Thursday, 25 February 2016

IAST #133

This week I have submitted a tile in the 'It's a string thing' challenge (see link on my home page).

It's been a while since I submitted one. This week I decided that it was time for no more excuses and to just get on with it and try.

The Tangles this week are Fife, Yincut and Flukes. Flukes is one the first Tangles I learnt, so it was OK. I struggle with Fife - my tile just gets too busy and messy for my liking. Other Tanglers seem to manage this one but not me. Yincut is one I went through a period of using but haven't used for ages.

It took me a few goes to get something that I was willing to share. Here it is.

The string this week was hard.

How do other people manage with strings that have lots of small components? I don't use them except in challenges, and even then I will often skip a challenge where I don't like the string or will not use all sections.

Your thoughts?

Have a great week.

Miss L

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Diva #256 - Duo Tangle

This week's Diva challenge involved two Tangles that I've never seen or used. I struggled to get these Tangles to talk to each other on my tiles. The images I had in my head just did not want to appear on the page. I kept having to look at the step-outs for both and had to resist looking at what other people created before I finished my own versions of the challenge.

Here's what I came up with.

Jigsaw ZIAs

Over the weekend I finished my first ever A3 ZIA. I'm happy with it, particularly with how I limited myself to two colours - black and brown - and did not try and use every Tangle that I know.

Here's a link to it.


Readers of my blog may remember that I have a kitten named Arthur. I haven't put any recent photos up of him because I don't want my blog to be about him or the other animals in our family. But, today he is getting in the way as I type this so maybe it is time to put a new photo of him.

Arthur continues to be happy, cuddly, playful, adorable and full of mischief. He and Luna (the older cat) can chase each other for hours. 

What I'm doing this week

  • Struggling with the heat. Canberra is having a week of 35 degree + days. Trying to teach teenagers in these conditions is impossible. My students are being pretty good about it all, considering.
  • Re-reading Harry Potter. I never get tired of this series and I continue to be surprised at just how much I love the books. I'm in the early chapters of book 6.
  • Re-watching The Good Wife on DVD while watching the current series on live TV. 
  • Watching some trash TV and yelling at it - I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is on and I am hooked. Who needs to think when it's this hot anyway?

Have a good week.

Miss L

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Jigsaw ZIA

If you've been visiting my blog lately you'll know that I've been experimenting with using jigsaw pieces as strings.

Thanks for all the supportive comments about this. Your comments encourage me to keep exploring. While I don't consider myself to be an artist, I do think I'm getting the hang of this Zentangle art form.

I'm using the jigsaw ZIAs to learn new Tangles (Inapod, Kloorz, Meander and Palvero) and to play with shading in colour. 

Here's another simpler jigsaw ZIA where I've played with strings inside the puzzle pieces and kept to a two colour palette.

From Little Things Big Things Grow

From Little Things Big Things Grow is the title of a very well known song in Australia by Paul Kelly. In my blog is applies to my first A3 ZIA.

Here's the initial jigsaw string.

Now for some Tangles.

And some more Tangles.

And now it's done.

Details about using jigsaw pieces for strings and where to find the pieces on the net can be found elsewhere on my blog. Just follow this link.

Send me a comment with a link to your jigsaw ZIA and I'll include it here. Let's see what other creative minds make of this.

Miss L

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Diva #255 - Ghosts of Tangles Past

I love, love, love this week's Diva challenge. The Diva has challenged us to revisit early tiles and then create a new one with same Tangles, same string, same design but a more experienced person holding the pen.

I have not looked at my early work for a long time. It was a pleasant trip down memory lane. 

My Zentangle Journey started on 18th October 2014 with the arrival of my first Zentangle book - the book Pattern Play by Cris Letourneau and Sonya Yencer . I wrote about this book not long after I started this blog.

My first months of Tangling were in a visual diary. It wasn't until a few months later that I started using offical Zentangle tiles. Before I spent more money on this art form I felt that I needed to wait until I was more confident that this was not going to be yet another passing interest  (I have collected quite a few of those over the years - hello scrapbooking and hello Djembe drumming).

I remember opening that first Zentangle book and being gobsmacked by the images. I wanted to be able to create designs just like those in the book.

Here's my first ever tile, dutifully dated, titled and admired. Then there's the tile I created this evening.

What a difference a year (and a bit) makes. My enjoyment of this art form increases all the time.

An unexpected addition to my enjoyment of this art form comes from blogging about it. Blogging taps into my life long love of writing, my new found ability to draw and my new found connection to an online community.

Thank you for recommending the Pattern Play book when I purchased other drawing books.

ZIA jigsaw strings

I've been spending lots of time creating more ZIAs with jigsaw pieces. Below is just one. The shoe lace idea comes from a tile in Beckah Krahula's 500 Tangled Artworks.

Watch this space for progress pictures of my new A3 jigsaw ZIA. 

Happy Tangling

Miss L

A bit more information

Thanks so, so much for the positive feedback that I've been getting about my jigsaw ZIAs. Your feedback encourages me to keep experimenting and pushing my boundaries. 

I visit the blogs of the people who comment and I feel flattered that these people who draw so well think that my work is interesting. 

A couple of people have asked me about my jigsaw ZIAs and how I draw the jigsaw pieces.

I have copied several jigsaw templates from the web into a word document. I play around with the number of pieces and the overall size. I then lighten the image so that it is really faint. Then I print it onto good quality paper, usually an artist's acrylic with 300gsm. 

The faint lines allow me to choose when to darken the pieces or leave them indistinct.

For the ZIA above, I made the lines especially faint. You can see them - just - in the white space. The 3 pieces for the corner I printed onto normal A4 paper, cut them out and traced them where I wanted to place them.

I found plenty of jigsaw templates online. My preference has been to use fairly simple pieces as the point is the Tangle not the complexity of the jigsaw elements.

I hope this helps. Send me a link to your jigsaw ZIA and I'll work out a way to incorporate the links into my blog. Maybe I'll set up a jigsaw ZIA gallery with links to your work and new examples of mine? The possibilities are endless. 


Miss L

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Diva 254 - Valentangle

This week's Diva challenge is asks us to Tangle for Valentine's Day.

A confession - I don't like Tangling hearts, I don't go crazy over Valentine's Day and I haven't been thrilled by the love-theme Tangle challenges on the web lately.

I show my love for my husband every day of the year, not just once a year or on birthdays. Plus, this year I'm simply not in a Valentine mood.

However, I set myself a goal of completing Diva challenges every week so I have had a go at this one.

Here's the tile I'm most happy with. It features Tipple, Heartstrings, a little Hollibaugh and some swirly lines. And lots of pink.

What's your Tangling style?

As I was trying to get inspired for this challenge I had a wander through the other contributors to the challenge. One of the artists whose blog I regularly visit is Shelly Beauch. Here's a link: shellybeauch

I spent a couple of days with Shelly last year learning to Tangle, so of course I keep revisiting her blog. I really like the way Shelly links her Tangles and how she draws Mooka. 

Have a look at this little bit of one her recent tiles.

I love how Shelly draws Mooka and add combines it with swirly lines. I thought I'd give it a try and apply that technique to this week's Diva challenge.

Here's where I got to before I tossed it aside and started again.

The tile was going OK until I tried to mimic Shelly's Mooka. That got me thinking about my personal drawing style. I don't what that is yet, however, I'm interested to hear what other people have to say about their own drawing style and how it has developed.

I did complete a tile last night where I relaxed and went with what I was comfortable with. However, I did keep within the Valentangle theme, which was enough of a stretch, for one night at least.

Here's the tile. I created the tile at the top of this post this afternoon - a much better time to draw than after 9pm on a school night.

Have a great week and please leave a comment.

Miss L

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Diva #253 - Molygon

This week's Diva challenge uses the new Tangle from the mother ship - Molygon.

I have done a very quick tile this evening so it's not my best work, however, it was very instinctive and I adapted my design as I went. What was in my head is not what turned out on paper. Maybe the outcome is not the best but the process was?

Here's my tile.

My reason for not having time is that I'm tired and had school work to do this evening. Plus I am hooked onto watching "I'm a celebrity - get me out of here". Trashy TV but it gives Moo and I a chance to shout at the TV together. The bigger event today was the first day back at school for my students. 

First day back with students, particularly for Homeroom teachers like myself, is massive. You have to be 'on' all day. There is no gentle easing back into it. It will take me at least a week to retrain my voice into class-fitness. It's all good and I love it. I do get very tired though.

My new string obsession

I've been playing around with jigsaws as strings. Each piece is a mono-tangle. The coloured one is complete, the uncoloured one hasn't been shaded yet and the final one is my classroom sign.

I found the jigsaw template online somewhere that I can't recall. I hope you like them.

The Tangles in the coloured piece are favourites of mine. 

The Tangles in this unfinished piece follow the alphabet, starting at A. Most of the Tangles are new to me. It was a good way to expand my repertoire. 

The Tangles in my class sign are mostly favourites with a few new ones from the piece above thrown in. The 8KLA is my class name.  

Thanks for dropping by. Your comments help make me a better artist.

Miss L