My drawing and painting life
I hadn’t told you yet what theme I chose for August. By mid July I found that I was really tired after finishing a series of 100 small paintings. I decided that SUMMER would be a good theme. There are lots of possibilities within that one word for me. One: I was going on a holiday, time for making summer sketches outside. Two: Summer is for spending more free time (if you’re in school, or have a school going child like I have), more lazying about. And art-wise I might go for doing some experimenting, work in the sketchbook and so on. Three: it is also about the abundance of fruits and vegetables of the summer. I might just start drawing and painting them. Anyway it’s a theme with a lot of freedom. We’ll see. That was the idea. Finally, four, because of the resting time I needed – I wanted to have a simple way to practice a new skill. Simple in the sense that it doesn’t need many supplies, only simple beautiful supplies. I decided to learn Zentangle. I picked the book from Beckah Krahula that has been sitting on my art book shelf for quite while. It’s called “One Zentangle a day. A 6 week course of creative drawing for relaxation, inspiration and fun (one a day)”. The approach of the book, daily exercises and art work, fits my desire for a daily practice well. And the zentangle art in the book looks really wonderful.
By the way: Zentangle is a kind of drawing of patterns in a focused, concentrated way, usually on a so-called ‘tile’: a small square piece of stiff paper of a standard size. It was invented by Maria Thomas en Rick Roberts. It is often promoted as a mindfulness training. That makes sense – to do it you have to be there ‘in the moment’ and make stroke after stroke, to get it right. After doing it for a few weeks, I notice the same kind of peace and quiet in my mind when doing it, as I know from doing morning pages (a practice taught by writer Julia Cameron). It’s easy to get started. It doesn’t require much skill in drawing (but will grow your drawing ability I’m sure), but when you do it often and learn more, patterns can get really complicated. All in all, it’s quite fun.
It’s quite popular right now, right with coloring for adults. Books and courses abound nowadays. But I didn’t have to by a book, I already had mine. I only had to grab it and start. For all of the holiday, I practiced tangle patterns each day. Some days only briefly, other days longer. I can’t show you all, that would be giving away part of the book. I will show you some of my pages, especially the ones where I found something different to do from the examples given by Beckah Krahula. I dedicated half of my sketchbook to Zentangle practice. I made up the tangle bird and flower below. You will find one page that is largely based on the example in the book. Beckah usually shows two or three patterns. The idea is to practice and than apply on a small piece. I sometimes stay close to the example like on the page of day 18 below. Other days I just played or drew feathers in a style influenced by Zentangle. I am not the first to make such feathers (see Beckahs’s work and Tamara Laporte made something similar in a Life Book lesson). It is a very nice way to get focused.
I am showing here only work of August 6 (the little bird), August 11 (tangle practice page from sketchbook) and two versions of a flower I made for Shena (August 16). (The yellow flower was sparked by an initiative in the Yellow class of Carla Sonheim. An idea of a participant. Over a hundred people joined!).
I even drew one of those feathers on the trip back home. Mindfully putting down of strokes on the page helped get through the boring long hours. Doing it sitting in a moving car, this added an extra exercise: balance and acceptance of what comes. Picture a moment when hubby slams on the breaks. Didn’t happen, but it could have. 🙂
Today is day 355 of 366 (it’s a leap year, remember). 11 days to go. Yeah!
I’m slowly catching up to where I am right now. I painted three paintings yesterday. Will share soon!
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