Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mandalas With Margaret Bremner

Last week I attended a wonderful, fun-filled couple of days in Paradise! Paradise Beach in Florida that is, at the Retreat to Paradise. A fast-packed three days learning new techniques with some fellow tanglers - what an awesome time we had! This was the retreat's second year being held, and I'm fortunate to say it was my second year being there. 

We had some real heavy-hitters for instructors! Margaret Bremner has long been my go-to artist when I look at mandalas and whoot! whoot! Margaret was one of our instructors! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to be in her class and learn from her. Over the next couple posts I will be able to show you a bit more of what I learned, but for today I wanted to share our first project. This one was a bit more structured than the other mandalas Margaret taught. As a retired homeschool mom I fully understand that different people learn in different ways. One of the things I enjoyed about Margaret's teaching was that she taught to different learning perspectives. She walked us through this project step by step. Draw this, do this, make this happen here. As I post the other two projects, you will see that the teaching direction took different forms, allowing us to take what we learned in making this mandala and make the other two with less direction. Pretty awesome stuff! 

In building the above mandala, I learned a new tangle. One I don't think I've ever seen before. It's called crossview and it comprises that center focal point. Crossview was designed by Daniele O'Brien, CZT, and it was a lot of fun to draw! I love how dimensional the shading makes it! You should go to Daniele's blog link in pink just right up there and give it a go yourself! Now to finish up those other mandalas and get them posted!

The Creator's Leaf
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Shading Makes the Difference

I actually drew this garden about a year ago and posted it then. I pretty much hated to shade anything and rarely ever made the effort. Last week I went to a class taught by Meredith Yuhas, one of our CZTs, and Meredith taught us a quick way of shading that I really locked on to. Last night I pulled this picture back out and tried out some of the new things we learned.
You know that old saying what a difference a day makes? Well, I can pretty much attest to that! In fact, Meredith taught us how to shade and highlight this whole thing and it took me about 5 minutes tops.  In fact, I was so impressed with the difference that I photoshopped a collage of the two - - -
- - - for comparison purposes. So, when in doubt, think about this little experiment of mine and pull out those graphites, and white pens, and get busy. Thanks, Meredith! You are the bomb! For sure.

The Creator's Leaf
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cheerios and Blueberries

It has been a busy winter, and I've even had a busy start to my spring. The Florida pollen is in full force and my time spent outside is at a minimum. Can you say allergies and gesundheit? (I totally had to google how to spell that!) One positive side to the pollen is that I get to stay inside and draw more! Yay!!!! And I am back on the diet. Not yay!!!!!! (But I am down 7 pounds. Yay!!!)
As I mentioned recently, I am busy making art for book submissions. Currently I am working on submissions for seven different books. I started this drawing late last night. It needs much more done to it but it's at least a start. Most of the book deals state that I can not share the art online beforehand, but one did not have any such lingo in the paperwork. So I can show you step-by-step what I develop. So. Stay tuned :). And while you're at it why don't you go make some art? You'll be glad you did!

The Creator's Leaf
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Monday, March 31, 2014

Trip to Paradise

My life just doesn't seem to slow down. I thought when I retired that life would be easier, that I wouldn't feel pulled in so many directions. Boy! was I wrong! I seriously need to learn the meaning of the word 'no' and start using it occasionally. Actually last night I did send an email to a friend who runs an ATC swap  through facebook and asked to be left out of the next swap. I have too many irons in the fire.
I just got back home last night from visiting up north. On Thursday I head south to a zentangle retreat at Paradise Beach. I can not wait! One of the fun things Jo-Ellen arranged for us to participate in is an ensemble tile swap. What you see above are the straight lined ensemble and the curved line ensemble that Zentangle® carries. I sell them in my Etsy store :). There are nine tiles in each ensemble with a running string throughout the nine. For this swap we were instructed to tangle each tile independently - that would be why they look a little strange next to each other. When we come home from Paradise, we will have 18 new tiles - from 18 of our fellow artists. Pretty amazing! And what a great way to collect artwork from other tangle artists! Retreat to Paradise? Here I come! (After I wash clothes, pack, find my supply lists and probably make a trip to Michael's, repack because I will have forgotten something. . . well, you get the idea ;) )

The Creator's Leaf
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pink is Where It's At

I had a good week in Maryland. Kali and I went to see the movie Divergent on her night off. I recently read the trilogy and the movie was excellent! Stayed very true to the book. Can not wait for the next installment - in one year. Also, I've been working on book submissions. Kind of hard to do when all my cool supplies are at home, but I'm giving it a shot. And of course I have been readying all 53 of my little twinchies to go out in the mail. Just have to get to the post office and buy a bunch of postage. These were so much fun to make and I just used scraps of color that came from previous projects. (And apparently I make a lot of pink projects.) I hope to show you a few more tomorrow.

The Creator's Leaf
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gearing Up For a Retreat

Retreat to Paradise.
It's almost here!
Counting down and getting ready.
Organizing supplies, and lamps,
and extension cords.

This is the straight line ensemble for our swap
I still need to complete the curvy lined one.
So much tangling to do.
So little time.
Story of my life.
The End

The Creator's Leaf
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Nighttime's Drawing, APR #97

I'm back in Maryland spending some time with Kali. I drew this after supper a few nights ago, in my Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook. The color comes from bubblegum pink and lemon zest  Dylusions Ink Sprays with some spritzed water. Lots of liquid. How did the Zeta Series hold up? Fantastic! No warping at all, just lots of gorgeous, brilliant color! Add a little sharpie in black and you have a fun piece of art.
just add water silly's blog hop link
I'm linking this up to the Artist's Play Room post for the week. You can check it out by clicking on the APR box.

The Creator's Leaf
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Friday, March 7, 2014

Confused About Twinchies?

There are still several sets of twinchies I want to share with you. Fifty-four of us are swapping these little two-inch pieces of art and - as you can well imagine - it is hard to make a little two inch piece of paper become spectacular. You don't have a whole lot of room to work with in two inches. (There are a whole world of people who make inchies - I couldn't even imagine. Haha! Good for them, I say!)
So. Where did I start? 

Where do I many times start? 

I can hear Nancy Wigley chiming in here - I start with Dylusions Ink Sprays.
Yes, I do know there is other product on the market but why go there when I get these bright, luscious, beautiful colors with Dylusions? Seriously. 

When I am working on projects I save any scraps of paper in a ziploc bag and add to it as I go. There is always a scrap bag on my work table. (It's usually buried, but it's there.) Twinchies are a great way to use up some of that scrap. Some of the pieces I used already had color on them. (I don't waste scraps with pretty color on them. I horde, uh, save them.) For the ones that didn't - I spritzed water onto the pieces, followed by spritzes of a couple different colors of dylusions. Then you just let it all sit for about 10-15 seconds and watch those colors blend. A paper towel blotted to the paper surface will stop that mixing/blending action.
Remember - if your color is too dark when it is dry or almost dry - you can lighten it up with another spritz of water. Dylusions are not color fast. They will start reacting again when you add 'wet' product - be that water or another color. 

You will notice some of the tiles above have designs on them. Take your dry colored tile, lay a stencil over the top, hold it in place, and spritz water over the top of the stencil. Let it sit for 5-10 seconds, then carefully lift the stencil and watch the color lifting start to work. After about 15 more seconds, blot the tile with a paper towel - and continue to watch that color lift leaving behind the design of whatever stencil you used. Remember - dylusions inks are not water fast, they react with wet product. So take advantage of that and make it work to your benefit.
Since I am a tangler - I went back and added various tangle patterns to the tiles. Some are more elaborate than others. This wasn't one of them :). I loved the little fish and how well he turned out. (He came from a stencil.) I went simpler and just added tangle bubbles to his water, leaving the fish to be the focus of this twinchie. There are so many things you can do! So - save your scraps (or hack up a big sheet and have fun!) and get to making some twinchie awesomeness! Cause it's fun!
The Creator's Leaf
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Cue the Warthogs

Cue the warthogs and meerkats.
Ready the lions, zebras, and giraffes.
Prep the elephants and wildebeest,
cause it's the circle of life.

Circle of Life
lyrics by Tim Rice

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun,
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done.

There's far too much to take in here,
More to find than can ever be found,
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round.

It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope,
Through faith and love,
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle,
The Circle of Life.

It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope,
Through faith and love,
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding,
In the Circle,
The Circle of Life.

A little more twinchie fun today, this time in circles. 

I used watercolor paper - Bristol Smooth from Stathmore - 
and Dylusions Ink Spray, Wink of Stella Glitter Pens,
and At You Spica Pens.

The Creator's Leaf
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

More Underwater Twinchies, APR #95

Under the Sea
(continued from yesterday)
~ The Little Mermaid ~

Down here all the fish is happy
as off through the waves they roll.
The fish on the land ain't happy,
they sad 'cause they in their bowl.
But fish in the bowl is lucky,
they in for a worser fate.
One day when the boss get hungry
guess who's gon' be on the plate.

Under the sea,
under the sea,
nobody beat us,
fry us or eat us
in fricassee.
We what the land folks loves to cook.
Under the sea we off the hook.
We got no troubles,
life is the bubbles,
under the sea.
Since life is sweet here,
we got it beat here,
Even the sturgeon an' the ray
they get the urge 'n' start to play.
We got the spirit,
you got to hear it,
under the sea!

(Kind of long, but here's the rest.)

The newt play the flute,
the carp play the harp,
the plaice play the bass,
and they soundin' sharp.
The bass play the brass,
the chub play the tub,
the fluke is the duke of soul.
The ray he can play
the lings on the strings.
The trout rockin' out,
the blackfish she sings.
The smelt and the sprat
they know where it's at,
an' oh that blowfish blow.

Under the sea,
under the sea,
when the sardine
begin the beguine,
it's music to me.
What do they got? A lot of sand,
we got a hot crustacean band.
Each little clam here
know how to jam here
under the sea.
Each little snail here
know how to wail here.
That's why it's hotter
under the water.
Ya we in luck here,
down in the muck here
under the sea.
just add water silly's blog hop link

Going to add this post to the weekly Artist's Play Room challenge. Jenn encourages us to 'art' and share it in the play room. Why don't you head on over here and check it out.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Twinchies are tiny pieces of art that are two inches square. A whole bunch of artists on facebook are currently involved in a twinchie swap. I can not wait to start receiving beautiful pieces of art from all over the world - literally! These are just a few of the twinchies I will be sending out. More tomorrow.

These twinchies were made on watercolor Bristol smooth from Strathmore, color comes from Dylusions Ink Sprays, and sparklies are courtesy of Wink of Stella Glitter Markers and At You Spica Pens. Click on photo to see a larger view.
The Creator's Leaf
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