Saturday, 31 October 2015

Diva Challenge 241 - Stones and Ceremony Guest blogger, Paula Bramante

I was very excited by this week's guest post over on I am the Diva's blog. It was a particularly interesting post for me because I have recently been fascinated by the image of balancing rocks.

I'd been trying my hand at balancing stones on the beach when we visited during the summer. But we'd reached September before a really special thing happened. My family and I spent a beautiful day at the beach making our own stacks of stones. It was both meditative and theraputic. The link to my blogpost about it is here and it includes the lovely photos I managed to capture that day.

It was the day we collected my husband as he returned from a very difficult and emotional week with his parents having found out that his father has terminal cancer. We went straight down to the beach to spend an afternoon focusing on things that are important to us....and family is pretty much number one, followed very closely by good health. It was also the week when the terrible images of Syrian children being found on the beaches of Greece and Turkey were shared around the world - children and families drowning just a short distance from the coast and in dreadful, unimaginable circumstances. Parents feeling that taking to the sea was a better alternative for their children than staying on dry land.

So, we were in thoughtful and mindful mood. It was possibly one of the most precious afternoons I can remember.

My original photograph
- taken as the sun was beginning to set

And so it was without hesitation that I turned to this post for inspiration for this week's challenge. As it seemed we were not to be limited by tile size or shape, I printed out one of my photographs of balanced stones in black and white and set to work in tangling it.

And my tangled version - I LOVE it!!

Tangles - from the bottom up: 'Cloudfall' by Lily Moon, 'Sand' - Adele Bruno's new tangle,
Japanese Leaves, Purk, Printemps, an official Zentangle pattern whose name I can't remember
and Sand Swirl.

Thank you so much Laura and Paula for making my week with this wonderful challenge that I feel so perfectly captures my feelings about stones, ceremonies and the importance of being mindful.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Diva Challenge 240 - Autumn Leaves

I have had a busy week and only now, on Sunday, have I had chance to sit down and draw something for the Diva Challenge this week.
I lie, of course, as I did the Square One : Purely Zentangle challenge yesterday - but it was a very Zen tile to do and took me only about 15 minutes....which is all I had. But enjoyed doing it very much.

W2, the tocus tangle at the bottom, with Flux, Hamail and Tripoli

Back to the Diva though. I was blown away by the gorgeous 'Tints on Tan' tile that Laura posted this week. Oh my, how I'd love to do something like that. I checked out what else I could find and there was quite a few examples - all stunning - I shall have to contact Jenny or Marty to learn how to produce something so absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing that, Laura. 

Back to my own challenge. Here in Andalucia, the weather has changed from baking summer to definitely autumn.. We have chilly nights and misty mornings but often, the days are warm and sunny. We don't have a lot of deciduous trees turning from green to red, yellow and golden as I remember in the UK at this time of year and the main difference is that as a result of the much needed rain, we have a touch more green in the fields around us. Autumn is less inspiring here than in other parts of the world. I felt I lacked inspiration.

Then I remembered that we're approaching the olive harvest and realised that the obvious choice was to focus on the ripened olives, the old, gnarled trunks and plentiful little slim leaves for this week's challenge. Pokeroot was perfect for the olives and I used a variation on Wud for the trunk. I couldn't have done the leaves without knowing how Hollibaugh works and the Fescu represents a little extra foliage at the base of the tree.

It might not be a masterpiece but I am so pleased with it, because in my life before Zentangle, I couldn't in a million years have produced something that looked remotely like an olive tree...and now, I really think I can! I have resisted the temptation to colour it and went instead for the addition of some heavy graphite and shading to give it depth. Hope you like it!

Autumn in Andalucia. My inspiration!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Diva Challenge 239 - Munchin Play.

Like the Diva, I wasn't 'into' Munchin before I did this challenge. As usual, if you put your mind to it - or are challenged by one of the several excellent challenges that are available to us lucky tanglers - Zentangle comes up trumps and pays off. At least that's what I think about the challenge this week.

As I mentioned last week, I bought myself a lovely new book to tangle in and so for that reason, my tile this week is not black, but tan. I like the black tiles and I like working in white but I couldn't resist another tangle in my book.

I watched Molly's video and as I was tangling I wasn't so convinced. My lines were all wibbly - I've still got a horrible cold and feel rather sorry for myself - but I persevered. I added a few sepia lines and a bit of white highlighting then did some fairly heavy shading.

And I am pleased with the result. I haven't looked at anyone else's contribution yet, so look forward to that pleasure as soon as I post on the Diva's page. Thank you for stopping by to look.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Diva Challenge 238 - UMT - Tri-bee by Beate Winkler. CZT

Oh Laura: Oh Beate! Oh JOY!!

Yes, I have so enjoyed this week's challenge. Tri-bee, by Beate Winkler (such a great name, by the way..) is a real hit with me. It's Zentangle, no doubt but it has all the things I like about doing mandalas included. Perfect - so thanks to Laura for including it in this week's challenge and thanks to Beatte for creating it.

And as I enjoyed it so much, I did two tiles this week including Tri-bee.

Here is the first, with Hollibaugh showing before and after shading versions.

Before shading

And after.

And then this morning, suffering a heavy cold and feeling sorry for myself, my husband brought me the post which included this gorgeous book that I forgot I had ordered.

It has lovely tan-coloured paper inside of a reasonable thickness and I love it!! So I have done another tile, including the new tangle by Antonine Koval, Oybay, which is also wonderful. I feel better already...although I can't stop sneezing and my nose is still running...

To be honest, these colours are far from true to life - for some reason, all my white highlights look blue and the tan is a strange shade of sand...but I like it and as I'm feeling suddenly all weak and feeble, I'm going to leave it as it is....need to lie down.