Monday, January 14, 2013


Currently my journey through art has taken me to zentangle mandalas. For some years I did a mandala a month and then I seemed to fall away from that. This year I decided to challenge myself to do it again. Because I had been given a portfolio, I established that I would do a mandala that is 7" in diameter on 10" paper. Certainly, there were variations as some were done on painted canvases.

This pieces has been framed so that the finished size, including the mat, is 14" by 14". I let the watercolors flow and then I cut a snowflake out of tissue paper. With a light pencil I traced the snowflake and then drew lines to connect points. There was no set rule, I could connect any points-hey, it's my piece!

One technique that I have learned is to draw the same mark between two points in all the places it appears, then repeat the next line until all of those connections are made. Hope that this makes sense. Rotate your paper and do the same mark over and over. This is both meditative and art wise successful.

There is a show for aspiring artists at the Sacramento Fine Art Center that I plan to enter. I must submit my piece on Saturday. That was a good motivation to get it framed. One disappointment is that the plexiglass reflects light. I looked into a non glare acrylic and that would cost $44. Guess that I'll go with what I have. Well, I could leave the the plexiglass off. Any suggestions are welcome.

OK, now I'm working on a quilt and arranging my crafty projects so that I have just the right piece to do while the 49ers are playing American football or, for the Europeans, it will be a tape delayed of a Manchester United football game.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Snowflake Zentangles

A dear friend asked me what book I would recommend for zentangles. She had sent me Zen Mandalas Sacred Circles inspired by Zentangle by Suzanna McNeill, CZT and I told her that it seemed very helpful. Of course,this inquiry made me want to look at this book again. I discovered a exercise that is a terrific starting point for this type of drawing. Cut out a snowflake! I could handle that task. So, out of tissue paper I cut out an design.

Next, you lightly outline the spaces with a pencil. Then you take a pen and connect points. The choice is totally yours. There is no set "must do". for this step. You add the zentangles for a meditative project.

Of course, I had to try this technique again. This time I added watercolors in a random style. Later I filled in some specific spaces with more watercolor.

Needless to say, this was really fun for me and I hope that you are inspired!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Quilt of Honor & Zentangles

My Mixed Bag has another quilt. Since I gave the last quilt directly to a wounded soldier (who has just driven his family to Georgia from California), I wanted to do another for the Quilt of Honor program. This time I used a light blue as well as the stronger red, white and blue colors.

It really is a square quilt, about 62" by 62".

The layout of blocks can create many variations. I decided that the rows worked best for this quilt. As with painting pictures, you don't always know what your final decision until after you get to the end of a project.

I've included this close up (a bit hard to see the detail, sorry) because I wanted to convey the idea of using zentangles in other art forms. The sewing machine was set to "free motion" which allows me to move the quilt in any direction that I chose instead of a straight line. This method demands that I draw a design that will be interesting and certainly achieve the goal of holding the fabric layers together. I think that you can click on any picture to get a larger view.

It's all packaged and will soon be in the mail as a thank you to a service man or woman.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Colored Pencil Project #3

This is the last of three projects that are teaching me about colored pencils. The goal of this piece was to help me realize that the white color acts as a blender. Using this pencils smears (technical term!) the colors and gives a bit more shine to the piece.

Before I continued with more drawing, I decided to get a true grasp on what colors I do have. So, I made some color charts Here is a peek at my setup.

The holidays got real quiet for me after Christmas so I was able to have fun doing artsy stuff. There is so much more to share!