Inspiration from Zenspiration

I finally had time to take a really good look at Joanne Fink's book, Zenspirations

- Letters & Patterning. This is a nice diversion from all the traditional Zentangle® books out there. Actually, it is NOT a Zentangle book, but rather a guide to drawing... "Frames, shapes, monograms, patterns & borders"... in Joanne's distinctive style. There are a lot of beautiful examples of her work, and a little bit of instruction. It doesn't really teach HOW to draw patterns, but gives lots of ideas on how to use such patterns.

I also watched a great video on YouTube of Joanne demonstrating how to draw her intriguing dangles and vertical patterning. This is the part of the book I was most interested in, and I admit, most disappointed with, when I discovered that there is only one page about it in the book. But watching her draw on the video made me want to grab my own pen and start "dangling"!

I love the way she found inspiration from Zentangle and incorporated it back into her own work, and style. I also love the idea of drawing down, or up, with tangles. I will admit, although it might shock some of you (!) that the hardest part of Zentangle - for me - is drawing in a non-representational manner. Horrors! I am an illustrator by nature and I crave a story. The story doesn't always come from people or creatures interacting in a scene. Sometimes, it can be letters or even a squiggly line.

Here's an example... the text from the cover of Totally Tangled:

Do you see how the two types of letters have personalities? Conflict? There's a bit of a story going on for those who notice that sort of thing. And by dangling something, it automatically creates action and interest.

Two years ago I did this mural for a local shop. It's dangly - I found it easier to just start from the top and work down. The mural we have been working on in my studio's stairwell started from the bottom and grew upwards.

So all this has been brewing in my head - growing and dangling tangles, stories, Joanne's dangle-style... AND the current preference for Zendalas... I found myself trying out the new Zentangle® Zendalas. Yes, tangling just for fun. What a concept. So I mixed it all together and got this (chaos?):

I used one of the blank tiles (most in the pack are pre-strung), started from the center-ish, added some lines and danglies - working around in a circle. Then, I added some Btl Joos and Mooka tangles. I added more straight lines behind the tangles and dangles and filled some of them with other tangles. I started shading with a pencil, but didn't like the way the paper was responding. I tried a gray Pitt marker, looked a little better... the paper is soft and very absorbative. I thought it still seemed a little flat, so I added some punches of red.

I like it. Although it is more an illustrated "Big Bang!" than a serene, contemplative, balanced Zendala. But I am more of the former than the latter anyway. In the CZT group on Facebook, there are so many seriously beautiful Zendalas appearing all of a sudden. Since I am feeling a little (w)itchy this week, I will go and post this one and see what people say. Hee hee. :-)