Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is it a Zentangle?

Harrumph!  STOMP!  S.T.O.M.P!   Grumble Grumble Grumble!!!!!!

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  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?

 click any image for larger view

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.

click any image for larger view

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.


Shelly Beauch said...

I agree, it sure was tricky and you came through with flying colours! Star quality!

ledenzer said...

What a glorious end product to a whole lot of thought! I love the gourds, by the way!

Tangles and More said...

Do not know that I would add anything to the center. I like what you came up with. Interesting reading your post. Maybe got there in different ways but kind of came to the same conclusion. Hmmm.
Genetics or learning having been in the same household for so many years? Do not think I want to tackle that one.

Anne's tangle blog said...

I like to see how your work was 'growing'; the endresult is great and I think you should not add anything to it. Or copy it frist and try it on the copy.
Your gourds are STUNNING, it makes me want to learn this woodburning and I will go on the internet and see if I can find something about it.

Helen in the UK said...

I love what you came up with (looks complete to me). Really enjoyed hearing your thought process behind it too :)

pam said...

I just had to pop in and tell you how thrilled i am to get to see some of your past gourd work!!! B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! I love every single one of these you have shared.

Your new zentangle is gorgeous. Well done!

Unknown said...

Very, very lovely!

Unknown said...

I loved hearing about your response to this challenge! Your feelings were much the same as mine when I first read the challenge but you wrote about it so well. Thanks. I also loved seeing your beautiful gourd work. It's just stunning!

Nata said...

I love your work, really interseting as is you post. You highlight a question I've been asking myself from the day I discovered zentangle: why are some patterns official zentagles although they have been in existence long before zentangle was created? I think there are things about zentangle I still don't really grasp.

Sue Sharp said...

Fabulous blog, and wow - your gourds are AMAZING! I love the process you used, and how you've written about it. You are gifted with words and art!

Ronnie said...

You really took this challenge to heart. Your shares were wonderful and I'm sure others had similar thoughts and feelings but they weren't put on paper so beautifully. Your gourds are amazing and awesome! The tangle/zentangle/design (I never know which word to use) is great. I don't think it needs shading. It is very dramatic and striking.

Becky said...

Grumble, grumble, grumble!!! That's exactly how I felt! You did such a wonderful job of meeting the challenge... and your gourds are beautiful too! Thanks for sharing so much with us!

Anneke (Merry-Go-Round) said...

How fun to notice you've created your "Zentangle without tangles" with the same basics as I did! Love the Zendala result, which looks okay as it is now!! The gourds are breathtaking!

Annette P.-L. said...

It´s wonderful and perfect (in my opinion). Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your creations.

Sue Clark said...

First of all, your gourds are stunning!!! I had a lot of the same thoughts as you about this challenge, and was glad I followed through too. I love how you used the 5 simple shapes and built a beautiful Zendala!

ScrappyGirl said...

WOW! I stumbled across your blog entry in a random google search on Zentangle. I love your method shown here and I think this is perfect. I love how the seemingly simiplistic center seems to emphasize to the complexity of the outer "rings". Your gourds are beautiful! And far beyond what I could strive to complete. But challenge entry is inspiring to a novice tangler like myself! Thanks so much for sharing.

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