Sunday, January 31, 2010

Following the Inspiration: Part 6

Part 6: Where to get more tangles?

Once you get started where do you go to find more tangles?  As I have mentioned just by doing a cursory search on the internet for “Zentangles” you can come up with plenty of places to find new tangles.  I have mentioned  Sandy Steen Bartholomew, the Zentangle website, and fellow BJPer Robbie as places to start but what if you want to look for your own sources; where do you go.

The good news is that inspiration for tangles can be found around you in your everyday life.  The basket you keep your favorite crafting supplies in, your favorite rug, a stack of CD’s sitting on your desk.  In their basic form tangles are repeating patterns.  You can take them beyond that but finding repeating patterns just takes a look around and inspiration hits.

Another place that I found amazingly interesting for inspiration was an art museum.  I trip to DC to see an exhibit that I was really interested in and I ended up full of ideas for tangles.  The inspiration doesn’t have to be something new.

The exhibit I had wanted to see was “Falnama: The Book of Omens” at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Falnama’s are rare 17th-century works of art, pictures that were used for prognostication created at the end of the Islamic millennium.  After preforming ablutions and reciting prayers the person would open the large manuscripts to a random page to answer a question.

I really love illuminated manuscripts and miniature paintings with all of their elaborate details.  I try to get to any special exhibits that I can that feature this kind of art as they truly speak the detail part of me.  I really lucked out as we visited this show shortly after I had started tangling and I saw right away that there were loads of patterns within these wonderful, colorful pages.

 I just had to buy the book that went with the exhibit so that I could take these home with me and poured over the pages finding different patterns that I could use.  I added couple of dozen new patterns in just my first times through the book and when things get more settled I will look for more inspiration from these pages.

Another source for some unexpected ideas came from The Washington Post.  They have a magazine each Sunday and when I saw the cover done in black with zentangle like images in white on it I was struck how if you are open to it inspiration for art can come from the most unlikely places.
When I ordered my Zentangle Kit I got a zentangle legend with 20 different zentangles on it.  I thought that was a great idea and so started making some more with ideas I got from their newsletters, other blogs, and other images online as well as those I pulled from the Falnama book or came up on my own.  I have fallen a bit behind and need to work on adding more ideas to the cards.

Since we have been so busy with the house and decorating and I am behind with my posts so if you wish to see all of the photos for all of the inspirations, trials, and the start of my BJP for 2010 you can go to my Web Gallery.  You can also see photos for the building and decorating of our house.  If you want to read about any of that you can visit my main blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Following the Inspiration: Part 5

Part 5: Trying it on Fabric and in Tiles

At this point I think that I want to see what happens if I combine beading and the black and white pen and ink look of zentangles.  If I go this direction though I don’t think I am going to want to bead through paper the whole time.  If I use acrylic matte medium on paper can I prep fabric to accept the pen without having to worry about bleeding and will the surface of the fabric work with the fine detail work that I would want to include?  The only way to find out was to try it.

 I used a few coats of acrylic matte medium on a scrap of leftover lining fabric from the curtains that I am currently sewing for our new house.  The medium has the advantage of keeping the fabric from fraying so I thought I would also try out the idea of making a piece that has a larger image and then cut it apart and work on the tiles individually.  This would allow me to see if I liked how this worked and looked when I put it back together.

I really enjoy working representationally more that abstractly so what did I want to use as an image?  Since Transition has been a big factor in my life these last 2+ years I decided to go with a dragonfly and since they are connected to both air and water I gave him some water and some cattails.  I also gave him some flying loop to loops that join the whole piece and further divine the piece up.  Once the pencil lines were done I cut the piece up.

I chose five inch squares for this project which pushed the size of the piece up to a total of 15 x 20 when it is together and some of my images and loops go off the border a bit so it is a little larger.

Working on the fabric was easier than I thought it might be.  A finer weave would probably be even better but I only get hung up on the weave occasionally.  I have enjoyed working on the fabric and can see where some of the tangles would look cool with some beads and others could be completely beaded.

Now I just need to come up with how I want to finish the piece.

Since we have been so busy with the house and decorating and I am behind with my posts so if you wish to see all of the photos for all of the inspirations, trials, and the start of my BJP for 2010 you can go to my Web Gallery.  You can also see photos for the building and decorating of our house.  If you want to read about any of that you can visit my main blog.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Following the Inspiration: Part 4

Part 4: Quotes, going larger

I have always enjoyed quotes and have occasionally used them in pieces of art or inspiration for a piece of art. In Sandy Steen Bartholomew’s article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors she used words and journalling with her zentangles and I thought that could be the perfect next step to explore where I could take my doodles.  At this point I also wanted to go larger.  The small size was easy to finish and fun to do but would I enjoy taking it larger?  If I was going to include quotes then I would want a larger format to explore this more.

So where do I start?  Which quote do I choose?  Since I am a bit of a Christmas music fan ( I have purchased 11 new Christmas CDs this year) and I have been listening to Christmas music on and off since July I had recently listened to a song on Windham Hill’s “Winter Solstice On Ice” which has the Jim Brickman's song “Your Love.”  I included the lyrics to the song in my post for Wayne and my anniversary.

I started out with making the strings for the piece which I placed on a 11” x 14” sheet of paper.  I used the lyrics to inspire how the strings would look.  Since it was a love song I included a heart and some stylized wings for the “You could give me wings to fly.”  After the strings were finished I added the lyrics writing them so that they followed the lines of the strings.  I wasn’t worried about the whole thing being written in order or upside right.  I did keep the individual verses together.  I contained the lyrics with lines on either side of them so that I would not put the tangles too close so that you couldn’t read the lyrics.

Then it was time to play.  Many of the tangles are just regular tangles that I had found through Sandy’s article, blog and the Zentangle website; I also let the lyrics inspire some of the tangles including feathers, flowers, rings, hearts, the sun, moon and stars.  In this piece some of the tangles are my own ideas and others are variations of the ones on the various sites.  You can find inspiration for new tangles in the patterns that are all around you in everyday life; they are repetitive patterns.

After the “Your Love” piece I wanted to try using some quotes about creativity and so I chose several that I find inspiring.

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been.  You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.” ~Alan Alda

“Everyone has talent.  What is rare is the courage to follow talent to the dark places it leads” ~Erica Jong

“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage” ~Georgia O’Keefe

More strings and words and time to play again with tangles.  I was working on this one on the couch next to Wayne and he came up with the ideas for a couple of new tangles for me.  He has since come up with a few more tangle ideas for me which is kind of fun.

Although I do not like this piece as much as my previous piece I still learned a lot and tried new things and I don’t dislike it I just don’t think it is quite as strong a piece.

The next piece was also 11 x 14 but no quotes this time.  I wanted to see what happened if I took some stylized images and combined them adding strings to join the images and further divide the piece.  With Christmas approaching I thought I would try using a theme. I also wanted to see what happened if I added some selective color to the piece.  I made a circle to represent a wreath and a Christmas tree with a star on top.  Some of the tangles here were representative of the season like Christmas lights and poinsettias and other were just regular tangles.   I really liked how this piece turned out.  It has a graphic feel to it.