The Diva Challenge #245 this week is on Hollibaugh. Oh, how I love this tangle. I know there will be some fabulous renditions of it, so please click on that link and treat yourself to what others have done. Here is my quick version (on the left), very different from what I usually do.
And to round off the Hollibaugh celebration, here is the same tangle done by several first-time students, below. I had only 7 minutes to teach this tangle in a meditation class (all the students were training to be meditation teachers):
You can see the meditation chimes on the left. I do love Hollibaugh. Not bad for seven minutes of coaching. We were focused on the meditative aspect of the tangle.
And now on to the
BIG YARN DYEING PROJECT, Day 2.
Life is full of surprises and today is no exception. I will only get 3 skeins done today. My goal is six, but...not gonna happen. Much busyness with other people. And my car is in the shop. (Praying to the god of cars that it is an inexpensive fix) Plus, I have an afternoon commitment. I will end up dyeing yarn tonight, just to produce the third skein. As I write this in the early afternoon, I've just taken two out of the oven. So here are some photos of the process:
...and some of the results:
And of course, no dyeing process would be complete without what's in this last photo below. At least--that's true for me. I am apparently a dyeing slob. I get dye all over my hands, despite wearing good rubber gloves. It's a mystery how I do this; other people come out with pristine hands, but mine are always gross at the end. (No, the gloves do not leak. It's definitely something I am doing...but what?) Without this stuff, I wouldn't be able to go out in public for days afterwards.
Legend has it that Pearl McGown, the diva and doyenne of rug hooking in the 1950s, used to dye wool while dressed in an evening gown to demonstrate that it could be done without being messy. (NOTE: She is an entire story to herself--she singlehandedly kept rug hooking going in the U.S., but she was quite the dictator.)
Hey, if I owned an evening gown, I too could dye wool while wearing it without getting spots on it. I never get dye on my clothes either.
But I note that the legend of Pearl Dyeing in Her Evening Gown says nothing about her HANDS. Perhaps they were blue up to the elbows when she finished. Mine are all colors when I am done.
Long live ReDuRan. (No, I don't get a commission.)
More experiments with black gesso. But today, I put it on black tiles rather than a white one as I did yesterday. I am really enjoying experimenting with this.
Am also enjoying good company and the pleasure of spending time with dear friends. You know who you are!
That's what I'm thankful for this week.
A few weeks back, the Diva (Laura Harms) talked about using black gesso on a white Zentangle® tile, rather than using an official black tile. She had a lot to say about this and why she preferred to gesso a white tile to create a black surface (you will have to scroll down her post to get to the part about the gesso and why she uses it), and I was intrigued. I finally got hold of some black gesso and tried it out today. I never intended to post this tile--it's terrifically wonky and certainly not one of my best. But somehow, it's growing on me, so here it is.
I'll be experimenting more with this. The Sigma Uniball (white pen) and the white and Rainbow pencils definitely handled better on the gesso surface than they do on the traditional black tiles. Hmmmm.
Meanwhile, while I was downtown the other day I ran into this guy:
Yes, it's Mr. Edgar Allan Poe with his raven and tell-tale heart. I knew the statue was there, but this is the first time I'd seen it. Very well done. The poor guy looks miserable and stressed out, which he was in real life--and he truly hated Boston even though he lived here for awhile. Now he's a permanent resident and looks like he would rather be anywhere else. It's a great monument though. You should be able to move your cursor over each photo and click them better if you are interested. The heart was particularly disturbing.
“When I was young and filled with folly, I fell in love with melancholy”
― Edgar Allan Poe
Diva Challenge #243 was to keep things simple and "leave the majority of the tile empty." So I did. I just used my own tangle, Miss Fisher, and a tiny bit of Mysst, along with a few random other lines. Colored with the Rainbow Lead Pencil.
Very simple. And easy. I think I will try a few more tiles in this fashion today if I have a chance (and I did, at the bottom of this post). I'm not sure if "Miss Fisher" actually qualifies as a tangle, since if memory serves me right, a tangle is defined as being formed with no more than three lines. (I'll have to look that up) But I like it anyway. It's based on a stenciled decoration in the living room of the PBS-sponsored mystery series of the same name.
Ok, off to do some yarn dyeing, which is my main goal for today.
With the exception of the last skein, the dark purple skein, I was focused on lighter colors today. And in so doing, I learned a lot. I'll say more about that next time I post, once these skeins have dried and I've had a chance to wind them up so they look more presentable. Finally, another "simple tangle" for the Diva's Challenge?
Tangles are Mooka and Niuroda with a few embellishments. I enjoyed the simplicity of this challenge.
Now I get to go to the Diva's site and see what everyone else did with this, and I know there will be wonderful tangles to see there.
All in all, a very good day--I'm exhausted!
The tangle challenge from the Diva this week was a brand-new tangle called "Gourdgeous."
I was not too interested in this tangle when it was published. And now, having drawn it twice, I'm still not enamored. But hey, these things sometimes change with practice. Perhaps in a few months I'll view it differently.
After all, I didn't like meditation at first, either, and now I'm 40 years into it, still "practicing," and although it's as challenging as it ever was, I certainly am reaping the benefits.
But I don't see myself doing this particular tangle for the next 40 years, even with more practice. Even though Zentangle® is a form of moving meditation, some tangles increase the meditative experience, and some don't.
Which tangle works or doesn't work to increase Zentangle's meditative aspect differs from person to person, which is one of the interesting things about the technique...just like different types of meditation work for different people. Neither process is "one size fits all.")
Here is Gourdgeous, drawn in my Tangle-a-Day calendar. Since Maria Thomas (my idol) came to this tangle by simply using lines and spaces, I thought I'd add a few lines and spaces behind it. This was my first-ever attempt:
For the actual challenge, I put it on a black tile, using Signo Uniball pens (broad and narrow), a General White Charcoal Pencil, and a Rainbow Lead Pencil. So here you see attempt #2:
I'll try additional practice with it, both black and white and in color, to see what develops.
Right now I'm going over to the Diva's page to see what other folks have done with this. Usually I don't look until after I've submitted my own work so as not to be influenced, but this time I've accidentally seen a couple of the submissions on other people's blogs, and they are truly stunning. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else did.
Just a quick simple tile for this week's Diva Challenge #239 (Scroll down the page for the challenge; the tangle is Munchin). She includes a great video made by Molly Hollibaugh on this tangle.
I did this on a black tile with gold colored pencil, shaded with the Rainbow Lead pencil.
Good to keep this simple after having just had some eye surgery.
The Diva comments in her post that she's not a fan of the black tiles. I have reserved judgment about them as I haven't worked with them all that much--I need a lot more practice before I decide if I like them or not. She used black gesso on a white tile for her challenge tile this week. I am intrigued and think I will try this at some point. Love getting new ideas!
I did manage to walk to the studio today and the rug is coming along. If you are interested you can compare this photo to this one from six days ago (I have been there for a short while on each of four of the six days since):
That long border is coming together slowly but surely. Making me very happy.
You know, sometimes you have one thing in mind when you start drawing and you end up with another. In my experience it's the same in meditation...I sit down with one intention and end up going somewhere else entirely. It's all good, even the really hard bits.
Today was one of those days. I sat down to do Diva Challenge #238, planning on doing Tri-Bee, a new tangle by CZT Beata Winkler. So far so good. I see a strong connection between Trie-Bee and Zenith, the tangle introduced recently by Zentangle® Headquarters (don't ask me why I see a strong connection, I just do). So the plan was to put Zenith around the edges and put Tri-Bee in the middle. Instead, this is what happened. Or to put it another way, what the heck did happen???
Ok so you can kinda recognize Zenith around the edges, but Tri-Bee just flashed up from the bottom of the tile without ever showing its "TRI" part (it starts with a TRIangular center, if you look at the stepouts on the Diva's page, but somehow that center didn't want to show itself here).
I used a 4B pencil for the shading, which is a bit darker on the actual tile than it looks here. It was kind of one surprise after the other when I was doing the tile. I had drafted a tentative plan for it yesterday in my tangle-a-day calendar. I knew it wouldn't look exactly like that, but I didn't expect this. (go here to see--scroll down to the bottom of that post).
I like it, though! That's the thing.
Now that it's done, I get to go to the Diva Challenge webpage and see what others did with this (I don't let myself look before I do my own tile; otherwise I'd be endlessly copying, or intimidated out of ever trying).
The same thing happened in meditation this morning. I started going one place and ended up going somewhere else totally. Generally, I don't think of myself as someone who likes surprises. But maybe, just maybe, Zentangle and meditation are teaching me to learn to roll with them...and even enjoy them.
Diva Challenge # 237 this week was by guest Charlotte Carpentier, CZT, and involved finding something around the house that one could use for a stencil. I knew right away that--since it's fall--I wanted to use my apple corer.
After all, fall is all about apples, right?
I love my apple corer, and I love the many varieties of autumn apples.
And I often use the corer as a quick way to draw the string for a Zendala. It works like a charm for that.
She also suggested we use a spray color with the stencil to form a string for our work, so I puzzled about that and thought about a watercolor wash, but then realized that I have a bottle of Walnut Distress Spray, never used, and I decided to give that a try.
So, spritz, spritz, spritz...and I came up with this. Alas, I began tangling on it before I remembered to take a photo, but you can still get the idea of what the string looked like--kind of a cross between a Renaissance Tile and a plain white one.
WHERE THE TITLE OF THIS POST CAME FROM:
As you can see, the instant I had the string I thought of using the tangle Foot-lites by Carole Ohl, CZT for some of the sections. But I couldn't quite remember how to do it since it had been awhile. And...UNFORTUNATELY...my aging brain remembered the title as "Spotlights." So off I went, googling Spotlights and getting nowhere. A couple of puzzled and frustrated hours later (it was pretty late at night by my standards, so being tired was not helping), I put out a call to other CZTs and Lauren Spiegel Eldon came to my rescue, asking if perhaps I might be looking for Foot-lites, not Spotlights? She was very tactful and of course I had a massive "DUH!!!!" moment.
Ah, the aging brain.
It matters to call something by its right name.
But I was on my way. Here is the resulting tangle for the Diva Challenge:
I'm not quite sure what I was intending with the white pencil on the brown sections...I may have to re-do some of that, but overall I like it. In addition to the Walnut Distress Spray, I used a Rainbow Pencil, a Prismacolor White Pencil, and a Brown Micron 01.
And now for a little iPhone app fun with the tile from this challenge:
The Diva Challenge this week (Diva Challenge # 236) is to "Tangle Unexpected"--in other words, to tangle on something you wouldn't ordinarily tangle on.
My life is "unexpected" at the moment for sure. If you choose to read more about that, see the text at the end of the post; otherwise, I hope you just enjoy the pictures.
Here is the original untangled photo that I chose for this challenge. I took this picture of the kitchen door at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, a place I love to go for long meditation retreats. I don't think I even noticed the door until the second time I went there (not very mindful of me!) and when I saw it I was transfixed by how lovely it is.
As you can see, the lotuses are transparent and the rest of the background is frosted glass. At the moment I took the picture, something turquoise-y was behind the lower lotus, while the one on the upper right showed kitchen equipment the reads gray-brown.
I love this image and it almost seemed sacrilegious to tangle it, so that was the challenge. Here is what I ended up doing.
Tangles are Printemps and Scrawlz, along with some random work. Using Sigma Uniball White Pen, and a tiny bit of Derwent Colored Pencil.
Not sure what I think about this. Part of the challenge was to keep it simple.
THE "UNEXPECTED" CHALLENGE FOR THE REST OF ME:
I wanted to work on this image because, as I said in my last post, I need some zen! And looking at this picture reminds me of the work I do every day in meditation, and every time I go to IMS. Just stay in the now.
Without going into detail, this is the worst episode of back pain I've had in 30 years. I am confident that I can work it out and get back to my usual sturdy self, but the last two weeks have been totally unexpected and a big challenge to my remaining mindful. I want to do anything BUT stay in the moment when I'm in pain! Which of course makes it even worse. Thankfully I found a new chiropractor (and I think she's very good) and I'm slowly recovering. I was without a chiropractor when this started and that's what allowed things to get so out of control. Glad to be on the upswing again!
It's been a real test of my willingness to be mindful. Not to mention civil.
Auntie Acid says: "It's bad news when you get to the age when your back goes out more than you do."
Stay healthy, everyone!
Oy, it's been a tough week. And it's not over. By tonight I was ready for some relaxation-inducing tangling. Here is my response to the Diva Challenge #235. Still practicing on black tiles.
White UniBall Sigma Pen, White Faber Castell Pencil, Metallic Blue Colored Pencil.
Tangles include: Nymph, Up n Down, Scrawlz, Frame Over, Leaflet, Balo.
And of course, I had to play with the mirror app on my iPhone, so that result is below. I had photographed the tile on my knee while wearing bluejeans, and didn't crop the photo before I tried the mirror app. Who knew the result would be so interesting?
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 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