I hope you will take a careful look at the above piece. It's made from 28 triangular tiles placed together. Each tile is unique, and was tangled by my good friend AE. The overall effect is stunning. And, they can all be moved around easily for a completely different look.
Take another moment to look at each individual triangle and you'll see the level of creativity at work here.
* * *
This afternoon I returned from spending five days with AE.. She's been dealing with a particularly challenging and confusing illness for months now, and coincidentally (or was it...?), she learned Zentangle right around the time that the illness announced itself. For the last several weeks she has been receiving intensive and intrusive treatments, and I can't emphasize how often she has mentioned that tangling has enabled her to cope.
And while coping, she has been producing these mini-beauties. Here are a few more examples (with thanks to her for letting me post these):
The meditative nature of Zentangle has been extremely helpful while she has been in treatment. Tiles are the perfect size for portability and for tangling while waiting to be seen in a doctor's office. One of the things I truly love about tangling is that it is a form of moving meditation, and enables a person to focus completely on the present, line by line, and not get caught up in past or future. This is a huge advantage if you are waiting for a treatment session, a doctor's appointment or any stressful situation. AE has been making the best of her time, as you can see here.
* * *
We have known each other for almost 40 years (how the hell did that happen?) and have a lot of shared interests. We met while pursuing a particular spiritual tradition and soon discovered a mutual love of art and crafts. For years we both did bead work (she focused on loom work, I focused on bead embroidery) and between us we accrued enough beads to open a bead store. Not that that was our intention; as we are both "tool hoarders," we never considered selling our stock and each still have pounds of seed beads. We are constant knitters and each have huge yarn stashes. We both enjoy writing and have blogs; she has also written a novel. We've each accumulated way too many art supplies. We each meditate daily. We both read constantly, and our home libraries have many similar books. I wouldn't even want to speculate about how many books each of our homes contain...too many.
I have to laugh at the similarities--we are each hopelessly determined and obsessive in pursuing our interests. In just a few short months, she's produced as many tangles as I have in all the years I've been tangling. She has taken her tangling kit to every doctor's appointment and treatment session, and used that time well. It's an honor to share some of her work here.
And yet we are also very different, something I also enjoy. I value our discussions, whether we are agreeing or disagreeing.
I am fortunate to have her as a friend, and hope we continue our crazy, obscure, satisfying interests for years to come. She is kind, resilient, talented, hilarious and courageous. A gift in my life.
"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."
– Oprah Winfrey
"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate."
― Linda Grayson
Trying to arrange for some work to be done in my kitchen, I had given a local contractor nine dates to choose from. He chose today, the last date I gave him, saying he'd be here "after lunch." I didn't have much hope, I will admit, as I've had a bad experience with him in the past. Using him was not my choice--he's the contractor the company uses for its installations.
Of course, it's now 7 pm and despite my calling him around 3 pm (voicemail), he didn't show up and hasn't contacted me.
Good thing I am reading the following book, which I am thoroughly enjoying:
I am loving this book--although not sure I agree with all of it, but it is a lot to take in. It's very well written and funny. And yet...I wish he had not used the word "true," in the title, which smacks of dogmatism to me. Probably a reflection of my upbringing, but it makes me uneasy.
Anyway, it was no coincidence that I was reading this today.
i heard the sound of crickets last evening for the first time since last year.
to be more specific, i heard one lone cricket, and then about a block or so later, a second lone cricket. there is something about their sound that makes me so happy.
today i experimented with drawing a cricket (thus, the "hope" part of the title, as it was only the second day since i broke my wrist (mid-june) that i began to feel i was getting better. more about that later...
here is the very silly result--the first sketch is a cartoon cricket (from the jiminy cricket species), and the second one only a tad more realistic. both were done from youtube videos that i found when i typed in "how to draw a cricket."
below is my contribution to IAST 209 (the "it's a string thing" challenge). i was so happy to feel well enough to try this tonight. this makes two days of less swelling and pain, i'm almost afraid to feel hopeful, but i'm going with it tonight!
this is my 3rd cast, technically a splint with velcro straps that i can remove to shower, etc.
i was very excited to get it. feels like--and is--progress, but for some reason, my hand and wrist look far worse than they did in cast #2. both are very swollen. see the picture in my last post to compare.
i'm told this is typical at this stage but i feel like i'm traveling around with a Frankenstein Hand. i'm doing hand exercises several times a day and now, for the first time since the break, am in real pain. hence, no Zentangle® or blogging. but i did manage to draw this.
and yes, it actually looks that way. it doesn't resemble my other hand at all.
"nevertheless, she persisted."
i am persisting. i'm determined to get my hand back.
(or should i say "UN-well" ?)
I broke my wrist five days ago and am reduced to typing one-handed. Phooey! Looks as though I'll be on a 6-week blog vacation.
UPDATE: It's true I can't type (much) but I can't seem to stop 1-handed drawing. Scroll down to see the series of "broken wrist tangles." Oldest ones are at the top, newer are farther down.
waiting to heal. still can't type but doing some 1-handed tangles anyway.
this was the first, called "broken," done on june 26, partly inspired by my vision of what's going on at the site of the break
--playing with iphone app on "broken"--
iphone fun with that one-->
a page from my journal on july 3rd
Can't really type but don't want to stop drawing!
UPDATE, JULY 11th:
Let me check...oh wait...still broken.
Here's the next in the series of "broken wrist" tiles...
Here is the same tangle below, run thru an iphone app:
UPDATE, July 12th:
This was the original Compass Rose Mandala taught by Kate Lamontagne at Tangle U 16 a week or so ago. We were each given a selection of Prismacolor pencils and Moonlight Gellyroll 06 pens and Microns, along with a cool tool to create a basic mandala.
We all followed the same directions...and sure enough, everyone produced wildly-different pieces. I love that.
These are not "my" colors, but since I got them, I wanted to challenge myself to use them, and am glad that I did.
So naturally I couldn't leave that alone.
Well, I guess I could...and did--the original still looks exactly like the photo above. But I had to try a few experiments.
So I got out my iPhone and here's a slideshow of the results. Same photo run through 1) the mirror app and then 2) an app called Painteresque.
Hover over each photo below for a caption; then click on each photo to biggify it.
I loved working on the original, and then playing with it further. Now...since it's a Compass Rose Mandala, which "direction" is the favorite?
Huh?? What and what?
Ok, the title above comes from the names of the two new tangles I played around with this evening. Feels wonderful to have a pen/pencil in my hand again. [Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll be back in the studio, working on one of the new rugs.]
With plain graphite on the 'Dillo tangle (created by CZT Lori Manoogian) and Prismacolor red and bronze in the center panel, Fission by Richard Anderson.
And of course there are two iPhone "messing around with apps" versions below, both of them using the mirror app in different ways.
Honestly, I find the apps as irresistible as the process of tangling itself. Ya never know what yer gonna get.
"Regard everything as an experiment."
Well, time is running out. I have an appointment with the accountant on Monday. Gotta get that tax prep done.
But hey! Today's only Saturday, right? So I have almost 48 hours to party! (Or at least, my version of "partying"--meditate, take an art class, read a trashy book, work on my rug, do more drawing. An introvert's version of a wild party.)
So this morning I zipped down to CT to take a "Gems" class with Meredith Yuhas, a terrific teacher. I've done gems before using watercolor pencils. I had not done them with regular Prismacolor pencils, which I love. And since I haven't had time to tangle for almost three months, I thought this class would give me some great practice. And it sure did!
Meredith did her usual thorough, well-researched, excellent teaching job. All class participants did the same gem, following the same steps, and now, of course, we all are prepared to do whatever the heck we want from here.
Here are the class results:
This was a two-hour class, focusing on the gem, with a final discussion on tangles we might use to surround it. You can see that some students finished their gem and others started to add some tangles. By the time the class ended, I was beginning to add tangles (mine is on the far right of the upper row of four). I deeply appreciated Meredith's tips and coaching; if you ever have a chance to take a class with her, do it.
I drove home pondering what to do to surround the gem. The photos below show the unshaded results, and then the results after shading.
And then, of course, because I never can let well enough alone, I had to fiddle with the apps on my iPhone to see what would happen. So here are two versions that I ran through different versions of apps. (In other words, I took the shaded photo above, and ran it through two different apps on my phone.)
Not too bad, considering I haven't had the time to pick up a pencil for three months. And with practice, I will improve.
Driving there, taking the class, getting back here, and finishing a trashy mystery took me most of the day. What a tough life. <kidding--I know how extraordinarily fortunate I am>
And the tax prep? As Scarlett O'Hara famously said, "I'll think about that tomorrow."
Paris. Beirut. Iraq. Syria. Egypt. All have experienced horrific violence recently, making so much of the world so sad, and leaving us all asking why. Not just why on an intellectual level (all the political/economic/faux-religious causes) but why on a human level. Why. Just, why.
Makes me feel as though there is little I can do. But there is something we all can do: work on ourselves; watch our thoughts and our speech. I need to remember to do this every day. I do not always succeed. My hope is that we can be kinder to each other. Be more compassionate. I am not talking about becoming doormats for violence; tough love is warranted when needed. But coming from love, not from hate. (I know it is hard to imagine coming from love right now, with some of what's been going on. But if we act from hate only, we are no better than those we criticize.)
So easy to say. So hard to do. Please take one moment to watch this video (2 minutes) about a man who lost his wife in the Paris attacks. As I said, so easy to say, so hard to do--but he is doing it. May the Goddess help him in his effort.
Thinking about this, I created another zendala today based on yesterday's class. It is barely a zendala because there is only one tangle in there, but the tangle matters. It's called "Paris," and was created by Ina Sonnenbrand after the tragedy last Friday. So if you look closely, you'll see it in the mandala in two of the layers. It's based on the Eiffel Tower. My heart goes out to France. And Beirut, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and on and on.
Tangle: Paris, by Ina Sonnenbrand. Microns 1 and 01, Prismacolor pencils, Moonlight Gelly Pen, and a Pentel Brush Pen that was basically too dry to use. Gamisol was used in a few places as an experiment.
Below is the same piece, but "painted in Waterlogue," an iPhone app I played around with. It made me think of all the tears we have shed over this kind of violence.
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:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm 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