This week's Diva's Challenge: "Create a tile or Zentangle Inspired piece using the William Morris technique of light over dark." When I saw this challenge, my first feeling was that I wasn't in the mood for floral. As soon as I was aware of this feeling, I realized how prejudicial that reaction was. When I think of Morris, I think of vines and florals and scrolled lines. I realized that, of course, we were being challenged on the technique of light over dark, but part of me jumped to the conclusion of florals, based on my own (limited!) preconceived notion of WIlliam Morris. Hurdle addressed: sometimes just being aware of a preconception is enough to crumble it to pieces. That's good news!
Realizing my foot was in the mud of preconceived notions, I made a decision to not think about how best to start the challenge. I grabbed a Zentangle pre-strung tile, (I'm really loving these!) and began filling the spaces with 'Nzeppel, which doesn't automatically end up with black spaces. Oh well, cross that bridge when I get there. It was great fun filling the whole tile with this tangle. Little by little, a black "hole" began to emerge, so I quietly followed its lead. I love the black parts of a Zentangle, so my tendency is to keep it that way. But this process, again, asks me to shine the light on a tendency and find a way to disassemble its hold on me. And this weekly challenge is a way of breaking free, so the little Jelly Roll pen came out to play. Baby dots and done.
The second tile was an even bigger challenge, since there were lots of velvety black spaces that I didn't want to disturb. But I shook off my tendencies again and reluctantly began to add white on the edges. The more I did, the more freedom I felt. I did give myself the treat of keeping a few areas velvety, but all in all, the challenge did its thing: it took me to a different place than I would have gone on my own, with my preconceived notions and habits.
Thank you Laura, William, Jane, and Maria.