Friday, May 31, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 151--ZIA

"ZIA?" you ask. I know, I know. Sounds crazy. But it stands for Zentangle® Inspired Art. And that is what I have done today.

Traditionally, Zentangle® is only created in black and white, with some grey pencil thrown in for shading or a "third color." As well, people tangle only in squares, drawing strings to create partitions for patterns.

However, people create all kinds of art using Zentangle® ideas and adding color or creating complete artworks going way beyond the square idea. I Googled "zentangle inspired art" and found many images.

Today I took the Inktense squares I created yesterday and tangled over them. Still simple, but since it includes color, I think it falls into the ZIA category. I'm looking forward to creating more complicated ZIA soon!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 150--Watersoluble Ink Pencils

When we lack inspiration, how much fun can we have exploring new materials? A LOT!!! I've heard that these Derwent Inktense colored pencils are amazing, and they are! They consist of wax that dissolves in water allowing the ink to permanently adhere to paper. Once the ink dries, you can draw over it again with the pencils or with other inks. I think I'm in love; the colors are so luscious!

Here I played with drawing the colors in from light to dark then brushing over them with water.

And here I created a simple flower. I'll probably doodle over this soon.
I am really enjoying these pencils and look forward to finding ways to incorporate them into my artwork soon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 148 & 149--Assessing

Confession time: For awhile now I've been at a creative standstill. I've kept my creative challenge moving forward by copying Zentangle® patterns, and I'm grateful for that. It has kept me creatively (though mindlessly) engaged at a busy time and a time when energetically I'm invested in making some big transitions.

Amid these baby steps, I've been asking myself "Why aren't I creating?" And when I ask myself that, I mean "Why aren't I creating big, original works of amazing quality and magnitude?" (No pressure, really.) Is it simply the busyness? Or is something more happening? As I ponder these questions, I'm considering a few options:

  • I'm resting. One cannot create endlessly. I've committed to a creative marathon: 365 days. Rest has to happen sometime. It's an integral part of the creating cycle. Perhaps that's where I currently am, and I need to embrace it.
  • I'm hiding. Sometimes I feel full-blown Impostor Syndrome. How can I possibly be an artist? I've heard powerful messages in the past to the contrary. As well, putting myself out there on the Interwebs feels vulnerable. Some of the pieces I want to work on are deeply personal, and if I consider sharing them publicly, I stall. Other pieces feel small and/or average (or even not that good at all), and I wonder "What's the point?"
  • I'm afraid. This is related to the hiding. What if I fail? What if I embarrass myself? What if I share too much or too deeply? I find it easier to not create at all than to try and fail. I also find it less fulfilling.
These three possibilities dance together to hold me in a creative waiting space. Perhaps more as-yet-unrecognized possibilities also enter into the dance. I am doing what I can to simply notice where I am and not judge myself. After all, the inner artist is a child that needs rest, nourishment, understanding, and gentle invitations to come out and play.

I think I'll take a nap. Then, perhaps, I'll create. And maybe I won't. Only time will tell. I do know I cannot push myself through this. I just have to wait, allow, invite, play, and see when the muse will return.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 146 & 147--Zentangle®

I continue to copy Zentangle® patterns I like. I'm also finding visuals in my life that I'm turning into my own patterns. Here are a few:

Now to stop copying and start tangling again! Perhaps I'll have a new tile to show sometime soon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 143, 144, &145--Learning, Learning, Learning

I must admit, I'm in something of a creative slump. I have some ideas, but everything feels either too big or too small. Yes, I'm in the Goldilocks creativity dilemma. Nothing is just right.

It happens. And it will shift eventually. In the meantime, I'm watching art videos online and practicing Zentangle® doodles. And waiting for inspiration to strike. When it does, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 141 and 142--Art Journal Preparation

I have an art journal page concept I've had in my head for a long time but have not known how to do. It includes fabulous clothes, and I've felt intimidated to attempt drawing them. But I've realized I can cheat! Why not cut out cute clothes from a magazine and use them as a foundation for my idea? So, here is my prep work:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 140--Original Zentangle® Pattern

I've found myself noting designs and patterns around me that I want to include in my Zentangles. Here are two variations of a sweet design I found on a greeting card.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 137--Zentangle®

Yes, another Zentangle®. And I've learned from reading Joy of Zentangle that I should be using Zentangle® with the registered trademark symbol (®) and directing you all to the Zentangle® website at Done.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 136--Restoration Project

Thursday is Restoration Project Day! Today we power sanded spools such as this one and polyurethaned them. We'll reinforce them with wood and create end tables out of them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 135--Sketchbook Challenge

Today I decided to tackle the May Sketchbook Challenge: Bowls. This is my drawing of the bowl my dear daughter painted for me and gave me for Mother's Day:

I sketched the bowl in pencil, then colored it in with my Pitt pens. The color makes all the difference!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 134--Dangle Design

Playing around with more Dangle Designs! (Began experimenting here.) I colored the dangles in using my Pitt Pens, and found it quite relaxing!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 133--Photography and Effects

We enjoyed a wet April, and the dandelions around here apparently drank deeply because they are proliferating profusely! I used my picfx magic on a photo of them.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 130, 131, and 132--Dangle Designs

Over the past few days I've read Zenspirations Dangle Designs by Joanne Fink and have played with some of her ideas. Here are my attempts:

I really like these Dangle Designs! I'll continue to practice them and include these ideas in my own artwork.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 129--Zentangle® Art Journal Page


It's official. I'm addicted to Zentangle®! I was not feeling well today, and completing this page gave me something quiet, relaxing, and fun to do. I highly recommend it!

You can find out more about Zentangle® at

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 128--Art Journal Page

I'm continuing to work on my next art journal page. Today I outlined my watercolored sketch with Scarlet Lime pen.

I also began to build the background by spray inking through some punchinella and painting acrylics through a stencil.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 126--Sketching

Today I created this sketch for an upcoming art journal page. I also covered it with gesso in preparation for painting it (the gesso smeared the graphite a bit; that's why the picture is somewhat blurry).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 123--Zentangle®

Have you ever heard of Zentangle®? I hadn't until recently, but I've seen them around and like the artwork. So I decided to give them a try. I borrowed Yoga for Your Brain: A Zentangle Workout by Sandy Steen Bartholomew from the library. I also watched this Zentangle Basics video online. Having girded myself with some information, I created this Zentangle® today. It's only three inches by three inches, and it took me about an hour to complete.

Want to learn more? Check out the official Zentangle® website at

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 122--Watercolor Background

I'm already brainstorming another art journal page. This is the background for it: watercolors blending together.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 119, 120, & 121--Art Journal Page

Over the past few days I've continued to chip away at this art journal page. I lettered the header.

I highlighted the lettering. 

And I added the journaling.

This page doesn't quite feel done yet, but in an effort to actually get out of my own way, I decided to blog about it anyways. Perhaps another day I'll add some embellishments and publish an updated picture. But for now I call it good enough!