Pat Mathes,CZT
Facebook: GramTangles

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Squirrel Chase Down a Rabbit Hole

Shades of Alice Through the Looking Glass - I have a morning habit of Facebook cruising with my morning coffee.  I go through my feed, looking for inspiration and calming, and seeing what my Facebook family has been creating.  Well, I saw a pattern mentioned in a posting that pecked my curiosity, so I looked it up and found it on a blog.  While looking at it on that blog, I read more on the blog, looking at beautiful tiles posted and stories unfolding.  I saw another pattern that tickled my fancy, and looked that one up, again on a blog - a different one - which, of course, meant I had to explore that blog too.  Right?  I cannot believe how much time passed just because I found a pattern that made me curious.  But what wonderful places I went and what wonderful things I saw!!  Now, back to my original Facebook cruising to see what else I can find.  I can see either a very lazy day just browsing, or a day filled with inspiration.  Depending on my energy level.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Goodness!  Another week gone by.  It has been a productive week for me - I really enjoyed working in my art room.  I bought a new rolling cart from Ikea so that I could organize my color tools and keep them at my side.  Oh it is so nice.  So it gave me more incentive to work.

This week's Square One pattern is the official pattern Bucky.  I struggle with this pattern - I think this is my favorite try so far.  I morphed it into Fassett which morphed into Tripoli.

Our Tangled Lives Group prompt was to show our inner light.  So I went with a star - "A star does not need words to tell the world what it can do; it just shines."  I really had a lot of fun doing the background on this one - I started with a quick wash of acrylic paint and then overlaid it with Tombow markers, some watercolor and a swipe or two of Neocolor.  Just playing with the colors and trying to show a night sky without it being toally dark.  I used AuraKnot as the focal pattern.

I am still working through the Creating Art at the Speed of Life book. Lesson 4 was a study in monochromatic color.  I chose blues.  I found a clip art of a Victorian lady that I liked, adhered it to the page, and started adding blues.  Oh my goodness it was fun.  The end result was to use black and white to tie it all together.  I can see more monochromatic backgrounds in my future.  The next step is to work with complementary colors. More on that later.

 I also work on the Tangle-A-Day Calendar, keeping it up to date.  The end of the month there was a blank page, so I used it to just play.  i'n the center top part is a reticula/fragment suggested by Carole Ohl, S1.  I took this and embellished it and this was the end result.  You can follow these pages in the Facebook Tangle A Day Calendar group.  It is great to see what people do with the patterns - and which patterns they choose to use - and we all learn from each other on it.

I am working through the Zentangle Primer with the Tangled and Journaled Facebook Group.  I just finished Exercises 4, 5, 6 and 7.  This is a wonderful experience and helping me focus (my word for the year) on the basic groundwork of Zentangle.

Last but not least, my daughter-in-law, Jenn, and I went to a Make and Take class at Vintagein KC Saturday and walked away with a cute card.  We had a really enjoyable day just looking at craft stuff.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Diva Challenge 300

This week we are bringing awareness of Moebius Syndrome.  Laura Harms' youngest boy has this disorder and we are all in love with Artoo!!  Each year, we celebrate this awareness by donning purple and creating our Moebius tiles.  This is my third year of participating in this.  Rock on, Artoo! You are special to all of us!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday night hello

It's been a funky week for me.  Of course, I made it that way.  I can't believe how easy it is to fall into a "I'm not good enough" frame of mind - I did it to myself again.  I really miss my Colorado CZT friends whose energy kept me from feeling like this.  I am trying to connect with CZTs in Kansas City metro area so I can keep myself motivated and feeling good about my art.  But, like I say, I do it to myself.  This year my word is FOCUS.  Focus on getting rejuvenated in my life, and focus on keeping my art going in a positive way.

That being said - I really do feel good about my art.  It is what I do.  It is who I am.

I did meet up with five other CZTs - Deb Thingvold, Carolyn Thomas, Kelly Ashton, Susan Maes and Veronica Ward -  in Kansas City metro last week at a wonderful retreat center in Spring Hill, Kansas, owned by Kelly Ashton (The Creative Place, 118 S Main Stree, Spring Hill, KS).  A wonderful place to hold a retreat - with overnight accommodations for 15. We had a lot of fun playing with creating backgrounds using shaving cream and inks.  More to come on that as I go,  Here we are playing.

First of all, though, I did my Exercise 4 in the Primer for the Journaled and Tangled Group.  I am really enjoying doing the basics and getting grounded in the principles of Zentangle.  I think over time some of us kind of forget the cornerstones of our art.  Here is my page for Exercise 4.

The Square One focus pattern was Shelly Beachum's Mak-Rah-Mee.  I always find this a fun pattern to play with.  I added printemps, Meer and some Joki.
Here is one of the pieces I created using the backgrounds we created with the shaving cream and ink sprays.  On the left is my original tile.  I accented the tile with white gellyroll and graphite.

I am working through the book Creating Art at the Speed of Life (by Pam Carriker).  Unfortunately, I don't create it that fast.  Here is my start on Lesson 4 - we are working on monochramatic colors. The objective is to use a variety of media in only one color to create a cohesive, monochrmatic journal page. I don't know why I  chose blue - but here is my start.  I had a gelly plate piece I had done in blues that I adhered to the page and I found this wonderful lady with a Victorian hat that I thought would be fun to work with.  So next, I will start working with other media to add more blue hues around the pages.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Diva Challenge 299

This week, Laura has asked us to do a tile with Drawings, one of the latest official patterns released by Zentangle.  I have done some with this pattern, and decided to work around a gem and use some color in this one.

Hello on Monday night

Well, Monday night.  We dodged the big ice storm over the weekend.  The warnings were of an armageddon ice storm approaching - for 3 days.  Everyone was wiping out the grocery store shelves, and getting ready to hunker down for the duration.  The NFL moved the Chiefs game to Sunday night for the safety of the fans.  And then we avoided the big one.  We got a little bit of ice - more on ground than on roads.  Lot of drizzle and rain - but no big ice storm with loss of power, etc.  It hit in other areas, but not here.  So I was glad we were spared, even though I didn't leave the apartment all weekend.  Just in case.  And I keep those that were affected in my thoughts and hope everyone is okay.

So the Square One focus pattern this week is Lollywimple.  I combined it with Mooka and Tink.

I am working through a book called "Create Art at the Speed of Life" by Pam Carriker.  I just finished Lesson 3, dealing with analagous colors.  I had been putting this lesson off as I am so uncomfortable with watercolors.  But I finally finished it.  I did some embellishing with white gel pen and added some Zentangle patterns around the page.  I am still uncomfortable with watercolor but will work through it and practice more.  Also, I want to work more on lettering.
On May 15, 2016, I posted my WIP on this Opus tile I started in the Focus on Opus class at Tangle U. I incorporated a Compass Rose (thanks Kate Lamontagne) in one corner and a basic zendala in the other for balance. Color is Derwent watercolor pencils with Prismacolor shading. It has taken me this long to put the final touches on it. I added some prismacolor shading, graphite shading, and just more linework. First is the WIP and then the final product.

So that is my week in review.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Diva Challenge 298

The New Year is beginning.  The Diva Challenge is a UMT (Use My Tangle) featuring Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam.  I did two different tiles on this one, and decided to just show both.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hello Tuesday

I am going to recharge my blog, hopefully.

I am committed mentally to Square One II have done every one since the inception of the group), OTL 2017 (I have done two years work of every week's prompts), the Tangled Journey of the Primer, and, of course, the Diva Challenge (I started these with #180 and this week is #298 - I haven't missed any).  I also do the Tangle-A-Day Calendar.  These are my focus commitments and I use these to create a balance in my art.

/I have a couple of projeccts I am working on, a couple of on-line classes to finish, and lots of things I want to do.  I will try to condense into a weekly blog posting showing my projects and challenge pieces.

I have been working on a project in a FB group where we are working through the Zentangle Primer. I have read the first 33 pages and done the first two exercises.

I am excited about this project as it will hopefully help me focus, which is my word of the year in Our Tangled Lives 2017. 

In OTL 2017, our first challenge fits a celebration - of the past year and the start of a new one.  This was a difficult page for me - I had a bittersweet ending to last year.  I left my wonderful circle of Colorado CZT friends, and a state I had grown to love, and moved back to my home state of Kansas.  This was mainly due to financial reasons - it has become so expensive to live in Colorado and I needed a change for my mental piece of mind.  So in October I packed up and made the move and now live in a retirement community.  I am the youngest person here so it is a different lifestyle for me.  It is a wonderful community, though, and I am back living in basically Smalltown USA.  But the city is only 30 minutes away!!  It has been a cultural change for me, you might even call it a cultural shock.  The hardest part was leaving my friends and our weekly/bi-weekly tangle sessions.  I have joined up with a couple of CZTs in the area here and hope to gain some semblance of these get togethers again.  So my journal page relfects that "Not all days are good days, but there is something good in each day."  I hope to focus on making each day better and regaining my mental balance.  I now have a room solely for my artwork, and can shut the door on it at the end of the day with no trepidation of things moving.

And this week's Square One focus pattern is Paushalov.  You can find the step-outs on TanglePatterns.Com. I used it here with Fassett, Printemps, Florz and a variation of Locar.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

IAST #177

Adele Bruno does a weekly challenge, with everyone using the same string.  I have never joined this challenge, but last week's string caught my eye.

I used O (for Oswald), Yincut, Vitruvious, Flux, Onomato.

Square One: Icanthis

At ZenAgain, a new official pattern was released - Icanthis.  This is based on the acanthus leaf that has been used in so many architectural and pattern motifs.  I was intimidated by the pattern at first until I realized I just needed to let go when drawing it.  I now really enjoy it - in fact it was the first page I did in my 2017 journal for my journaling group.  Square One this week focuses on the pattern and it has been great seeing the many interpretations of the pattern.  Here is mine, and I have also included the first page of my journal, in which I portray my word of the year - Focus.