Friday, January 11, 2013

Tangling With Phicops

The wonderful Diva over at the I Am the Diva blog has challenged us, the Zentangle community, to our first challenge of the new year! Woot!

This time the goal of the challenge was to use a new tangle that the Diva's husband, B-rad, invented. It's called Phicops, and it's a really cool one. Here's what I came up with:

Tangles used: Phicops, Crescent Moon, Beeline, Auraknot, and Tipple.

Phiclops is really a great tangle. Simple, quick, but you still end up with that "how did I do that?" effect. Shading adds a ton to this tangle - and I mean a TON! I thought my tile was a flop until I shaded it - wow!

I tried something a little different with the photography this time. Instead of using my DSLR camera, I used my new iPhone's camera and the various apps for photo editing. Not quite as high quality as the "real" camera, but it did work pretty well! 

In case some of you coming over here from the Diva's blog haven't seen it yet, I want to invite you to watch my recently released video, Zentangle in Motion 2. Enjoy!

Also, I'm just about to begin my adventure in becoming a Walt Disney World cast member, so forgive me if the blog posts are more infrequent. 



Friday, January 04, 2013

The Book of Zentangle

I had an interesting experience a few months ago. I received a book in the mail, and I mentioned it to some co-workers. They were intrigued, so I showed it to them. I didn't think they would give it back! The book was passed around, everyone savoring the beauty found in it, gingerly turning the pages as if afraid of damaging the delicately delightful contents. The Book of Zentangle is an extraordinary book, one that can be appreciated by both Zentangle "muggles" (non-tanglers) and Zentangle enthusiasts alike.

Before I proceed, I must disclose that Rick and Maria sent me my copy of The Book of Zentangle for free to review, but my views on the book remain solely my own. 

Let me start with what the book isn't. It's not at all like any other Zentangle book on the market. It doesn't include a bunch of tangle step-outs, so don't expect that. What it does include is much more spectacular. Nearly every page features a beautifully rendered example of Zentangle, direct from the founders. Not simply the pen-and-ink drawings, but also paintings that interact with the pen-and-ink portions. You'll find tangled insects, seashells, shirt sleeves, windows, and China, just to name a few. Each picture includes a story, so you can see how the inspiration came about, what the meaning is. The written portion of the book is just as inspiring. Rick and Maria cover the basics of Zentangle, explaining the method and tools, and then diving into exercises and projects. Although you may be a veteran tangler, re-learning the basics can be a great way to grow. There may even be a thing or two you didn't know about the basics that you'll pick up. I know I did. My favorite part, and perhaps the most interesting, is the section on the origins of Zentangle. More detailed than anything else out there, it is fascinating to see how the paths of two people crossed, in the process crossing their individual experiences. The result is what we know today as Zentangle. Having this knowledge has deepened my appreciation for what we have today! Rounding out the book are stories from tanglers about how they use Zentangle and other interesting anecdotes, an index of tangle terms, and an excellent list of resources.

In short, I love this book. I've been tangling for two years and still got a lot out of it. Zentangle has become a community, and you can get lost to the true purpose of it all in the commotion of voices sometimes. This book will bring you back to why you started tangling in the first place. Reinspire you. Excite you. Focus you.

As they write in the book:

"Words are fun to play with, and we'll utilize them to bring what we love into focus."

Rick and Maria clearly had fun playing with words to bring us this book, and it does what they intended: bring what they love into focus.