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
I hereby declare an official end to my "Broken Wrist Series" of tangles.
My wrist (and my hand, which was the real worry) is coming back to life and acting more and more normal with every passing day. Finally. I've been out of commission for nearly four whole months, but I'm returning to more normal life now!
To celebrate, I tangled with a friend today.
At the moment I'm in upstate New York, and it's been quite a few days with no art, so the above was a warmup. After which I did this:
I stuck that tile into the pre-strung journal on one of the "not-strung" pages, with another tangle I tried recently:
Recently I'd bought some transparent photo corners and am happy I did--I like them better than the opaque corners. I'm enjoying using this journal, which allows me the choice to draw directly on a page or to paste in a tile. Some of the pages have strings pre-drawn, and others are blank; I appreciate having both options.
My buddy and I are both taking an online sketching course that begins tomorrow. We'll see if either of us has the guts to post some of what we do.
Wow, does it feel good to be drawing again.
In my previous post (9/20/17), I showed pictures from the workshop on Tangled Fans I attended last Sunday morning at Connecticut Tangle Time (CTT).***
That was the morning. And then came the afternoon. It was all about Kelly Barone and her Tangled Clocks. Here are a few of the ones Kelly has created, some of which she brought as samples to inspire us:
Tangled Paper Clocks...yes!
So as I was saying, in the afternoon, we were taught by Kelly Barone, CZT, owner of Whimsy by Kelly (that's a link to her Etsy shop; she sells the clock kits inexpensively in her shop, folks...this is my evil attempt to enable all you tanglers...).
Kelly was highly organized and her prepared kit was terrific. She began by explaining how she got started on clocks: she had seen a tangled clock made by someone in Germany. She was captivated and immediately tried to track down the source for the materials, but the manufacturer had stopped making them. She looked for months for another source, with no luck.
So...she decided to make her own kit. And she did. Once she got the bumps worked out, she began putting kits together (you can find them on her Etsy site, link above). And we each got a kit at the workshop--so we could start tangling immediately.
This was a project we all started but I only saw one person finish a clock during the workshop. The rest of us had to take the pieces home and work on them, putting the clocks together afterwards. I'll post some of the finished beauties at the end. Note that all of these are other people's work, not mine, except where noted. My own clock is finally finished and is near the bottom of the post.
EXAMPLES OF CLOCKS THE PARTICIPANTS CREATED AFTER THE WORKSHOP:
(Below I've posted some of the clocks that participants have been finishing since the workshop ended--check back for more as people finish and I add to this post.)
I hope you'll visit Kelly's Etsy site (the link is near the top of this post) to see what else she does. She is incredibly creative. Thank you, Kelly, for another great class.
All in all, this was one mind-bogglingly wonderful day. I cannot wait to finish working on my own clock. It may be awhile, but I'll post it when I get it done.
*** "CTT" is an organization for the continuing education of CZTs (Certified Zentangle Teachers) in New England and beyond. If you are a CZT, consider joining them on their Facebook page. You don't have to live in Connecticut, and teachers often make kits available for CZTs who cannot travel to attend the workshops. To join, go to their Facebook page and request membership (you'll have to prove you are a CZT so get out your certificate).
Isn't that what fans are, after all?
I was lucky enough to go to two workshops for CZTs (Certified Zentangle® Teachers) in Connecticut the other day, and we spent the morning with Diane Yaciuk, CZT, learning how to create tangled fans. I was fascinated. So fascinated, I never got to tangle my own fan. That's why this post is about other people's work.
Diane is a marbled paper addict and expert. Check out her work on Facebook HERE. Somewhere along the line, she became interested in Zentangle and fans, and she began the workshop with a little history and a lot of examples to inspire us.
Not only was the workshop itself completely absorbing, but Diane also told us the story behind the paper used in the fans. It's made in Vietnam, in a rural village with no other source of income, and the tradition is in danger of dying out. Some of the papers (see the black paper at the top below) take 100+ steps to create. You cannot believe how luscious these papers are. They have no chemicals or sizing. They are thick and sturdy. Some have tooth and some are very smooth. Diane is starting to sell the papers in order to help the town. You can read all about this HERE (don't miss the videos and fascinating history) and other tabs on that site will lead you to other things Diane's involved in (including her fabulous scarves). The paper story is very compelling. We each got to go home with one of each of the papers. I can't wait to experiment with mine.
Photo of some of the paper samples below. And underneath that are more photos of in-progress fans that I took as participants in the workshop began to tangle on their own fans. Prepare to drool!
After a brief introduction and some good instructions, participants started to work on their own fans. I had permission to take these photos, and was so busy wandering around that I never got my own fan started. But I hope to begin working on it soon. Thanks to all those who allowed me to take photos...especially as I cannot credit most of you because I can't remember who was working on what! Oy.
IN PROGRESS. ...Well actually, this is the start of the linework for my own fan! Finally. That is Kathy Barringer's wonderful tangle "Antique" at the top of the fan, and Chase Messineo's tangle "Ziggle" right underneath (that tangle isn't finished). Plus random linework at the bottom. The finished fan (I added color and more FineTec) is more toward the end of this post.
...and...TA-DA! THE FINISHED FANS ARE BELOW.
DRUM ROLL, PLEASE...
© 2017 to Ann E. Grasso, CZT. This spectacular finished fan is by Ann Grasso. I forgot to mention that one of the goodies in our kits was a jar of FineTec paint. Ann is obviously familiar with these paints and has used them with spectacular results here. I drool every time I look at this. Thanks to Ann for this photograph and permission to post this.
Aren't those finished pieces wonderful? I need to get busy on doing my own. Every summer I reach for a fan when it gets hot and humid. Now I'm curious about their history as well as their practical uses. Time to do some research.
Check back on this post occasionally. I may be updating it, as I am on the trail of getting permission to post other fans as they are finished. Thank you Diane, for one inspiring and very fine workshop.
Next post: The afternoon was equally impressive. I'll keep that topic under wraps for a bit. I hope to have it up in a couple of days.
Well, before I get to the story of the dreaded putty, let me start with some tangles. Here are two entries for this week's Diva Challenge # 332, a square within a square.
Every tangle in each tile is brand-new to me, and it shows. I consider both tiles "first tries" and drafts. Not bad, but of course they'd get better with practice.
In the first tile, three totally new patterns:
On the lower right corner: Kinnggo by Susie Ngamsuwan. Don't blame her--this is my first attempt! I like it though, and will use it in future.
Center/right-ish: Andromeda by Lily Moon.
Upper left: Bealis, by Aurora's Artwork.
My square-within-a-square for the challenge was formed by the Andromeda tangle. This was a fun exercise, even though not very meditative since I was in learning mode. I would need to practice a lot more with each of these, and I intend to. I thought I would try them in this challenge since I'd been wanting to try each of them for a couple of weeks now.
Another brand-new (to me) tangle called Sunspots, by Rosemary Turpin. This is one repeat of the pattern; it's simple and meditative to draw. I figured it qualified for this challenge because there are 4 squares, visually, inside the one repeat.
It would make a great quilt, don't you think?
Lastly, here is the Dreaded Putty--the hand therapy material that is making my hand go crazy with pain, but it's also really helping. The two culprits are Red Putty (softer), and now my wonderful OT has added the dreaded Blue Putty (scarily harder). I have to squeeze the red one and do various torture-y exercises with the blue one. Ack. Ouch. But I know it's helping.
I want my hand back so I can end this "Broken Wrist Series" of tangles and get on with my life.
Impatience has taken over!
We've all heard of Sylvia Plath, famous for her extraordinary poetry, fascinating life, and tragic suicide. But who knew she was also a visual artist? I certainly didn't.
Check out this fascinating article from one of my favorite websites called Brain Pickings. Plath was a visual artist as well as a phenomenal poet. I wish I could post some of those photographs here, but I haven't asked permission, so instead I will direct you to the site of the article where you can see them in all their glory.
Meanwhile, my damaged hand is continuing to respond to intense exercise. It hurts like hell most of the time but it's finally beginning to act like a hand again. (At least it isn't my dominant hand--and for that piece of luck, I am eternally grateful.)
I've been able to tangle a bit more. Here's a recent piece and how it evolved.
The first stage, lines in progress:
Next, here is the piece with the line work done, but without any shading:
And below is the finished piece on the actual journal page, after shading:
This was so much fun to draw, as it was simply line after line after line, each one drawn slowly and deliberately. A meditation in motion.
Another insomniac night produced this in my Zentangle® Pre-Strung Journal that's near the bed. I was too lazy to get up and find my colored pencils so used only the Rainbow Lead Pencil. Many of the pre-drawn strings in this journal slide right off the page, as this one does. I love the way Zentangle regularly breaks all the rules.
I am currently reading Tara Brach's extraordinary book, Radical Acceptance, and have been thinking about acceptance in relationships. Note that "acceptance" does not necessarily indicate "agreement with," but rather is an acknowledgement of exactly what is happening--before any action is chosen. In other words, not blindly reacting, but instead seeing the situation clearly and then perhaps being able to choose a wise action rather than going with the first impulse.
I've been bringing these ideas into meditation and learning from them. In a world gone mad with angry, hostile relationships, full of trolls and bullies, there has never been more need for being able to see clearly and choose one's reaction wisely.
This carried over into my tangling, as I found myself starting with the tangle Betweed and then thinking about similarities between Betweed and Mooka, which is what I was playing with here.
...after which I slept quite well, even if not long!
Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change.
Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.
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!
my last post was about in-somnia, but last night before bed i did a pre-somnia tangle and, for the first time, didn't wake up in the middle of the night.
i'd been wanting to try the tangle "kandysnake," which was new to me. once i put that one on the tile, it cried out to be joined by "footlites," (one of my favorite tangles) and then i connected them with "beadlines."
THE HAND UPDATE:
a page from my journal. i still have to wear the splint at least 80% time, but last week it was 100%. it's still incredibly painful but it's less painful than last week when i was beside-myself-uncomfortable.
i think things are heading in the right direction, even though it could still be weeks before i am fully functional again. two months ago today was the break.
after an evening and night of bad wrist pain, i woke at 3.45 a.m. today and did this for the next hour. -->
on reflection, i'm amused at how perfectly it captures what was going on with me and why i couldn't sleep.
sometimes tangling is almost too revealing!
and yes, that was it for total sleep last night.
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