Lots of art/tangling going on here while I try to get my next few weeks figured out. Today I tried B'Twined, a new tangle by CZT Pegi Schargel. I didn't experiment all that much, however, just followed her instructions and my only addition was color. I plan to get more experimental with this one for sure--it's very easy and I like it:
And I've been busy working in my 2013 Tangle a Day calendar (designed by Carole Ohl, CZT), which I never finished in 2013...too busy at work that year. Her calendar provides a great surface to work on and its tangle spaces are only 2x2" which is even smaller than official tiles. I didn't want to let the calendar go to waste.
Plus, it's a great record of how much I've improved since my earlier tangles. Practice does really make a difference, and I can see it as I flip through this book. I will treasure it for just that reason.
Here's a recent day when I filled three of the boxes:
Yes, you're right, it's not currently August, or anywhere near August. And it's not 2013. But for the above stated reasons, I'm still working in this book, and when I finish that, I'll move on to the 2014 version, which I have barely touched. Needless to say, I didn't buy the 2015 calendar, but I hope to buy and fill the 2016 one, now that I am much more actively doing art. You can order a one of these calendars here.
Recently, someone sent out a challenge to combine Lynn Mead's Fassett Tangle (above, right) with her earlier Phroz tangle (below). Note how similar they are. I didn't participate in the challenge because I needed to first familiarize myself with both. I love these two, and may yet do the challenge just for myself. Here's Phroz.
Cool! And easy.
One more experiment with ING and Sprinkle combined. This one has a little Aha! and Printemps thrown in for fun:
I think there's another issue going on currently for me though. In my journal yesterday I wrote about a phenomenon I've been noticing recently: When I post some of these pictures on Facebook on some of the closed art groups I belong to, I can see myself getting anxious about how many "likes" my pictures will get, compared to those of other people posting. And if mine don't get much of a reaction, I notice that I begin to devalue what I have done.
I've seen plenty of articles about this syndrome, most of them geared towards what happens to teenagers who either get ignored or worse, trashed, on FB, and we all know about cyber-bullying, ugh.
I'm just surprised to see what a colleague refers to as "compare-anoia" coming up for me, and even more surprised to see how strongly it can affect me. (I regularly thank the gods of wisdom that when I was a teenager, there was no internet and no social media--it would have destroyed me. So hard on kids.)
Have been thinking about this a lot over the past couple of weeks. The truth of the matter is, there are plenty of people who are far better at Zentangle than I am, and I do not say that to denigrate myself in any way. It's simply true. Many tanglers were artists long before they took up tangling. Or even if they weren't, many have practiced more. Or just somehow have a knack of grasping the techniques more quickly.
I do feel confident that I can improve with practice.
So why am I having that sinking feeling when my posts get (relatively) ignored? Why am I comparing my work to everyone else's? Human nature, I guess, and the product of the small-e "ego." Nevertheless, I am committed to
1) continuing to practice like crazy;
2) continuing to post, because it's important for me to get past others' reactions (or non-reactions); and
3) continuing to observe when I'm comparing my work unfavorably to that of others, or feeling disappointed when I don't get attention (jeez, like a 3 year old).
AND...I am committing to actively looking for ways in which I am getting better, and ways in which my work is good.
I took a risk this week and tried a tangle I don't really like and didn't really quite grasp how to do, despite following the directions. It's called Bucky. Here was my first tile. I actually like this tile, even tho Bucky (in the center) isn't done very well. It rather looks like a quilt to me, which I enjoy.
I do like it. But, I knew the Bucky-part wasn't very well done. Therefore I stuck my neck out and put out a call for help on it in the private FB group. The amazing Mimi Lampert (formerly of Smith College Library, now retired), she of the fabulous tangling and colored pencil work, gave me a new set of instructions to work with. Bucky suddenly became easy to do!
What I realized was that I still don't actually like the tangle all that much visually, even though I can now do it easily, thanks to Mimi. So I experimented with it on this tile and had fun seeing what else I could do with it.
That was really fun. I'm using a very cheap children's multicolored pencil for the coloring on all these tiles.
The point is, I did stick my neck out and I really learned something good from it; and one of the things I learned was that there are plenty of other Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs) who have trouble with this tangle as well. I have company. So we all learned something. That feels good. I really want to get over this small-e "ego" thing and rely less on the opinions of others. That way, I can have even more fun.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in Western Massachusetts. 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
Skillful Meditation Project