Researching art with Google Arts & Culture

A great way to develop our art practice is to continually research and investigate other artists’ works.  Google Arts & Culture is an art project by Google which has given access to amazing artworks and art institutes and galleries around the globe. Many of the images have been captured in ultra-high resolution measured in gigapixels. This means that you can zoom into these paintings and view the actual brush strokes of the artist.  It is well worth a look.

Gratitude

Becoming a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) has been such a rewarding experience and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity. I was asked recently what I had to do to become certified. I answered that I did a 3 day course. Later I reflected on my answer and I realised that it has been a long journey. I should have answered that my interest in art and patterns started during my Bachelor of Arts degree, then developed through my art practice. A couple of years later I travelled over 16,000 kilometres to Providence, Rhode Island to learn the art of the Zentangle Method directly from the founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. The obstacles on that long journey took on a life of their own (including losing my suitcase along the way!) Since becoming certified I participate in workshops by other CZTs and CZT groups where we share our ideas and develop new tangles. The learning never stops – I am still developing as a Certified Zentangle Teacher.

I’d like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude and thanks to everyone who has done a workshop with me. I do hope that you’ve been inspired to grow on your artistic journey and persevere regardless of any obstacles that sometimes appear.

Obstacles and challenges are a normal part of our lives and they help us to grow into who we are. So often I reflect on them and realise that if I had not been presented with a particular challenge or obstacle then I would have missed out on an opportunity which enriched my life.

The Zentangle method reminds us that when we are presented with a challenge in our art or what we ‘perceive’ to be a mistake, this gives us the opportunity to go in another direction and draw something even better than we would have produced. It makes me grateful rather than regretful of the challenges that come my way.

I am at home today, too unwell to go to work. I have been so busy with helping my mother and my brother (who live in UK) and trying to learn my new job to the point of exhaustion that I’ve had no time for my myself or my art. So I’ve turned to Zentangle for the first time in weeks and I’m grateful for the opportunity today.

The Zentangle Method begins with gratitude for the opportunity to be creative and for the simple, beautiful art materials (tile, pen, pencil, tortillion). Then It ends with gratitude and appreciation. Gratitude is the foundation.

Thank you

Experiments with Colour

I’ve been experimenting with watercolour recently. These tiles were made by starting with watercolour on the tile. I used my Windsor & Newton travel watercolour set which I usually carry around with me. After laying down the colour I used a variety of methods to produce tangles (or patterns) on the tile. With coloured pens I traced around the edges of some of the watercolours and then then used a brown or similar coloured pen to draw tangles between the colours. I loved the effects and I’m going to practice more using this method.

Mindfulness Summit

Well perhaps not exactly Zentangle but I thought I would share some information and links to the Mindfulness Summit. It’s so relevant to my Zentangle practice and about how I want to view life and the world. The Zentangle Method is a way of producing art in a mindful or meditative way. It encourages focus and being present while drawing repetitive patterns. The method is a form of meditation, as I gently pull and push my pen across the paper while watching and focussing on the ink flowing and marking the beautiful paper. Following the method allows me to produce art without the need for decisions. The artwork develops intuitively while either staying within the strings or perhaps breaking free.

I’ve been following the Mindfulness Summit everyday and tuning in to the lectures. It’s only Day 8 and I feel I have gained a deeper understanding of mindfulness and how to apply it to my everyday living.

Meditation has become a daily practice while focussing on my breath. The Summit is enabling me to experiment with a wide variety of meditation practices.

The Mindfulness Summit can be found The Mindfulness Summit