Pat Mathes,CZT
Facebook: GramTangles

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Diva challenge 215

The challenge this week is to do a labyrinth.  We just returned from Santa Fe which had a beautiful labyrinth at St. Francis church near the Loretto Inn where we attended Tangle U 2015.  Sue Clark and Irena Lesner walked the labyrinth.  It was cobblestones which I tried to create here.  I used only colored pencil -no micron.  It didn't have quite the effect I hoped but I did create a labyrinth.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Tangled Lives - Interpretation of New Mexico Flag

Members of the Our Tangled Lives group who attended Tangle U 2015 in Santa Fe got together one night to share journals.  The intention was for us to work on a page to interpret the New Mexico flag.  But we were all sharing and looking at journals, and no journal work was done. But I had already prepared a page to use for this prompt so went ahead and did my page, using dyllusion inks for the background.  When I look at the New Mexico flag, my first thought is Arukas.  So I modified that to create the more spokelike appearance.  I have used prismacolor pencils for some shading, and black and red micron.

I am rather fascinated by the lifestyle and culture in New Mexico.  So I did some research on this.  The New Mexico flag is a Zia sun symbol with four points or spokes radiating from the center.  The Zia belief is that Four is a sacred number symbolizing the Circle of Life, the four directions, the four times of day, the four stages of life and the four seasons.  The circle binds the elements of four together. There are four obligations: one must develop a strong body, have a clear mind, be of pure spirit and devotion to the welfare of others.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Illuminated Letter

Sue Clark had an Illuminated Letter Workshop yesterday - we had a great day and it was interesting watching how everyone interpreted the process of creating an illuminated letter page.  There were 8 of us and each person had a much different effect, beginning with the kind of letter they chose.  Four of us were CZT's and the other four were not.  I helped Sue   with the workshop and it helped me prepare to teach my class in Colorado Springs in June.  This picture has a gray cast to it, but it is on an Opus tile.  I used metallic gold, blue, green and pink watercolor, and micron pen.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Our Tangled Lives Week 17

Week 17 in Our Tangled Lives is Circles.  Big, little, in-between.  It fit my mood totally as we did two separate classes at Tangle U - one on Zendalas and one on Dreamcatchers.  Both Circles.  New methods.  Wonderful methods.  New tools.  So I created my page this week based on the circles of the stencils of Ann Grasso.  This was a fun class for me - I love the zen of figuring out zendala movements.  I did two zendalas from the stencil - and then Bublz to join in.  Then as I was looking at quotes for Circles - this caught my eye - the large circle "where the magic happens" and the small circle of our comfort zone. That is the journey this group has taken me on.  My comfort zone is left behind constantly  in this group and I am finding the magic in learning new techniques and methods.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our Tangled Lives - Week 16

Week 16 is to Play the Game.  What we dream about - a hobby we used to do but don't any more - a skill we would like to have, or something we haven't had courage or time to do but would like to.  Mine came up as a skill I would like to have.  That would be calligraphy.  Remember when we learned penmanship and thought it was crazy doing all those circles, and loops and using our whole arm?  Boy I wish I could remember all that.  I love calligraphy and want to learn it enough so that I can pen my own cards, and simple things.  So I am starting to practice - and practice - and practice.  "The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe."  That probably means true prose, but I interpret it to be the beauty of the art of calligraphy is what I believe in.  My colors didn't come across as real true - shades of blue watercolor with plastic wrap.  It is a beautiful blue.  The Calligraphy is all tissue paper applied with matte medium.  I did the quote in Micron and a simple frame.  The band across the middle is a practice piece for calligraphy,

Square One: Purely Zentangle - Jetties

I am out of order - I will do next week's later.  Trying to play catch up after my week in Santa Fe.  The focus pattern is Jetties.  My Jetties got in a quibble with Quib and started breaking Quib strands.

Diva Challenge 214 - Amanda/Earth Day

For my contribution for Earth Day, I am submitting a botanical tile created in a class given by Sharla Hicks at Tangle U 2015.  This was a lot of fun to create.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tangle U 2015

I just got back from an awesome trip to Santa Fe and Tangle U 2015.  This was a three-day continuing education trip.  We had some awesome classes and I can't wait to set up some classes to teach the techniques we learned.  Here is the dreamcatcher I made in a class taught by Kate Lamontagne.  It was an awesome class and we learned a lot about working with our Prismacolor colored pencils.  I felt rushed through making this one and am anxious to make one when I can take my time and the second one is always easier, right?  I have ideas in mind for my next one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I ordered Genevieve Crabe's zendala stencils.  Love them - they are quite easy to use and like the snowflake method - connect the dots however you wish.

Mandala Stencils

I had been seeing some color creations done on gray-toned paper and decided to try that.  I was not very pleased - the gray turned my yellow green, and it became "dark".  SO I had to go heavy with white highlights.  No mistakes - only opportunity, right?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Our Tangled Lives - week 15

Our prompt this week in our journal journey is to take the word we selected for the year and reflect on it as we are one-quarter way through the year.  My word for the year was energize.  And boy have I energized.  I was not an artist when I began Zentangle.  And then I learned Zentangle, and it opened the door for me.  "She believed she  could and so she did." I began taking classes in other media and attending labs and researching constantly.  I strive to learn and have done well in some areas and not so well in others.  For this prompt, I did something that I wouldn't have been able to do this time last year.  Now up front I will admit that this is not my original page - I have copied it!  But that is how I learn.  This was a step by step semi-tutorial of a journal page (double page) done by  It caught my eye mainly because of the quote "She believed she could and so she did." and I decided to see if I could create the page. It began with dylusion inks over textured gesso.  Then tissue paper stamping applied with matte medium.  And the birds painted and branches added. Then the words were stamped or written, and finally the pages were stenciled over with white paint in spots.  I used this as a tool to learn the process.   I learned what to do or not to do next time, and maybe now I can progress to putting my own pages together.   I took a picture of my two-page spread and attached it to my page for this journal using a watercolor background, framing the picture and adding stenciled images.

So my energize comes in learning new processes.  This group has really pushed me outside my comfort zone and I am trying something new pretty much each week.

Diva challenge 212

This week's challenge is to use the pattern Fanz by Susan Goetter.

I decided to use it in a zendala as a border and again in the center.  

Square One Nipa

This week's focus is on Nipa.  There are quite a few ways to do Nipa. I stuck with a fairly traditional way, mixing with Bales, nzeppel and Printemps.

Excitedly, Square One has now branched into other groups of Renaissance tiles, zendalas, white on black and color.  Love the concept.  Focus pattern will be the same for all groups.  I am just too tied up with projects this week to do other than the basic.  I just finished a series of illuminated letter pieces for an upcoming class in Colorado Springs at The Blue Twig Studio in June.  You can see them in the gallery.  Stay tuned for details on it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Diva Challenge 211 - Flux

Rick and Maria released this week the step outs to Flux.  Isn't it funny - they each have a different style.  Here are the stepouts.  And here is my tile.
And here is my tile.

Our Tangled Lives - Week 14

Here it is week 14 - we are a quarter of the way through our journey.  And have I ever been learning a lot.  I am particularly happy with this week's page.  I struggled with the prompt - other than my children and grandchildren, I don't think I ever had that tornadic episode of actual love.  I did some stupid things, but not in the name of love!  The love I always yearned for was what I saw in my parents - a slow, gentle love full of serenity.  And it always has escaped me.

But, I grew up in Tornado Alley in Kansas so am very familiar with what the havoc a tornado can create.  My page reflects how a tornado explodes from the center.  I started out with Lynn Meade's Whirlee (I can't even see it now!) and added to it and it exploded into a bouquet of wild flowers.  Not wildflowers - wild flowers.  I am not a color person - I like just a dab of color, or light hued colors - so this really was an explosion for me.  I was happy with the way my background page came out - it is a watercolor wash and then I spot stenciled with pan pastels.  The flower petals are Koi watercolors with some gelly pen highlights.  So for the first time, I am happy with being outside my comfort zone.  Maybe I am learning, you think?  Denise - you said you usually had  a bright colored background to make your twirl pop - I did just the opposite.

"Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude and acceptance."