Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ZIA Ideas: Deciduous trees

Today in my on-going, very occasional, series about tangles that can be used for landscape elements is deciduous trees. For these I generally avoid tangles that are regular circle forms (such as Drupe, Fracas, Cirqital) but if that appeals to you, go right ahead.
(The first in this series, cumulus Clouds, can be found here.)

These are some tangles that may give you thoughts of

AQUAFLEUR (from Zentangle)
Find step-outs at this link.
"Black Walnut"
(c)2015 Margaret Bremner

BUNZO (from Zentangle)
Find step-outs at this link.
"Clearing in the Afternoon"
(c)2014 Margaret Bremner

FENGLE (from Zentangle)
Find step-outs at this link.
One of the things I love about Fengle is that you can add other tangles inside the various sections - tangling within tangles!
"Tea on the Terrace"
(c)2016 Margaret Bremner

GINILI (from Randi Wynne-Parry)
Find step-outs at this link.
(c)2016 Margaret Bremner

MERINGUE (from Kelley Kelly, CZT)
Find step-outs at this link.
"The Shorter Days of Autumn"
(c)2017 Margaret Bremner

PAISLEY BOA (from Amy Broady, CZT)
Find step-outs at this link (scroll down).
This is another tangle where you can tangle within the sections.
"Jujube Tree"
(c) Margaret Bremner

YUMA (from Tina Hunziker, CZT)
Find step-outs at this link.
(c)2017 Margaret Bremner
With three brass leaves sewn on.
Tangles that include leaf shapes can also be useful (try Zenith or Groovy) as well as tangles that contain actual leaf imagery like Yuma, Leaflet or Hurly Burly. Maybe try Shrock for a spring tree in blossom? And I'm sure you can think of others.
And don't forget, you can combine tangles, mix 'n' match, put one tangle inside another... have fun!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bodhi tree "old" manuscript

One of my recent eco-dyed papers was a single leaf, and - although is isn't - it reminded me of the Bodhi tree leaves of India. In fact, the leaf itself looked much like a tree.
Tangles: Arukas, Coaster, Crescent Moon, Finery, Flux,
Hurly Burly, Marasu, Opus, Pearlz, Perfs, Printemps,
Shattuck, Unyun, Wud
I liked it, and thought it would pair well with a quotation, like an old book, similar to a recent piece "Discerning Eyes".

I wanted a quotation that referred to the bodhi tree, or enlightenment, or even both. I found one from the Buddhist scriptures, but it was awkwardly worded: "After six years' right sitting under the Bodhi tree of the wisdom throne, I could accomplish Perfect Enlightenment." I altered the wording slightly so it would flow better.

The Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path consists of right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. I was rather charmed by the idea that there may also be a right way to sit!

Here is the pair of pages:
More "old" manuscripts to come I'm sure!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Two letters for a wedding

Our youngest daughter got married recently in North Carolina. It was held at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden outside Charlotte and everything was lovely! They will live in New York City for a few years; she has her degree to finish and career to start.
Veronica and Shahruz
The newlyweds with parents and siblings and siblings-in-law.
When her oldest sister got married several years ago I created artwork with the couple's initials. You can see that pair of letters here. I decided I wanted to do something similar, this time 'V' and 'S'.

I began two square pieces. I had matching frames that would fit, so that worked nicely. As I worked on them it felt increasingly not right. Finally, I decided to abandon those and begin again. You might get an idea of what they looked like from this photo of the parts I saved to make bookmarks!

This time I used the eco-dyed paper which has been inspiring me lately. It was a good decision. The work went quickly - I had two weeks left! - and I was quite pleased with them as they progressed.
Each one has a tiny 24-carat gold heart, a bit of the special gilding I had left from the zenAgain event last November. They are float-mounted on mat board with a window-cut mat around that, and a simple, reddish-brown wood frame.

Here's to a long and happy life together!

Monday, May 15, 2017

A new, old manuscript

I almost never, never use people as subject matter. However, I kept seeing a face in the upper corner of this eco-dyed paper and decided I'd best let it happen. Maybe it's a whisper of inspiration.
Tangles (or at least most of them!):
Auras, Beadlines, Betweed, Black Pearlz, Crescent Moon,
Featherfall, Finery, Huggins, Knightsbridge, Pearlz,
Perfs, Prestwood, Printemps, Tipple
The eyes took three attempts before I was happy with them. At one point I very carefully cut the paper with an x-acto knife and peeled off the top layer so I could start fresh in some places.

I liked it, but it didn't quite seem like stand-alone artwork. A lot of my work has an illustrative quality to it, as if there's a story behind it somewhere, but this one particularly felt that way.

There was another whisper of inspiration... it could BE an illustration, one of two pages, the other of which is text. I could use one of the eco-dyed papers that had no appealing leaf prints or patterns. They have an 'old page' look to them. Yes!

The hunt was on for the 'text' part of this project. It had to be short enough, pithy, and somehow spiritual. I found something in a book called "Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha". It mentions eyes, about seeing with your own eyes and not accepting everything you're told as all there is to know. Once I was finished I realized that it begins with the letter 'I'. Coincidence?

Here is the two-page spread of my new, old manuscript. There's metal leaf on both the initial letter 'I' and one onion dome. There's gold ink elsewhere, and a small red gem at the top of one onion dome. Some of the white dots are pearl-effect 3D ink, but not the ones on the onion dome.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Drawing on my eco-dyed papers (*heart!*)

Recently I tried eco-dyeing some of my own papers and I've really been enjoying drawing on them! Here are some recently finished mixed media pieces.

(c)2017  •  8"x5.5"
There is some metal leaf on the moon that doesn't show in the photo.
Tangles: Aquafleur, Crescent Moon, Diva Dance, Finery,
Floo, Hurly Burly, Paizel, Pixioze, Printemps, Tipple 

"Moon Magic"
(c)2017  •  approx. 7"x5"
There's metal leaf on the moon that does show in this photo!
The leaf directly under the moon is a 7-circuit labyrinth.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, Diva Dance, Drupe,
Knightsbridge, Mooka, Opus, Paizel, Pearlz, Splice, Tipple, Tweety

"Enchanted Egg"
(c)2017  •  approx. 7"x5"
It's a real feather; unfortunately the green iridescence doesn't show in the photo.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Drawings, Emingle, Featherfall, Pearlz, Tipple

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day and Night houses

Occasionally I do a piece of art with day on one side and night on the other. I recently had a request for a house like this, and color was preferred to black and white.

I started five tiles to give both myself, and the person who wants one, some options. I used Winsor-Newton watercolor markers to do colored washes. Here they are, barely begun.

Frequently I identify the roof shapes first. That seems to place the building for me. After that, I focused on the skies and vegetation. Some moons and suns and clouds also appeared.

Here, the ink drawing is nearing completion.

And here they are, all done, shaded and fine-tuned. Of course, I like some better than others; that's always the way. The one at the top right has been claimed and will be on it's way once I mount it on canvas and paint the surround.

Final note: here are two, mounted, painted, and ready to hang:
'Like Night and Day' and 'Always Welcome'

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Eco-dyeing - my first attempt!

Last November I had the pleasure of staying with CZT Bette Abdu for a few days. During that time she showed me some beautiful papers she'd made during an eco-dyeing workshop with CZT Bette Beauregard. They call themselves Bette A and Bette B!

Bette A generously gave me three of the sheets she'd dyed, and I was delighted to tangle them once I was home: oak leaves, maple leaves, and unidentified round leaves. They are each about 8"x5".
'Oakenfall', 'O Canada', and 'The Magic Happens at Night' - (c)2017 Margaret Bremner
Bette B was kind enough to share her workshop notes with me (although you can find various instructions for this process online). To do this, you need LOTS of leaves. I intended to wait until spring or even summer when leaves would be in better supply. I heard that it can work with dried leaves too, and I'd finally reached the end of my patience and decided to try it with what I had on hand. I raided my "Leaves and Butterflies" file (real leaves, pictures of butterflies) and some carrot tops and tulip leaves that came home from the grocery store.
I adore gingko leaves!
Tulips are also nice.

I can't resist:

There are tulips in the garden.
There are tulips in the park.
But the tulips we like best
are the two lips in the dark.
I suspect that one reason I so much prefer drawing to painting is that - being a Type A and eldest sibling - drawing is not messy! Eco-dyeing pushed me a little ways into make-a-mess mode. This is my workspace with lots of leaves, papers, water, string, and instructions.

The process involves layering art paper and vegetation, squashing the layers between two pieces of cardboard, and tightly tying it all into a bundle. Here's one of two bundles I prepared:

And here's the whole whackadoo in a turkey roaster, simmering on the stove for an hour and a half. The brick is to weigh it down because the bundles floated and they aren't supposed to. There are some onion skins in the water as well as a dozen pennies I'd saved and white vinegar as mordant.
If it's your first time here, no, this is not
some sort of weirdo cooking blog.
Once the bundles have simmered you have to let everything cool before they can be unwrapped.
One bundle, cooling. I really like the woodsy, witchy, herbal look!
I hope this works. If not, it's going to be a disappointing blog post! But we will have learned something, yes? Let's see what we have.

Hmmm. My first conclusion: the tulip leaves and carrot tops are a write-off; I won't try that again. I may even send some of that paper through the next eco-dye bath. However, I got a lovely bit of purple from a Wandering Jew leaf I threw in! Must remember that for next time.

The oak leaves left a lovely brown, and the onion skins some wonderful oranges, as I had expected.

I'm pretty sure this is a basswood leaf. Isn't it interesting how the veined side left such a fascinating pattern and the non-veined side is so blah?

Now I have a couple dozen sheets of paper with interesting patterns to tangle more patterns onto! But I'll be collecting leaves this summer, for sure.