That, would be my first reaction Monday when reading the details for this week's challenge. So what do we get - a curveball or more like a dancing and dipping knuckleball - "can you do a Zentangle without using existing patterns or tanglelations of them? And what are your experiences while doing so?"
I have a rare Monday morning available to actually do the challenge first thing and the challenge is to create without using known patterns - huh??? Time to follow the advice I often provide in a class - Breathe - Relax - Smile.
While calmer I still had quite the game of pong bouncing around in my head. So many thoughts from all different directions. Trying to make sense of it only seemed to bring up more ideas. No way to get it down in any logical order so what follows is pure Randomonium - the short version.
Zentangle is the process used to create, not the product one creates, but I'm guessing that's not really the distinction being made with this challenge.
Patterns - Zentangle patterns vs other patterns. Are they different - again probably semantics but patterns are not Zentangle. Zentangle has provided an easy method of creating patterns that have been around forever.
What defines the patterns we are to not use - just those patterns published by Zentangle or on tangle patterns.com or from the Flickr pattern group or from books, or from other's blogs? I've been collecting patterns from a variety of sources since I started working on gourds and even more since I discovered Zentangle. I have 1100+ stored on my iPad plus several books - so are all of those patterns off limits for this challenge?
In my case I've been using many of the patterns that would be labeled as Zentangle patterns for years - woodburning them on gourds - patterns like hollibaugh, shattuck, keeko, waves, daggerly, gneiss - just to name a few. So would it be fair game for me, if for the challenge, I used patterns that I used before I discovered Zentangle or would they be off limits?
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So what is it exactly that we are being asked to do? Create new patterns? Use patterns or elements of patterns in new and creative ways? Draw real objects rather than random patterns? Doubt that's the case.
Being a Gemini I can drive myself nuts debating with myself, so at some point I turned down the volume and focused on how I might approach this challenge. I thought a lot on how I created the wood burning on gourds. I started either with an inside shape or outside border and just built each element off of the previous element. That thought led me to the 5 basic strokes used in Zentangle -
Aaah the plan of action is taking shape. First stop thinking and analyzing make it about the process, find the Zen of the Tangle.
I would build this week's challenge starting with a basic shape - in this case I started with a circle in the center of the tile. From there I could use one of the 5 pen strokes to add to and create the challenge piece. No specific pattern was planned but if one showed up so be it.
Since this was a different way of working on a Tangle I've included a few WIP (work in progress) shots to show how it grew.
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I wasn't really grumpy just perplexed as to what I might do. Wasn't even sure I would take on this challenge. Glad I did as it turned into a very fun exercise - one I'll definitely keep in the toolbox for Zentangle as well as woodburning.
It's not shaded - yet - not sure if I will - need to let it breathe a bit and look at it later. I'm also debating if there needs to be something more in the center. Any thoughts - suggestions/comments welcome.