Saturday, October 4, 2014

Zentangle Inspiration from the Library

I have to give a shout-out to the Delaware County Library System.  I am so lucky to have a network of 29 libraries where I can search out books on so many different topics.  I can check out books at any of the 29 locations with my library card, return a book to any one of the sites I want even if it's not where the book originated, and request books to be sent to the library nearest to me for pick-up.  How awesome is that?  Since I discovered how amazing our system is, and how many books are available to me, my Amazon book bill has decreased unbelievably. 

Having said all that, I wanted to show you the books I checked out last week from our Media-Upper Providence branch
I think I counted a total of five Zentangle books, so once I have squeezed all the goodness out of the two at the bottom of this stack, I'll be heading back for the rest!
Right now I am focusing on The Art of Zentangle: 50 Inspiring Drawings, Designs, and Ideas for the Meditative Artist.  I didn't realize until just now that there is no author listed on the cover or title page, but four artists are highlighted on the back page: Margaret Bremmer, Norma Burnell, Penny Raile, and Lara Williams.
At first glance, I would not be very impressed with this book because so much of the inside space is given over to empty pages where the reader is supposed to "try out" the designs and ideas presented on the previous pages.  I would immediately have the idea that the publisher is just padding the book and wasting space.  But I have to say, the designs and ideas that are presented are really phenomenal.  As much as I've enjoyed other Zentangle books that I have purchased, I'm not sure I've spent as much time with any of them as I have spent in the last week with this book.  (Except maybe Totally Tangled, the first Zentangle book I got and an on-going favorite.)
My tangled sketchbook page, completed while reading The Art of Zentangle
Instead of creating traditional Zentangle tiles with the hot-pressed watercolor paper, the border, the string, and the tangles occupying their designated spaces within the segments created by the string, I like to start a page in my sketchbook with some of the tangles I want to try out.  Then I come back over the course of several days, whenever I have a spare moment, and add to the page, until it is packed to overflowing with tangle patterns.
I've just been meandering through the book, trying out the tangle patterns that catch my eye.  I absolutely love how this one, called Dragonair, came out:
Dragonair, tangle designed by Norma J. Burnell
The curves really have so much dimension, and I love the effect of the stippled dots.  The book provides some awesome variations of Dragonair, in order to create designs that look like suns, leaves, and seed pods.  I have not finished playing around with this one!
I like this next little corner of the sketchbook page, because after I drew the stem and leaf design presented in the book, Katy saw the Poppet design I had drawn somewhere else on the page and suggested that I should use it to complete my flower.  I always like teaming up with my creative daughter!
Poppet (top), tangle designed by Lara Williams
Another new-to-me tangle design that I really like is Pokeleaf:
Pokeleaf, tangle designed by Norma J. Burnell
It looks dimensional when you first draw it, but also really benefits from shading.  I'm not a huge fan of shading--first, because I've never mastered it, and second, because it tends to make my page smudgy and dark, rather than a crisp black-and-white contrast that I enjoy.  But sometimes shading does add a really wonderful look to the tangle designs.
I really love how Candent looks on the page:
Cadent, tangle designed by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas
I'm pretty sure I tried this one before, and really made a mess of it, but it came out really nicely on this page, and I plan to use it again.  It is based on a grid, and is really surprisingly simple to do.  It's one of those patterns that proves true the Zentangle slogan that anything is possible one stroke at a time!
Here are a couple more views of the tangled sketchbook page I've been working on in bits and pieces over the past week.  You will see tangle designs including Flux, Hollibaugh, Roxi, Printemps, and Shing, as well as doodly patterns that don't come (as far as I know) with official names.
There are a number of project ideas in The Art of Zentangle that I haven't even delved into yet.  I'm pretty sure I'll be renewing this book when its due date rolls around!


Anne said...

Am just totally in awe of what you come up with "just playing around"!
I have made a mess of Cadent every time I've tried it but am going to try Pokeleaf -- I like that one. You have such an interesting sketch book...I really like it.

Janet said...

I also use the library for art books. It's great to be able to look at them for free...then if I decide to buy them I know exactly what I'm getting.

I like all the zentangle designs you did.

Parabolic Muse said...

Andria, I've been reading backwards and not leaving any comments. It is fun to catch up. I think if anyone could be a papercrafter for hire it would be you! Your exacting standards and great eye for design makes your work always a cut above, I think.

This zentangle page is incredible. I've seen lots of zentangles but have never really tried to do those techniques. Yours look awesome. I hope you're still filling pages like this!

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