My last two posts have been on the Zentangle® workshop I attended last weekend with Martha Huggins and Molly Hollibaugh leading. All in all, we had over ten hours of drawing time. That's a lot of tangling! And oh, was it lovely.
In the previous posts, I've showed our first drawings and talked about why I liked the workshop. Yet another thing I liked was that we worked with "oldies but goodies," some of the most familiar tangles. Or early tangles that haven't had much attention recently. I love to revisit older tangles and see them in new ways.
So to continue with my own results from the workshop, plus the fabulous "mosaics" (everyone's tiles collected and displayed together), here are some more things we worked on. Today's post is not the end--there is at least one, if not two more posts about the weekend coming over the next couple of days.
Let's start with an old favorite, Bales, done on a Bijou tile (tiny tile) as a warmup:
And of course, once we had these done, we made a mosaic of them. Have a look at the cool similarities and differences:
Next we did another Bijou tile with the tangle Well, which many people have trouble doing. Frankly, I had forgotten all about this tangle and hadn't tried it in years. Loved the reminder and doing it after all this time.
...and of course, we made our mosaic of that also:
But of course we couldn't leave it there. Next we combined the two tangles onto one tile (Bales + Well = "Wales"). Oh, this was even more fun:
...and then of course the class mosaic:
Every collaboration helps you grow.
One of the things I liked about this past weekend with Martha & Molly (see my two previous posts) was how we started our work by practicing familiar monotangles, each on a tiny Bijou tile, and then used all of them on a standard-size tile. Finally, we put them all together for the Big Surprise.
The process looked like this:
Next, having warmed-up with the Bijous, we used the same tangles together on a regular sized tile, thus:
And then...we put all the standard-sized tiles together to form this amazing mosaic of tiles. I love it when this happens--it's always the Big Rewarding Surprise! See below.
This was the final tile we did at the workshop that ended yesterday. I've referred to the Perfs (the official Tangle name) as "Pearls" in the title of today's post because they look that way to me.
Because the venue needed to ready the room for the next workshop, there was no time to do a class mosaic so I don't have a picture to show of what would undoubtedly have been a really magnificent collection of tiles. I really enjoyed creating this one, and would like to play more with this particular string. Thanks to Martha & Molly for a truly amazing experience.
When I got home last night it was smotheringly humid here, really unpleasant. But overnight the weather shifted. Here was Dave Hayes the Weather Nut's forecast this morning. It cracked me up!
"THE 411 FOR THE 413: SUNNY, WARM, SWEET, NICE, AWESOME, PLEASANT, KILLER, GREAT, LOVELY, FABULOUS, MORE PLEASE, AND THANK YOU..."
He turned out to be 110% accurate. Love him--so helpful. It is absolutely exquisite out there. I just took a long walk and spotted these phlox broadcasting their extraordinary color along the sidewalk. Most phlox here are shriveling up now, but because these are in shade for much of the day they're still going. In person, the color is nearly psychedelic, almost too much for the eyes.
This little beauty is a much smaller mosaic that the one I posted yesterday, but it is the same pattern I posted yesterday. I took this shot of "3-Z tiles" placed into a tiny four-person mosaic before everyone else at the workshop added their own tiles. Even though it's small, I had trouble remembering which was mine, but I finally determined it's at the lower left.
This is an even better illustration than yesterday's of how we all heard the same instructions, and we all used the same materials, and yet each person produced a unique result.
Life is like art - it is all about interpretation.
Just back from a workshop led by Martha Huggins and Molly Hollibaugh of the Zentangle® family. (If you are unfamiliar with Zentangle, click on that link and prepare to enjoy their well-done website loaded with art eye candy.) I was very fortunate to attend with a good friend, and we got to spend the whole weekend doing art. Such luxury!
I have many more photos to post but to start, here are examples of two tiles we did this morning. After both my own tiles, I'll post the mosaic from the group. Not familiar with this terminology? Not to worry, here's what I mean:
"tile" = a small piece of paper that we draw on, and
"mosaic" = the collection created when a class puts all their tiles together.
The fun of the mosaic is that everyone has heard the same instructions, but look at the assembled collections of tiles below (mosaic) to see how individual each tile is. And yet they go together wonderfully.
Here are my own two tiles, and the class mosaics follow.
The mosaic of most of the tiles based on Printemps. Some people used Renaissance tiles for this one; most people used white. Isn't this an amazing mosaic? Not everyone had time to contribute a tile but I think this was the majority of the class. We all heard the same instructions; note all the differences and yet they all work when put together.
Two of my good buddies have been wanting to learn Zentangle®, so I went over to their place and did a class today. They did great--have a look at these results:
Really well done.
Of course, I forgot the handouts I had carefully prepared and printed before the class. It's been about two years since I have had a chance to teach tangling, mostly because of buying a house, packing, moving, unpacking, and then the Great Broken Wrist Adventure.
So it was truly wonderful to be able to refresh my teaching skills today with kind friends. Mind you, I have NO idea what they thought about it, but I sure had fun, and am delighted with their results. I hope they are also.
Much of what I've been doing in the last month involves embroidery with punchneedle and wool yarns. Unfortunately, I can't really show it here because the designs I'm using, both of which came off t-shirts I own, are not mine and I can't reach the artist for permission. But I'll show a portion of one of them...the back end of a horse. Here it is. I am really in love with working with wool yarns (these are lace weight and/or sock yarns) in my punchneedle.
The pink-ish background is a single ply hand-dyed Malabrigo lace weight yarn. Really the possibilities are endless since sock and lace-weight yarns come in so many colors now.
One of the best things about this is that I can try out rug designs in punchneedle first, before going ahead with the dyeing for a large rug only to discover that the colors or the design are not working. Better to find that out in a small punchneedle piece than after spending money for wool yardage or expensive wool rug yarn.
After weeks of playing peek-a-boo, leaves are exploding on the trees here. Yesterday I could see houses clearly through the trees in my backyard. This morning when I looked out, all I could see was leaves. Overnight.
Of course, it's not actually overnight as budding and growing has been happening for weeks, but something in the weather of the last few days has caused an explosion of leaves from their buds. They are so green, tender, and beautiful.
I haven't deserted the blog; my lack of entries is only due to the fact that I have been focused on punch needle embroidery and am working on two large projects that I haven't been able to get permission to show. The designer is dead, unfortunately, and I've no idea how to get in touch with his estate. I'm still working on it.
But since I'm teaching a Zentangle® beginner's class in two weeks, I'm now focusing on that. I found out today that the class is full and has a waiting list. I warmed up this morning with the typical beginner's tile (including tangles always taught and one frequently taught in a first class. If was fun to go back to basics.
I'd hoped to use my new projector and ipad for teaching this time, but in trying them out over the last couple of days, I've been unable to make them work well. Argh! I'll figure it out.
My "beginner tile" above was done while I was holding up the projector with my left hand and tangling with my right. Talk about awkward...even so, I could feel myself slipping into the meditative state found when doing Zentangle.
Next I decided to try a new tangle:
The main tangle here is called Safflower, by Sarah Fowler. This is my (mis-)interpretation of her stepouts. Does not look anything like hers, but that's ok. Done with a Micron 01 and graphite on an Apprentice Tile. I snuck some Mooka in on the lower right and bordered it with a few dots. Shading was...a challenge!
The Diva Challenge in mid-April involved two of my favorite tangles, Shattuck and Tripoli. A "duotangle." (Click on that link for eye candy--scroll down to the bottom of her blog for the location where everyone posts their response to her challenge) Here's my response. You really never know what will happen when you sit down to tangle, as this just proves. This one's just...odd. I like it though. Other than the two tangles requested for the challenge, the tile includes random linework.
I can't express how good it feels to be tangling again after several weeks of working on other art. Tangling has a unique place in my heart. Rug hooking can be so relaxing and meditative. Ditto with any type of drawing. Punch needle embroidery is also extremely relaxing. But tangling just takes me to another place, a quiet place, a place of focus and calmness. And it happens almost as soon as my pen hits the paper.
"The last time I checked, it was still legal to take long, deep breaths."
I know we've had winter this late before. Four years ago to the day, in fact, I'm pretty certain we also had snow. Today we had snow plus drizzle ("snizzle," says our local forecaster), plus now rain. It's grim out there, and of course, in Boston, the Marathon goes on. Admiration for those runners!
Much as I dislike heat, I'm ready for spring and even--gulp--summer.
Spent part of the morning coloring this tile. It has a story attached (see below).
So here's the story. A few days ago, Cris Strovilas Letourneau--a CZT and author I admire--found out that while she & daughter Alexa were visiting her sister for an overnight, their house burned to the ground. Unfortunately, their husband/father was inside and didn't make it out. He died in the fire. I cannot imagine the grief and shock and loss.
To make bad matters even worse, it now appears the fire was started by a burglar who was in the house. Of course, HE got out just fine.
There's a GoFundMe page set up and I've contributed, but I've been feeling so badly for Cris and Alexa. Other than sending prayers, there's not much I can do (I don't know her, have just met her once), and then Sonya Yencer, another CZT, created a tangle named SoulStar with Cris and Alexa and Cris's husband in mind. So last night and this morning I did the tile above.
While working on the tile, it came to me that the front "star" (lower right) is for Cris, the star tucked behind that one is for Alexa, and the "lead star" that appears to be a comet in the upper right is her husband, on his way through transition, leaving that golden trail behind as he sets out on his journey. The fact that his circle is smaller seemed to me to be about the fact that he's given up a physical life and is now on his way in soul-form.
My heart goes out to them each day. May their loss lessen, even though I know it will never go away, and may he travel safely into the Light.
"Body at rest, spirit free."
Sometimes things just surprise you. (Like every day, perhaps?)
They just don't turn out the way we expect, and we have to roll with the punches. Take this oddity:
After weeks of not being able to tangle because I was working on other projects, I had a few moments today to sit down. So how did I come up with this bizarre piece?
I'm not dithering, but the weather is. After yesterday's glorious sun and spring flower adventure (see the last post), today it's dull and starting to snow heavily. Every New England Spring is like this; the weather can't make up its mind.
I got busy doing the latest It's a String Thing Challenge, from CZT Adele Bruno, based on the letter Pi. Click on that link and hop on over to the challenge page to read about Pi and have a chuckle. Also to see what everyone does with this string. You'll get an eyeful out of the way the same instructions turn out so differently when read by different people. Enjoy!
In my last place of residence, the local homemade pie shop celebrated the letter Pi on March 14th annually with free pie. Yum. (See why March 14th is relevant by clicking on the link to the challenge page above.)
A page from my journal today. Not a masterpiece but at least it got me tangling and drawing, and I completely enjoyed doing it.
And speaking of roses, kudos and roses to my buddy Cheryl the Rug Rescuer. She has just completed a commissioned rug rescue for someone she knows who brought her a half-finished rug. As I recall, there was no wool with it, just the unfinished rug, so Cheryl had to match wool as best she could. The pattern, I think, was drawn by a rug hooking teacher who was unable to continue hooking, so I believe it's an original. Anyway, I love this rug (below). Let's first look at the rug on the floor of Cheryl's drop-dead gorgeous Victorian living room; then I'll post a closer view.
That's the rug in the foreground above, but isn't the entire room just so beautiful? And here's a closer look at the rug itself:
What a beautiful design. Very sad that the designer wasn't able to complete it, but at least the Rug Rescuer got it done! Now here's the hard part: She has to give the rug away to the woman who brought it to her. I would have a lot of trouble giving something this lovely away.
Now Cheryl is working on this wide-cut rug below (a real departure for her as she's not enthusiastic about hooking with wide cuts). I don't know whose design this is but it's very pretty: And yes, this is another Rescue Rug, started by someone before it was abandoned and turned over to her.
Quite unusual. I don't recall ever seeing this design before. Go Cheryl!
I haven't seen either piece in person yet; another friend took these photos for me (thank you, Kathleen). I'm hoping to see the actual rugs in person in a couple of weeks.
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