Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Love Your Curves" ~ Weekly Challenge #15

This week, the Diva's challenge is to use only curved lines in a Zentangle/ZIA.  A curved string paired with curved tangles and curved lines... and as Laura explains in her blog challenge-post,  "In Yoga, when you are doing a series of poses, it's always important to do each sequence on both sides of the body, to keep it in balance.  So, as in Yoga, we will strive to find balance by countering last week's 'straight lines' with this week's 'curves'."

"Love Your Curves" Weekly Challenge - in official Zentangle format

As each stroke was penned on this tile (made of beautiful 100% cotton, fine artists' paper), I was truly "in the moment".  Focus... breathe... relax... hold the pen lightly.

Meditating while drawing curves felt soft and melodious.  So quieting to the soul.

My heart was warm with gratitude.

My right brain so enjoyed the process of penning this tangle that I could almost hear it softly, softly purring.

Then I emerged from my hypnotic stupor to find that my favorite little happy feline was laying behind me on the back of the couch.  And, of course, he was purring.

Happy tangling,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"I Walk the Line" ~ Weekly Challenge #14

Now THIS was a real challenge!  (.... wait.... I think I said that about Challenge #13....).  This time, the Diva's Weekly Challenge is to 'create a tile or Zentangle® inspired piece using ONLY STRAIGHT LINES'.

Straight lines (more or less straight...) are relatively easy, once you convince yourself that it is just about impossible for anyone to free-hand-draw a perfect straight line.  I call them "straight-line-inspired" straight lines.

And I went into this challenge feeling pretty confident that it would be a breeze to create tangles using only straight lines.  No challenge here.  Piece of cake.  Child's play.  The Diva is really getting soft.  I'll be done in no time.  Ho-hum.  *Yawn*.


The surprise was on me!  My pen was poised and ready to slide into a curved stroke every time it touched the tile.  I could feel the black felt tip (of the pen) as it kicked its feet and waved its little arms, just begging for me to glide it into a pattern of gentle, curvaceous strokes.

But, alas, straight lines were penned and Weekly Challenge #14 was just a happy memory.

"I Walk the Line" - Weekly Challenge #14 - Zentangle

Thanks, Laura, for another fun challenge.

Tangle away,

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Spring in New England.  It's still a bit chilly, but the sun is doing its best to warm the body, mind and spirit.  Already the SnowDrops have faded - replaced by dozens of lovely purple and yellow Crocus.  So excited are they by the splashes of color between the blades of brown grass, that the children rush to pick a handful of purple Crocus.  As we gently put the flowers in a little vase of water and place them in the center of the table, we talk about the end of winter and share a few thoughts about the coming of spring. 

"Let's go out and find some worms!"

              Spring ~ 3.5" square tile - Sakura Micron 01 & 005 
This Spring tangle erupted above and below the cold surface of earth:  fauna above, & roots, bulbs and worm below.  For now, void of color.  But as the Daffodils, Hyacinth, Tulips and Forsythia begin to bud, the prospect for another Spring tangle made with color is looking real good!

Happy tangling,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Irish Blessing

"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go."

Happy St. Patrick's Day... even if you're not Irish! 

~ Never iron a four-leaf clover... you don't want to press your luck. ~

P.S.  If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?  ~S.J. Lec

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CalmThoughts and Prayers

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan has been the focus for lots of prayers and healing thoughts over this past week. The event reminds me of how very fragile life is, and how the power of mother nature can disrupt the calmness of our lives.  As I listened to the Evening News last night, I thought of how anxious, stressed and distraught many people are feeling - due to aftershocks, lack of communication, food and water shortage, separation from family and friends, and, yes, death.  From where I sit, there is little that I can do to make things better. But I can pray that a feeling of calm will soon return to the lives of those affected by the tragedy - and they will soon find a way to honor the past, live in the present, and create a new future.

"Nothing is so bitter that a calm mind cannot find comfort in it."  Seneca


"When it's dark enough, you can see the stars." unknown author

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Non-Dominatrix" - Weelky Challenge #13

Now THIS is a real challenge!!!  When I was penning the tangle, I heard the other side of my brain saying, "Hold the pen lightly..... slow, deliberate strokes.... relax & breathe".  

Then I realized why drawing with the (left) non-dominant hand was so hard for me..... I was using the wrong pen!  All the pens I have are 'right-handed' pens, as I am right-hand-dominant.  Sure gave the left side of my brain a jolt!

Fun, fun, fun.  Thanks, Laura.
"Non-Dominatrix" - Drawn with my left hand using a right-handed Sakura Micron 01 Black pen.

Happy tangling,

If you have not yet accepted the Diva's Weekly Challenge, I hope you will consider it!  All humans are eligible.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Something Blue" ~ Weekly Challenge #12

This challenge from Laura ~I am the Diva ~ was unexpected.  Color?  Add color to a Zentangle or ZIA?  But is was a fun 'challenge'.  I'm still experimenting with watercolor medium, chalk pastels and colored pencils..... and I found that it's not so bad to step-out-of-the-box.
"Something Blue" Weekly Challenge #12 - Sakura Micron Black 01 & 005; chalk pastels; spray fixative
The first tile is organic, and the second is geometric....
"Something Blue" Weekly Challenge #12 - Sakura Micron Black 01; chalk pastels; spray fixative.

The chalks were applied to the blank tile, then sprayed lightly with a matte fixative (Grumbacher).  When fixative dried, I gave the tile a light 'sanding' with a piece of plain white paper.  Pigment ink glides on more gently after sanding... and there is less drag on the felt tip.  Then tangles were drawn.

Happy tangling,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Challenge #11 - "Mono-tangle"

Last week's Weekly Challenge from Laura Harms aka I am the Diva was... "Mono-tangle".  The idea was to create a tile or Zentangle inspired art (ZIA) using only ONE tangle!  For me, this was a 'Study in Cadent'... because, although Cadent is one of my favorite tangles, it often eluded me.  Each time I tried to draw Cadent, I carefully watched as the pen made each stroke on the tile, but I felt like I was not in charge of the direction in which Cadent was headed!!!  A symmetrical straight-grid pattern was easy enough to accomplish, but I wanted more than just a straight grid.  This pattern needed movement, curves, and flair!

Great challenge.  Thank you, Laura! 
"Monotangle" - the Diva's Weekly Challenge #11 - (Cadent 6"x6" ZIA)
Although I missed the deadline to submit this ZIA into the official challenge pool, I decided to post it here.  

Last year, I attempted to author this blog, but inexperience and very little technical knowledge was daunting, & the task was overwhelming, so I gave up.  This time it's a "challenge" - and I  hope to  will learn how to post photos, maybe some videos and lots of Zentangle news....and to submit my future Weekly Challenges before the deadline passes!  It is possible... one post at a time.

Happy tangling,

Friday was "Fun Day" for these Zentangle beginners...

Today, this blog is being "reinvented" - as it has been static for months!  And I'm laughing as I post this... thinking about the wonderful group of  ladies in my Introduction to Zentangle Class on Friday at Blaine's Sewing Center.  We all had such a fun time:  creating, focusing, breathing and laughing.  A few of the 'girls' had done a bit of "zentangle inspired tangling" before taking the class... and a few had not.  Here is a look at their very first official "Zentangle" tiles...

Original Zentangle art by: Barbara P., Carol N., Catrina H., Cheryl N., Cynthia T., Jody B., Josie T., Marie G., Patricia C., Patricia D. 

Thank you, ladies, for such a fun experience!  And aside from the fun and laughter, I truly hope all found a bit of soft, gentle quietness within yourselves.  The pen touches the paper, and the mind embraces the zen.

Happy tangling,