Saturday, 21 June 2014

Mooka and Auraknot - nothing zen about them!

This week the Diva challenge (button right) was anything but zen for me. The challenge was to use only Mooka and Auraknot. Now I love both these tangles, but they bring out my unzen side. To start with, I can't cope with Mooka being open ended at the bottom - I don't know why but I need the 'stems' to meet so that they look properly finished. I decided to give myself a break and allow them to join at the bottom, figuring that Maria and Rick wouldn't want me to stress out over it.

Then I discovered that, for me, Auraknot is a geometric design and I wanted it to be all even and everything. The whole 'there are no mistakes in zentangle' just didn't happen. I wanted it perfect!! I did Auraknot over and over again and it was NEVER PERFECT ENOUGH!!

By now, I knew I'd lost the plot, so I sat down and produced the piece below, vowing that it would be good enough. I am quite pleased with it but if you look closely you can see lots of dots and marks I used to try to get the proportions right which I tried to disguise with a lot of lines but we all know they're still there. Very un-zentangle.

Seriously hoping next week's challenge won't trigger the geometric fiend in me.

After that I decided to satisfy the geometric fiend, and I used to produce a mandala loosely based on Auraknot. This made me feel much better.

Finally, I didn't have time for last week's challenge - beads of courage - but I did it this week so here it is.

Laura Harms (of I am the Diva) supports the Beads of Courage programme in the US, but I've discovered that it also runs in the UK and the link is here. It's for children who are undergoing extended medical treatments. Each time them have to have another procedure (e.g. an injection, operation, etc) they receive a bead. It sounds very simple and you don't realise its impact until you see the great strings of beads some children have accumulated when it really brings home the amount of procedures they have had to endure. It's tangible proof of the courage and patience they have had to show. I think its a brilliant idea and wanted to post a link to it just to raise awareness. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Zentangle Diva challenge #170

This week's challenge from the Diva (button on the right) was to use the tangle Bugle. These challenges are great for getting you to use a tangle you might not choose to use otherwise. I would never have picked this tangle  but I really like it now. I stole the idea of having it flying off from Kia here. That's another reason why these challenges are so good - you get to see (and steal!) other people's ideas. Thanks Kia.

I've also used Clove and CO2, both for the first time.

Zentangle featuring bugle, clove and co2

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Tangling books - experiments in Zentangle

A couple of days ago I bought an old book in a charity shop. The book was published in 1970 and it's called 'The Shell Natural History of Britain' edited by Maurice Burton. (It's not about shells, 'Shell' refers to the oil company who also used to publish travel books and general interest non-fiction.)

The book has lots of beautiful line drawings and some colour plates which I'm not quite so keen on. I bought it so that I could experiment with tangling on the pictures. Once I'd got over the 'naughtiness' of drawing in a book, I had a great time. It feels like a grown up's colouring book to me now.

The results are variable but my favourites so far are below.

First off I went big and tangled a whole page colour spread.

Zentangle drawn over illustration of plants

Then I found a little line drawing of three plants with a gap between the second and third just crying out for a bit of tangle so I snuck in Dooleedo (thank you Linda Farmer)

Zentangle dooledoo drawn over illustration of plants

Next I found two drab little mushrooms that wanted cheering up. I like this one as I managed not to over do it.
Zentangle drawn over illustration of two mushrooms

Then I started on some fairly unappealing worm type things (I'm not really learning much on the natural history front). Here they are on the complete page so you can get an idea of the layout.
Zentangle drawn over illustration of sea plants

There were more worms further in. I'm not particularly keen on this design but I can't help being amused by the way it came about. The original picture was actually the five horizontal 'shelves' which are in fact pictures of worms. It's a diagram showing how worms squidge up and then stretch out to move. I bet the artist never thought it would be used as a basis for a bit of ZIA!

Zentangle drawn over illustration of worms

The next one was a bit of a no-brainer.  These shells were clearly in need of a bit of Sand Swirl.

Zentangle sand swirl drawn over illustration of shells

Which brought me to the page on shells and rocks. I think I over tangled the rocks a bit so to make them stand out I put in a semi transparent background colour using 

Zentangle drawn over illustration of shells and lightly coloured

And finally, my favourite. This was a fairly plain water plant until I got hold of it.

Zentangle drawn over illustration of tall spikey plants

It's a big book with 500 pages so they'll be more to come.