Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter Scrapbook - Half Page Mini

I have been working on a winter scrapbook album to put all of our snow related pictures. I can honestly say that I was an adult (about 20) before I actually saw snow falling from the sky.  I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where the temperatures are mild most of the year.  When my family went to play in the snow (about 4 hours away), the snow was already on the ground.  So, as you can imagine, snow is a big deal to me!

I have already started to put our snow pictures in this album and I plan to bring it out to the coffee table at this time of the year so that we can look at and remember all our snow adventures.  There is still space for more pictures and I can't wait to capture our next snowy trip.

This is Paper Phenomenon's June bonus project the Half-Page Mini.  It is 8 1/2 by 10 inches with large pull-out pages for lots of pictures.

The paper collection is from BoBunny - Sleigh Ride.

What you cannot see in these pictures is that the half-page is a pocket and a large folded insert nestles in the pocket.  Here are a couple of those inserts open.

Check out this great tutorial from Kathy Orta on her site Paper Phenomenon.

Have a scrappy day!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Teaching is a Privilege!

Teaching really is a privilege!

When I teach I also learn.  I probably learn more than the students do in class. Why? Because I have to teach myself (or learn from others) whatever process or technique I am going to share.  I need to have experienced it for myself and know how it feels, looks, tastes (maybe not), smells, and sounds. When I can do all that I think that I might have enough knowledge to actual impart the technique to others. Even with all that preparation I often am still learning as I share the technique with others.  My students teach me too! This wonderful process of learning, sharing and learning more is what I love, love, love about teaching.

This fall I have been focusing on shading Zentangle because I want to improve my skill AND because I was scheduled to teach a 4-week class at North Island College to a group of eager and attentive seniors. I have already shared with this audience some of my samples, but today I would like to share those of the students.

First we learned to draw freehand a pumpkin string and then fill it with tangles.  Next we shaded the tangles and the pumpkin roundness.

Another lesson was about light source and we focused on adding great shadows.

Another lesson included adding dimension by the shape and direction of our line before adding shading.

and finally, we explored shading with coloured pencil using three shades of the same colour.

I had a wonderful time and while I was learning more about shading I was also learning more about teaching.  
Any comments you make about this post will be shared with my students.  Thanks for stopping by and as always have a great day!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Lettering

Two years ago I Google'd "drawing programs" and headed into the direction of Zentangle drawing. "Why," you ask? My answer is, for three very important reasons:

  1. I never doodled as a child - never!  I know this doesn't seem possible, but I didn't adulterate the sides of my papers in school.  I have wondered if it was discouraged or if I got into trouble for having done it.  I don't really remember, but anything that did not lead to concrete eduction was discouraged.  Things like art and music were set aside in favour of math and science.  I think my mother was trying to create something, and she did, but it wasn't someone who would follow the artistic path.
  2. I wanted to learn to draw characters.  I was (and still am) heavily involved in creating cards with lovely digital and rubber stamped images of people and creatures.  I love to place them in interesting settings and colour with Copics or Tombows.  I thought that it would be great if I could create and sell my own unique characters as digital images. If I could only draw!
  3. Zentangle looked cool!
Fortunately for me, Barb Round from Campbell River was teaching a beginners class in my town within 2 weeks.  I was delighted!  Finally I would learn to draw!  I took her beginner series of three classes and then took two more she offered over several weeks.  I embraced Zentangle wholeheartedly making dozens of tiles and finally deciding that I wanted to be able to teach this method to others. In November 2013 I flew off to Road Island for Certified Zentangle Teacher training and became an official CZT.

I love Zentangle!  It has opened my mind to other creative techniques such as using colour in Zentangle and even creating what we call ZIA - Zentangle Inspired Art. My hand - eye coordination has improved as well as my handwriting.  I finally feel free to be creative and draw - freely draw with no constraints.  I feel that Zentangle has opened my creative mind to be more artistically expressive.

There is just one problem!  I would still like to learn to draw things such as trees, animals, landscapes and people. This is a long background story to tell you that I was back to the Internet and found a couple of online courses for drawing and lettering that I would like to share with you.  Actually, this little journey started after viewing one of my favourite YouTube friends, Sara from My Serenity Crafts (check her out!).

First, Jane Davenport from Australia has a wonderful set of classes - very low key and fun, on supplies and drawing, including drawing faces.  I absolutely love her style and happy, colourful presentation.  I started with her supplies class because I don't very much about all the different types of paint, markers and watercolours.  She goes into depth and makes us students try them out to see what they do - very experiential.  Here are a couple of pics from the early sessions ......

We are cataloguing all the art supplies that we have on hand.

Gelly Roll Pens on Black Gesso and cardstock
Then she has us drawing our happy place. I am looking forward to comparing this drawing to a future version. My happy place is in the tall grass around the tall trees in my grandfather's apple orchard when I was 4-6 years old.

The second class that I am taking is actually a book and book club on Facebook.  Joanne Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering is amazing and helpful!  We are currently working on sampling alphabet styles.

And we have tested some of them ...

I have a long way to go and I am very much enjoying the journey.  Please check out the links above and see if these classes are of interest to your creative journey. I will be sharing more as the weeks progress.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Zentangle on My Mind

I've had Zentangle on my mind and in my art bag this last month.  I took my Micron pens and Zentangle tiles with me on vacation to California in October and had a great time tangling and drawing whatever my pen wanted to draw.  I have also been posting on my Facebook page without making a blog post (sorry!).

This post is a little catchup on what I have been drawing and doing since the Tangle Island Retreat in September.

This was an exercise in Inapod tangle and shading. I have found the greatest Fb page -  It is all about shading and Eni Oaken provides excellent feedback and encouragement for everything that we post.

Here is another sample showing the before and after shading. The tangle is Hamadox, a combination of Rick's Paradox and Hamail.

Here is one I just finished and posted last night with Verve, Abundies, Flux, Diva Dance and Printemps.

I have also been working with a little bit of color and working on stretching my drawing a bit.  I received a little Prima journal in a mystery box and have dedicated it to the Crazy Birds and what I might do with them.  In this case, I drew a tree around them and added the Tangle Poke Root for the leaves.  It is all colored with my new Irojiten colored pencils.

Lastly, I will show you a drawing I did to emphasize color shading in a class I am teaching at North Island College this month.  The tangle is simple (can't even remember the name), but I have used it to show using three pencil shades of one color - light, medium and dark, to work out the shading.

Well, I think that is enough catchup for today.  Hopefully, my next post will be about a scrapbook that I have been working on for Christmas/Winter snow family pictures.

Have a great day!