Monday, September 18, 2017

'My Canvas Has Laces' (2) progress report

I've agreed to 'paint' a large pair of canvas shoes for Shoe Bank Canada's fund-raising project 'My Canvas Has Laces', so that "no Canadian should want for a decent pair of shoes".
Unisex shoes: men's size 12, women's size 14
I let some ideas percolate in my brain before I set pen to shoe and thought about other aspects of the project.

I made a list of tangles I might like to use. They included some of my own such as Skye, ZZZ as well as some that are favorites like Tipple and Crescent Moon, and tangles that I thought would offer good 3D-look possibilities, just for fun, such as Paradox, Cubine, Romanancy, and Dex.

I also assembled the supplies I expected to use, mainly black Sharpie paint pens. I had wondered about color, but decided to go with black, white, and gray, and perhaps include iridescent or sparkle paint.

Deep black
Mmm, all those tangles where it seems you're looking through to somewhere else, tangles like Cubine, Dex, Skye, Hollibaugh, and so many more. I'd been thinking what fun it would be to give the impression of cut-through work in the canvas. On paper I frequently use Sakura's Clear Glaze pen over the black which gives the effect of a much deeper space.

Fortunately... unfortunately...
Unfortunately, I didn't want use Clear Glaze ink on shoes, for durability issues.
Fortunately, there is a really, really black paint called Vantablack which absorbs 99.965 of visible light. Paint a ball with it and it looks like a portable hole. I looked online to see if I could buy some.
Unfortunately, no it isn't available except to one artist.
Fortunately, there is Black 2.0 from Culture Hustle (Stuart Semple) in the UK. It's an extremely black paint - just a smidge not-so-black as Vanta, and it's actually more convenient for artists because it doesn't require special locations or technicians. I ordered some.
Unfortunately, it will take at least a week to get here.
Fortunately, the shoes don't need to be sent back until early October.

Gathering my courage
I looked at the shoes from this side and that, wondered about drawing on the rubber parts, thought about the red and dark blue highlights, and then decided to follow Lady Macbeth's advice to "screw your courage to the sticking place" and just do it.

The eyelet holes are interesting design elements and could be incorporated into tangles. So, of course, the first tangle I put on the shoes is one that wasn't even on my list! A variation of Posh from Suzanne Macneill.

I did two more eyelet places.
Tangle: MySwing from Simone Menzel
Tangle: Snugz from Terri Brown;
also known as Crossover from Suzanne Macneill
Then, both my Extra Fine paint pens ran out!

Friday, September 15, 2017

The simplicity of 'Two squares'

The DivaCZT's challenge this week is a simple concept: a string of two squares.

First, I drew concentric, overlapping squares, holding my pencil loosely so the lines would wobble. I immediately saw the four small corners as black, but I changed my mind when it came to the last one. The two little Black Pearlz on sticks are where the pencil string lines exceeded the corner of the square. I liked it just like this.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Paradox, Tipple, Zonked, and Aura
Again, I overlapped two squares, but corner to corner. It reminded me of Cubine so I went with that for the larger square, looking through to Morse. Then I extended Morse out around the other square. It completely changed the Cubine effect.
Tangles: Cubine, Morse, Pearlz, Zonked plus Aura and Rounding
This one wanted to be left very, very simple.
Tangles: Beadlines, Pearlz, Seljuk
Finally, I traced the corner of a standard tile and a bijou tile and used that for the 'two squares' string. And I wanted to do twisted striping again. I used white pencil in a few places.
Tangles: Striping (and twisted Striping) and a Black Pearl.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Fairy Lane properties, Nos. 11-15

Let's continue our abandonment of suburbia with its neat rows of square boxes and straight sidewalks, all beige and brown and grey, with our delightful and pleasant stroll along Fairy Lane...

No. 11 Fairy Lane
Tangles: Diva Dance, Hollibaugh, Opus, Pearlz, Printemps, Striping, Tipple

No. 12 Fairy Lane
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Florz, Opus, Printemps

No. 13 Fairy Lane
Tangles: Brix, N'Zeppel, Printemps, Sanibelle, Tagh, Tipple

Nos. 14-A and 14-B Fairy Lane
Tangles: Flux, Hurly Burly, Opus, Printemps,
Roxi, Sanibelle, Snaylz, Tipple, Zinger

No. 15 Fairy Lane
Tangles: Brix, Finery, Flux, 'Nzeppel, Tipple
I thought you may be interested to see how this last one started. On this eco-dyed paper I've penciled in where I saw a house and chimney, and a billow of smoke. The moon is outlined in pen. I wasn't sure if it would work, being shoved over, up in the corner like that, but there was a nice little circle on the paper!

To view Nos. 1-5 go here.
To view Nos. 6-10 go here.

I'm wondering if this may be the end of the street...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

'My Canvas Has Laces' (1)

'My Canvas Has Laces' is the name of a fund-raising project of Shoe Bank Canada (based in Kelowna BC) whose aim is "to ensure that no Canadian should want for a decent pair of shoes".

This is their first fund-raising year and I'm one of 15 artists across Canada who will be painting a pair of shoes for silent auction on October 14. A few days ago my white canvas, Converse kicks arrived in the mail.
They are unisex shoes, men's size 12 or women's size 14. That gives me lots of space to do art on! Here are the shoes I'll be decorating, and one of my own size 8's for comparison. :)
I'm considering what to paint/draw/tangle/decorate on these shoes. Progress reports to come...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Petoskey stones

I'm a bit of a stone fan. Maybe in another life I'd have been a geologist. Here are some of my stones.
Clockwise from top left:
River and lake stones; I love how they get smoothed all around.
A chunk of potash from Saskatchewan - one of our major exports. If you lick it, it's very salty.
Some special stones including mica and flint, which I keep in an onyx bowl.
Obsidian from Mexico. Let it sit in the sun and get warm, then rub it on your sore shoulders.

The DivaCZT's guest challenger this week is Jane Reiter from Michigan, and she's challenged us to be inspired by petoskey stones, common in her state. Here's picture of petoskey stones.
Very cool. You can read more about these stones, see some photos, and see some of Jane's work on the DivaCZT's blog post here.

Somehow 'petoskey' and 'pentagon' got mashed together in my brain, so my first effort attempted to use five-sided shapes. Looking at the pictures later, I noted that there are some pentagons, but mostly hexagons. I didn't get around to adding the dark centers because I liked it just like this.
Tangles: Pearlz, Perfs, Tipple.
This time I wanted to get those dark centers in there and they became large Black Pearlz. The multitude of thin, radiating lines on the stones got reduced to five. I do love those oversized black pearlz!
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, Pearlz, Perfs, Tipple.
I decided to really try to see what was in the stones.
I noticed that the thin, radiating lines were light, not dark.
What originally looked like Perfs between the shapes, I realized was was the meeting of the thin, light lines. I tried to do that in the lower half.
Then I got funky and did another oversized Black Pearl and some strange little wiry sprouts.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, Pearlz, Perfs, Tipple.
Thanks Jane. This was fun! And educational. Which is also fun. :)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Plates" challenge

The guest challenger this week on the DivaCZT's blog is Jeannette Clawson and apparently she is a longtime mandala fan, just like me! Her challenge is to do tiles with a quarter circle, in strips, and maybe put four of them together to make a "plate" design. You can read the challenge and see some of Jeannette's work here.

I wanted to do quite a few because I want to show you some other things you can do with these tiles. I decided to use Bijou tiles - being smaller, I could do more in the same amount of time! Then I discovered that I had hardly any white Bijou tiles, so... you get brown. :)

I drew ten little tiles, pictured below, making two 'plates' and two extras. I used different tangles in all of them (and left out many!).
Of course, if you can make one circle you could make more. Here are nine of my Bijou tiles and you can see how more circles could happen.
With 16 tiles you can make a larger mandala: a 4-tile one in the middle and a border of 3-tile corners. Essentially it's four circles with the central four tiles each turned 180 degrees. (I didn't actually draw more Bijou tiles. I cannibalized some older tan tiles that I had no particular affection for!)
Last year I posted a project where I used this idea with 36 full-size tiles in color. See it at this link.

If you have a lot of tiles, by positioning them differently you can even make a scrolling design!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Double Marasu - how-to

Marasu is a tangle that resembles a coil of spool-knitting - do you remember that craft? This tangle is named for Maria Thomas' three sisters: Madeleine, Rachel, and Susan. In Marasu there is one pattern on the coil and it is really brought to life with shading. Here's a wonderful example of Marasu from CZT Sonya Yencer:

And here's one of mine (which could use more shading).
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Marasu
You'll find step-outs for Marasu here.

Today I'll show you a way to involve two patterns, two 'spool-knittings' coiled together. You may notice this double coil in some Celtic art.
Tangles: Knase, double Marasu, Paisley Boa
It's really quite simple. Begin with an 'S' and add to each line, alternating lines, to the edge of your section. Always begin the next line at the line-end nearest the center.

Then fill one coil black, or with thin lines, or both, or a pattern, or... the sky's the limit!

They are quite interesting bumping against each other. These are fairly small spirals.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, double Marasu
In the tile below, the whole design is a double Marasu, fitted into a loopy string I had. There is a second double Marasu at the central end of the lighter coil.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Crescent Moon, Knase, Paisley Boa,
Paradox, Prestwood (variation), Printemps, Sindoo, Tipple, Zewm
I occasionally participate in the Travelling Tangles Project on Facebook. This is a tile I received from Sue Olsen, a CZT in Ohio. One of the things I added to complete it is the double Marasu with rainbow stripes.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, C-Scape, Diva Dance,
double Marasu, Mooka, Moowa, Perfs, Tipple
Here's one I tried in pink on a tan ATC. My idea was to try to combine the double Marasu with Romanancy. It didn't work because the dark and light stripes don't meet nicely. I tried to remedy that by adding the dark purple lines to even out some of the 'meetings'. It helped a bit.
There are lots of possibilities with double Marasu.
• Try it as a square instead of a circle (begin with a squared-off 'S').
• Giving your initial 'S' a large half and a small half results in different widths of spirals.
• Doing large spirals gives you space to add a line around one, or fill one with another tangle.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, double Marasu, Pearlz, Tipple
I hope you enjoy experimenting with this variation of Marasu!