. As the Dansk grew bigger, it was easier for my auras to grow a little wobbly, but I just about managed to tame them.  This reminds me of 70's wall paper, of peacocks, of coffee drunk at dusk.

I had another go with Dansk on an original Zentangle tile.  The tooth of the paper made my line slower and short tails on the Dansk also meant the auras were more manageable.  I couldn't resist squeezing in more this time and I changed the tangle a bit by interweaving the auras too.  I built up the graphite shading layer by layer to add a sense of roundness to the two panels. 


I like the way my eye plays with what I'm seeing - am I looking through white bars to the scene beyond - stylized waves on a stormy sea.  Or am I about to reach out and touch two ornate tubes, perhaps part of a strange engraved musical instrument?  Zentangle is not meant to look like anything in particular, but my mind can't help but make up stories to explain the things my pen has done.