Friday, May 24, 2013

And Zendalas, Too!

Thank you for all of the lovely comments. I am humbled.

Yes, I really am new to Zentangle. I should probably confess, I'm an artist with a BFA in Graphic Design and minors in Painting and Fibers. Coming from this background gives me a head start with regard to shading, coloring, and understanding the interplay of elements. But I still struggle with making nice neat lines; I mess up certain patterns, and I still sort of play by the "string" rather than going freeform and bleeding patterns all over the string boundaries and into each other. (Playing it safe, perhaps?)

I think I'm still approaching it with a good chunk of my left brain involved. This is supposed to be a right-brained process, right? I'm sure I'm over-thinking, overanalyzing, and focusing on the product more than the process. If this is anything like my ventures into Parelli Natural Horsemanship, I'm sure I'll learn more about myself than I expect to. (PNH: way more than riding. You just think it's about training and riding your horse. Then you get deeply into it, and find out it's really personal development packaged in a horse-shaped form.)

And I have learned to sketch quickly, which is counter to the idea of making slow, deliberate marks. It should be known, my late Mother was an artist (watercolors). She was very impatient and always insisted I learn to work more quickly. Zentangle would have "driven [her] to distraction", LOL, and it's one of the many artistic blocks I'm working to overcome.

It seems the trick would be to fall in love with the line. Just the line, and the making of the line. Perhaps if I think of caressing each stroke, rather than rushing to get it on the page, I will find the groove to fall into. Every now and then I hit that stride, then I catch myself "there", and jolt myself out of it.

So I've taken up the Zendala Dare now (as if a weekly Diva Challenge and One Zentangle A Day isn't enough to keep me busily tangling, LOL), beginning with Dare #1 from April  2012. (Erin says we can jump right in on the old ones, so I am.) Since there is an option to do a tile, a zendala tile (round) or a full sheet, I went with a tile of parchment-colored laser paper for my very first Zendala. (The initial thought was to combine the Zendala with today's OZAD assignment on mid-toned paper, but once I got into the tangle, I didn't really use the patterns the OZAD called for.)

Zendala Dare #1. Tangles: Kuke, Flux, Ynix, and a tangleation
of Flukes and Crescent Moon. Sepia Microns on parchment,
shaded with colored pencils in browns, cream and dark blue.

I learned that I probably should draw one element of a pattern, turn the tile, repeat, turn, repeat, turn and build that way rather than fill a quadrant, turn, fill a quadrant (darn it), turn, fill a quadrant (ARGH). It worked better building Flux in the center doing it one "leaf" at a time rather than working one quadrant's worth of Flux all at once.

I learned that the white gel pen gets really mad at you if you insist it color over the top of colored pencil. (It forgives you when you clean it off well.)

I learned that scanning parchment paper makes everything look yellower than it really is in real life. The finished product is a bit more antiquey than it appears, and my attempts to color correct didn't help so I posted the untouched scan.

I learned that Sepia pens and Sepia colored pencils are not the same color. Dark Brown colored pencil is closer to the pens. Sort of.

I learned that I really LOVE the challenge of a Zendala, while at the same time find the attempt to mirror my patterns in four quadrants (or more, as will be the case) to be equal parts fascinating AND irritating, LOL! But again, it's because I try to work too quickly. So my mantra for this weekend is,



And breaaaaaatttthhhhhhhheeeeeee...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Diva Challenge #119 and Some Wrangling


Of course I went to the barn on what was THE hottest day of the year so far. (Monday) Cheerios needed his hooves trimmed, so off I went. It was 92 degrees, 45% humidity, and thank goodness for the stiff breeze or I'd've been a goner.

After his hooficure, I gave him a spa treatment. (I hosed him off while he ate grass. Then he rolled in the dirt and coated himself like a fried chicken dinner. Helps keep the flies off.) He hasn't been trimmed in awhile, so I wanted to give him a couple of days to settle into the new trim before riding him; besides, in that heat?!? He's too much energy for me.

So I changed plans, and worked with my Summer Project. Her name is Sky, she's an off-track thoroughbred (OTTB), and it's my duty to acclimate her to the life of a riding partner. She's not mine; the short of it is, she was rescued by a previous boarder, who did some eventing with her, then moved out of state and sold her to someone elsewhere. Sky belonged to the someone elsewhere for about a year or so, and as fate would have it, wound up back at the boarding barn. 

Her basic issue is that she is what people call flighty, nervous, skittish. I understand that she's scared, uncertain, and just needs to gain confidence in herself and in humans. My own personal horse is LBI (Left-Brained Introvert), but for some reason I'm much better with RBI's and RBE's (Right-Brained Introvert/Extrovert) because they require a hundred saints' worth of patience, very soft requests, a confident leader, and a quiet energy.

There is a lot of "hurry up and wait" with RB's, because it's important for me to ask the question with infinite patience, let her find the answer, and the minute she does, I need to let her dwell. Like for a lot longer than I have to with my LBI (he likes machine-gun rapid-fire requests or he gets B-O-R-E-D and that's when he creates drama).

Hot, humid days are great for working with horses that require very little physical energy. I only lasted an hour with her, then I had to hose her and me both off. I'll be glad for the cooler temps this weekend.


Yay, the Diva's Challenge #119 was posted today. It's "Ebony and Ivory", balancing black and white in the piece. I'll let you read about it at her link. I'm psyched because I'm also working my way through OZAD, "One Zentangle A Day" (Beckah Krahula) and I'm on Lesson 14, and the tangle I did for OZAD also works for Diva Challenge.

So here it is.

Tangles used: Chainging (t), Keeko, Dyon (t), Hollibaugh (t), and something that started as Fescu (t) but is probably another pattern I haven't learned yet. (t) means the pattern has been tangleated, varied from the original. For instance, my Dyon in the center has been tangleated in a way reminiscent of Knightsbridge.

This weekend, I'll start posting my Tangles-To-Date. I'm just a beginner, so there are only about 20 but it seems apropo that they all be here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Diva's Weekly Zentangle Challenge #118

A preface: I only recently discovered Zentangle®, a meditative drawing method with which I have become obsessed. All it involves (once you learn a bit of the philosophy and methodology) is a tile (a 3.5"-square piece of high-quality drawing paper), a felt pen (Sakura Micron pens are the best), and some time.

It likely appeals to me for many reasons:
  • I have a BFA in Graphic Design with minors in Painting and Fibers
  • I have always had a thing for felt-tip pens
  • I love little picky detailed line work
  • I love abstraction
  • I'm very much into meditation, connecting with one's Source, tapping into the subconscious, and using relaxation tools to access and shift one's Consciousness
  • I'm a huge philosophy nut
  • Being part-way into the Artists' Way, I appreciate the life-changing quality of tangling
And so about a month ago, I stumbled onto it, got some pens, bought a book, took a Zentangle 101 class that popped up with remarkably auspicious timing, and started tangling.

This is my 16th tangle, my 13th "official" tangle (meaning I wasn't just doodling randomly trying to figure out what Zentangle is, I was following the methods), and my first submission to the Diva's Weekly Zentangle Challenge. (They're on #118, I have some catching up to do.)

So let's get to it. Participants are provided with a tangle (pattern) to use in their tile, and we are to learn how to draw it, then use it in combination with any other tangles of choice to create our tile. This week's tangle is Kuke, inspired by a shriveled-up cucumber, created by CZT® Katy Abbot (a CZT® is a Certified Zentangle Teacher).

I learned Kuke, then I used it and several other tangle patterns (Amaze, Opus, Flux, Flukes, and Tipple) to create this tile:

Amaze, Flux, Flukes, Opus, Kukes and Tipple. In addition to shading with pencil,
I added a bit of color with my new Sakura Brush pens in grays.

Sakura makes some awesome drawing tools. The Pigma Brushes just blow my mind--they're felt pens with a brush tip that work kind of like paint. And ZERO smell. I have a set of 8 colors which I've barely cracked open yet, and my set of six greys (3 warm, 3 cool) arrived today. No clue how to really get the most out of them yet, but they sure are fun to use and offer shading options beyond graphite.

Now, if I could just get my hand to be more steady. I have shaky lines. I know... SLOW DOWN. It's not fine-art sketching, it's meditative. I'm supposed to be deliberate and focused in how I create every mark. Sometimes I get ahead of myself, or I get impatient. (Which is probably why doing this is a good thing for me, eh?) It'll come. It's only my 16th tile.

In other news, if it cools down just slightly (it is TOO EARLY for all this heat and humidity), I may go out and participate in the wranglin' part of my moniker.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dear God, Another Blog?


KnittyBanter was getting kind of old. To be honest, I haven't been knitting as often. I'm not fiber-centric like I was. I've expanded my artistic horizons.

Savvy Horsewoman is still valid, but it isn't ALL I do.

Yarndeavors took a brief hiatus, though the Etsy shop is still intact (but in need of restocking).

Plus, I got a job. A real one. At the University. Secretary. Part-time, but pays so well it's like doing two minimum wage jobs in half the time. And I really like it. But being on The Schedule takes up my afternoons, which was prime dye time, so...

So let's start over. (I'm keeping all the other blogs, just putting a new page in the typewriter.)

I'm still wrasslin' horses, I still knit/weave/sew/dye on occasion, but recently, I discovered Zentangle®. I'll admit, at first, I thought it was just doodling, and seriously--who needs to learn to doodle? I mean, isn't that just innate?

The more I've looked into it, the more I've come to understand that Zentangle is more than doodling, just as Parelli is more than horse training. In fact, they share a common theme--focus, feel, timing, intention, mindfulness. Zentangle is to artists as Parelli is to horsemen. It's all about building confidence and seeking inward to understand the self so one can understand the world around oneself.

So although Facebook has taken over my social media life (hasn't it done that to everyone?), I intend to blog here as frequently as I can. At least several times a month. I'll keep you posted on my forays into Zentangle and art, as well as update you on my horse antics.

It should be interesting. Stay tuned.