creative things

Tomorrow, 2/5 is Conscious Movement here in Sarasota and I am so looking forward to it. This is the closest thing I have found to the modern dance improv I did growing up and for many years after, that I love. The photo above is a Photoshop version of 2 photos I took at the last conscious movement event. I love taking just a few quiet photographs during the hour and a half and then bringing them into Photoshop and seeing how I can tweak them artistically. Tomorrow we may have visitors from St. Pete join us, so I think there will be lots of energy and spirit dancing in the room!

Today, I went to a wonderful Zentangle® class taught by certified Zentagle instructor, Mary Masi. I met Mary through Conscious Movement and Nia classes! Here are the two 3" x 5" tiles I completed in Mary's excellent class today . . .

Zentangle looks like doodling, but is really so much more. From the Zentangle® website, "Our Zentangle method is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is fun and relaxing. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages." Find out more about Zentangle here on the website. I found it so relaxing. 

I also visited a new studio and Gallery called Artspace on Anna Maria Island this afternoon. My friend Cheryl who hosted my collage class earlier this week, told me about Deborah and her husband who are opening this awesome space. It is bright and beautiful, with a gorgeous view of the Anna Maria Bay.

The view!! It is above the post office, 101 Bayview Plaza, Anna Maria Island, FL

It looks so good! They are going to have their first show to coincide with the Grand Opening on March 23 and I am definitely going to make a "Spring Cleaning" piece and enter! 

Afterwards, a quick trip to the north of the island . . . 
ahhhhhh . . . i love the beach. 

happy weekend! 

zentangle quilt squares and moving

This post on the Zentangle® blog really caught my eye: Quilt squares! Check it out. Oh, what a fun thing to try sometime! The two samples shown on the post were done by Jane Monk with a long-arm quilting machine. Although I don't have one of those, this post is still giving me ideas! Zentangle is still a new art form for me but I love the marriage of the tangles (designs) with stitching. The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at where you can subscribe to their newsletter as well.

In the meantime, with my latest creative swap behind me & sent home, I have finally started unpacking my studio and office area. My family tells me I am the only one who is so hard on myself! Well, I do feel a little bit delinquent taking this long (one month) after we moved to start working on this studio project, but . . . .  there were reasons for my delay and in fact, I just really did not want to start until I was ready to tackle it! The most fun I have had so far is covering the wall in front of my computer desk with recent notes and gifts and some things that were near my desk in other homes I lived in . . .

I have opened boxes of paints, brushes, sponges & gel medium . . .   and returned them to the armoire where I previously stored them.

And bless Steven, he refinished my big work table for me by sanding it and adding polyurethane to finish it beautifully. I had bought it UNfinished, way before we were married. I think it looks so pretty and will hold up to my abuse so much better now - thank you Steven!! The sewing machine is already set up, and my fabric is stored in clear plastic bins nearby in the garage, so I'm getting there!! It feels good to have started this . . . and I will continue, one step at a time and then share photos here when I am done. I will also be working on my document/lesson about Mail ART for my next art exchange, in-between this unpacking and organzing & will let you know as soon as I am ready to announce that swap on my other& blog: creative swaps. Have a great day!

ATC swap: zentangle style!

It was fun!
I got to meet a few local artists, trade ATCs and I had fun shopping for handmade papers, a weakness of mine. I also got a new book, Zentangle 3. It has quite a few interesting new patterns/tangles for me to try out. A few yards of May Arts ribbons and a package of Grunge paper that was on sale rounded off the morning nicely. Have you tried Tim Holtz's Grunge paper? Please let me know what you have done with it! And enjoy a few photos from this morning at Keeton's, below. Click on any of them for a larger photo.

I decided to add a coat of self-leveling gel medium to protect my ATCs.
This is what I brought to the swap meet - my first IN-Person one!
I met and traded with Susan on the left, Bonnie on the right, and that is my Zentangle instructor, patsy Monk  in the middle. Thanks to her for organizing this! 
some trading going on at Keeton's . . . 
The B/W cards in front are some I received in trade - i love the pencil one!
patsy demonstrating "betweed", a new tangle pattern.
look at those beautiful zentangles! (click for details)
The ATCs I had left over on the left (this was a small swap) and what I received in trade, so cool!  I kept the ATC on the bottom left with the green "seaweed" as Steven calls it; to give to him - his favorite I made.
ATCs patsy is making for a large swap of teachers, using paint chips to tangles on. Traditional zentagles are not done with color added like I did.
Of course, I had to be different!! ; ^ )
it was a lot of fun - the shopping too!! How was your weekend?

more zentangle ATCs

I found myself more comfortable tangling on my second round. To see my first 6 zentangle ATCs, go to this post.

Again, I will show them with and without color. I like the color!
Click on any image for a larger one with details.

I am ready for the ATC swap tomorrow!
I'll share a sampling of my returns when I get back, great idea. 
happy weekend!

zentangle firsts

First Zentangle® ATCs, by lenna
Not too long ago I came across Zentangle®. This is a simple way of drawing repetitive patterns to create beautiful imagery. Sarah, a student and swap participant, is really the person who introduced zentangle to me with one of her swap pieces she did in this fashion. That's when I got really intrigued. The first post I wrote about this subject last month and the first experiences I had with zentangle, can be found here. More on the theory of zentangle can be found here. This is on the originator's website and it is really quite interesting. With my recent move and all that entails, I have not been able to practice much of this new art form I learned from the first zentangle class I took last month. But last weekend, I received an email from my Zentangle® teacher, patsy monk. She was reminding students that the local art supply store here in Bradenton FL, Keeton's, would be hosting a Zentangle ATC swap this Saturday 10/2/10. Wow! I still had unpacking to do, but man . . .  this sounded like just what I needed after not creating anything for a couple weeks. So, I made myself start some ATCs.

I must say I am not at ease with this new process yet, as I am new to all the patterns and have far from mastered any of them. Yes, you can create your own patterns too, but I would like to start with some tried and true basics. So, I struggled a bit at first, but then got into it. I also struggled with the decision of whether to add color or not. Traditional tangles are black white and grey, created with a permanent pen and a pencil. In the end, I decided that my ATCs needed color and I found my watercolor crayons. Here are the very same ATCs shown at the top of the page, after I added watercolor.

zentangle ATCs with color added 9/30/10
I have created 6 to trade so far and hope to make at least 4 more before Saturday! Here are the rest, both versions (with and without color).

Hope you enjoy, I sure did! I have been a little under the weather, although I'm feeling better today. The downside of this is that is my studio is still very much deep in boxes and pretty much totally unpacked a week after we have moved! At least I had the foresight to put blank watercolor paper ATCs, Micron pens, pencils and watercolor crayons in a supply bag that has made it into a cupboard. That bag and my already received current swap pieces are all that are really in place in my studio! oh well . . . i know it will  happen  ; ^ ) 
I almost forgot! Just this week Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, creators of Zentangle® made their first YouTube video showing how to tangle "betweed."


I was lucky enough to take a Zentangle® workshop here in Bradenton, FL today! Above, a close-up scan of some of my first tangles (patterns). The Zentangle® website describes the art this way:

"Zentangle is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is a fascinating new art form that is fun and relaxing. It increases focus and creativity."

The first Zentangle I ever saw was done by a student and swap participant of mine, Sarah Boblit. She did a wonderful Zentangle as one of her 4" x 4" pieces for our Roads and Paths swap this April. It truly fascinated me, and in fact, I traded one of my swap pieces for this particular one of hers - see Sarah's Zentangle below:

I did not even know this was a Zentangle® at the time! Later, I ran into a flickr group sharing their tangles and then I looked the word up via a Google search and found the originators website plus many other links. It was much more involved than I would have guessed. The name Zentangle® is patent pending and a registered trademark. To teach this art form you need to attend a Zentangle Workshop to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher, wow! As fate would have it, I received a newsletter a few days ago from a local office & art supply store in Bradenton called Keeton's. It listed a basic Zentangle class that Patsy Monk was teaching and when I inquired there was still room. So I signed up and I am so glad I did!! Here is my first Zentangle in full:

Those are the names of the "tangle" patterns I did
written around the edges.

patsy also had us tangle a name tag : ^ ) 

You can see more of the patterns if you click on my participation certificate!

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more about this art form at where you can subscribe to their newsletter as well.

Before I took the class today I had already purchased two thin volumes; Design Original books by Suzanne McNeill with many illustrated patterns. I know now that I have gotten started with this process I will return to these books and the web site to learn and do more. Thanks again to Sarah, for originally enlightening and inspiring me. I have already really enjoyed zentangles! Below are some links to Zentangle books that you might like, enjoy!