Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Book Review, a Challenge, and a Book Question

This week, the Diva challenged us to create a Zentangle using pointillism style. In pointillism, the art is done using only dots.  In a similar way, stippling is a technique for creating depth and texture using only dots.  When I was writing Made in the Shade, I learned a lot about stippling and found it creates an interesting and beautiful effect.  

I had forgotten about this technique until I had time this weekend to delve into my copy of Written by four talented CZTs, this book will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and try some new techniques. Norma Burnell, whose popular Fairy Tangles, is the artist whose use of stippling in her delicate, organic tangles inspired me to use stippling in this piece destined for my new book.
It also uses her lovely tangle Dragonair and a new one called Pubfleur which you will see more of in my book. Besides Norma's beautiful fairies and flowers, the Art of Zentangle includes four fun and funky projects by Penny Raille. If you want to "lighten up" your art, you'll love these whimsical projects. Lara Williams shows two different ZIA projects and gives advice on creating strings. I've heard students complain about not knowing what to use for a string. Lara provides practical advice on that.

Finally, Margaret Bremner shares her expertise on Zendalas. Her stunning art alone is worth the price of the book!

This is a nicely designed, sturdy book meant with plenty of room to practice right in the book. It is a worthy addition to any tangler's library and a great book to have on vacation. All you need is this book and a pen and you're ready for hours of enjoyment.

One thing about stippling/pointillism is that it can take a lot of time. Since I don't have a lot of that right now, I decided for Laura's challenge, I would use a pen with a much larger nib than I usually use. Bigger points = less time stippling. Despite this shortcut, I like how this one turned out. The background tangle is one that my daughter developed for the new book. She based it on the windows of our church, Seton Parish, so the tangle is called Seton It is similar to several other tangles, but I haven't been able to find out exactly like it.
All of that stippling reminded me of a quilt I made many years ago. That one was stippled by hand using a needle and thread and had a pretty flower center, so I felt like the tile needed something flowery also. That is why I added mooka and flux to what was supposed to be a monotangle.
So, you've had a very small sneak peak of the new book. This book will feature 52 different tangles and show you 6 different ways to do each of them. That's enough for a bit of tangling every day, but also enough time to really get to know each of the 52 tangles. I hope to encourage people to experiment with tangles they know and love and use their own creativity to adapt them to their own style. Right now, we're considering 2 different titles for this book. If you want to see what they are and have a chance of winning a free copy, take this quick (3-question) survey.


  1. Nicely done! I too was looking for a larger nibbed pen, but did not succeed, so it was some time!

  2. Love Alexas' new tangle! I've stared at the church windows many times myself.

  3. Your tile reminds me of a mosaic floor in ancient ruins I recently saw in Sardinia. Very nice.

  4. Like the composition for your book. Has lots of great things to look at.

  5. I'm seeing a very comfy quilt! Very nice!

  6. Great idea to use a larger pen tip - so obvious once you say it! Very interesting post - thanks! Took your survey, and am happy to know I'll be kept up-to-date on the new book's progress!

  7. Nicely done! I've really enjoyed your book, Made in the Shade, it is such a wonderful workbook on shading techniques.


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