Monday, July 29, 2013

Spinning with Joy!

In case I forget to tell you, I think you are all amazing!
Here's another really cool letter as proof:

I really enjoyed Totally Tangled and it is the one book I keep in my bag with my tangle supplies. I thought you may want to see what I was inspired to paint. I am primarily a fiber artist: spinning, weaving, dyeing (you can see what I do in my etsy store). 

I admit I hate to exercise. I find nothing productive about walking for an hour in front of a TV. I love spinning yarn. Combine the two and I will exercise happily. 

So I converted an exercise bike to a spinning wheel. I designed it to look like an antique sewing machine and used tangles inspired by your book to paint the frame. Here are a couple of photos. 
- Joy Cain

Spinning wheel? Exercise bike?! Zentangles?!!! 
You are as curious as I was, right?


Joy's Spinning Machine! ...

Joy Cain

Joy Cain

It really works and she has posted the steps for creating the machine on her blog Joy Did It.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tangle Card Challenge #3 - Ballenchain

Round 3...  Ballenchain

Ballenchain is based on a traditional quilting pattern usually called something like a wedding ring design. So, if you take it just a teeny bit off to the side, you can make the leap from Wedding Ring to, ahem, Ballenchain. (Just say it out loud if you don't get it).

Tips for this tangle -
There is no shame in using a pencil to draw guidelines when you are learning to draw a new tangle. Hear that? No shame! I use a pencil to draw a very light grid. If you are super clever (oooo, a dare) you can draw the grid in pen and integrate it into your tangle design. If you aren't clever - only kidding - or this tangle is too advanced or cluttery looking for your taste... then try leaving off the overlapping circles. Notice how the bottom pattern (on the front of the card) looks much simpler and cleaner?

You can create a piece that uses Ballenchain the way I have designed it, or create your own tangleation, or variation. Post your art on the Beez Ink Studio Facebook Page.

The winner will be chosen next Thursday, August 1st, sometime after lunch. ;-)

And anyone can enter - any age or skill level. And it is fine to submit more than one entry.
And please tell your friends. Unless they are wicked good tanglers and you don't want to compete with them. This is supposed to be fun after all.

Let's see what you've got!

To see all the contest details, read this post.

Entries from Round 1 can be seen here and Round 2 are here.

Ballenchain is from the Yoga for Your Brain card pack. The Tangle card packs can be pre-ordered HERE.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Results of Tangle Contest #2 - Annee

Prepare to be amazed! This gets better and better. Here are the results of this week's challenge.
Behold... Annee...

Becki Miller
Angela Whalen

Cheryl Rotnem

Debra Castaldi

Dennie York

Diane Yaciuk (Winner of YAF Challenge)

Dorothy Allison

Janneke de Lange

Jean Chaney

Jessica Swanson

Jessica Swanson - close-up

Judy Burkett

Judy Burkett 2

Lena Ulses

Linda McMillen

Lois Stokes

Lynne Norikane Newbarry

Maya Hardcastle

Melody Hampshire

Nicole Kelly

Penny Brouckaert

Rita Nikolajeva

Rita Nikolajeva 2

Sharron Morris

Traci Frogley

Arnoldo Romero

Linda Fine
And the winner of Challenge #2 - Annee is....
Megan Schlobohm!!!

Megan Schlobohm
(Megan, be sure to email me where you want your super secret, highly coveted new Tangle Cards to be sent!)

Tomorrow I will post the next Tangle Card. I hope everyone will do another piece and pass the word around too. Megan (and Diane), you are welcome to enter again - you just can't win twice. ;-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A few more from Challenge #1

There were a few late entries for last week's Challenge #1 - YAF. I thought you might like to see, so I will add them here. Keep posting this week's entries on Facebook - I am so impressed with the clever and beautiful ideas!


Judy Burkett

Linda Fine

Nicole Kelly

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Still Believe!

Sometimes the anger and hatred that comes up on the internet in response to Zentangle® discussions just takes my breath away! I have to mentally back away and try to find some distance. It can feel very personal to those of us who are passionate about Zentangle and even more so to those of us who are connected by name. I think what makes me feel most... resentful... is that I have to feel like I must defend it at all. Seems like people could just make a choice - do they care or not. Not? Fine, move on.

A few days ago I saw a great article on Michael Hyatt's blog written by Jon Acuff, called 3 People You Need to Ignore Online.  Jon talks about the Spectator, the Hater, and the Complainer.
I had heard the saying "Haters Gonna Hate" but I didn't really understand what that... meant. I had learned, the hard way, of course, not to respond to mean reviews on Amazon. And I am learning that there is a difference between someone asking a question because they actually want an answer, and someone asking a question because they just want to be mean!

In the blog post, Jon Acuff says:
"Haters only get loud when you do things that matter.
People who don’t stand up never get rocks thrown at them.
The average and ordinary don’t get bothered by haters."

The second two points make me want to be ordinary! But the first point - that makes me realize that - hey, maybe I'm actually doing something that matters - if I'm pissing someone off! ;-)

I've written about it before, but I am still trying to find the balance between when to speak up and when to keep my views to myself. There are so many things that I would love to write about here on this blog that I feel need to be said aloud, but I am still really afraid of the backlash. A few years ago, I wrote about my thoughts and experiences concerning suicide. I received a bunch of very grateful private emails that assured me I had done the right thing. But I also lost a really good friend who misinterpreted my intent. Instead of an explanation of my thoughts and decisions, a baring of my soul, he saw it as a criticism of his own situation! But if I could back in time and do it again, I would still write the post because it made a positive difference to someone. And if another person is already angry about their own life, and doesn't want what I am offering - my posting - or not posting - won't affect them.
I guess it's just the law of the universe or something...

(Also in the blog post) Jon Acuff describes his theory of the “Critic’s Math,” which is
1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.

Why do we do this?!

Last week, I had a series of incredibly disturbing emails (from one person) who I realized too late, I should never have responded too... I felt like I was bleeding from my eyeballs.

And, last week, I had TONS of fabulous emails and gorgeous tangle entries for my contest. At one point, I saw one email message that called me, basically, a demon, and the one right below it, said I was an angel! I know what you are thinking - I shouldn't spend so much time on my email! ;-) At this point I created a filter to just delete the other person's messages for the future. If only life were so simple.

So, back to Zentangle. I see messages all the time now - on Facebook, blogs, Yahoo - where I think "Should I say something?" or "Should I defend this person?" Will it make any difference? Sometimes people actually enjoy arguing! Weird.

Just today someone posted a comment on a blog post I wrote almost FOUR years ago (!?). When I went to the post to reply, I actually re-read it and realized - I still feel this way. It seemed timely. This is what I believe:

Just make art. (Whatever you call it).
Share it. Feel good.
Make more art.

 I'm going to reprint it here. The only thing that needs editing is the fact that, today, when I googled "Zentangle" there were 316,000 entries and a whole mess of books recommended for sale. :-) 
(I'm grateful that I am still on the first page of results!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zentangle: Art, but not for Art's Sake
If you do a Google search for "Zentangle", 137,000 hits appear. At this moment. Try it again in an hour and there will probably be more. Some of the sites that show up are images with real Zentangles, some have zentangle-ish images, and some are blogs where artists and crafters show their zentangle-ish art but swear they thought of it long before the evil Zentangle-people coined the term and started scamming people into buying a kit to learn how to doodle. It is very hard to resist commenting on these blogs, but I don't think my opinion would make a difference to these people and there is just no point in arguing with them, so I keep my mouth shut. But I can write my opinion here, since this is MY blog gosh-darn-it!!

The most important point is that Zentangle was not designed to be a new art form, but rather a method of using art that is basic and comfortable and familiar to all of us as a way of meditation. A way that anyone, even non-artists, can enter "the zone." To relax, and yet, focus, at the same time. A TRUE Zentangle has steps that set up a ritual, just like other forms of meditation. You can't just enter that state of calm by closing your eyes and saying look at me, I'm meditating." You light a candle, put on quiet music, sit cross-legged, hum, whatever. So too with Zentangle. The creators do not claim to have invented the equipment, the patterns or the concept of meditation by drawing. What they did create were the steps, how to go about this particular process. Its like yoga. It's been around for ages and in so many different forms. Does it matter where the poses originated, or who your teacher studied with? All that ultimately matters is how the poses and the practice make you feel. And how do you learn yoga? From a book? A teacher? A kit you bought at Borders? Make it up on your own?

As you cruise the internet looking for Zentangle art and ideas, you start to see the difference between "doodles", Zentangle-ish art and Zentangle art by people who have had some training. Doodles are easily recognized as what they are because they are random and done in a thought-less way. Usually done while doing or thinking about something else. Unrelated. Talking on the telephone or daydreaming in a class or meeting. Zentangles are unplanned, but deliberate. The patterns are built "one stroke at a time" and they build on each other. The tangler doesn't "tune out", but rather "tunes IN". You become incredibly focused on what is evolving beneath your pen. You forget your worries for the moment. It is also very easy to see the difference between Zentangle art and Zentangle-like art. One dead giveaway is the dark lines outlining the "strings". Strings are guidelines that fade into the design when used properly. The characteristics that make a piece look like Zentangle: black and white, dense patterns within shapes, some shading - are what make some artists shake their heads and say "that's nothing new." But, again, these characteristics are not what make a real Zentangle, they are just the "look" - the end result. Zentangle is not a technique like watercolor or oil painting. It's more like... sand mandalas. It is horrifying for us to watch the monks (or anyone!) destroy those elaborate, gorgeous, detailed mandalas that they have slaved over for days - laying out each grain of sand, section by section. But, for the monks, it is all about the process, not the finished piece.

That said, Zentangles do make beautiful art, but I find that they lose their meditative calming powers when I actually am forced to care how the final piece will look. So I think of these artsy pieces more as illustrations with Zentangle-like qualities. Although, quite often when I create (not including free-lance jobs, ugh) I feel a great joy, sense of contentment and ... peace. I don't know where the image is going and I don't care. I am loving the colors flowing together, the happy accidents, the image that emerges from the paint. Life is good. THIS is what the Zentangle-originators are trying to pass on to you, to me, to anyone who cares to know that amazing feeling. What you do with these skills is up to you.

Resenting Zentangle, or its creators, is like resenting an inkjet printer, or Epson. These are tools to help make your creativity a reality. Use them and be happy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tangle Card Challenge #2 - Annee

And on to Round 2...

Up next is one of my most favoritest tangles - Annee.

Annee was inspired by fancy, carved wood trim in a Newport (RI) mansion. The name came from the fact that I was starving while I drew it and it reminded me of a pretzel from the famous shopping mall destination of a similar name. One trick that I have learned - after drawing a gazillion of these - (and outside on a mural too) - is to draw the first steps... the circles and the curves on the left side... then FLIP your drawing 180 degrees and just repeat the curves down the side again. It is very easy.

You can create a piece that uses Annee the way I have designed it, or create your own tangleation, or variation. Post your art on the Beez Ink Studio Facebook Page.

The winner will be chosen next Thursday, July 25th, sometime after lunch. ;-)

And anyone can enter - any age or skill level. And please tell your friends.
Let's see what you've got!

To see all the contest details, read this post.

Entries from Round 1 can be seen here.

Annee is from the Yoga for Your Brain card pack. The Tangle card packs can be pre-ordered HERE.

And also be sure to take a look at the contest starting up on the Zentangle for Kidz blog too.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Results of Tangle Contest #1 - Y.A.F.

There were so many incredible entries! I'll post them all here so you can see what incredible work everyone did. You can see more details and some explanations of the pieces on the Beez Ink Studio Facebook page. Now before you go scrolling through to see if you won, I just have to say that this was a LOT harder than I had thought it would be. I tried making up criteria, just picking my favorite (yeh - that didn't work - I liked something about each one...), stepping back and seeing which one looked best as a thumbnail, every variation possible. In the end, I got Alex to help me (he's a CZT now - whoo-hoo!) and we narrowed it down to two criteria... which one used the most YAFs and which one had a charming reward for looking carefully. :-) Ok, now you can look.

Arnoldo Romero

Becki Miller

Brandi Cooper Heidi King

Brooke Gustavel

Cathy Raboin Staeven

Debra Robinson Michael

Dennie York

Debra Castaldi

Eduardo Martinez

Emily Classon

Faith Kaminsky Cohen

Ginny Stiles

Carol Graham

Janneke de Lange

Jay Worling (1)

Jay Worling (2)

Jean Chaney

Lena Ulses

Lila Popcheff

Lois Stokes

Lynne Norikane Newberry

Lynne Norikane Newberry (shrink plastic charm)

Mary Leavelle

Maya Hardcastle

Rita Nikolajeva

Traci Frogley

And the winner for THIS round is.... drum rollllllll.....

Diane Yaciuk
Diane Yaciuk!!!!
(Diane, be sure to email me where you want your brand-spankin' new Tangle Cards to be sent!)

Tomorrow I will post the next Tangle Card. I hope everyone will do another piece and pass the word around too. Diane, you are welcome to enter again - you just can't win twice. ;-)

Oh last note - I know this was in the entry rules, but I wanted to say again that I am hoping to use many of these entries in a book I am working on and entry in the contest means you give me permission. However, I will still need your written permission and any contact info you might want included. This means that if you DO NOT want to be included, that's fine too. I can't force fame and fortune on you. Well... fame, anyway. ;-)
Just let me know.

Nice work everyone!!


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