Thursday, August 29, 2013

Robot on the Run

I am excited to have a second entry for Laura Harms's Weekly Challenge #133: "Tipple - love it or hate it?" It's certainly not traditional, but I am satisfied. Like a work of literature, there is a lot of significance and story to this tile. I was inspired by my family, fond memories, and 3 other submissions. I hope you all enjoy!

My brother Joseph loves steampunk and mechanical stuff. I love his drawings of complex, Rube Goldberg-esque machines. I didn't get that gadgety here, but I at least got the robot thing down.

Many years ago, my mom bought my brother a tiny wooden mannequin and drawing pad at an art museum. I ended up using the two more than he did. (I broke off one of the arms, AACK!) In the drawing pad, I drew my interpretation of a muscle man. The figure had his teeth clenched and was holding up a bar-bell with his, um, interesting arms. Each had about a dozen muscles because apparently to my 8-year-old self, being stronger meant that you didn't just increase the size of your muscles; you got new ones too! The poor bloke also had a well-defined abdomen, but his abs were tiny and in the middle of an otherwise normal midsection. How does this relate to Mr. Robot? Well, his arms look pretty similar. I didn't do this intentionally, but it sure reminds me of the funny story. I wish I could still find that drawing: it's priceless.

When my mom, Amy, taught elementary art, one of her most successful units was drawing Celtic knots with her 4th grade students. She learned the process in Tina Cintron's DVD Amazing Watercolors. The project would start out as a square with all the sides extended either  clockwise or counterclockwise. This beginning was called "headless dancing man" because the square looked like a body and the four sides looked like arms and legs. I didn't draw headless dancing man on my tile, but Mr. Robot sure looks like one. He does have a head, but he is losing his brains, so the metaphor does work to a degree. I think he moving happily–either running or dancing. He could be scared because he is losing his marbles though. (Haha! Get it? Marbles, tipple?) I left his face blank so that everyone could decide his mood for themselves. My mom is behind that idea too.

Here are the fabulous CZTs that inspired me and links to their posts:
  • Lila Popcheff (Poppie's Pen Pics) featured bands of red tipple in her lovely tangled L initial. I loved the effect so much that I decided to use it too. I think it adds an awesome extra oomph. Thanks Lila!
  • Kathy Barringer (Kathy Barringer) used flux to outline a box filled with tipple on the bottom portion of her tile. Above the box, evenly spaced orbs are either evaporating from or cascading into it. I mimicked her technique with Mr. Robot's head. His mind is escaping him or information is pouring into it. I love the multiple interpretations! Great job, Kathy!
  • LeeAnn Denzer (LeeAnn's Zentangleing Fun) incorporated tipple into an ornate octopus. I loved how the orbs mimicked the suckers on an octopus's limbs and the energy that moved through the patterns. I also depicted an animated character, though technically Mr. Robot is not alive.
I made a couple of mistakes that initially made me furious. First, the eraser (Is that a curse word?) I used to lighten some shading near Mr. Robot's leg also removed ink and weakened the integrity of the paper. When I went over my lines, they blotted and expanded because the paper was more absorbant. Later, I smeared some grey water-soluble colored pencil into the green. I have since come to terms with these imperfections and will end with my haiku for forgiveness:
You may get a smudge,
an unintentional mark,
but it's all okay.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Refreshing Beginnings

I have wanted to start a blog for years, but there has always been something in the way. Either homework took too long, my room wasn't tidy, or I was too lazy to put in any actual effort. At last I have decided to dive into the blogosphere by initiating my blog, ZenTiced. I am using the realm of Zentangle® to structure this endeavor as I have recently become the world's youngest CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), and I have been practicing for over two years. I sincerely hope that I will keep ZenTiced alive with fresh posts periodically just as I hope to achieve my other goals for the upcoming school year.

Yesterday, I took the first major step in starting Zentangle Club at my school. I had a table at our annual club fair filled with examples and resources. I am grateful to have had about 40 people sign up, more than I had even hoped for. Of course, we have to wait and see how many keep with it. My sponsor is my school's revered learning specialist. We think that Zentangle will mesh well with our school community because it will counteract the stress of the academic environment. I owe much thanks to my mom, Amy Broady, for setting up the fabulous display; it attracted a lot of kids and even teachers. We were also blessed with sunshine, although it made our backs sweaty and our free chocolate melt. I'll do my best to post pictures later, but I must check with my school first.
I love how my mom described my tile: "fizzy".
The green looks like sea foam.

Doesn't it feel good when the back of
your tile looks exactly how you wanted?
Here is my submission the Diva's challenge this week. We were supposed to incorporate tipple as a major component of our piece(s). I broke away from my typical route and used white, green, and black on black. Introducing Zentangle at my school seemed a perfect occasion to break out my green Metallic Gelly Roll pen I received at training. I actually didn't have a black Gelly Roll or other pen that would work on the dark tile, so I used a combination of navy and silver Sakura glaze pens for the shiny look. I wish those dark details showed up in the scan—they form neat teardrop shapes. (If you highlight the picture, you can see them a lot better.) I also used the "black" to mirror the white stippling on the inside of the green orb border. The Zendalas are really magical; they elevate even the simplest of designs to a visually intriguing level. The black also makes the tile pop because of the contrast. I did have to trace over my orbs to make them opaque, but the extra effort was worth it. I hope to do more work on black in the future.

Overall, the past few days have been really enjoyable for me. I kicked-off the week with an in-class summer reading essay, but it went smoothly. I am still giddy from a white-water rafting trip with my peers Saturday. Each year, the entire sophomore class at my school goes rafting on the Ocoee River. Recent showers had raised the water level to uncommon highs, making the adventure a little more technical but a lot more exciting. Each raft seated six students plus a guide. I sat in the action row in the very front with my new friend Courtney. Our guide directed from the back and told us we did a fine job leading our boat. "General John" made sure we were safe but had a great time. Every now and then, he would cheerfully say/sing "We be raftin'". Our journey culminated with an intentional crash into a concrete pillar on the left side of the river. We wondered how in the world we would navigate around the obstacle until BOOM . . .we bounced right off and farther into the raft with shrieks of laughter. I wish I could replay those few hours with friends forever, but, alas, I have no such ability. At the very least, I can repeat the memory in my head whenever I want. Plus, isn't being a once-in-a-lifetime event what makes moments like this extraordinary?