Monday, February 22, 2010

A zentangle weekend

Below is my first and probably last Zentangle. Actually, it was more like doodle art than a Zentangle.

Patty at Magpie's Nest showed a bunch of her Zentangles this weekend. Now I know Patty works fast, but she led me to believe she whipped her six out in no time at all. This ONE piece took me nearly four hours and it was not fun at all. I didn't think I would ever finish it and it didn't even look good once I was done. The size is 3 X 5, and I probably should have started smaller.

I was impressed that Patty began with rubber stamps. Check out her post. You'll see where I got my ideas and how I sort of did the same doodles that Patty did. Since I had never done anything like this before (have I mentioned how much I don't like doodling?), I was surprised that I actually stuck with it as long as I did. I used a Micron black .03 pen and Staz-on ink for the stamp. I know you can tell by the rubber stamp, but you may be able to see the texture of the paper if you click to enlarge the scan. The paper is really nice, like watercolor, and has a definite raised pattern on it.

Lessons learned:

1. Start small.

2. Know what some common doodle designs are before beginning.

3. Take a break if your hand gets tired.

4. Loosen up. The object is to be flexible, not rigid, which you can see I never achieved.

I got some books from the Library this weekend and although they both cover similar materials, tools, and techniques, one is far superior to the other. Like a dodo, I forgot to get the proper information on these before I passed them on to Dana.

Twist and Loop, by Doris somebody (sorry), was a big disappointment. It was a book of instructions on crocheting and knitting wire. The photos were incredible, the projects were well designed, but the instructions and basic information were sorely lacking. The book began with projects, no instructions on how to knit or crochet, no basic stitches, no tools, no explanation of abbreviations. In the last part of the book, she discusses a few things, but the information is sorely lacking. It was the first book I read.

Felted, Fabric, and Fiber Jewelry by Sherri Haab, was a delight to read and see. Everything was well explained with lots of photos and explanations. Included with the felt, fabric, and fiber was a section on wire, which included using it in crochet and knitting.

As mentioned above, Twist and Loop had some very nice photos, all stylized and artsy. However, this photo, which is the only one associated with tools, didn't begin to cover the items listed. Since wire was so important in this book, I would have expected an explanation about gauges and how the larger the wire, the smaller the gauge number. No such explanation was given.

On the other hand, Felted, Fabric, and Fiber Jewelry's photos were basic, not stylized, but succinct. Every tool was pictured and explained, as were abbreviations. It was amazing the amount of information provided in this book, compared to the first one.

I totally forgot to look for a new blog yesterday, so that's why this post is so late. However, I think Carolyn Douglas at Come Clay with Me is just the ticket to color this grey dreary day I see out my window. Her work with fired clay is fun to see and read about. Since I just found her blog, it's as new to me as it may be to some of you.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Marlynn said...

Elizabeth - I really do love your zentangle. As you, I looked at Patty's zentangles in amazement. However, I decided to save myself some angst and did not attempt one which would have been more tangles than zen! Thank you for sharing! Smiles

Lori Saul said...

This is a fantastic zentangle Elizabeth! I know they do take time and I have tried to relax while doodling (like when you are on the phone) but I am always trying to 'create' something and I lose that natural flow that is supposed to happen. This is really beautiful work!

La Dolce Vita said...

patty is the best and her doodles are awesome! but this is great too!!!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Love what you created Elizabeth! My first doodle/Zentangles made me a bit tense too. Finally I loosened up and things flowed. I like making sections and just filling them in, remembering to breathe and sometimes working on a couple at the same time (giving one a rest and coming back to it). Thank you for the kind mention!
Sounds like Sherri Haab's FFF book is worth checking into, appreciate the reviews too!

linda said...

This is lovely, Elizabeth. I often look at zentangles, but could NEVER create one. I'm one of those who have to go over every line because it's not exactly right. Now you know why my art is almost completely digital.
Thanks for your kind words about my blog. The snow is alnost gone here , except for the huge dirty piles in the parking lots. The moss in my front yard actually is beginning to green up!

ooglebloops said...

Your zen-doodle is wonderful!!! A hint for next time-(and you will do another!LOL) -use a smooth/flat finish paper- I like the results better - and it seems to be easier going. Patty is prolific in all her artful doings!!! It's hard to keep up- but she's such an inspiration!!!
thanks for the book reviews also!

Diane said...

Elizabeth, I love your zentangle--I really do--I love this kind of art, and those dresses are cool!!

Pretty Things said...

Did you watch the Zentangle DVD or have the book? I just bought the kit and have only done one but you're right -- start small. Yours is flipping amazing, though!

And I love the heart doily for the apron!

Miki Willa said...

I really like your zentangle. I love doing them, but I never complete one in a sitting. I have them to work on when I am stressed, when I am waiting at the dentist, or for my meal to arrive. I am sorry you didn't enjoy the process, but I am really glad you tried it.