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.


  1. What lovely memories...yes tipple man is in a hurry, muttering like may be the rabbit in the

  2. Very nice. I love the backstory to the tile design!

  3. Love this! Great work, Caroline!

  4. I love both your robot man and your mental meanderings... really looking forward to your blog updates. Your mom must be so proud of you... looks like you've really jumped in with both feet since your certification, and I have a feeling we're going to see great things from you!