Friday, February 01, 2013

Bubble Burst

Ok, you all suspected it, didn't you, but were too nice to say anything. I finished cutting and adding the sheer circles to that busy background, got a nice s-curve going with the darkest circles leading the eye, then fused them in place. They were faint to begin with, but once fused they all but disappeared. I didn't take into account the the fusible might be adding some opacity before the final heat turned it clear. I don't know if quilting is going to save it, or if I might try a little paint, but since I went into it as a trial piece, I'm trying hard to keep the disappointment from totally discouraging me. 

There's still lots I can learn from this even if ultimately it is not salvageable. But not today. I needed to get my mind off of it and decided diving into the Zentangle®* books I'd brought from the library might do the trick. One Zentangle A Day by Beckah Krahula is the real deal, not a quilter's or mixed media artist's take on the practice. I recognize both the philosophy of Zen and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain in the introduction and opened myself to follow the "directions" for what is set up as a 6-week course. My usual MO is to skip the stuff I think inconsequential and get right to the meat; who needs to practice or waste time developing a signature, for instance? Well. . .me. The signature didn't take long. This is something I played with years ago when I was doing a lot of counted cross-stitch and studying monograms. I liked the idea of overlapping and linking those two initials. Then came the exercise - really studying the steps and slowly executing them. Is this not like learning different free-motion designs? Yes, I don't like to study and practice those either.

When I say this is the real deal, I mean the book is very clear about Zentangle-specific supplies. I didn't know that there is a standard size of paper for creating a Zentangle - 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 inch tiles - and that the surface of the paper is quite different from what one might normally think to draw on. Here is where, for the moment, I am not adhering to the directions. I want to use the little notebook I had with me in Rochester, which is neither square nor having the type of surface of a true Zentangle tile. It is ok for the exercises (and this course also utilizes rectangular sketchbooks, artist trading cards and other sizes for "Zentangle inspired art" and mandalas) but I really should get something different for the tiles. Just like my machine quilting mentor who stressed that you do better work even when you're learning if you're working on a real quilt, this author emphasizes the importance of using the the best materials "...because your work is worth it, and it makes a difference in the quality of work you do. If you work on a piece of scrap paper, the paper has been deemed junk, so there is no concern about the quality of work done on the paper...When we pick up a piece of quality art paper, our senses are awakened...our attention is piqued...has been shifted from the world around us to the project before us. Because the paper has worth, our attention turns to focusing on creating each stroke and the piece of art before us." Is this not true as well of our best experiences during the process of designing and executing a quilt and the  supplies we use? 

These lessons take about 30 minutes and I have to say, it was 30 minutes well spent. I have already experienced the value of drawing or sketching, and I could feel the same positive things happening as I worked through this first lesson. If nothing else, the tension from the burst bubbles experience was gone as I made my last stroke and shading. So I will do my best to keep up the daily lessons. 

*The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at 


bj parady said...

So is your joy in making art the process or the final product? For me it's the process, so when things don't work out as I wanted, I go with the flow. There's always another piece of fabric...

Christine Staver said...

That is disappointing when things don't turn out like you think they will. Now you got me interested in looking up zentangles. They look like fun.

Amanda said...

Can you not daub some colour gently through the sheers to lift them a little?

Love doodling and the zentangles. Sounds to me like someone else has jumped on the bandwagon and is expecting you to fork out on expensive stuff. Does she have her own range by any chance? Yes bestest stuff makes you work the bestest but surely it's more important to just do something everyday no matter what it's on or done with?

And I think you're being soooo good going through all the steps. I'm a bit of a skipper too! lol

The Idaho Beauty said...

Amanda, you might find it interesting to exploring what the official site has to say about all this. The original creators of the method have very few "rules" and the thing about the tiles and pens for drawing came out of a collaboration with companies that produce fine drawing paper and pens. They are incredibly generous regarding copyright and sharing of the method, but also certify teachers in their method. The books I am reading are by certified teachers and all their references for supplies pretty much go back to the Zentangle site for the tiles and Sakura for the pens. Emphasis on "the best tools and materials you can afford." In this 6 wk course book, alternatives are given for making your own tiles, but basically, you are not going to find the official tiles marketed by multiple companies at varying price. I blew Zentangle off when I first started seeing it on blogs, but now that I've taken the time to understand its origins and follow its guidelines, I am quite impressed.

calia386 said...

*The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted...I think these two should be sued for plagiarism. These kind of design ideas have been around long before the Renaissance and I went to an antique store the other day and saw some drinking glasses from the 70's with the exact same loop design they demonstrate in their books.