Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Bijou! Do you Bijou?

Have you met Bijou, the newest member of the Zentangle® family? Here's a peak to enjoy.  Introducing Bijou!

And watch Bijou tangle...

If you would like to tangle a la Bijou, I've got tins of darling Bijou tiles available. The tiles are the same wonderful Fabriano Tiepolo paper used for the original Zentangle tiles. Love the feel of this paper, and the way the pigment ink flows so nicely onto it from the Sakura Pigma Micron pens.

(And in case you are wondering, this little French one's name is pronounced "Bee-joooo.")

Z'Art to me!

Have you ever wanted to draw or paint or create, but felt intimidated by what others might think of your art? I've felt that way. I don't have an art degree, can't seem to remember all of the principles of composition and design, and have a day job that limits the time I have to exercise my artistic creativity.

But I find beauty, joy, and appreciation in a wide variety of visual treats. Something as simple as new crayons, with their unused points still sharp and colors spilling out of the box, lifts my spirits and makes me feel like a kid again. A well-composed photograph of a gorgeous sunset over the Cascade Mountains or Puget Sound, with myriad colors splashed across a cloud-streaked sky like a bucket of paint, gives me a sense of wonder and awe. The feel of an artisan pottery mug in my hand, sturdy, solid, and well-balanced, makes my morning tea or coffee a particularly comforting experience.

A unique Christmas ornament fashioned from a juice can lid, some red lace, and a miniature photo of a small child, glued together with love, if not precision, is art in my book. No, it won't win critical acclaim, but it is from the heart. I think all art comes from the heart, and I think it's important for us to express our art, to let it out, whatever form it takes.

To me, art is all about the emotions that it evokes in both those who create it and those who view it. Regardless of whether or not it always appeals to my particular preferences, I appreciate the effort and emotion that each artist puts into her or his creations, and I try to look with non-judgmental eyes. I hope that others will do the same for you and for me, and that we will each dare to express the art inside us.

Whatever the media, whatever the skill level, if it comes from the heart, it's art to me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Woohoo! Sign up for Zentangle® classes for summer and early fall!

Time to register for a new round of Zentangle® classes! Come and join the fun. Discover your inner artist while increasing your focus. If you are already an artsy person, add Zentangle to your creative tool box. And remember, "anything is possible... one stroke at a time."™  
  • All classes listed here are on Saturdays in Woodinville, WA, from 1 to 3 pm unless otherwise noted.
  • All classes are $35 each (unless otherwise noted), which includes supplies for the class.
The 101 Basics class is the prerequisite for any/all of the Beyond the Basics classes. The BTB classes are all independent and have no additional prereqs. So you can pick and choose from what piques your interest.

July 12101 Basics - Learn basics including how to start, what materials to use, the philosophy behind the method, and official patterns to tangle.

July 19 - Beyond the Basics - "On the Grid" - Concentrates on a variety of grid-based tangles to add to your tangle repertoire and how to play with your grids. By the way, if you think Knightsbridge is too simple a tangle to be interesting, join me for this class and I bet you'll change your mind!

August 9 - 101 Basics 

August 16 - Beyond the Basics - "White on Black" - Explore tangling beyond the basics with white tools on black tiles. Create some striking results with this "reverse" tangling!

September 20 - 101 Basics 

September 27 - Beyond the Basics - "Grow an Organic Tangle Garden" -  **1 to 4 pm - $45 - This 3-hour class includes an opportunity to learn several "organic" tangles and then plant your own tangle garden. This class runs a little longer so that you can increase your repertoire of organic tangles, and still have time to grow your garden.

October 18 - 101 Basics 

October 25 - Beyond the Basics - "Made to Shade" -  **$50, includes supplies and your own copy of "Made in the Shade" book by Cris Letourneau - Focuses on shading tools and options.
Contact me at zartfullytangled@gmail.com to let me know which classes you would like to attend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Your tangles are just "Made to Shade"

See what you can do with shading on your tangles! Add depth and highlight without having to worry about doing it "right." My students have heard me say over and over, "there are no mistakes in Zentangle®, only opportunities," and I mean it!

The "Made to Shade" Beyond the Basics class is coming up on May 31, 1 to 3 pm, in Woodinville, WA. Class fee is $50, which includes supplies AND your own copy of the "Made in the Shade" workbook by Cris Letourneau, which goes home with you for additional practice and as a reference tool.

Limited seating. Zentangle® 101 Basics class is only prerequisite. Contact me at arupley55 (at) gmail (dot) com. Remember... "Anything is possible...One stroke at a time."™ And you, too, can do this and be successful.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Start somewhere and just tangle!

Interested in Zentangle® and wondering where to start? Feeling a little intimidated? My best advice is to sign up for a class with a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), whether me or someone else, and just start. I recently received a reminder about how important it is to just start and try, which, of course, applies to many life experiences as well as to tangling.

Last week I returned from attending a fantastic continuing education event for CZTs in Portland, Maine. I traveled across the continent and met up with CZTs from, literally, around the world, including South Africa, Belgium, Netherlands, Taiwan, Canada, and several from Australia. This terrific 4-day learning experience included technique and project classes from the likes of Marie Browning, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, Beckah Krahula, Suzanne McNeill, and several other talented CZTs.

While I received an excellent grounding in the Zentangle® method and how to share it when certified by originators Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, there's always more to learn. And the more I learn, the more I can bring to my students. (That's the reason I took time to attend continuing ed classes in Northampton, MA, in 2013, as well as the Portland adventure this year.)

Even when one theoretically knows what she is doing, trying something new can be a bit challenging. Learning from such stellar and well-known teachers was a great opportunity, and yet at little intimidating at the same time. What if I couldn't "get it"? How was I going to make something as cool as they did?

Then I reminded myself that the Zentangle method is all about process, and we let the results take care of themselves. While we were doing things I'd not tried before, and I made a few missteps along the way, in the end I learned a lot, felt good about it, and was successful because I tried.

So... Let's tangle together. If you aren't in my area, but want to find a teacher near you, consult the www.zentangle.com website under the "Learn" option to see the long list of teachers all over the world. If you are having trouble finding your best option, let me know, and I'll help you.

Remember, you CAN do this because "anything is possible, one stroke at a time."™ Take a deep breath, start somewhere, and just tangle!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quick update on upcoming Spring classes

It's been great hearing from new and returning students who have been signing up for upcoming Spring Zentangle® classes. For those who may have missed the announcement on upcoming classes, there are two date options for Zentangle® 101 Basics and two different course offerings on two different dates for Beyond the Basics classes.

  • 101 Basics classes - May 10th -OR- June 7th - 1 to 3 pm - $35 per person, including supplies - This class covers how to get started, what materials work well, and hands-on instruction. It is the only prerequisite for on-going Beyond the Basics classes on all subjects. May 10th is filling up, but there are a few spaces left. If that's your preferred date, don't wait to register.

  • Beyond the Basics - Tangle Intensive - April 5th - 1 to 3 pm - $35  per person, including supplies.
    • Several students have asked for help in growing their tangle repertoire. Join us for a mix of organic and geometric tangles.
    • If you have a sketchbook, you'll want to bring it. If not, an optional sketchbook is $6.50, plus tax.
    • Prerequisite: 101 Basics class or instructor approval.

  • Beyond the Basics - Made to Shade - May 31st - 1 to 3 pm - Class fee is $50, which include supplies AND your own copy of "Made in the Shade" by Cris Letourneau.
    • Shading has been high on the list of requests from students as a follow-on to the 101 Basics classes.
    • If you already have a copy of Cris's workbook, the class fee is $35, and you'll need to bring your book to class.
    • Prerequisite: 101 Basics class or instructor approval.
If you are interested, email me at arupley55(at)gmail(dot)com with your name and contact info, along with the class and date which you would like to attend. I'll send a PayPal invoice and your payment of the invoice will hold your space in class.

Tangle on!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tangled up in tangles? Check this out, and just breathe...

You are not alone if you have become overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of tangles and patterns available to us today. In addition to around 150 official Zentangle® tangles, there are hundreds more unofficial ones created by Certified Zentangle Teachers and tangling enthusiasts alike. (See www.tanglepatterns.com where Linda Farmer does a tremendous job capturing and posting them.)

Students in my classes will hopefully recall that I've said up front that...
  • You do not have to memorize all the tangle patterns and their names and steps.
  • You do not have to LIKE all of the tangle patterns.
  • You will likely find some tangle patterns easier for you than others (and those may NOT be the ones that your tangling friend finds easiest).
  • You do not have to USE all of the tangle patterns (and there's no guilt in that).
  • You do not have to try to collect printed or e-copies of every tangle pattern that is out there. (For those who like to catalog, feel free, but don't let it consume you, because it can!)
If you are tangled up in tangles, here's some ideas to incorporate in your practice of Zentangle as you move along the journey.
  • When you are looking to tangle for relaxation or meditation or stress-management, go with the tangles that you enjoy and find flow more easily for you.
  • When you have a little more time, are not feeling pressed, and are open to stretching a bit, take on one of those more challenging tangles.
  • Take the pressure out of the challenge by using the practice space in your sketchbook instead of a tile. (Note: If you don't have a sketchbook, I highly recommend getting one. It doesn't have to be fancy, and a relatively inexpensive, medium-sized spiral-bound with 90 lb. mixed media paper will be fine with your Micron pens.)
  • EXPECT that the new tangle isn't going to flow smoothly at first.
  • When you take on a new tangle that isn't as easy for you, do what my fellow CZT, Brenda Shaver-Shahin (Half Moon St. Boutique) in Ontario, Canada, recommends. Draw the tangle in a larger size. Don't be afraid to try it really big. Then you can work toward getting it down into a smaller format. For some people, this helps them get the steps in mind and smooth the flow.
Zentangle is about the process, the enjoyment, the satisfaction, the joy and wonder at what comes out almost magically in the end. It's not about the guilt, the stress, constantly striving for perfection, or doing it all. Relax. Breathe. Breathe some more. And let tangling with the Zentangle method be a bright spot of respite in your life. Tangle on and be well!