I’m doing half way decent on tangling daily again with the help of Jane Eileen’s Tangles on Tuesday challenge. I seem to skip about one day a week, usually when DH is home. But I just do two in the next day or two. Not having to think too much about what patterns to use seems to be working for me and bringing back the zen element.
I have noticed though that since I’m jumping straight into the calendar pages I am a bit more frequently that I would like to admit doing a variant because “there are no mistakes.” I keep missing small little key details in the step-outs or perhaps in some cases overthinking things and messing up when I reorient my paper (something that happened in the last three days, but I haven’t photographed yet).
I’m debating if I should start practicing in a notebook first. But, that would mean I’d need to carve out more time. While I would be nice to have step-outs drawn by myself to put into Doodle Organizer I’m almost certain I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Plus, I’ve been having issues with Doodle Organizer messing up the photo/pattern pairing in the back-ups and restoring between my devices so if I were to continue down that path I’d probably need to start all over.
I splurged on myself for Valentines day and ordered some goodies (well, DH ordered the pencil sharpener). While tangential to tangling, these are actually for a new obsession that I’ve stumbled upon recently that dovetails nicely with the zentangle practice. I’ll share more about that in another post in the near future.
Somewhere along the line I lost my purpose in picking up zentangling a little over 13 months ago. That purpose aligned with the goals of the founders. I wanted another form of meditation.
I have a tendency for monkey brain and often get fixated on what is flowing through, but being given a pattern to focus on that is repetitive was giving me a way to just let those thoughts go that I wasn’t finding in my solo yoga practice (class was a different matter, but was no longer an option). As I tend to do, I ended up focusing on the final outcome rather than the process.
When I thought back to when my tangling was more meditative it came down to working my way through One Zentangle A Day. So, I got the Tangle A Day Calendar and I decided that I’d follow “Idea #6 Tangles on Tuesdays” in the Zentangle: Tangled and Journaled, Too! group on Facebook. Jane Eileen, the owner of the group posts seven new tangles each Tuesday. So, I’m doing the day’s tangle in my calendar. Sometimes it is a monotangle, sometimes friends show up, other times tangleations appear – and that is just what happened in my first week of this new practice!
As a graphic designer who frequently has to read minds because I’m not given all the information an outside design agency would require, I often experience decision fatigue. This exercise is effective because I have a decision made for me from which to start instead of being paralyzed with possibilities.
This week the practice has been especially helpful. Last weekend’s blizzard brought to light a design/build defect in our apartment building and we awoke Monday morning to a rather large puddle in our apartment. At first I thought DH had very wetly mopped up after a doggy mess or that the dishwasher had sprung a leak, but a look at the ceiling revealed that was the source of water. Maintenance poked a hole in it to keep it from spreading, but by Monday night it was the size of a dinner plate with an arm along a seam line nearing 5 feet long and we were catching about a gallon of water every three to four hours by Tuesday morning. After a lot of yelling and complaining we finally were relocated to a hotel on Wednesday evening where we could breathe and not have the roar of industrial machinery running at all hours and the heat cranked up to ridiculous levels.
It may have been one thing if we were going to work, but I always work from home and DH was on telework for much of the week due to the storm aftermath. Working in that chaos with men coming and going without notice, the roar of the equipment, and both of us and Brandon being confined to the master bedroom and left without means of cooking safely or washing dishes was not sustainable. Neither of us were at our usual productivity levels in that situation.
DH has ventured back to the apartment today to do laundry and bring back more clothes for us. The report is there is a larger hole now, cleaned up and ready for patching, plus an additional hole. The dehumidifiers and fan are gone. We are hopeful that means it is dried out and they will start the patching tomorrow, painting Tuesday, and that we’ll be back home at Wednesday’s checkout time? We haven’t actually heard from management since Thursday night when they said it would be 3-5 days, though they hadn’t been very truthful prior to that. While Thursday at the hotel was lovely — being able to breathe, and to eat without fear of ingesting insulation, it gets old pretty quick. I’m ready to be back home, even if that means loosing a day of work to cleaning up after the mess they’ve made. I want my bed! My pillow! My computer monitor!
It is day six and I only just finished my second tile.I’m full of excuses. It really boils down to not finding a groove yet. I have a hard time taking time to do my own things when DH is around and he has every other Friday off which happened to be this week. We also are lacking in the lighting department because lamps are bulky and expensive to move across the country. With the nor’easter this weekend and 11 straight days of cloudy skies things were just overall very dark in our apartment despite an abundance of windows. I’m also just slow. I laugh whenever I read that Zentangle is a 15 minute process. I don’t even get all the patterns inked in 15 minutes when I know all of them well. Then on Saturday I was felled with some sort of odd malady which I was still cautiously recovering from on Sunday. I still don’t know what the cause may have been. Too much gluten?
This tile is a prime example of shading saving the day. I freehanded all the circles so things are wonky and I am way out of practice on spherical grids and cadent so when I started there I was already quite unhappy with the results before moving on to the gneiss/paradox/purk tangleation. I kept at it a bit adding black pearls, kozy, and cruffle to the mix (see below). Some rush jobs greeted me when I logged on after my tangling and breakfast hour so any further work was stalled until this morning. I much prefer to shade in natural lighting anyway so it was probably for the best that I didn’t revisit it last evening after work. Plus it gave me that oft advantageous “distance.”
The shading masks my wonky cadent and it’s definitely not round “sphere.” And overall it just brings more dynamics to the piece through the dimension and layering it creates. I think really the shading is some of what I love most about the tangling process, yet when I first started I neglected that step for a few weeks or more! So sad! As has become usual for me, I used three different leads in my shading – 3H, HB, and 3B to help develop more realistic shadows.
After yesterday’s rush jobs I’m hoping to carve out the time to at least ink a third tile today, but we’ll have to see. Then this evening is the monthly handcrafters group at my library so I *may* tangle there. I’ve brought my basic kit with me every time but always end up knitting because it seems easier to visit with others while knitting than tangling.
It had already been a very cloudy and slightly rainy 2 days here which is making photographing my early Inktober entries a bit of a challenge. That is likely to remain as my first nor’easter as an east coaster has arrived and regardless of what hurricane Joaquin decides to do, we are likely to feel the effects.
Having not tangled or drawn much recently I decided to go back to the basics for my first #inktober drawing. I used my Doodle Organizer app to randomly choose my first few patterns. That frees me up from decision making but ensured I was at least somewhat familiar with the patterns. Once I had a few patterns in place I continued on my own.
This was actually one of my first tiles where I defiated from my string. I’m wishing now that I had photographed the string. Oh well!
It isn’t my favorite tile, but not too bad for being rusty and letting a lot depend upon chance!
Since the move I’ve been struggling with finding a routine. A ritual time for creativity. A time for exercise. The only thing I’ve started to form a regular routine with is cleaning the apartment. That is working quite well. I haven’t tangled in I don’t know how long. I think in part due to this lack of time set aside specifically to do so and partly because I keep thinking if I’m tangling I should be finishing up the new address postcards (only a partial one to go and I can’t seem to finish it).
I really need to get back to tangling for the sake of putting pen to paper and for meditation rather than for art sake. I miss how December and January worked for me where I randomly put together patterns in a string without any expectations and embracing that I would dislike some of the tiles. I have enough pressure from design work to produce finished, beautiful work.
With that said, have you heard of Inktober? The idea is you pick a frequency — daily aka marathon, every other day aka half-marathon, or weekly aka 5k and you create an ink drawing at that frequency for the month of October. You post to your blog or Instagram or Tumblr or what have you and use the hashtag #inktober to connect with others participating. I think I’m going to do it. Hopefully it will help me carve out some sort of regular practice for drawing, tangling or just plain being creative in some form. I’m not sure what frequency I’m going to chose yet, probably marathon or half marathon. But, in preparation I picked up Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists on sale in Kindle format today so I have some prompts if I get stuck or wish to draw something other than tangles.
Anyone else out there planning to take part in Inktober? Share your URL or Instagram name etc. where you will be posting so we can follow along!
I’m honored to be the thumbnail image for this week’s Weekly Zentangle Video put together by Jane Dickinson of The Mindful Drawer and curator of VideoTagle.me.
I’m still getting settled in while balancing a big work project, but so far so good. At least as long as Comcast is providing the service we are paying them for. I thought for certain being in a brand new building would mean fewer connectivity issues, but I just ended a 24 hour outage, sadly.
A few big things to make me feel more at home occurred this weekend – we enjoyed a homemade breakfast at our dining table (sure, boxes were in the background, but we cooked and ate at a real table), scouted out the closest farmer’s market and got our library cards!
I’ve been very slowly increasing my bubble, venturing farther afield or in different directions from the new home base, including a couple solo Metro excursions. I’m loving the easy access to transit services our new home offers as well as how much stuff is closer to our apartment than a bus stop was from our house in Fort Collins. Brandon is still adjusting a bit so I’m keeping my outings somewhat short for the time being.
Between work and moving I can’t knit right now so I tangled during my SnB night on Monday. I ended up doing the this week’s Diva Challenge to create a tile inspired by Beads of Courage which you can read about on the Diva’s blog post. I thought what goes with beads more than ribbon? Add in that in the Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video Facebook Group is focusing on Knase which immediately grabbed me as a nice pattern for a ribbon and so I combined the two.