Well of course there are mistakes. We all make mistakes.
I made some major mistakes in drawing this tangle, Waybop. I've drawn it before but not for a couple of years. I really screwed up the linework on this tile.
But here's the thing: "There are no mistakes in Zentangle®." That's one of our axioms. Because just like in life, we have to deal with whatever's right in front of us and work with it, mistakes or not.
So I didn't tear up this tile. I kept it overnight and decided to try coloring it. Here below is the result.
Glad I held onto it and decided to keep working on it. I've ended up really liking it a lot. I chose colors to match the oriental rugs in a friend's home.
This entire process was an experiment.
Could I produce this tangle from memory? No, I couldn't and the original linework was terrible. But...I could continue to work with it and end up with a good result.
It required only patience and determination. Lesson learned.
Two more "enhancing" techniques taught over the last 2 days of the weekend:
Streamers used on the rays emitted from the central motif. The "pushbacked tangles" have all been faded with General's white chalk, leaving the bright main motif (with a punch of pink chalk pencil). Micron 01 in Black, graphite, white chalk pencil, pink chalk pencil, white gellyroll pen). Tangles are: Well Well Who, Sez, Moon Pie, and Ravel.
And here are the class mosaics, or as many as my camera could catch:
All based on the same directions. A careful look will show how each is so different from any other.
Drawing is like handwriting--very individualized.
The next day started off with this tile.
Here's the thing--Molly had pre-drawn a very odd string (string = an optional guideline done in pencil) on every student's tile. Very odd.
We were asked to tangle within the string, not outside of it. OKaaaaaaaay...
Off we went.
Once we were done, mine looked like this.
Lots of fun and very calming.
But still, weird.
I think we were all scratching our heads a bit, despite enjoying ourselves.
But then, we did the mosaic of tiles. AHA! Now it all made so much sense:
Hearts with a trick! I love it.
The workshop with Molly & Martha was designed to emphasize what's known as tangle "enhancers." This first one was the Tucker technique, where something appears to be almost hidden, tucked away under the paper. I was familiar with it but hadn't tried it much. If ever. This was fun to do. I think the grey pen section qualifies as another technique called "ghost tangles."
Below you can see the class "mosaic" of tiles. Isn't it interesting how everyone draws their tangles differently, even with the same directions? Drawing is a lot like handwriting--the same, but very different. One of life's paradoxes.
Next we did a mandala of border tangles using both brown and black Microns, graphite, and white and pink General's chalk pencils.
We used ModPodge on top of the tile once it was done to seal it, but not over each of the borders, just some.
Tangles included a portion of Marasu, Jonqal, Shattuck (with sparkles), Bales with enthatching), Well (with weighted lines), and weighted Printemps (there's a narrow beaded border thrown in there twice, plus dots). Lots of enhancers here!
Again, here is the mosaic of tiles for the border mandala. So many differences, yet so much similarity.
Two more pieces from last weekend's Zentangle® workshop with Martha Huggins and Molly Hollibaugh. And I still have others to post over the next few days.
You can see the text from this piece in my workshop explanation from my post two days ago. But here you can see the entire piece. During the workshop we tangled one side of these glasses, and I finished the other side today. Dark Gray Micron 01, graphite, pink and white General's Chalk pencils. Rose colored glasses indeed. Some of the tangles used were: Bales, Weighted Crescent Moon, Pokeleaf and Pokeroot, MoonPie, Mooka, Indyrella, and Florz.
We also did some tangling on wood, which turned out to be surprisingly easy. We then painted Mod Podge (glossy) on top as a seal.
Tangles here are Pokeroot, Fescue, Tipple, a variation of Florz, and Rick's version of Flux. I used a Black and a Brown Micron 01, as well as graphite.
At some point I'll flip it over and do the other side as well.
Not-quite-but-nearly-done. All that is left: re-punch about 4 loops, steam it, and then hem it. Not sure if I'll frame it or just tack it on a wall somewhere as is.
The moment I heard this saying, I knew I had to either make a rug from it or do an embroidery of it. Since I'm out of floor space, the second option made better sense. Anyone who was taught by nuns will know exactly what it means. (In their defense, the nuns were always kind to me. But not to all the kids)
In this incredibly troubled world, I was lucky enough to be able to take three days for travel and drawing.
Nearly every second of that time, I was acutely aware of the many tragedies currently unfolding on our fragile blue planet, and acutely aware of the great privilege to be able to have the peace that drawing can provide. Over all three days, I carried both worlds with me simultaneously. I think we all did. There were about 40 of us in attendance, with Martha Huggins and Molly Hollibaugh from Zentangle® as our teachers. I'll post a few of the results over the next couple of days.
This was the title of the workshop. (Yes, there was lots of Edith Piaf singing "La Vie En Rose" in the background) M&M discussed the importance of looking for the good in life, no matter what is happening. And we all know there is a LOT of misery, horror, and fear happening at this moment. The point is not to ignore any of that or pretend it is not happening, but to carefully look around for moments of rest , of peace, of something beautiful despite everything else going on. Without these, what hope do we have? Without these moments of rest, we cannot go on. With them, we can begin to see and think clearly and act effectively.
A "warm-up tile" from the first evening.
It can be nearly impossible to find a way to cope with life at times like this. So many people I know are exhausted, angry, disillusioned, terrified, and feeling helpless. I cannot and do not ignore that nor any of the existential threats we face at the moment. Yet who can function with any measure of wisdom or compassion in such a state? We must all try to take a moment whenever we can to recognize both the possibilities AND the limitations we face. And then find a scrap of inner peace and sit with that until we can un-clench.
Any healthy thing that can give us that moment is precious. Drawing is one thing that does it for me. Music as well. Speaking with friends. Helping someone who needs help.
In order to be functional, I need to do this in small moments throughout the day so that I won't get lost in discouragement. We all need some way of doing this--desperately. I am fortunate enough to be able to occasionally stop and just draw for a while. I know that others on the planet who are being bombed or shot at do not have that luxury right now.
I do it both for myself and for the people who don't have that option, in the hope that calming myself will enable me to think and act more clearly to support them in their time of need.
Kaira Jewel Lingo has just written a book called We Were Made for These Times, about how to survive and cope with the turmoil currently gripping the world. You can listen to her by clicking on the link below, as she's interviewed by former ABC News Anchor Dan Harris.
May we all find shelter and safety
May we all find peace within and without
May we all be kind to ourselves and each other
May we all become whole.
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