Diva Challenge #333

 This week’s Diva Challenge was brought to us by guest bloggers, CZTs Juliette Flessinger and Kellie Fellinge, from the podcast, Tanglepod.  Listen to their diva Challenge here. This week we were challenged to find and use our “cozy” tangles. Tangles we feel relaxed and comfortable with.  I chose flux (Rick’s version) and went with a tile  i had distressed earlier and then shaded using Crayola Super Tips. The Crayola Super Tips are water-soluble and perfect for shading with watercolor, Derwent Inktense or distressed inks. Right now, they sell on Amazon.com for $14.00 USD for 100 colors. A great deal for most wet media projects. All of the guest bloggers this summer have been excellent.

  

  

Eni Oken’s Art Club

Recently I wrote briefly about artist and CZT, Eni Oken and her new Art Club. In this post I want to highlight Art Club, show the amazing lessons offered and share the art I’ve produced since practicing Eni’s wonderful techniques. Eni is a talented artist with a real gift for teaching. My favorite part of this post, however, is the opportunity to learn more about Eni and what brought her to Zentangle. Thanks Eni, for sharing some of your personal history as well as your teaching methods. I’m just an amateur artist but I’m quite pleased with how my art has progressed since starting Art Club. My journey started with Eni’s ebook 3D Tangles: Shading Fearlessly.

 Then I went through her ebook 3D Tangle:  Overlapping Zentangle®

Upon finishing these books, I drew this tangled flower inspired by CZT Helen Williams’ Ribbon Petals. With shading and Overlapping techniques from Eni’s books, I felt I was finally making some progress artistically with these techniques. There is always room for improvement of course! 

I was dying to try more of Eni’s lessons but to purchase them all separately would be expensive and take time. Eni’s art has fascinated me since I started tangling and I think I was just waiting for her to start Art Club. The Art Club experience starts with her most recent book or video then everything new she publishes thereafter. I started with her video on Mooka 3D and Dingbatz. 


I loved it! Since then, her Mooka 3D has shown up in my art over and over becoming one of my “go-to” patterns to draw. Here’s an example of Mooka 3D in a Dingbatz.

 

Next I did Twisted Ropes which I loved as well! It’s not a big secret that I love them all! I was absolutely addicted to Twisted Ropes, and drew it over and over until the next lesson was released! This twisted rope mess is so busy it loses the eye but I had such fun embellishing the ropes I just enjoyed the process and didn’t worry about the composition. I love tangling on cardboard! Recycling at it’s best!

 

 

Ribbon Showgirl is one of my favorites! I’m using the ribbon techniques everywhere! Plus there’s a companion ebook that goes with the video lesson!



 The next lesson was a different way to tackle the very difficult pattern, Peanuckle (by Molly Hollibaugh). At least, it was tough for me! After the Peanuckle video lesson, it’s another go-to pattern for me. 

 

 

It took a lot of practice but now I can do Peanuckle all day! There are more lessons but these were the most successful for me. Even more important, these lessons got me drawing again and that was the biggest job of all! 

The most recent to video to date is on Tangled words. It’s my favorite, of course!


This was a great lesson and though I struggled to draw the letters small enough to fit on a standard tile, I loved how this project turned out! These will make great gifts for the holidays!

 

I’m always interested to know how such talented people come to the Zentangle ®  Method.  Eni was kind enough to share some of her personal history with me for this article. It constantly amazes me how so many people come to the Zentangle ® Method through illness, tragedy or trauma. Let me share a bit about Eni Oken in her own words.

I was born in Brazil, but came for the first time to the US at only 6 weeks of age while my parents attended school in Berkeley. After returning to Brazil, my mother and my grandmother were incredibly encouraging of my inclination to arts and crafts. My first memory of being thinking of myself as an artist was at the early age of 8 years old. My grandmother was especially dedicated in teaching me all types of arts and crafts, knitting, drawing, lace-making, embroidery, you name it. 
 
For some bizarre twist, I ended up getting a degree in Architecture, but that was never my first desire. I continued to work with anything and everything that was related to the design and arts, illustration, window dressing, model making, computer graphics, video game design, jewelry design, costume design, dollmaking, fashion, sculpting, so many I can’t even remember. 
 
About 22 years ago, I came back to the US to live and was one of the early adopters of using online environment to work as a self employed artist. I worked creating fantasy environments for video games, and won a number of awards during that time.
 
Teaching art always came naturally to me, it was almost as if creating art wasn’t complete without the teaching component. I explore art and then have this incredible need to teach what I learned to others. I started teaching art very soon after college and have continued to teach in one way or another throughout my entire career. 
 
Eventually I switched from the grueling schedule of computer graphics to jewelry design, and I developed a very successful educational website called jewelrylessons.com. My path was suddenly interrupted by discovering stage 4 cancer in 2010. During the years of treatment, I could hardly work, could not teach or even produce art. 
 
At the recommendation of my oncologist, I started to draw again while in bed — a collection of works called “muddyglasses”, depicting aspects of the treatment. These were gruesome and weird, my oncologist then encouraged me to find some happier themes 🙂 and that’s when I found Zentangle.”

I got to the end of this post and realized I sound like an advertisement for Eni! This post was my idea as I intend to share more of my art using Eni’s techniques as I move forward. The truth is that I am thriving artistically on these lessons and I just can’t say enough about them. Eni has a dedicated Facebook group just for Art Club members where we can share our trials and finished projects, ask for help in the group, and best get feedback from Eni Oken real-time! I’m looking forward to seeing what is coming up next. I know there is a tangled letter lesson and one on making distressed tiles. 😊 I can’t wait!

 

New Pattern: Marito

Two months ago as I was playing with the pattern Trefoil, it occurred to me to try and make the triangular framework into more of a curved ribbon style. The day before I’d seen CZT, Suzanne McNeill’s pattern Wavy Border on Pinterest and somehow that experimentation plus the Wavy Border visual became my new pattern, Marito. It is a nickname for my little boy who was very much on my mind while I was working that day. While Marito has a similar look to Wavy Border, it’s a different process as well as having many ways to vary the look. Marito has 2 versions, one using a more triangular shape and one that is rounded. It is great for borders as it allows for a wide variety of embellishment possibilities. I love it particularly for gem borders. It can be as simple or fancy as you want. A special thanks to Amanda Rose Rambo for contributing the feature image!

As with my other 2 patterns, I am very interested in seeing and posting any art you might create using Marito! Email me your pictures at Thetirelesstangler@gmail.com and I’ll add an album with everyone’s Marito art! If you have seen this pattern elsewhere, please let me know and I will remove it.

Artist Focus: Liz Drake

Liz Drake’s “Joy”

Meet Liz Drake! Liz is one of a long list of amazing artists I’ve met through Tangle It! Pattern Club. Several weeks back I featured an artist named Barb Masinton from the group. The post included Barb’s “go-to” week one entries. I thought it would be fun to see how Liz approaches the challenges. As we move forward, I hope to have a great collection of different artist’s “go-to” challenges. I’m going to enjoy having them to compare and appreciate! 

Liz Drake

 “Liz Drake here, Artist at large. After raising 4 sons, spending 40+ years in medical imaging as a career, I retired, cashed in enough of my IRA to put a down payment on a semi, obtained my CDL and went over the road with my husband in our 18 wheeler. Living a life of adventure on road offers opportunities to see things I would never see otherwise, it does have some artistic limitations, space for supplies being just one. Two people living in 47 square foot can be quite a challenge in itself. Most art store parking lots are designed to prohibit big trucks entering. I’m not real sure how their delivery drivers manage, but the space allowed for them even is very tight and restricted from customer use. We have no route, no schedule, no structure or calendar beyond the load that is on at the time. On a good day with no major cities involved, we can do up to 700 miles per day. On days we are in major cities, have to load or unload—or both, we sometimes only log 200-300 miles. Sometimes we sit for pseveral days between loads. Life is very unpredictable, getting mail is next to impossible, and the stress levels can become incredibly high when you throw weather, road construction and unreasonable dispatch into the mix. The need for a Zen-like art outlet is more than apparent in my life. Enter Zentangle Inspired Art, I had scratched the surface several years back when my artistic passion was gourd art, (where I was represented in several galleries, vended at several yearly juried shows, and taught classes)

 


I publish a short “lesson” note each week along with attempting to post a daily doodle on my Facebook Art Page Tangled World by Liz Drake. Go ahead, check it out, oh and give it a “like” while you are there. All comments appreciated.
  
My next art adventure is to get a few of my favorite pieces printed into note cards and postcards. I hope to package and sell to finance “My Epic Adventure” when I plan to build a pedal vessel and camp and pedal my way from the source of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.” 
 
 
One of Liz’s “go-to” challenge tiles. I love her ideas!

I am amazed that Liz is able to produce art like this while working on the road! I want to be around to see the art she comes up with on the pedal trip!
 
Thank you so much, Liz, for allowing me to share your art and your journey! You’re a fascinating lady and I expect I will be asking to add your art here and there when the opportunity arises! I’m off to check out your Facebook page.
 

 
 
 
 

This is my favorite! Of course, if it’s purple I am guaranteed to love it!

 All the art and images on this site are copyrighted by the creating author/artist. They are not to be used, copied or pinned without the creator’s written permission. All rights reserved. 


The True Gift Of Zentangle

I received a beautiful gift today from a wonderful lady and it reached into my heart and squeezed. It was completely unexpected and I know done with great compassion. CZT Jody Genovese sent me a small box delicately filled with small brown and tan crinkled paper ribbons, a new pack of black apprentice tiles (which I’ve wanted to try), 2 traveling Tangle tiles and one wine stained tile (something I’ve never tried), and a note of caring and support that had me tearing up. The absolute best part of tangling is meeting other tanglers. I’ve never met a better person than Jody. I’m learning, after a year, that the true beauty of the Zentangle® Method is in the community of tanglers. 

Jody did one other thing that meant so much to me and that was to tangle my Apcross pattern on a coffee stained tile. It immediately became one of my favorites! Check out how cool this is! This will be my featured image for Apcross! Jody, you did an amazing job! You’re becoming a good friend at a time when I needed it most! Thanks!

Apcross by CZT, Jody Genovese

 

Milestones

I had to stop yesterday and breathe, and focus on accomplishments. I am normally frenetic about constantly creating at a high level (that’s a high level for myself not everyone else!) and pretty OCD about getting things done well and on time. Unfortunately, this means I get lost in the journey and forget about the big picture. Me and half the population, right!? Today was a big picture day for me. After slogging along for about 9 months this blog hit 3,000 views and today i had 100 views in about 8 hours. Seems silly but its nice to see your hard work realized even to a small scale.

I wouldn’t be here though, without the encouragement and support of the wonderful people in the Zentangle® Mosaic app, as well as the amazing group of artists and friends at Tangle It! Pattern Club on Facebook. Hmm, this sounds like a bad award dinner speech! Since I’m thanking the academy, let me give a nod first to Barb Masinton for the use of her beautiful art for this post! It’s nice not to need to prepare art for each post and quite honestly her art has been part of the reason my site traffic has been up. It’s simply spectacular! I also wanted to thank Dr. Ellie Miller (who’s off for CZT training next week, Gratz Ellie!🤗) of Tanglesxm.com and Write of Passage. She stuck with me thru a long time during which I couldn’t write or create. We found each other on WordPress then discovered we were both on Mosaic. Since that time, she’s been a true friend in her support and encouragement. Thank you Ellie! I cant forget Terri Delaune, CZT for your help with my pattern submissions. It helps having feedback! Dolly Bolen, CZT, Jody Genovese, CZT, and Sarah Fowler, each of whom have been encouragers, and all of whom created fabulous art using my Patterns so I would be able to showcase them in a variety of ways, thank you all! In honor of their impact on my life, here is some wonderful art by these wonderful ladies! Zentangle is amazing! Everyday, I get visitors from all over the world. April has been my most successful month yet. Thank you all!

Apcorg by Sarah Fowler
Apcorg by Terri Delaune,CZT
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Apcorg By Dolly Bolen,CZT ( a favorite!)

 

Apcross tiles by Terri Delaune, CZT (thank you so much!)
Tangled tile using Apcross by Terri Delaune, CZT
Apcorg by Dr Ellie Miller
Apcross by Dr Ellie Miller
(struggling with this WordPress iOS app. So the photos aren’t set in perfectly and I had 2 duplicates I couldn’t remove without starting over. My quick post changed into a nightmare but I’m still grateful!)

A New Year, A New Purpose

It’s a new year and I’m full of awe that I am still surviving in 2017. 2016 was easily the worst year of my life and I have never been so relieved to see a year slip into the past. I’m praying this year will be boring and uneventful and full of love and art!

Speaking of art! I have not been blogging but I’ve been creating at a frenetic pace! I’m so relieved I’ve gotten my creative spark burning again, so assuming the sky isn’t currently falling, I’m dedicating myself to an art centered blog once again (life willing!).  If you still follow this blog I appreciate your patience with my occasional digressions. 

One of the joys of this new year has been the progression of my Zentangle® Method journey. I’ve been happily tangling for over a year! One of the most enjoyable things I’ve done is join the Zentangle® Mosaic App. It’s free to look at the art but to post or comment you just pay a small fee per month and you can create and post all the art you want and become part of a wonderful community of like minded. encouraging people and sometimes, if you’re lucky, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts (founders of the Zentangle® Method) will come along and appreciate something you’ve done! It’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of this supportive, artistic community! I’m making friends and starting artistic collaborations that I’m quite excited about! If you love tangling, this app is well worth the small monthly fee!

I was influenced by another blogger to go ahead and purchase the Zentangle® Primer,  Volume 1. Dr. E. Miller (Tanglesxm.com and Write of Passage) wrote a wonderful post about the Primer and the differences between it and the cheaper alternatives out there.. It is a very good look into the purpose behind each book and why they were written. I decided after reading this post I would go for it and buy it. It was something I had to save for but as with all things Zentangle®, it’s worth the price. This is a beautiful, hardbound,  coffee table type book filled with original art by Zentangle® founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. It has been described as a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) training program in book form. If you are curious about Dr. Miller’s post you can read it in it’s entirety here.

People frequently ask me why the Zentangle ® Method is so meaningful to me and why I’m so driven to share it. This is not a drawing lesson, but teaches a drawing method so simple, children can learn it. It teaches you to draw by practicing a method that helps you let go of anxiety about what to do or where to start. Let go of worry about the end result and appreciate both the moment and the result. There are thousands of “non” artist types out there happily sharing their art. I know this, as I am one of them. If you have always wanted to learn to draw or if you love to doodle, you should try this. If you are struggling with depression or any number of other things, this can give you new purpose while relaxing and meditating, and help you to create something beautiful of which to be proud.  

I can’t describe how this method has changed me and been a catalyst for positive growth personally and in overcoming my fear of rejection. I have seen my depression dwindle and have a fresh purpose for the first time in years. Gratitude is a weak word for the way I feel about Zentangle. There are hundreds of books out there now, both ebooks and physical copies, about Zentangle so I won’t give long descriptions. I will just say that never in my wildest dreams did I think drawing would save my mind and heart, but it did.

I thought I would post my tiles from lesson one and show you that anyone really can do this method of drawing and meditation! If you’re like me and want to get right to it, head over to Zentangle® central at Zentangle.com.  I don’t have the words to tell you how drastically it’s changed my life.

This is “Crescent Moon”, the first tangle they teach. It’s very easy to learn and looks really cool when shaded. Notice that the shaded section lifts off the page giving a 3D effect.  Extremely simple and you can do it. Shading is done simply with a standard #2 pencil and blended with an inexpensive paper stump (or tortillion). 

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Shading lifts the drawing off of the paper.

This is Printemps, a simple spiral. Shading brings out individual shapes and adds depth.

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Shading around these will add dimension to a very simple tangle.

The other 2 tangles used in Lesson one are Florz and Hollibaugh. Step outs for these can be found at Tanglepatterns.com

This post became really long and for that, I apologize! To wrap up, here is my first tile followed by the same 4 tangles in a different order on a 2nd tile. This illustrates that you can draw the same tangle over and over and get something that is completely different each time. 

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Lesson 1 tile

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I absolutely must learn more about this site and how to make sense of everything. *BIG smile!* like how to make these pictures look smaller. 🙂 Look forward to a new Diva Challenge tile tomorrow! See you all soon! 

Suicide, the Next Chapter

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Nothing could have prepared me for the last 6 weeks. Suicides took a son, a niece, and a dear friend. I haven’t begun to process the first much less the last. My life looked unbelievably bleak and empty. Then God or Karma or Fate intervened. This week I have a 6-year-old boy who has no one and who needs me. Being granted custody of this baby is an unbelievable blessing. Much of my stress has been my fear for him and what was happening to him. Worry about his support system after losing 2 parental figures has been constant. I am not allowed to post his pictures anymore but he is a beautiful soul. Such a sweet, bright and broken child. To be given this responsiblity is immense and yet I believe we will help heal each other. I am no longer sure what this blog is about, but we will find out as we go along. My art is still blocked and will be hard now to find time for but with the little guy we will be doing lots of creative projects.

All of our lives look different from the reality before July 4, 2016. I’m going to have to figure out OUR new reality now. We will remake our reality until we find our joy again.

Thanks for stopping here 🙂

Suicide Cluster?

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This lovely lady is Sherry. She and my Sean were in a year long relationship when he ended his life. This picture is from his funeral on July 10, 2016. Today, August 6, 2016, she was remembered in her own memorial service. Sherry ended her life on Sean’s grave August 2, 2016, leaving a 7 year old son with no parents after making me promise her I’d be here for her son and her mom “in case anything happens”.

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Sherry and Sean’s son Makai

There’s nothing left inside for me. I don’t know how to begin to express feelings about this. Except a lot of anger for her deciding her son “would be fine” without her. I don’t know how to do anything but stare at the wall. I have 4 unfinished blog posts. Many half-finished watercolors. I’m just filled with nothing and pain. Nothing and despair. Nothing and panic. Nothing and tears and nothing. How am I to be here for a child when I’m not here for myself. Everytime I close my eyes I’m waiting for the next person to quit. I don’t blame anyone. I don’t want to keep going either. I feel obligated to post, but don’t want to depress everyone. This is all I’ve got to share though. Nothing.

My Future Mobility Dog (part 3)

Simba, one year old German Rottweiler
Sweet Simba (luckily he still thinks he’s an indoor dog.

Part 3 in this journey (there’s going to be a lot more in this story) is about expense.  I said in my last post that I’d be looking for Simba to do his AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification. This is basically a series of easy tests to prove the dog is well behaved in public with both animals and people they don’t know. The only Oklahoma AKC club link on the AKC site doesn’t work, so of course, I Googled the evaluators in okc and ended up at my favorite training center, K9 University, home of Angel “the dog whisperer”. No surprise here! Angel’s training facility is first rate (they do police, military, drug, etc) and they can do the test $150.00 for a successful test.  Ok. That’s like 15% of my disability income.  But I can get it together.  I am also going to want a vest for him. It’s not legally necessary but because he’s a Rottweiler and will be seen as a threat I might get him a pink one with fluffy bunnies on it!  Then again, my son might haunt me for that! Hehehe… yeah the first issue was not to use one of these scam sites that sells service dog tags and fake registrations with vests.  I found 2 I liked. One actually quotes ADA law instead of promising you can take your dog with you “everywhere”. Their vests were all handmade to order in the USA which is a bonus. (I am not against imports but I am against us not owning our own country so yeah, I’ll happily buy American)  All their vests start about $60.00 US plus another maybe $30.00 for the appropriate patches  another $15.00 for the extra large size not to mention the various accoutrements required to make it work. I will also need to buy some sort of mobility harness which I also found a US Company that hand makes leather harnesses for Mobility dogs starting at about $400.00. Now I’m well on my way to a grand in expenses and I haven’t started to figure out his food budget and I won’t skimp. He will also need hip and joint tests to prove his health. Now, I could breed him but that goes against everything in my shelter volunteering ass. I cannot do that for money. Growth I’ll wait for but not this. 

Other financial considerations, pet insurance, joint supplements vaccinations, heartworm, flea, tick and mosquito treatments, cutting and I’m just getting started. Some of these financial obligations are the same no matter where I get the dog, some are going to be on me if I choose Simba. 

This is a huge decision that will require work, research and money aplenty to make it a reality.  And keeping with a reality based approach, reality is we have to teach him stay before I need to worry about all this! Stay tuned for the next episode of SIMBA, MOBILITY DOG!