And now here is a review of the stages of the second mandala I did with Ann Grasso's mandala creation technique. A few of these photos have been shown in previous posts, but I haven't yet showed the entire progression of this one, which I just finished today. Here's the development of this mandala. (New photos are at the end)
The original plain-vanilla version, but this second Zendala® was done on a Renaissance (tan) tile and so requires different techniques.
Using another copy from my original (on more cheap copy paper), I did a fully-colored version and really liked that too, but I was realizing that cheap copies were not holding up well and after all that effort, I began to re-think using this type of paper. I was reminded that I could make copies using a much higher quality paper, and I'll do that from now on.
Creating this version still left me with the original un-colored Renaissance tile. Time to color that one next...
And so, I did color it yesterday, and on the rich tan printmaking Zendala® paper, I could really "go to town" in a way that the cheaper paper couldn't handle.
And of course, I could not let well enough alone at that point, so I got back on my iPhone and played with my Mirror App again. I can't help it. Must. Try. It. Below are two results.
Next in this series will be the creation of a Zendala on a black tile. I haven't worked all that frequently (yet) with the black tiles. I enjoy never knowing how the drawing is going to turn out--what twists and turns the mandala shape will take as I work on it.
I notice I am petrified every time I begin to work on one of these, and yet working on each one, at each stage, has been incredibly calming. The fear is all in advance, and dissipates as soon as I touch pencil to paper. I am immersed in and enjoying this meditative practice, as well as the results.
Let's round this off with another Mae West quote:
"Anything that's worth doing is worth doing slowly."
I am going to bet she was NOT talking about Zentangle there. Ya think?
So...to review, here was the plain vanilla original, created July 21-22. I talked about it in this post (and for a few subsequent posts as I continued to develop it).
I then copied, and shaded it on regular copy paper.
So far so good.
I did not want to duplicate the colors. Today I sat down and colored the actual Zentangle tile. I thought coloring deserved good paper.
I didn't look at the former colored version, and couldn't really remember it. I wondered if they would come out identically, and hoped they wouldn't. And...they didn't! I am liking this a lot too.
Next, I made another copy of the original, and colored that. I was liking this a lot. But I the paper was flimsy and cheap.
I realized I still had the original mandala, uncolored, on the beautiful heavy expensive printmaking paper of the Zendala® tile.
Did I want to copy this onto the tile itself?
But could I leave it there? Oh no.
So I pulled out my iPhone and used the Mirror App that another CZT just mentioned to me. I just got this app (it's free) and have been experimenting. (Some would say I have been ruining things...eh?) So here are two results with from the mirror app.
Ok, maybe I can let this particular mandala go now! As Mae West used to say:
"Too much of a good thing...can be wonderful."
I actually dreamt about coloring the mandala last night, and when I woke up very early this morning I got right to it. When I open my colored pencil holder, I never know what colors I am going to use, but in the dream I remember I was using yellow.
The tile is tan--yellow on tan? Would that even work? What would it look like? Should I even try it?
Well, I did; I sat down and gave it a try. Here is the result. On the left is yesterday's version, which is only shaded. Today's version is on the right, using seven different colored pencils.
By gosh, that yellow actually does show up!
I did both of these on cheap copy paper. As I mentioned yesterday I made 3 copies of the original tile to play with and left the tile itself untouched. In today's colored version at the upper left you can see some buckling of the cheap paper where it got overworked when I was applying the colors. I like it anyway.
These are not "my" colors, so I'm intrigued with how they look and why I chose them. I'm also intrigued with how a 1/4 rotation of the tile, plus coloring it, makes it look so different from the shaded version of yesterday. That's what I love about this stuff--the learning never stops.
My next lesson will be to get better--I hope--at using the watermark software. I keep trying different apps and so far haven't found "the one."
Some days, you get outta bed and you know you just have to draw. Or at least that is true for me. I'd been putting it off for days, but I wanted to work on a mandala today, and told myself this morning that I wasn't going anywhere until I had it done. After dragging my feet a bit, I pulled out the initial string (draft format) I had created at Ann Grasso's workshop in CT last month (blogged about that here) and began to plan what I would do with it. Here's the start:
Doesn't look like much. "Fengle" is the name of that center tangle. Then a bit of free-form tangling around it. I looked at it for awhile and then added this:
"Shattuck" is the name of that tangle. Love that one; it's a go-to for me.
More looking and thinking...After some hand-wringing and trepidation, i added Citrus and a variation of Mooka, and some more free-form tangling, and ended up with this as the basic form of the mandala prior to shading:
I thought I might just stop there for the day. But I couldn't leave it alone and just had to add some shading.
Before shading, I made 3 copies of the basic form--one to shade, one to color later, and a spare. Here is the shaded version below.
Quite a difference, huh? I'll try coloring it next, but not today. I used a 30% cool gray Prismacolor pencil, Periwinkle Prismacolor pencil, and a Uniball Signo White pen for the shading and highlights. Plus the tile itself is tan and I did the tangling with a Brown Micron 01 pen. I really enjoyed the heck out of doing this.
I continue to be amazed at how frightened I am before I begin all of these projects, what fun they are when I am working on them, and how much I enjoy the results. I can only get better, so what have I got to lose by trying?
I swear, it's an adventure and a lesson every time I sit down to work on any piece of art, even if I tell myself "It's only practice." It's all only practice, no matter what! It's similar to meditation in that way. Here's a wonderful short blog piece reinforcing that idea.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
I'm teaching a Beginning Zentangle® class at the Greenfield Community Center on May 29th from 1-3 pm. They do not have a website so please call them for more information.
I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.)
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society