Zentangle® - March 2019

I made some physical tiles this month since I am going to class in March where all the work will be with Micron 01 pens and card stock tiles. I felt like I needed to reacquaint myself with the feel of the pen and paper. It’s been almost a year since I started using the iPad and Apple Pencil…and once I made the change – I didn’t look back. Until now. Here are 6 tiles that I made the old-fashioned way – reacquainting myself with pen and pencil and tile.

Of course – I still enjoyed creating iPad and Apple Pencil Zentangle tiles as well. I like the black tiles and white lines. I appreciated the shading I could do with the Procreate app too; color matched to the ink…a lot more flexible that the graphite pencil and tortillon. Note that one tile in this group is only half done --- it is one to come back to sometime…and finish the other half!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

3 Free eBooks – March 2019

In some months it’s hard to pick just three books to feature for the monthly eBooks post. March 2019 was one of those. I cheated a little and picked a periodical…with lots of issues available online…for the first one.

Baer, Casimir Hermann. Moderne Bauformen. Stuttgart: J. Hoffman. 1902-1923. Hathi Trust has volumes for each year here. A German periodical about architecture and interior design with many illustrations – some in color. It’s a slice of history of the period. Many of the interiors look modern…others dated. I realized again how appealing I find glass bricks, window seats, alcoves with benches and sometimes a table or a wall of windows and comfy chairs for reading, and curtains to divide a large room into segments. There were quite a few ideas I’ll use in Zentangle tiles as well.

Trouvelot, Etienne Leopold. The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings. 1882. A slide show of 15 drawings is available from Internet Archive here. Trouvelot was well-known for his astronomical drawings made from observations at the Harvard College Observatory and the US Naval Observatory. Unfortunately, he also is the person that introduced the European Gypsy Moth into North America.

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Day, Lewis Foreman. Nature in Ornament. New York: Charles Scribner’s sons. 1892. Available from Internet Archive here. Lots of ideas for Zentangle patterns in this book. I particularly liked the different stylized peacock feathers.

Zentangle® - February 2019

Only 28 days in February; I had a lot of tiles to choose from to pick the 28 in the mosaic below. I’ve continued to be more experimental during the month –

  • With and without a frame.

  • Starting with a string or not. There are times I like to start with something in the center or off to the side and then just let the tile evolve from that start.

  • Picking a pattern from the tanglepatterns.com or finding inspiration in other sources (this month it was basketry books and early 1900s architecture/home decoration…art deco). Many times, a portion of the tile is just auras or other ‘filler’ of blank space.

  • The ‘screen’ filler has become one of my favorites although I also have experimented with the ‘screen’ as a grid.

  • Black tiles with white ‘ink’ for lines and shading is my favorite on the iPad but I switch to a color or overlay a color periodically just to be different.

I’ll be creating some physical tiles in March to prepare for my upcoming CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) training that will happen in late March; going back to traditional paper and pens will be quite a change for me.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - January 2019

January 2019 was a big month for creating Zentangle tiles. I was working my way through the Zentangle Primer Volume 1 (Kindle Edition) that was recommended as prework for the class I will go to in late March. I enjoyed the exercises that I completed on my iPad with the Apple Pencil but going back to the traditional light-colored tile and black ink…drawing a frame and string, initialing, and shading. It was a burst of change – some new patterns, going outside the frame, overlaying patterns on previously completed tiles (the black tiles in this group). I selected 20 of the tiles I made while working my way through the primer to display below….going beyond the 31 for the month.

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Now for the 31 for January. The ones done after the primer tiles all have a frame. I like the white shading that I can do within the Procreate software…after some practice. I probably will revert to frameless soon but will continue to use the shading.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - December 2018

“Thirty days has September, April, June and November…all the rest have 31 save February…” – so there are 31 tiles for December.

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My favorite is one that looks a little like Christmas confetti (with snowy auras). And digital confetti pieces are not damaging long-lived plastic debris in the environment. All for the good.

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I also tried again making a Zentangle in a busy airport terminal as I waited on my flight home from Texas – with more success than in November. I was much more relaxed on the flight as well.

I probably skewed toward Christmas related colors more frequently in December


But not completely. There was a string of cloudy rainy days that just called for some yellow patterns on the black tiles….and there were two that really did brighten an otherwise dreary day.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - October 2018

I found myself creating theme sequences with colors in October. I selected 31 tiles (one for each day) and all the themes are represented although I had quite a few more tiles that 31 to choose from. The iPad makes it much easier to create tiles with a lot of variability without worrying about using up favorite pen colors or not having the color of tile I want with me.

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The first theme was rich red ink on black background. My favorite of the set is one what has more background showing than usual. It reminds me of a brocade pattern.

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Black on white…how can it get simpler. My favorite was made with a string created with 3 overlaid cursive G’s.

The next theme was white tiles with black designs that were finished with color – or colors. My favorite is probably the red and black one.

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I switched to black tiles again…white design and aqua/turquoise finishing color. The theme was short lived.

I decided to use the color first and then finish in white. My favorite is one that include orange and then white.

I went back to single color on black tiles for the grand finale of the month. The theme will continue into the early part of November.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - September 2018

…”30 days has September”…  so I’ve selected 30 Zentangle tiles to feature from the ones I made during last month.

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I’m presenting then in the order they were created – Starting with the blue that was part of the series at the end of August.

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Then there were yellow ones. I think I chose yellow to help brighten all the rainy days we were having.

Then it was pink and purple. I was thinking about the very short time in my daughter’s life when that color combination was her favorite. It did not survive early elementary school. I made a new template to go back to square tiles. I prefer them to the rectangle.

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I changed to orange thinking ahead to the fall.

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And then found my way back to yellow when we finally got sunny hours for several days in a row.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - August 2018

31 days – 31 Zentangles. I always enjoy the segment of my day that I am creative and centered….producing something that I find visually appealing. Once I started using the iPad with Apple Pencil, I haven’t created a single tile with paper and pens. I am digital all the way these days.

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I started out the month with a tile continuing the burnt orange on black series from July.

Then I switched to white on black.

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Bright green was the next series.

And then it was back to turquoise on black. The color combination is probably my favorite.

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Later in the month is started experimenting with a rectangle rather than square tile. I was surprised that it felt so different. I’m still working to acclimate myself to it!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - July 2018

31 Zentangle tiles for July. I am posting the tiles in the order they were produced although this is only about half of the total. I averaged slightly over 2 tiles per day. I used the same ‘ink’ color for a series before moving to the next color. I have discovered that I almost always prefer a black background.

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The butterscotch series was the first

Then Pepto-Bismol pink.

Red was the next series.

Here is one that I used the software to change the background color. It makes quite a difference.

The lemon series was full of mythical flowers and many-segment bugs.

The green series was made from my summer office – looking out at a wall of wet green forest.

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The purple series includes some experimentation with simple patterns that I could share with summer campers. It was a short activity during the full rain photo shoot at Mt Pleasant for the older group of campers.

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The last series in a slightly burnt orange. I don’t necessarily start out thinking of plant images but I’ve noticed that a lot of my tiles turn out that way!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 28, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Go Orchids: North American Orchid Conservation Center – A great site for learning about orchids…mentioned in my second post about the class I attended at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

In praise of drawing - The Painters Keys – This is post originally written in 2006 but still very applicable today. I looked more at Internet Archive for some of the ‘how to draw’ books that were mentioned in the article; it’s amazing that in a 40-year period in the 1800s so many were published. A more recent post – from a science education perspective – was published in 2015: Rediscovering the forgotten benefits of drawing. I am contemplating taking a ‘next step’ from Zentangles to realistic drawings.

Time-Lapse Videos Capture Echinopsis Cacti in Bloom – Eye candy videos…beautiful.

Free Technology for Teachers: 7 TED-Ed Food Science Lessons – We could all learn a little more about the food we consume….educate ourselves to eat wisely.

Research Dollars Go Farther at Less-Prestigious Institutions: Study | The Scientist Magazine® - Interesting finding. I wonder if it will change how some organizations that award research dollars make decisions in the future.

Material formed from crab shells and trees could replace flexible plastic packaging -- ScienceDaily – This type of technology gives me hope. Recycling can’t do everything. We have to reduce the non-compostable materials in our packaging…have a net decrease in what has to be (expensively) recycled and/or go to the landfill.

Recovery: America’s Giant Squirrel Back from the Brink – Cool Green Science – I’ve seen signs about the Delmarva Fox Squirrel when we have gone to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge but have never seen one. It’s good to hear a environmental improvement story!

As usual – I can’t resist the ’25 birds’ posts from National Geographic. Here are two that have come out recently: Top 25 Bird Interactions and Top 25: Wild Birds with Spectacular Catches

BBC - Future - The complicated truth about a cat’s purr – We all like to think that when our cat purrs that it is a sound of happiness…but is it?

Compound Interest - Volcanic eruptions: the chemistry of lava and volcanic gases and Compound Interest - The chemistry of spinach: the iron myth and ‘spinach teeth’ – Two posts from Andy Brunning. In the first one – click on the graphic and the larger version of the infographic will appear....a timely post with the volcanic event in Hawaii this summer.

Zentangle® - June 2018

I enjoyed using light blue brush color this month…particularly with black background; the color dominates 21 of the 30 tiles I selected from the tiles I created in June. I’m still pleased with my iPad (and Procreate app) for creating tiles…no need to worry about running out of ink like happens with a physical pen! I experimented a little with different backgrounds but came back again and again to the black. It’s may favorite (maybe) because it is still new for me; I didn’t have light colored pens or black card stock easily available when I was making physical tiles.

The other 9 tiles I made simply for variety. I thought I would create more tiles with two or more brush colors this month but was too intent on the Zen to make a big change like that; many of the June tiles were created in the scant quiet moments in Carrollton – to make a calm space and time from the jumble of emotional and physical challenges of being at my best to help my mother in the hospital, in rehab and at home after she broke her hip. As this post is published, I will be on my way home and she is about ready for outpatient PT!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - May 2018

It was challenging to pick 31 Zentangle tiles (one per day) out of the 75 I created in May. They were all created using the Procreate app on my still-new Apple iPad (6th Generation) Wi-Fi and Apple Pencil ( I first started using it in April).

I’ve noticed several things about my choices this month: I seldom choose a white background. Only 3 of the 31 used a white background.

I experimented with different colors of background…lots of variety: 6 tiles and 6 different background colors.

My favorite background color – for May – was black with 22 of the 31 tiles started out with that choice. There are a few that used more than one line color. Could that be the trend for June? Maybe.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - April 2018

I’ve picked 30 Zentangle tiles I made in April; the first 9 are the traditional 3.5 x 3.5 inch tiles using Sharpie Ultra Fine Point pens that I made early in the month.

Then, I started using my new Apple iPad (6th Generation) Wi-Fi and Apple Pencil. When I went on my road trip to Texas, I didn’t even pack the tiles and pens; once I started using the iPad for Zentangle, I used it exclusively. The Procreate app has worked well for me and probably will work even better if I ever read the manual. I have enjoyed experimenting with the backgrounds and pens/pencils. It takes a bit to get the same level of eye/hand coordination and acclimate to the slickness of the glass screen. I’ve cheated occasionally by using the ‘undo’ function – not a norm for Zentangle. I’ve enjoyed this first month with the iPad and anticipate many more. It great to be digital all the way...not have the extra step to scan the tiles for posting.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

iPad Adventure – Part 1

Way back in the late 1970s, my husband and I used an Apple II when we were graduate students. I’ve used other kinds of PCs and tablets since, but my husband bought a new iPad recently and encouraged me to try it and the Apple pencil to make a Zentangle. This was my first attempt – not something I will save in any collection.

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It will take some practice to get proficient but the technology is enticing….I made the leap. My husband ordered a case for me and we went to Best Buy to buy the device (two purchases: the iPad (6th Generation) Wi-Fi and Pencil). I made a place set up in my office to charge it.

I am pleasantly surprised that the apps I use all the time were easy to install and use on the iPad:

  • Firefox (Set up with bookmarks synced with my PC. I’m already reading some Internet Archive books on the iPad)
  • Email and calendar synced with my other devices
  • Kindle for reading
  • Our Groceries for sharing shopping lists with my family
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I ordered a sleeve for the pencil and found an old gel pen case my daughter bought years ago that holds the pencil and cables neatly coiled for when I’m ‘on the move.’

I also ordered a case for a stylus although I’m not sure how frequently I will use it; using a stylus does reduce the fingerprint density on the screen. The pencil will fit in it without the sleeve, but I like the feel of the sleeve when I’m drawing; the pencil will probably be in the sleeve all the time.

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My learning curve over the next month or so will be use learn to use Procreate, the app I’ve chosen to use for Zentangles, and I’ve started looking through the User Guide for the device/operating system.

Zentangle® - March 2018

I am still savoring the new set of pens and trying to use them all – so they will all run out ink at about the same time. I have started using the yellow pens to color in patterns made with darker colors; the yellow just does not show up enough on its own.

I am also back to two different shapes of tiles – the rectangles that are the back of old business cards

And then the traditional 3.5 x 3.5 square tiles that I cut from anything that is close to cardstock thickness…and handles the ink from the Sharpie Ultra Fine point markers that am using almost all the time these days.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Spirals

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Years ago, we found a large shell on a beach (somewhere on the Atlantic…I’m not sure where). It was already showing its spiral interior. I put it in the front flower bed and noticed its whiteness standing out among the brown leaves/seeds from last fall and the cold-battered leaves of some new growth. I don’t remember the pores being as deep on the outer surfaces. That texture is quite a contrast with the smooth interiors. I’ve always liked spirals. Are they a representation of time – back to the past or forward to the future? Or are they a journey to the unknown?

Finding this spiral was a reminder of a pleasant vacation…and a little serendipity to enjoy on a winter day.

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I was thinking about spirals so much that my next Zentangle included a lot of them!