Well. It's almost done. The hooking is done. Next comes:
And you wonder why hand-hooked rugs are so expensive. Every time you buy a cheapo hooked rug from China (and they are out there, plenty of them), you are disempowering an American or Canadian artist. But it's not my intention to get on THAT soapbox today.
And now...the rewards:
So after all this hooking (not to mention the Big Yarn Dyeing Project over the last six days), I decided to self-indulge with some rewards. My new freaky shoes (see the post from two days ago), one of which is visible in the rug photo above, were the start of an orgy of self-indulgence.
Just today my new dye spoons arrived from Gene Shepherd's online store. These arrived with lightning speed. I think I may even have ordered them on Thanksgiving, just last Thursday, and it's only Monday. I love them. They have so many advantages in this form, and I love that the measures go from 1/128th to 1 full teaspoon.
They were expensive, as all good dye spoons are, but I know the value of top-of-the-line tools, and these are definitely in that category.
There's more though.
Here are Carrie Paris's beautiful new Relative Tarot Cards, which you can find more about here. I can't wait to begin using these. (They are sold out temporarily but she'll be reprinting soon.)
While I am taking a short break from dyeing massive quantities of yarn for my new Moon & Clouds rug, I'll really enjoy working with Carrie's cards. And of course, I will be working with tarot at the opening of the tarot rug show on Friday.
Well, after scaring the pants off of readers with yesterday's post on my new shoes, I thought I'd post something more subdued today.
I really needed those silly shoes yesterday as I was in a dark mood all day. Really not sure why, and that is very unusual for me. Part of it may have been weather-related as it was dark, gloomy, and rainy out, but normally that's not an issue. Who knows! The shoes cheered me up, and doing that tile cheered me up just before I went to bed.
BYDP (Big Yarn Dyeing Project) DAY 6:
After getting nothing done yesterday except cleaning the house, I was back in the dyepots today. Three more skeins are just about ready to come out of the oven, and with them, I will have officially finished 1/4 of the dyeing for the background for this large rug.
The background will be 4 colors of dark purple, and today's haul completes one of the four. I need at least 8 skeins of each. I have 6 more dyed of color #2 already, and 2 skeins of color #3, so I am nearly halfway there.
Doing a small batch and then cleaning up today was easier than just leaving my kitchen set up for dyeing for several days in a row. That was incredibly disruptive.
I will be busy for part of this week at the upcoming opening of the tarot rug show in Vermont (see my earlier posts for details on that); this means I needed to "park" the Big Yarn Dyeing Project today. It will be several days before I can resume.
Needing new walking shoes that were not clogs, I realized I didn't want to buy something boring. I wanted to break out of my usual conservative wear.
I met that goal, with this new pair.
Of course, the result may terrify you. It did me. At first.
Then I decided to get over the terror and wear them, and now I quite like them.
Not to mention how much they distract everyone I meet.
Just to be sure you realize the full effect, here is a larger photo of just one of the pair. By showing only one shoe, I hope to avoid inducing a seizure in any viewer who may be extra sensitive to something so strobe-alicious. You may want to wear sunglasses for this larger view. NOTE: I am not responsible for any side effects you may incur by looking at this photo.
Finally, on a somewhat calmer note...
There is a "gem craze" going on in the Zentangle® community at the moment. Since I've been focused elsewhere (mainly on dyeing yarn for my upcoming rug), I've been ignoring it but today I completely hit a wall and could not tolerate dyeing even one more skein of yarn. I just had to clean up the incredible mess and disorganization in my kitchen.
So I did.
And then I sat down and tried drawing gems.
After which I had a little iPhone fun with that same photo.
Above is a mandala of some of the yarn I have dyed so far (original photo altered by the Waterlogue app on my iPhone). I had to leave out 4 skeins to get the rest in the photo! Below is the actual photo of the dyed yarn without retouching.
I wound the skeins into yarn cakes ready to be used in punching the rug, and they remind me of little colored moons or mandalas. Since it's been a particularly gorgeous full moon this week, I thought a "mandala of yarn-moon cakes" would be appropriate.
I wasn't able to do any dyeing today--just too tired. Ran minor errands, took a long nap, read a trash novel, and couldn't wake up enough to gather all of the yarns in one place until just before sunset. That turned out to be good light for photographing such different values.
It's beginning to dawn on me that I won't be able to decide on the colors of the inner motifs in the rug until I am actually hooking it. I am going to have to trust in trial and error. If that is true, then I need to focus only on dyeing background (the various dark purples), since that is the part I'm certain about, and then begin hooking.
Accident is design / And design is accident / In a cloud of unknowing.
Half of art is accident, but there is no accident without free experiment.
I just counted, and in the last 3 weeks I have dyed 32 separate skeins of variegated-color yarn, and of those, at least 26 either will be used in the rug or are under strong consideration.
Below you can see a partially-colored prototype of the design. The background will definitely be variegated dark purples.
Only the colors for the motifs remain to be chosen. In this photo, which was the second mock-up that I attempted, I gave up trying on colors for the motifs, since they are NOTHING like the colors of the yarn I've produced. I may have to try watercolor to get tints like the yarns I have. This picture tells me little except what the background might look like. Ignore the very light colors around the edge and in the top motifs--they aren't right.
I am exhausted and need to take a break from all this yarn dyeing. I may even need to start punching a bit of the rug in order to try out some of the lighter colors against the background. I've made a good start on dyeing the background, producing six more skeins today. I am taking at least one day off and plan to loll about as much as possible and indulge myself.
As Katharine Hepburn said, "Life is hard. After all, it kills you."
I am in yarn dyeing heaven. Or hell. Depending how I look at it. Am not making my daily goal, and my house truly looks like a tornado has struck full-force. But more about that later. This is quick post just to record what I did for the Joey Challenge this week, the monotangle Yuma.
I have spirals on the brain this week, so wanted to use a spiral string. It's debatable whether I did a true form of Yuma here, but what the hey. Here's a mirrored version, using the iPhone app:
Back to the yarn dyeing saga: I only managed to get 3 skeins done again today. And I won't really be able to see them until daylight tomorrow. Next step: stop until I've spent a couple of hours coloring sketches, and make a semi-final decision about which lighter colors to use. Then, calculate how many of each color I will need, creating a map that will govern the rest of the process. I think I've done enough testing. Time to get down to business.
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.)
What a day. Dyeing, dyeing, and more dyeing. And in between the dye sessions, dealing with life's other surprises. I did get six skeins done--six different colors--but can't show them until they are dry, probably by tomorrow.
Here's about all I can show now. It's one of the greens which had just come out of the oven and was momentarily too hot to handle. You can see the soapy rinse that I'd prepared just above it.
Sopping wet, this doesn't look like much. But I think it's the exact color I wanted and can't wait to see what shade it is when it's completely dry (wet wool is darker than dry wool).
Tomorrow I think I'll be experimenting less and working more on dyeing the background for the rug, though a lot depends on what I decide about colors I got today.
The Big Yarn Dyeing Project starts tomorrow. I have about 15 pounds of yarn to dye for the next rug, in 4 oz skeins. Each skein must be dyed individually. I can dye about 6 skeins a day. If I am able to produce that amount most days this week, I will still be only halfway toward the total. But that's ok. It's exhausting but fun.
I began prepping today. First, a couple of hours with my color plan and my previously-dyed yarns, to determine which "test colors" I need to dye tomorrow. I'm pretty settled on the colors for the background, but the lighter colors for the motifs are waiting for me to test them and choose which ones work.
After a lot of thought, I emerged with a list of what to dye tomorrow--testing several new colors to see if they will look good with my background.
Next came prepping the yarn. I'll be using up all of the old Paternayan rug yarn I bought years ago. Wish this were still available, but as far as I know, nobody makes or carries it anymore. That's ok though; I was able to buy some wonderful new yarn over the summer that will be as good. Here's the yarn on my floor after I added some ties to keep the skeins from tangling:
And here it is again below, all tucked in for the night (soaking overnight in Synthrapol to prep the fibers for dyeing tomorrow). Should be a very messy but satisfying day. I'm curious to see what comes out of the color testing.
Once I select the final colors, then I can settle in to produce multiple skeins of each color, and actually begin punching the rug. Oh boy oh boy!
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
The Joey Challenge this week is to build a monotangle from one named XPlosion. What's helpful about these challenges is that creating a good design with one tangle is often way harder than it sounds. Here's my attempt to do this with XPlosion.
I used a burnished Rainbow Lead Pencil on the negative spaces and a Micron 01, after which I played with the tile using the Mirror app on my iPhone and picked this version of it to post below:
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.
Hull, Massachusetts, that is. On the way home this evening from a Zentangle® get-together, CZT Debra and I drove down to the Hull Gut (one end of the Hull Peninsula) on the advice of CZT Elaine and her husband, both of whom told us to check it out. The sunset was OUTRAGEOUS...
And if that stunning view wasn't enough, eight or nine CZTs attended the get-together in a wonderfully comfortable room in the church hall and Victoria Dewey Babbin led us through her freeform mandala process. There were a few minor technical issues with the camera at the start of her presentation, and, thinking I knew where she was going, I zoomed ahead--and thus I didn't grasp her basic concept once the problems were resolved and she resumed. When, oh when, will I learn? I was too far ahead to change what I'd done, once she explained her technique. So you won't see it below, sigh...
Nevertheless, I think I understood what she was getting at, even though it's not shown here. I had a lovely time, finished the work tonight, and only later realized that I had come up with very similar colors to the sunset we saw on our way home. I must have had sunset on the brain--even before it happened.
Prismacolor pencils with Moonlight Gellyroll pens (highlights) and an 01 Micron.
My heart is with the people of Paris today.
The Joey Challenge this week (#86) was to do a W-2 monotangle. Quite a challenge...in fact, monotangles are always difficult when one is trying to do something creative, rather than just using the technique to learn the tangle for the first time.
I did want to do something different. I've done W-2 in the past with great success using just a Micron and graphite--it's a lovely tangle that looks tricky but really isn't, with patience and with a mindful approach. But making it look different? I dunno...
Then I decided to crosshatch it rather than using gentle graphite shading. And while I was at it, I decided to add Rainbow Lead pencil to it. And I decided to crosshatch the first try with a Micron (no erasing with that!) and to do it messily rather than carefully. What result would I get?
Well, here it is. It's messy. It's different. It reminds me of ribbon candy. Do I love it? No, but I'm glad I tried it.
There is something jagged and edgy in the result that reminds me of my feelings about the terror attack in Paris. (I do NOT mean to compare my scribbles to the gravity of what is going on there...just saying that despite the soft coloring and ribbon-candy look, it's got darkness going on and that reflects a bit of what I was feeling. i can only imagine what Parisians are feeling this evening...here in Boston, we know something about the effect of this type of shocking, senseless, brutal violence.)
I did this in my Tangle-a-Day calendar.
I then decided to try this on a black tile to see what would happen. Once again I used cross-hatching, both with the Signo Uniball Pen and with the Rainbow Lead. Here's the result, which I find interesting but also troubling. It seems that tangling was bringing out some of those rough feelings over last night's terrorism. In doing this mindfully, I reflected my awareness of right now, right here.
Will we ever mature enough to know peace? To embody peace?
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!
Beginning in December, an exhibition of art rugs will be opening in Shelburne, Vermont (USA). The exhibit's title is: "23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana." The theme was conceived by two inspired rug artists, Michele Micarelli and Loretta Scena. I hope you click on their links and look at their previous work. (These ain't your grandma's hooked rugs, that's for sure.)
The exhibit combines two of my favorite things: rug hooking and the tarot. I have a rug in the show; it's likely going to be the plainest rug there, because it's the last rug (the last tarot card) in the Major Arcana, The World, and I wanted my design to integrate and summarize the rest of the exhibit. Alas, I do not have a picture of my rug yet. When I do, I'll happily post it, but I did put up a few "sneak preview" partial photos here and here, before I was able to talk about the show (when it was still hush-hush).
The show is opening at this gallery. After it finishes its run, it will travel to other locations and venues for as long as there is interest. (if you are reading this before it opens December 4, 2015 or after it closes January 22, 2016, you will have to SCROLL DOWN to see the information about the show and the photograph of one of the extraordinary rugs.)
And they will be extraordinary. I have seen two of them (one is on the gallery site) and am already drooling with anticipation until I can see the rest of them.
AND NOW, ON A TOTALLY DIFFERENT TOPIC:
Here's a quick picture relating to what I hope to be doing tomorrow.
Yup, more yarn soaking...with luck, more dyeing will happen in the morning. More test colors for the Moon & Clouds rug.
I want to create a lighter version of two of the colors I produced last week, and experiment with new colors.
It's true that I dyed all the background for my tarot rug as recently as last autumn (see the links above for photos of that), but that was the first dyeing I'd had a chance to do for decades. Now that I'm back in the dyepots, the bug has really struck and I can't wait to play with color again. I'm hoping to create a veritable explosion of color as I move forward.
"Purplish brown? Let's agree it
is a color so bad we all flee it
it has no good use
so let's name it Puce
from the sound we make when we see it."
A quote about Georgia O'Keeffe's work:
"...The last mad throb of red just as it turns green; the ultimate shriek of orange calling all the blues of heaven for relief and support... each color almost regains the fun it must have felt within itself on forming the first rainbow."
Let me begin by saying, I do not have a kitchen that's well set up for dyeing yarn or wool.
(Anyone who knows me can also confirm that I do not have a kitchen well set up for cooking, either. But since I do not know how to cook, that's not a problem. I can go for years without touching a stove.)
It's tricky to do dyeing here (Ya think? Look at the mess above). I have a lot of dyeing to do for the Moon and Clouds rug I'll be starting soon. I've been thinking about this rug for a while. Moon and Clouds is a runner-type rug, a McAdoo rug pattern that I haven't yet seen anyone else make. It's one of the only remaining patterns I have--after I finish it, I'll be working with my own rug designs from here on out.
[I will make one exception for the final pattern I own, a fabulous one called "Russian Oriental"; it's gorgeous and intimidating, but I am slowly inching towards being ready to hook it. Maybe I'll get that done in the next couple of years.]
Moon & Clouds is 3 feet by 6 feet and will use about 14 pounds of yarn. I have nowhere in my house to put this rug. Several people have suggested I will need to buy a house in order to use the rug. Hmmmm.
On Friday I started testing background colors; I have an mental image of what I want for the background but am still playing with what I'll use for the motifs. I decided to try a purple recipe I learned from Heidi Whipple of the Oxford Rug School. I wasn't sure I could replicate her color, but look at this for a result! Not bad! The yarn I am trying to match can be seen in the two strands that are laid across the skeins. And next to that photo is the same yarn made into "yarn cakes" after it was completely dry.
Yes, those are the same skeins in each picture, just differently wound, and the photos were taken in different lights. But both photos are of the same yarn. Wish I were a better photographer and knew how to eliminate the lighting differences.
Encouraged by all that, I went to town on Saturday and produced the test skeins on the right (the "yarn cakes" in the photos are the same yarn cakes that you see above). What a day. I spent five hours dyeing, with a couple of breaks, and by the end was really happy with my results. I'm still not entirely certain if I will end up using any of these colors--or some combination of all of the dark purples as the background color of the rug--but I am so happy to be playing with color and dyes after all this time.
If you want to see a closer view of some of the colors and brief captions for each, click any of the photos below.
It has been years since I tried to do any serious dyeing of wool or yarn. When I was working full-time it was impossible. Perhaps if I'd had the room for a permanent dye kitchen (or a differently configured regular kitchen) I would have made the time, but since any type of serious dyeing requires completely deconstructing and protecting a small space normally used for preparing food, that wasn't realistic. Now that I have more time, I can afford to do all the set-up and take-down that dyeing requires in the space that I have.
I have more color test skeins to make, and then once I've decided on the colors I will have a lot more dyeing to do. 14 lbs of 4 oz. skeins = 56 skeins to dye for this rug. Plus a few extras to be safe.
I will be busy.
It's been a long productive day and I plan to do it all again tomorrow; but that's a post for another time.
To chill out this evening I just tried two new tangles. Both were very relaxing to do. The one on the left is called Cassiopeia, by Monique Leschner. The one on the right is called CC by Mina Hsiao, CZT. I want to try re-doing that one and turning it; it has some lovely effects that way. I used an 01 Micron and a Rainbow Lead Pencil (but not my favorite one, which has different colors).
Oh, hey! I just realized I could "turn that tile" (CC) with my iPhone mirror app and get a sense of what it would look like. Here it is--that worked. I'll still do it by hand at the next opportunity.
Today was tiring, but totally fun. A day for gratitude, surely.
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
― Meister Eckhart
First try at this interesting tangle. I think I am going to be using this one. It's called Mooned Zen and is by Ina Sonnenmoser. Rather than try shading with graphite, I thought I'd try a bit of crosshatching with the one in the second square.
With some undivided time on my hands, I made it into the studio relatively early today and went to work with a monomaniacal goal of getting the entire inner wide border on the rug completely done. And I succeeded! Here it is. You can see the narrow outer border that still needs to be completed, if you look carefully at the top of this picture.
Yup, I'm pretty chuffed about getting that scroll border done! To see how long this took compare the photo above to my November first post (just scroll down to see that).
So close, so close to finishing! Even though there is still a lot to do once the actual hooking is finished.
With luck, I hope to begin doing some dyeing tomorrow for the next rug. Happy happy this evening.
Just a quick experiment this evening in my Tangle-a-Day calendar. I'm really liking this new-to-me tangle called Deco Burst by Debbie Gray, a CZT from group 19.
This is my first try at it. Done with a Micron 01, Rainbow Lead Pencil, and some rather unsightly-looking blobs on the inner tips (Signo Uniball White Pen). The blobs were supposed to be sharp points, carefully placed on the tips, but forget about that! I am too tired and can't see straight. Hence they are blobs, but they look almost as I intended if I keep the photo this size.
I really enjoyed doing this as a form of decompressing after two crazy-busy days. Yesterday was a very long quiet drive to another part of the state to enjoy lunch with two much-loved friends. Today was a long session in the studio, with a break for a lunch with another much-loved friend, and a LOT of walking.
Bone-tired, but happy tonight.
I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
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.
For Joey's Weekly Tangle Challenge #85, the monotangle this week is Verdigogh. I love Verdigogh and knew I wanted to enter, so here is what I came up with. Unfortunately, I decided to try adding a few water droplets on the actual tile for the first time. I've tried them on scrap paper before, but never on an actual Zentangle® tile. The result? Well, read about what happened under the photo. But I'll give you a hint: I haven't stopped laughing since I finished tangling. Does this look like water droplets, or does it look as though someone spit on the tile?
For reasons I don't entirely understand, I think this result is hilarious. The tiny black dotty things are not meant to be water--they are meant to be berry-like add-ons and are frequently used with this tangle. I'm fine with those. But OMG, the water...or is it spit? Or some gummy form of dough? That's the bit that I think is funny.
Admittedly I didn't think it was funny when I was wrestling with it. I'm no expert on water droplets (hah! as you can see!) but all my previous ones have been far, far better than this. As I said above, they were all done on scrap paper for practice. Trying them on a white tile for the first time, I found that none of my white pens seemed to do anything against the white paper...the ink would come out but then would just sink into the tile. This just shows me how much I have to learn about my tools. The result was the muddy gray mess you see above. I do like my Verdigogh; I used a Rainbow Lead Pencil for shading lightly.
I will be trying this again, practicing to get the water droplets right the next time. I truly love looking at them when they come out well. Once I got over my horror at what happened with this, I began to see it as very funny, and it's making me smile even as I type this.
Now to go to Joey's site and see what everyone else did with this (I never look until I'm done).
Truth to tell, this was a week for which I barely have anything to show. I did get to the studio a couple of times and I did do some tangling, but other commitments (and a long binge on YouTube with a PBS-based mystery series) meant I neglected things. I did some tarot work for ten people on Friday evening which kept me quite busy as well, between the preparation, the drive to the venue, the work with each client, and the trip home.
But mostly I feel like I just fiddled around this week...frustrating.
Here are two things I did accomplish:
#1: A 10.5" tile. This is at the preliminary, pre-coloring, pre-shading stage. It's been sitting for days while I decide what to do next.
#2: I made it to the studio for a chunk of time and finished one of the short borders. One more to go, and then the final outer border. Here's the progress on that:
I am listening to Jane Austen's Emma on my iPhone while hooking. It's just delightful.
Compare the above photo to where I was on October 24th:
Yup, it's definitely progressing. I'm pleased.
One very fun thing I did this week was to spend a fair amount of time over two days with my friend K, "helping her" dye some yarn for her next rug project. That's in quotes because I suspect I actually got in her way much more than I helped. I will start dyeing my own yarn for my own (very big) rug project within the next couple of weeks, and expect that will keep me busy for a very long time.
I hope I can get more done in the week to come. I have a long trip scheduled on one day, so we shall see...
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society