Summer is winding down…

Ha! As soon as I said I might start blogging on the reg, I should have known that was a lie. Summer is now winding down, and it’s my favorite time of the year: fall! and my birthday! At the beginning of summer I started a new job. It occurred right after my last post and it’s been a whirlwind summer ever since! I’ve actually been working two jobs as I stuck around and helped my old employer out while they found a replacement. I love my new job and everyone there is amazing. I hope to stick with them a long time and grow in my adult education background.

I’ve also had a lot of fun this summer. Ted and I took a bus down to Chicago and had some amazing deep dish pizza followed by a trip to WNDR museum – super fun and super Instagrammable. My mom came to visit, which was so wonderful and so needed! We went kayaking, which I’ve never done before but can’t wait to do again! I showed mom around Madison…now I’m looking forward to my BFF’s visit next week for my birthday! I love my birthday, and even more so here in Wisconsin because the weather is always amazing — not hot like it was growing up in Phoenix! We’ll get some kayaking in as well as a little Ice Age Trail light hike, eat some good food, and catch up!

I have been working on another Skillshare class the past few weeks. Since I’ve been working with auras so much in my practice recently, I figured I might as well find a way to share my approach with the world! It’s funny timing, too, because Zentangle HQ also released their Project Pack series that featured a lot of auras. I find it curious how so many tanglers seem to be on the same creative wavelength. If you haven’t checked out Zentangle’s videos yet, I highly recommend them!

If you’ve followed me on Instagram you’ve seen me playing with a lot of fun art supplies and techniques. I recently picked up Blackest Black acrylic paint from Culture Hustle and it’s gloriously black (read the amazing back story to this pigment here). I painted a canvas with it and I am currently working on tangling over it in white with one of my fountain pens. I was really excited to discover a white fountain pen ink, and I think it’s really going to increase my white on black tangling productivity–as well as help me reach my goal of using all/mostly sustainable and renewable art supplies, one less thing to throw in the garbage! And, it’s going to look awesome! I haven’t decided yet if I will sell it or keep it, I guess it depends on how it actually turns out!

So, as summer comes to a close, keep a look out for my next Skillshare class! It’s going to be thorough and include several different completed tiles. I’ll also start working on my next class – white on black!

A peek at my upcoming Skillshare Class

I have received a few reviews on my older Skillshare classes that have mentioned the video and audio quality. It’s been something I have wanted to go back and change for a long time, and as time goes by I think it becomes a more glaring issue… but that happens when technology is constantly updating! So, I have high hopes too for going back and updating my older classes over the next few months so that the videos are shot with more modern technology šŸ™‚

Until next time!

Tangle.Sip.Repeat.

-Sarah

Two weeks in a row, say whaaaat?

Last weekend I had a lot of fun watching everyone join my new Skillshare class! I have high hopes for this class and it’s renewed my motivation to get a lot more classes out and more regularly.

I also had a chance to finish a small watercolor commission for a friend. She wanted a large watercolor piece to hang in her bedroom, over her bed. We chatted about size and budget and decided that a tapestry with a print of the watercolor piece would be the best route! She’ll also get the original. It was a nice change of pace for me to work with my watercolors after working so heavily on my computer the previous week. The looseness of how watercolors can be used is a dramatic contrast to working with technology and deadlines!

One of several layers. Using a beachy palette that I just love!

While I was waiting for one of the layers of paint to dry (and there were many!), I was playing around with my Rotring Isograph pen. The ink had dried up a bit, so I had to clean it out and get it writing again. Once I started to get the ink going again I was playing with a few tangle-y elements and out popped this cool pattern!

Rotring Isograph with white ink, on black ZentangleĀ® Apprentice tile

I named it Spirawings, and I’ll share here with you the deconstruction and a video! It’s basically a Frankenstein’s monster of multiple tangles – Joki, Mooka, Dra-wings. So, I won’t say I created it, instead I composed it.

Pen: MonteVerde Regatta Northern Lights,
Ink: Noodlers Cactus Fruit Eel

I think Dra-wings is a pattern that this is closest to. But it’s also a pattern I just.cannot.do. I don’t know why, but it just turns out like mush. So Spirawings is probably the closest I’ll ever get to what is intended by the steps.

If you’d like to watch me complete the steps, check out my video on Youtube, just below. I’ll also have it posted on Instagram! Otherwise, feel free to download a copy of the steps I created just for you!

If you haven’t already, check out my Skillshare class! There are still a few free links available, but they do expire on June 7th! You don’t need to enter any payment info in order to use this link, but you may have to enter your name and email address (Skillshare likes to make sure you’re human and not a robot I think). Link: Choose Your Own Tangle Adventure

I am going to try and revive this blog a bit, so hopefully you’ll be hearing from me more often! I expect to write a little bit each month!

Until next time! – Sarah

Principles of ZentangleĀ® Series: Part 1: Deliberate Focus

ZentangleĀ® is a lot of fun and leads to a lot of special and beautiful outcomes. But there are so many principle aspects of Zentangle that make it so incredibly unique from other forms of art and meditation.

One of those principles is the idea ofĀ deliberate focus. This concept centers on the goal of creating one stroke at a time. Every time you set your pen to the paper you should focus on that one stroke or line you’re creating at that very moment. You may know in the back of your mind that you are completing a certain named pattern, but at that very moment all that matters is that one line.

In doing so you allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the moment. The act of tangling becomes less stressful because you are not worried about perfection or how this line may affect another. You’re also allowing room for creativity and possibility. Possibility leads something wondrous.

So, next time you’re sitting down with your tile and your pen, focus on that one stroke. Watch how the ink spreads across the paper, how it interacts with other lines you’ve already put down. Focus on how you’re holding the pen, what it feels like in your hand. Notice the texture of the paper and how the pen travels across it. Take a breath between strokes.

Pretty neat, huh?

Give it a try and let me know in the comments what you experienced.

Cheers!

Sarah, Zen & Zin

*THE ZENTANGLEĀ® METHOD IS AN EASY-TO-LEARN, RELAXING, AND FUN WAY TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL IMAGES BY DRAWING STRUCTURED PATTERNS. IT WAS CREATED BY RICK ROBERTS AND MARIA THOMAS. ā€œZENTANGLEā€ IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ZENTANGLE, INC. LEARN MORE AT ZENTANGLE.COM.

No Mistakes…Really

I want to take a few moments to expand on the ZentangleĀ® concept of “No Mistakes.” When I first mention this in my classes, I always feel it necessary to expand and explain that “No Mistakes” means that you are incapable of making mistakes, not that you’re not allowed to make mistakes.

Uh, oh. Inktastrophe!

 

It breaks my heart anytime I hear someone disparage their art or their tangles. It shatters my heart to see people rip up their work. No!!! Don’t ever, ever, ever throw away your work. Put it aside if you must, come back to it another day. But don’t throw it out!

When we say there are no mistakes in ZentangleĀ® it opens up the space for MORE. More ideas, more patterns, more possibilities. I’ve run into issues a thousand times…I missed a step in the pattern, I did too much of a step, or I just plain didn’t like the composition. I’ve even had mishaps like spilled ink. Stuff happens.

My Sakura Micron took a few too many bumps down the road while travelling. The ink came pouring down the barrel (slow-mo style). I used the edges of my tile to clean up what I could, got a big blob in the middle of my tile….and kept tangling away. I love the grungy look this mishap created!

 

So, I have three suggestions when you make a mistake run into a bump in the road. First, you can draw some Bronx Cheer over the spot, or fill in the area completely with ink, then go over in white gelly roll (or any gelly roll for that matter!).

Guordgeous was not my friend that day. So, I took some sparkly black ink and covered the whole thing. Then, used a sparkly gelly rolly to add a new pattern in the dark area. Boom. I love how this one turned out!

Second, you can put the tile away for another day; I’ve done this often and it works like a charm.

I originally did not like how this tile was forming. It started with the top right fengle-mooka piece. I put it away for months. Picked it back up and added some embellishments. Voila, happy with the results!

It’s even possible to run into issues with the pattern YOU created. This one just wasn’t working, but I finished it. Worth it!

Third, you can just.keep.going. This last suggestion is often the hardest to execute, but I’ve found that in the end I don’t see the mistake, but a beautiful piece of work!

 

Remember, the mistakes, mishaps, and troubles we have while being creative are what make us better artists, better people. We also become more intuned with our inner muse. When you’re in one of my classes, or another’s class, try not to compare your work to others’ as a way of confirming you’re “doing it right.” We’re all following the same steps, interpreting them differently, and executing unique and beautiful pieces! Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help, as a teacher I will do everything in my power to help you! If you need to email me after class, go ahead! I’m here!

 

But…

 

Don’t.

 

Tear.

 

Up.

 

Your.

 

Art.

 

Cheers!

 

-Sarah, Zen & Zin

 

A 2016 Reflection

Wow! I cannot believe it is already 2017 . Oh, wait, yes I can. 2016 was a wild year, it went by so quickly yet SO much happened. My husband and I fulfilled our dream of living and travelling full-time in our RV, we plan to continue to do so in 2017 with just a slightly altered travel schedule (i.e. not travelling coast to coast and back in 4 months!). We’ve also both committed ourselves to growing our craft, he’s a writer and I’m finally identifying as an artist!

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I’ve grown a lot in 2016 from figuring out what I want in life to realizing I can make my own decisions as I go. I’ve really started to feel like an artist and have given myself the permission, time, and space to learn new techniques and further my ZentangleĀ® practice. I think this has really helped me as a teacher too, as I am more connected to the art and the method than ever before.

I even finished my Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training!

grad

I also learned that, as an artist, I have a lot more opportunities than I previously realized. I’ve started to partner with some different companies and I hope in 2017 we’ll see a lot of awesome projects come out of those relationships.

DBH
Adding my artwork to products on Design By Humans! Click on the picture to head to my store!

I am also focusing more on supporting other artists whether its buying their art, or donating to a GoFundMe campaign when someone is struggling. What goes around comes around and I love to help other artists when I have the opportunity to.

coloringbook
The first of many coloring books available on Amazon and my Etsy Store! Click on the picture to head to my Amazon products!

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This year has also been a tough one on me personally, as well as for my husband….and I know it’s been extremely difficult for a lot of people everywhere. And while the challenges have really tested the strength of my faith and my resolve, they’ve also strengthened me and remind me why I do this…why I love and teach Zentangle, why I create art, and why art is so important. In a year of uncertainties and emotional roller coasters, art has helped us all get through. It’s soothing, it’s expressive, it’s escapism. Art is awesome that way!

whyczt

So, join me in 2017. Support art and the artists than share their craft. Take a Zentangle class. Buy an original or order a commissioned piece of art. If it’s me you’d like to support, yay! If not, I hope you have a local artist you’d like to support, they’d sure appreciate it!

Here’s to an amazing 2017! Cheers!

More Fall Inspiration…with leaves! And Free Coloring Page!

This week the Diva (#289) challenged us to include some leaves in our tangles. I went outside, and luckily Iā€™m in Michigan right now, and found some beautifully colored and uniquely-shaped leaves to inspire me.

First, I took some photocopies of these leaves so that I could experiment.

I tangled on color and black-and-white photocopiesā€¦ The colored ones turned out better I think. Hereā€™s a collage of those:img_20161017_164648

This black and white photo copy worked out well, I tangled in Metallic and Glaze Gelly Rolls from Sakura. I love the stained-glass look achievedĀ in theĀ top left corner!

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I then traced the outlines of a couple of the leaves and used them as a string to tangle within.

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I also attempted to use them with my Yupo paper and alcohol inksā€¦

 

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ā€¦it didnā€™t work but the in-process pictures look pretty neat šŸ™‚

 

This challenge (combined with some insomnia) also inspired me to work with more floral and organic tangles and doodlesā€¦which led to me starting a new coloring book. I was “adult coloring” long before the fad set in, and coloring is what led me to Zentangle, so I still hold it near and dear to my heart. I also love that tangling has given me the courage to try my hand at designing and drawing my own coloring books. I have one in my Etsy store already, and now I have two more in the works.

 

Hereā€™s an example of one page, feel free to download it, print it, and color it. Please don’t redistribute, but share a link to this post with your friends and share your colored masterpiece by posting it on Instagram and tag me @zenandzin_czt or post onto my Facebook page to share! Or, post on your own blog and comment with a link back here! šŸ™‚ I just want to see what everyone comes up with!

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Cheers!!

 

Sarah, CZT, Zen and Zin