Monday, October 28, 2013

Paisley Par-Tay

(from top-left to bottom-right) floo, flux, opus, and ennies.
plain Jane
I didn't have school today (teacher workday), so I was able to complete my submission to the Diva's Weekly Challenge #142: "Comfort/Danger Zone" early in the week. The goal was to push our boundaries by doing something that we usually shy away from. I don't usually feel comfortable using organic shapespaisleys, teardrops, curlicuesso I used tangles with those elements and now feel much less intimidated by them. I found it interesting that each of the tangles has the same basic motif and format as another. Opus and flux branch from a stem while floo and ennies branch from a border; opus and floo use a spiral while flux and ennies use teardrops.

For shading I gravitated towards watercolor pencils to amp-up the volume. Not having a paintbrush handy, I actually used bobby pins to add the water and smooth out the color! After I had finished the adding pigment, I followed my mom's advice and weighted the rounded end of the flux-bulbs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fengle and Quandary

I am excited to share my submission to the Diva's Weekly Challenge #141: DuoTangle - Fengle/Quandry. Having never attempted quandary, I felt a bit lost initially. However, using it made me want to practice it even more. I like the combination of tangles because they fall in different genres. Fengle is large-scale and more naturally serves as a string or monotangle, while quandary is one of the tangles that serves to fill in areas. The latter is like groundcover, only more exciting and versatile.
I got carried away with shadow on my first tile.

I decided to work on a larger tile early on because I was craving more surface area. I used a 4.5 inch paper tile that my mom cut as Apprentice™ tile backup. I definitely took advantage of the extra space here. I only used a touch of quandary, but I think that it pops more than any other fengle design. I just wish that I had used a little less shading because having the gray everywhere makes the tile muddy.
my graphic second tile

I love the case they come in.
The top folds back into a stand.
I took a different approach on tile #2, opting for vibrant colors and high contrast. (By the time I started, I had found the stash of official Zentangle Apprentice™ tiles and used one.) I was more comfortable with quandary when I was completing this piece, and I am much more satisfied with the results. The kaleidoscope-ish fengle units remind me of a jester. Speaking of color, I used a new kind of pen to fill in the shapes: Straedtler triplus® fineliners. (I like them, though they have a lighter, more casual feel than the Sakura Microns.)This tile was so graphic, I felt that pencil shading would be out of place. To me, this tile is joyous and  cheerful and doesn't want to be weighed down by graphite.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dot Fever

I feel like time is flying by much too fast, that precious resource slipping through my fingers. I have lost my focus on what I enjoy and prioritized the wrong things. Television, the Internet, and milk chocolate (which isn’t even as good as dark chocolate) have distracted me from my art and education. I don’t know how I skated through the first quarter without any disappointing grades. I didn’t apply myself the way I wanted to, and I hope I can put forth a more sincere effort.

Tuesday, my family hosted my grandparents’ birthday party. Both Nana and Day (the sobriquet I gave my dad’s dad when I could not pronounce “grandpa”) were born on October 5th. It was a funky karaoke party with plenty of pizza and sugar to go round. My dad even hung up our disco ball for the occasion. I had a blast hosting the “dance show” with my darling cousin Charlotte.

I believe the song was "Dancing Queen".
It really spins! Wouldn't it be cool to have it running nonstop?
My activity opportunities for fall break have been slashed by the flu. It all started Wednesday morning after the birthday bash: I woke up lethargic and headachy. My head wasn’t hot though, so I poured myself a cup o’ joe and went to school anyway to take the PSAT, which went smoothly. We were dismissed before noon and went outside. It was 68º and only slightly windy, but I was freezing. My teeth were chattering so violently that I struggled speaking. Later that day I was again chilled fell asleep on the couch under a blanket. I woke up an hour later covered in sweat. It was a long, uncomfortable day. Thursday, I was drowsy and it hurt to swallow, though my fever was reduced. Ever since, my fever has stayed normal and my energy has returned, but my hands and feet have been killing me, thanks to a weird viral symptom. I hate being sick because I wanted to spend my fall break riding my bike, playing with the dog, and going to a school football game. I just hope that I feel fine tomorrow when classes resume.
Completed Friday, October 18.
I should have posted sooner.

Here is my submission to Laura Harm’s Weekly Challenge #140! "Monotangle, Pointillism style!". I am satisfied with what I have done. I used three pens (the Sakura Micron 005, 01, and 05) to have a variety of different dot sizes. It was also nice to use the 05 to move more quickly in darker areas and to avoid damage to the finer tips. I like the ambiguity between what is foreground and what is background and the drama that comes from the dense areas. I only wish I had been able to complete it in less than three hours. Was your patience also tested by this-consuming technique?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tangleations of "Well" and a Swell Start to Zentangle Club

This shield-shaped sketch is my
first attempt at well.
Here is my submission to Laura Harm's Weekly Challenge #135: Well. I know that this one is tardy, but better late than never. I have yet to look at the challenge for this week because I wanted to focus on well and not be distracted by this week's exercise. Indeed, well requires lots of concentration. I had difficulty making sure each box had each line and orientating them correctly, so this is not my favorite tangle. I prefer tangles that are more intuitive–ones that feel more familiar. I guess that means that I should do well even more for practice/experience.

3 Tangleations: Aren't blobs fun? I like the one on the left best.
I have some exiting news: Zentangle Club has officially had two meetings! (I apologize for not posting about them sooner; I have been too busy with homework.) We are meeting for half an hour in the middle of the school day every two weeks, alternating between Monday and Thursday. To begin, I am teaching two tangles at each meeting to establish a foundation. Later on, I want people to share what they have independently found or created. I taught crescent moon and hollibaugh at the first meeting Thursday, September 5th. Monday, the 16th, I taught quipple and cubine. There has been a great turnout–about a dozen people have shown up at each meeting. We really fill up the room. (Some can't make both because of labs and conflicts with other clubs.) For now, people are using the Zentangle Apprentice tiles and Pigma 05 pens, but I am ordering class kits so that they can use the more refined materials soon. To demonstrate, I use a large square of poster board on my mom's twirly board propped up on an easel, which sits on a table. This way, I can turn my demo to get a more convenient angle. I use the woodless pencil and the Permopaque marker. I am ecstatic with how well things have gone-- the tiles look fabulous and people are having focused, relaxed fun.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tangled Tags and Bands of Beamz

I am so happy that yesterday was Labor Day, augmenting the weekend by twenty-four hours and giving my family enough time to make a visit to Virginia. My grandparents were celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, and they took us to a dinner theater production of Les Misérables at the Riverside Center. It was fabulous! The stage rotated just as in the original Broadway show. I will admit that that long performances can make me antsy, but this production was exciting and impeccably done. I am now obsessed with the bacchanalian song “Master of the House”, though my favorite character has to be Javert. He may have been cruel, but he was only trying to do his job.

Here is my submission to this week’s challenge: Beamz by Traci F. Beamz is tricky, but I love how many different ways it can be interpreted. To me, it is a geometric version of echoism with funkier options. On my tag, the first side is dense while the other is more delicate. I usually prefer doing echoism in the fuller/denser way, but I find the other is fits better within the awkward confines of knightsbridge. I accidentally omitted the diagonal lines that Traci illustrates in her instructions, but I don't think I could have added them because I worked so small. I want to give this tangle another go sometime and try it the original way.

You may notice that rather than using a tile, I used a tag. From now until September 15, 2013, the ZT for Kidz website is hosting a contest called TagYou’re I T T T! (Invited To Tangle a Tag). I am ineligible to win because my mom is the host, but I have enjoyed tangling several tags. This is my most recent, but you can see the others at Please check it out and encourage any kids (or adults that are children-at-heart) to enter. We look forward to seeing and sharing everyone’s work.

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?