Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Challenge is a Light

One of the things I love most about the process of Zentangle: If I am paying attention, I can observe things about myself, not just the piece of art in front of me. ("Zentangle allows us to both lose ourselves and find ourselves at the same time"--Maria Thomas) 

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. 


  1. Both of these are gorgeous! I love the organic feel of the nzeppel piece.

  2. Chewie and i were "checkin our emails, right mama?" this morning and when i came to your blog he exclaimed when i scrolled to the second tile: "WOW! Mama! Look!! Look at dat one! i like dat one!"

    i do too. ;)oo000 (<-chewie wanted to help, he likes to "push da ohs!)

    (my word verification was oplexica... sounds like a tangle name, no?)

  3. So cute!! I'm honored that Chewie liked the tile:) And yes, oplexica would make a really cool tangle name. I have a list of word verifications that I keep just in case. My favorite so far is bebele.

  4. they are both awesome....and so is your 'exploration'....you sure know how to delve into yourself and come out better on the other side!!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous work! Your distinctive personal style is still beautifully evident.

  6. So elegant and so defined. I love your work it is absolutely amazing!

  7. The first one is nice, but I *really* like the second one. That is beautiful

  8. Incredible! It looks a bit like batic.


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