Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jumping on and jumping off

I know I need to spend more time with my blog.  But unfortunately life has tripped me up lately.  I have worked on a few things and I'm always tangling.  Here is a journal cover I did for a friend. 

I look with longing at my studio some days, wishing I could while away the hours. I'm working two jobs, looking after a teenager who can't drive yet, and doing stuff with the volunteer organization I belong to...busy life. I have spent time in my studio putting things back where they belong after a water leak and repair.  But that's about it, no paint covered hands or glue on my elbows. Someday soon, I promise myself.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back to Zentangle

Wow, it has been a hectic couple of months in our household! Lots of time on the road since the FIRST Robotics team (2363) that my kids are on won the Palmetto regional! Next was a flurry of fundraising so we could go to the National Championship in St. Louis. What an experience!  Then there was the grad class in order to keep my teaching license. Then soccer finals and championship games.  Then before I know it, my "baby" boy Chris is moving his tassle to the other side of his cap and walking across the stage to become a high school graduate! Deep breath! 

Through it all Zentangle has been my constant companion.  The mini kit Rick and Maria gave us at the October CZT training is tattered and worn but I can't bring myself to change it to a new's like an old friend. On every plane ride (four weekends in a row in a plane or in a car!), waiting in lines, even sitting in the stands between matches I had my kit with me tangling at every opportunity.  I've been catching up on reading the blogs and looking at all the lovely work from the challenges.  I'm so excited to be scheduling classes for this summer and next fall.  I can't wait to order some of the new things...those black tiles look amazing. 

I just wanted to share with you a piece of art my daughter did for an art assignment at the end of this school year. They were asked to make a mandala.  She incorporated several tangle like patterns in some of the spaces in the piece.  I really love the inverted Betweed that looks like bananas. I think she did a great job so I thought I'd share it with you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Charleston = Inspiration

We had the chance to visit Charleston a week or so ago.  Beautiful place!  I loved the houses and the shopping.  We ate at a really great BBQ place called Sticky Fingers. The only thing better than the food was the service. HIGHLY recommend it.  We also stopped by the Moon Pie General Store. It was so much fun. For those of you non-southerners out there...RC and Moon Pie is what they call the champagne and caviar of the south.

The houses were just incredible and the ironwork was beautiful.  I kept making my husband stop so I could take pictures.  So much inspiration at every turn. There were several patterns that seemed to be repeated in many gates and fences.  Here are a few pictures.

Loved this gate!

But I think I love the shadow it casts even more!

Charleston is definitely a Zentangle kind of town.  I think that we need to do a Master class in Charleston and our homework can be to find patterns on the streets, break them down and teach them to each other!  Lovely place. If you ever have a chance, go.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Challenge #11 Monotangle

Here is my tile for this week's challenge.  The challenge was to use one tangle to make a tile.  It's a betwixt betweed.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kids and Zentangle

Wow! Zentangle has been a huge success with the students at the elementary school where I work.  I have a group of third graders and a group of 4th graders going already. And in two weeks I'll do two weeks of classes with each of the fifth grade classrooms.  I love the enthusiasm they bring to Zentangle.  They just LOVE it.

The other day one of the third graders who has been tangling for several months now, and is proudly the best at remembering all the tangle names, stopped me in the hallway and pulled me into his class because he just had to show me something.  Out of his desk he pulls a black and white composition notebook.  He holds it up to me and says "Look Mrs. Garrity, my notebook has Keeko ALL over it!"  Instead of the random spackle look of a regular composition notebook, sure enough the design was Keeko!

In the fourth grade class I've worked with we were learning two new tangles to practice.  I love Ahh!.  It's really fun to teach in elementary school because you can connect it to the Social Studies curriculum.  When I teach it I say the cardinal directions for each line as I draw, and the kids know them from map skills so it helps them to understand where the lines go.  Once I get them started I walk around the room checking out their work.  One of the boys stopped me and said "Mrs. Garrity, Ahh is ahhsome!".

I love the fact that this art form gives everyone young or old the opportunity to be an artist!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekly Challenge #9

Using Artoo tangle:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two New Kindred Spirits and a Coffee Cup

Today I met with two lovely ladies and taught them how to create Zentangle tiles. They did a fabulous job. I had a wonderful time and the 3 hours just flew by.  They both seemed to really enjoy the experience and said they would continue to tangle (I warned them at the start that it could be very addictive).  They also wanted to know if I could do another class with some more patterns and maybe some additional ideas. We talked about other art that we do and found common ground. Seriously, I have found so many kindred spirits through my art. It's amazing to find people that you can be comfortable with in just minutes, people drawn to each other by a common interest. 

Zentangle itself has created so many connections for me.  Some I've connected with face to face and others through the magic of the internet.  For a group spread out all over the world it is an amazingly tight knit group.  I find inspiration and new patterns all throughout the many blogs and discussion groups I now follow.  I always wished for a community of artists to hang out with and now I have it!

Real quick I wanted to share my latest work with you.  A story of serendipity, I was thinking I should get a clear travel mug that you can insert a picture into and had even looked them up on the web for prices. I was thinking I'd tangle on the insert and I'd have myself a Zentangle coffee cup and a conversation starter rolled into one.  Well as luck would have it I found one of those travel mugs at the swap I went to in Richmond! I just finished the last pattern today. I love it!  I think I will do several sheets so I can switch it out for a new look. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Crafter's Anonymous Swap

This past Sunday my daughter Meghan and I headed up to Richmond to the Art Works gallery for the Crafter's Anonymous Swap.  The weekend before I cleaned and reorganized my studio and put things I felt I wouldn't need or use into a shopping bag. 

Here is how it works. People bring in bags of things that they no longer need or use. Paper, fabric, art supplies, jewelry making things, etc.  The items get sorted out on to tables.  Then you shop and anything you can fit in your bag is up for grabs. This is a great way to clean out AND stock up! 

We got there just as it was starting, traded in my bag of stuff which gave me a $5 discount on the $6 fee.  Meghan brought her own bag to shop with so she got a dollar off her total.  So for both of us to get in was a total of $6 dollars.  We meandered on over to the paper table and started digging through. I found some really cool stuff! Press board shapes that I could tangle on, great papers with lots of interest, some press board accordion things that will be great to put Zentangle tiles on to display them.  We made several trips around the room picking up this and that. Sometimes we would pick up something and know right away what we would do with it. Other things were just weird or cool or whatever, those we put in our bags and decided we would figure out the why later. 

Meghan shopping away!

This swap was such a great experience and an AWESOME idea. I always enjoy hanging out with my kids so this was a nice opportunity for Meghan and I to do something fun and artsy. You may want to check to see if you have a similar thing in your area. 

Here is a list of some of the great things we got:
wooden balls and eggs
cardboard christmas trees, flowers and frames
a six plug wall adapter

Good Stuff!
fibered tissue papers
contact paper in clear and chalkboard
a cigar box of colored pencils
funky little snowmen heads
a measuring tape
liquid flux
a box full of old buttons
a Mr Potato Head (just the head)
pipe cleaners
metallic crayons
and so much more!

We also visited the gallery to see all the lovely work. I saw this studio space was for rent. For second I was moving to Richmond renting that space and becoming a full time artist.  Reality called me back rather quickly...but really that floor was MEANT for a Zentangle studio!

Godzilla rides again!

Remember to take time out today to see the exceptional in the ordinary! It's all around you!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Paradox at the Drugstore

Pantene changes their labels too much for me. I'm a visual shopper, change the label and I'm lost!  But I have to say I do like this new design...
Pantene Paradox

It would have been funny if the product had been a detangler.  So it's true what they say about Zentangle, once you start you see patterns everywhere you go....even at Walgreens!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shining a Light on Zentangle

I love interior design, enough that several years ago I got my certification as an interior decorator. I've never done any work on a professional level, only on a friend level. I love when my friends ask for help picking out paint and deciding on furniture. I have redecorated my own home several times since we moved in and am always looking for new ideas. I enjoy looking at modern design, though it isn't something I use much in my own home. I do love the simple, clean lines of the style. I'm a big fan of Thomaspaul, his graphic designs on dishes and other home decor is just wonderful.

Anyhow, I really like this one site called 2modern. I know it's weird, but I can't get enough of the out of the ordinary chair and lighting designs. Stig Hanson designs lights that are made out of interlocking shapes cut from plastic. You have to assemble the pieces and there are different configurations you can do. As I'm looking at this light thinking how I'd love to have one... it hits me. It's a three dimensional Zentangle! Each plastic piece looks sort of like an inverted Cadent.

Then I remembered finding a lighting company online a couple of years ago, before discovering Zentangle, that designs lights that cast shadows on the wall. The company is called Sha-Do. They really are the neatest lights I've seen. The shadows are very "tangley" in nature. Be sure to look through all the different sections including Virus and Tripes.

How much fun would it be to have lights in your home like these. Just imagine if you could draw out a design for them to cut for you! Which tangle(s) would you choose?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Zentangle Rug

Look at this fabulous rug made by Linda Campbell.

Linda was in my first Zentangle class which I taught at the Rawls Museum. She went home and made this rug using canvas, gesso, acrylic, and black paint pens. Look at the Shattuck all around the border. Amazing work! Another person from the class made one too, but I haven't seen hers yet.

I am so impressed with her work. I think I may have to make one of them for myself. I will probably use left over linoleum like I did with the floor cloth in front of my dryer. I've written about that rug in this post. It's an cheap and easy way to make an accent rug. Obviously not meant to be warm and fuzzy...but it sure is easy to clean! This is such a great idea, Linda, thanks for sharing it with us!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sketchbook 2011

This is my first year participating in the Sketchbook Project. I have to say I have really enjoyed the process. The deadline was actually a good thing for me to deal with, it made me dig in and try harder. I combined some different types of media including photo editing and paint and sharpies. My favorite page is made with acrylic paint and black pen tangles in the shape of a hand. I'm hoping that we can go to the traveling exhibit when it's in Washington DC which is an easy drive from where I live. I have been looking at other sketchbooks on the website and the work is phenomenal. If you are interested in checking it out:
I love the way the Moleskine expands as you add to it. The edges of the pages become so irregular.

Here is my barcode! If you visit the exhibit you can look me up! Number 42119.

I don't know if all artist get attached to their work, but I have had a hard time letting this journal go. I finally got it packed up in the envelope and it's off to the post office tomorrow. It's very exciting to think it will travel all over the country and will hopefully be viewed by lots of people. I have it set up so that everytime some looks at it I get a text on my phone. This is gonna be fun!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My First Zentangle Class

Last Saturday I taught my first adult Zentangle class. I have to say I was nervous in the days leading up to it. Preparing my kits and practicing on my chart paper and making sure I had all my supplies. Come Saturday morning I felt like I was really prepared. What I wasn't prepared for was the icey roads and the accident on Rt. 58! I could remember Maria saying make sure you get there with enough time to relax and not feel rushed before you start. Well that wasn't going to happen! In fact I got there late! But instead of my normal frustration and anxiety when I was sitting in the car, I decided to take some deep breaths. I thought to myself "There are things that are beyond my control. What can I do to change this situation? Nothing!". I sent out the hope that the people involved in the accident were okay, because certainly their problems at that moment were much bigger than being late getting somewhere. So I waited, breathed and slowly went through the steps for all the tangles I planned to teach. The result of that was when I finally did arrive I was calm and ready to start teaching.

I have had a dream of teaching others art for many years. I honestly could not have asked for a more wonderful group of ladies to be in my first class. They were equal parts fun, enthusiastic, eager, helpful and talented! Look at the work they did on their very first tiles:


I hope to work with these ladies again soon. I learned a lot and they gave me some helpful suggestions that I will definitely be using in future classes. Teaching my first class was a lot like making my first tile...hey look at that I CAN do this!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Silence is Golden, Duct Tape is Silver

Sometimes my inner critic just won't shut up! "Who are you to think you can do that? Who would ever think you are good at this or that?" Blah, blah, blah. I just want to cover my ears and say "LaLaLaLa".

I've thought of creating a "shut up the inner critic" amulet made with duct tape of course. Something to touch that will remind me to ignore that droning voice and pay attention to the sounds of hope and the lovely noise that dreams make as they come true.

It dawned on me that I rarely hear the inner critic when I am working on a Zentangle tile. There are several reasons why I believe this is the case. First off, when I start a tile there is NO expectation. I have no idea how it will look when it's done. If there is no expectation, no "something" it's supposed to look like, then there is nothing to criticize. Ha! I also think that the relaxed focus creates a protective bubble around you as you work on a tile. There is no space in your brain to let his voice be heard.

At any rate I have been thinking about the fact he can't be heard when I tangle and have been practicing what I am calling being present in the moment of creativity. So today as I was monoprinting some papers to restock my supply I was carefully attending to the process. The way the paint was dripping and splashing on the plexiglass. The look of the colors as they combined slightly under the brayer. I didn't over think the results or analyze what to do next, I became present in the moment of creating. I let the paint flow and just did what felt good without worrying if it would look okay when I was done.

The result? Some of the best background papers I've ever done! And way more important? I enjoyed it every step of the way. I never felt anxious or worried about the results. A fabulous way to function and the critic was SILENT!