Archive for August, 2012

This week the Diva has challenged us to draw a “blind-sighted” string; which means close your eyes and draw a string on your tile.  The idea is to give up control and get “zen-like”.  Actually, I really like this kind of challenge.  I tend to be a thinking kind of artist, which often means I over-think everything before I draw it.  I do better at zentangles than any other art form, but many of my ZIAs are ” over thought, lol!  I almost always have an idea of what I want it to look like.  So this was fun; but as you will see as we go along here, I have another syndrome I fight with which is “I DON’T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT!”  That’s enough equivocation and excuses, it’s time to show you what I did. While both of these tiles started out as zentangles, i.e., 3.5″ square tile, drawn with black on white, and using only tangles, that is not the way they ended up.  They are both now definitely Zentangle Inspired Art pieces.  The picture below shows three things, the blind string, the tangle when I thought I was done, and what all else I did to it because I wasn’t ready to quit, so I didn’t.

Tangles: Baton, Strircles (var) Emingle, and Nightbridge (var).

On the blind string I started with the rectangle and first horizontal line, then I drew the spiral string from top to bottom.  I kind of liked it, although it was pretty dark.  Then I drew the tangles in the rectangle; and didn’t feel like it was enough; so I used a copics C9 marker and colored in the background…….hmm, still not enough, so I added the white with a Sharpie paint pen.  Didn’t feel like stopping so I sponged in the green.  I think I liked it better before.  Oh, well, you live and learn.  BTW, the Nightbridge variation I’ve never seen before, and may be new; but I’ll just call it a variation, since it’s nothing but alternate squares like nightbridge.   Oh yeah.  The finished two pieces are photographed upside down from the way it was drawn, because that’s how I finished it up and signed it.

Did the second one a lot the same.

Tangles: Betweed, Swirls, Pais, Nightbridge,Fescu, Ennies

This one has the second two photographed opposite way of the string also; but this time it’s because I thought it looked like a bowl of something, or a funny looking plant or chicken sitting in a container, lol.  The only reason I’m showing the third version of these is because of “to tell the truth”.  Sometimes it’s better to quit sooner than later.

Until next time, Happy Tangling.


Zendala Dare #20

Erin over the The Bright Owl has given us another lovely template we are dared to fill up with tangles.  So far, I’ve done two.  Here’s the first one:

Tangles: Betweed, Tipple, Fescu, Ennies (var); Auras, Becki (var) and Ragz (var).

Tangles are drawn with a Micron 03 pen (my 01’s are out of ink!), and shaded with graphite.  And here is the second one.

Tangles: Pais, Opus, Hairy, Fescu, Ennies

This one is a full size template, about 8″; and is drawn with Micron 03 pen, and colored with Copics alcohol markers in shades of Red and Grey, ; uses a white Sharpie Poster Paint Marker, and some graphite shading.

Both of them were really fun to do, and if you choose to leave a comment it will be greatly appreciated.  Now I’m off to go check out all the lovely art done by all the participants in Erin’s dare.

Until next time, Happy Tangling!

Zendala Dare #19

Today is Friday, so it’s Zendala Dare Day over at The Bright Owl.  Erin gives us a beautiful template which we are “dared” to fill with tangles.  Here is my first one:

Tangles: Paradox, Ixorus, Ennies Leaves, and some linework.

I don’t normally start with the colored one, but today I was in the mood to try out more of my brand new Prismacolor Premier pencils.  They are so cool, and go on so smoothly.  I also wanted to try the Paradox with the “behind” drawing we do in zentangle, because of all the partial squares.  The rest just looked like it would go with what I had done.  I’ll do one or two more, but it may be a day or two before that happens.  It’s so hot here today that we’re going to go to a movie and then out to dinner to get away from the heat.  Believe me, when it’s 95 degrees in the Seattle area, the humidity makes it feel much hotter.

This week’s challenge from the Diva was to use just the two tangles Assunta and Mooka in a zentangle tile, a zendala or a ZIA.  What fun!  First of all, Mooka is the second tangle I learned back in April when I first discovered zentangle; because it was one of two videos that Rick and Maria did.  The first one I learned was Betweed.  Both of those tangles remain among my favorites today.  I didn’t know Mooka was supposed to be hard… was flowing and organic, and I loved it then, and I love it now.  Assunta on the other hand is NOT one of my favorite tangles.  I did learn it last week when I deconstructed it from Rick’s directions to put in my official tangle notebook.  I found it kind of difficult to make look good, even though I didn’t have a lot of trouble figuring out how to draw it.  But I’m always ready for a challenge so here goes.

The first tile I drew is shown below.

I didn’t like it that much, and studying it, I was trying to figure out “why”.  I finally decided I didn’t much care for the way I shaded it.  But in Zentangle fashion, “no mistakes” here it is.  The second one turned out a little better and is below:

I shaded this one differently, plus I made Mooka be a kind of frame for the Assunta, and added the dark tipple as a background and fill, and I like it better.

Here’s the third one.

This one has some of the same problems as the first one, plus I gotta say, I just don’t really like Assunta with the Mooka… is so organic and the other one is so structured.  I just sneaked a peek at some of the other entries and saw that other artists overcame that drawback, but I didn’t come up with any of those great ideas.

And finally, here is my ZIA.  It would not be right to publish this, even on my blog, without giving credit for the original ZIA that inspired it.  It was drawn by nolansmanned (that’s her flickr name, her first name is Fi).  Her Zia can be seen here.  This was the first picture I ever “faved” on flicker, about two days after I discovered zentangles.  She continues to be a real inspiration to me.

It is drawn in 01 colored micron pens.  And because I knew I didn’t really like Assunta in this tile; I made a color copy of the bordered mooka and tangled Assunta in brown in that copy.  Now I can save the border mooka (which I really do like) for something else….maybe a greeting card.  Shading is added with Prismacolor pencils.

Don’t forget to hop over to the Diva and look at all the gorgeous eye candy; and if you choose to leave me a comment, it will be most appreciated.

Until next time, Happy Tangling!

Whoopee!  It’s Dare Friday again.  I love Fridays.  Erin always treats us to a new template which we are “dared” to fill up with tangles.  I really like this template.  I’ve already done three, and have printed out one more which I’m going to try to get done and add before the end of the day.  If you want to play along with us, grab the link on the right and head over to Erin’s blog, look at all the art, and download the template so you can play too.  So here are mine so far:

Tangles: Paradox, Betweed,Mooka, Emingle (variation) and Bumps

Friday is always “play day” and I do whatever I want.  But I still try to try out one new tangle I’ve never done before.  Today it’s Bumps by CZT Sue Jacobs.  I don’t think I’ve ever drawn that one before.  This one is on the full size template, but I sized it down to about 5″, and drew it in black 01 micron pen.  Then I sponged blue and purple dye ink over top of the drawing, and added a bit more of blue and purple with prismacolor pencils.  This one went pretty fast.

Next I did a full size template that is approximately 8″ x 8″.

Tangles: Afterglo (variation to fit area) Crescent Moon, Baton, Fans and a variation of either Ennies or Droplets

This one was drawn using a brand new set of Gel pens, some of which have glitter in them.  Unfortunately that doesn’t show up well in the photo.  The new (to me) tangle is Fans, by Suzanne McNeill.  I added some shading with prismacolor pencils, and then sponged the outside edges with first a light green dye ink, followed by black around the very edges.  Baton is quickly becoming one of my favorite tangles to draw.  It doesn’t matter how long or short the lines are, or which direction you draw them in; they always end up looking nice.  And it’s great practice for drawing straight lines.  Three months ago I couldn’t draw a straight line to save my life, lol.

Next I did a zentangle sized tile in black and white.

Tangles: Flutter Pie, Zedbra, Meer and Tipple

The new tangle for me in this one is Zedbra, byCZTs® Margaret Bremner and Laura Harms (Laura is our Zendala queen).   What a fun tangle, and so bold!  I also drew Meer,an official zentangle tangle,  which I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used before.  Fun, fun, fun!

Well, I’m off to see if I can get one more done, and if I do, I’ll add it, and revise this post.

Hi again.  I did do one more and here it is:

Tangles: Striping, Paradox, Betweed, Zander, Onamato (variation, Huggins

In addition to the tangles shown above, there’s some polka dots which I don’t know what to call unless it’s a variation of Tipple, and a little bit of line work.  I hope you’ll let me know you were here, it makes my day every time.  Until next time, Happy Tangling.

This week, the Diva challenged us to use a specific tangle….Brayd, by  Shelly Beauch, CZT.  It just happens to be one of my favorite tangles to draw.  It’s swirly and I find it easy.  People who really, really like grids seem not to like it as much.  However, it does sort of look like hair… in a braid.  For my first one, I tried to just do a “legal, regular zentangle”, which can be turned any which way, and doesn’t represent anything.  I like the way it turned out and here it is.

Tangles: Brayd, Hibred, Auaras, Holz

Then I decided I wanted to do a ZIA.  While thinking about that; I thought: “Ok, it looks like hair; so let’s make it look like hair only funny colored.  I immediately thought of Medusa; so I looked her up.  Oops, she had snakes for hair.  Hmmm, then I thought why couldn’t she have braids and snakes in her hair.  I’m naming her Medusa with Bat and here she is:

This is drawn on a half sheet of watercolor paper, 6″ x 9″.  First  I sketched in the oval for her face, her neck, and the outside confines of her robe..  Then I drew her hair and snakes.  I used Brayd, Reticulated, Barberpole, and Tipple for her hair and snakes.    Then I added the background, Brix on the top, and that wooden looking stuff on the bottom.  I know I’ve seen it before, but not sure where.  After I drew in her face, I drew the sections of her robe, using Joy,Baton, and Tipple.  I gave her a bead necklace, some earrings, drew in the bat in the upper right corner, and then colored with a mixture of sponged dye inks and my brand new Prismacolor Premier pencils (boy, do I love these)!  I made her skin kind of purplish grey; after all she is a mythical monster right?   I think that’s it for this week on the challenge, so now I’m off to start checking out the other wonderful art posted.  Hope you like this, and if you decide to leave a comment, it will be greatly appreciated.

Don’t forget to stop by the Diva Challenge; just grab the blinkie on the right and go see what all there is to look at.

Until next time, happy tangling!


The first word that comes to mind is WOW!  The dares and challenges we’ve been doing lately have been very interesting, and so thought-provoking.  I’m finding that this art form, when done for a particular subject helps me to process emotions in a positive way.   To find out more about this and other zendala dares, grab the link on the right and visit Erin’s blog.

In this week’s Zendala Dare, Erin challenged us to do a Zendala in honor of someone whose life was touched by cancer.  I immediately had two I wanted to do.  I lost my Dad and my younger brother within six months of each other to this horrible disease.  The first one is for my Dad, Fred Lee Herscher,  who succumbed to prostate cancer a few years ago.  The only good thing about Dad’s touch by the disease is that after radiation, the disease stayed in remission for  12 good years, and it didn’t come back until he was almost 85.  So this is for you, Dad.

  This is on a tile, which is approximately 4″ square.  The tangles that are done on grids symbolize Dad’s organization skills.  The arrowheads further speak of the Straight Arrow my Dad always was.  He had great integrity and taught all of us kids that honor and integrity and honesty were attributes we should cultivate all our lives.  The Knightsbridge speaks to the fact that for his family, Dad was always the “Knight in Shining Armor”.  In the center is Flutter Pie by Sandy Bartholomew.   The other tangles used are Tipple, Betweed, and Hollibaugh.  Each one represents one of his “careers”.  He retired twice, each time to enter a new and totally different field.  When he retired from the wholesale toy business, he started a Sheltered Workshop for disadvantaged adults.  He knew first hand that such a business was sorely needed, since his youngest son was born with cerebral palsy and after he turned 21 there was no place for him to go to get meaningful employment.  The workshop called “South King County Activities Center” was so successful that we even got contracts from the mammoth Boeing company to clean airline headphones, and build bookcases.  My brother David worked there until his death two years ago.  Dad served as Executive Director of SCCAC until he retired at age 65.  Then he got his real estate broker’s license, and in partnership with my sister Mary, opened up three Century 21 franchises, a career  which he only left when he died.  Dad always said he would die “with his boots on” and he truly did.

The other person I’d like to honor is my younger brother Fred Lee Herscher III, named for Dad.  Fred was diagnosed with lung cancer two months after Dad’s death, and was gone within 6 months.  This was a real tragedy, because his life was cut short when he was finally getting into his prime.  Freddy was a bit of a rebel, a Viet Nam vet who was horribly scarred emotionally by his time in the army.  It took years and lots of therapy before he finally was able to come to terms with it; and it was something he never discussed or shared with the family.  Until his death, he worked with Dad and Mary in real estate; and was managing broker for one of the offices.   In his honor I did a very unorthodox piece of art.  It is an 8″ x 10″ ZIA, with this week’s full size template in the center.  When I tried to visualize what Freddy would like in a piece of tangled art, I came up with “Steampunk”; funky, retro, busy, and colorful.  So, here it is.

I started with an 8.5″ x 11″ watercolor paper and sponged several colors of distress ink over the whole page.  Then I printed the full size template centered on the page and started to tangle.  I picked tangles I thought would go with a steampunk theme.  Some of them are: Brix by Vicki Murray, Keeko, Cadent, Striping, and  Pepper, which are all official ZTs,  and Struzzle by Jo Newsham.  The rest of them are from Sandra Strait’s Steampunk Series, and include Background #2, Planateen, Klock # One, and parts of Geer #3.  I turned the zendala template into a giant “geer” by beginning with step three of Geer # Three on the outside edge of the template.  I added the candle in the lower right to symbolize the light and love that my brother shed in the lives of those of us who loved him.  I think I’m going to have this framed with a picture of Fred and give it to his daughter, Sarah.

I hope I haven’t bored you with my trip down memory lane, and I can hardly wait to see what each of you did with this thought-provoking dare.  Until next time, Happy Tangling.

This week we are honored to have a guest post from Certified Zentangle Teacher, Erin Olson, who blogs at  Erin says”  I am very proud to announce that on August 18, 2012, I will be walking in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.  The Relay for Life is a 24 hour walking event to support cancer treatment and research.  Your team must have someone on the track at all times for 24 hours to symbolize that cancer never sleeps.  As a paramedic, I encounter cancer patients on an almost daily basis.  I do my best to be optimistic in their presence but I know that the reality is that many of them will not have a favorable outcome.  On the upside, I am the niece, friend, caregiver, and acquaintance of many people who have beat cancer and are living life to the fullest as a result.”

I have supported Erin and I hope some of you will too.  To do that; go to her website (see blogroll on the right) for directions of how to do that.

This week, Erin made one of her gorgeous zendala tiles available to us to fill in the blanks, or change any way we would like.  So far, I’ve done two.  Here is the first one:

This is the first zendala that Erin has provided that I’ve ever tried in a 3.5″ zentangle tile.  The reason is that I’m still pretty new, and it was just daunting to me to try to make my tangles small enough to fit into the strings provided.  I finally got enough courage to try it.  However, I was trying to really zone or “zen” out today, because my main computer crashed three days ago, and I had to buy a new PC, and even though I was able to recover all my files through; they don’t go back where they belong; they’re in a great big huge recovery file, and I will have to sort through them and put them where they belong.  Yikes!  Anyway, on this one, I used only a few tangles, and some of them I couldn’t tell you the name of.  What I know I used is Striping, Fescu, Tipples, Paradox and some auras.  Anything else I just drew, and I have seen it before, but couldn’t tell you what it is.  My apologies to the zentangle purists.

The second one, shown below in color, is on a zendala tile, approximately 5″.

It is colored with prismacolor pencils and some sponged ink, and drawn in black, blue and green micron pens.  It has even fewer known tangles, since I knew I was going to concentrate on coloring it.  I have some more of those leaf shapes in it which I’m not sure what to name, some fill, and line work, and then also, Onamato, and some auras.  I guess I could just say this week I did small ZIAs, to get past the fact that I can’t name what I drew.  Hope you like them anyway, and if you’re so inclined, please let me know you stopped by and leave me some love.  I need it right now, and it always makes my day.  Whatever you do, I hope you’ll grab the link to the Diva challenge and take a look at all the awesome art that’s accumulating there.

Until next time, Happy Tangling.