It may or may not go without saying, but when you have brain cancer, sometimes finishing something small is a great big deal. And so I’m writing this post–the final lesson in the One Zentangle a Day series–with a great big smile on face. Day 42 begins with learning the Zentangle pattern Bronx Cherry and concludes with a notebook flip-through of all the tangles I created for the video series.
It was supposed to be a 42-day course in learning how to Zentangle. It ended up being a 380-day long struggle to finish a thing in the face of serious illness, financial setback, and the inevitable associated depressions that come along for the ride.
The author said the Zentangle pattern Bronx Cherry is a good one for covering mistakes, and because of that she saved it for last, as she didn’t want everyone using the book One Zentangle a Day to overuse the pattern. If I’m just being completely honest, I don’t like the pattern as it’s taught. While it might cover up a mistake, it just looks like scribbles to me in its most basic form.
That’s why I kept fiddling around with the pattern until I found something I could live with. The result is pulling way back on the weight of the lines and suggesting roundness within the overall shape rather than forcing in down the viewer’s throat. What I used in the practice piece has a slightly cartoonish look to it. But I like it, and that’s what matters.
This is not the end of my Zentangle videos, it’s just the end of this particular course. I now have a very solid foundation for continuing my Zentangle art and am eager to improve my tangles AND my videos in the future. Thanks for following along with me!
The penultimate lesson for One Zentangle a Day is now complete! The lesson for Day 41 was to create Zentangle folk art using folk patterns. You can see those patterns in the art I created for the video. It includes wolf’s tooth, primrose, and pussy willow patterns plus a couple of others. All of them have symbolic meaning in traditional folk art.
I finally got my hands on a Helix circle and angle maker this week. My intent was to use them on Zendala art, but I was so excited to see how it worked that I just had to use it on this video. I can tell it is going to be my go-to tool for making Zendala (Zentangle mandala) tangles, and it only cost $5.
But back to this Zentangle.
I also tried using my artist’s pencils for shading instead of the stubby little pencil that came with my original Zentangle kit. In the interest of time, I didn’t go all-out trying to make gradients for the Zentangle folk art piece, but I did enjoy working with a full-sized pencil. The brain tumor has impaired my fine motor skills enough that I really do benefit from have something substantial to hold on to. My hand cramps less and doesn’t fatigue as quickly — both good things for video making!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this tangle. Let me know what you’re creating these days.
Sometimes when you have a chronic illness seemingly small things mean a LOT. That’s why I’m so proud of myself for publishing another Zentangle video. Today is One Zentangle a Day – Day 40. Freaking wow.
Day 40 of One Zentangle a Day focuses on using letters as strings to create Zentangle inspired art. For this exercise, I’ve chosen to tangle the letter A.
About This Zentangle
Last week I met with my new primary doctor. (It turns out she is wonderful, and I am so relieved. I will write more about the visit in a future post.) One of the things she asked me: was I willing to try was taking nortriptyline for chronic pain?
I said yes, but I’ll be honest. It didn’t go well. And I remembered why I stopped taking it back in 2016 before my brain tumor diagnosis: it takes my illness-related chronic fatigue from a from a 4 to about a 28 on a scale of 1 to 10. And that’s on a good day!
So I worked on this Zentangle trying to push really hard through a drug-induced haze. And, honestly, I think it shows in the final product. It was still a valuable exercise to create this tangle, but it was more of a “learn what you don’t want to repeat next time” kind of experience for me. I think the lesson here is that cancer or no cancer, we’re all going to have off days. Part of learning how to Zentangle is learning how to be okay with imperfection.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this video for what it is, and I hope you see in it something you like or would like to change and you just run with. If you Instagram your art, leave me a comment with your username so I can be sure to follow you there.
Did you think I wasn’t going to finish the One Zentangle a Day thing? Yeah, me too. Surprise! With Day 39 complete, I only have three days left in the course. I’m am going to finish the thing!
It’s been a week, though. If you have seen my Twitter feed, you know we are currently sans dishwasher at casa Suess. We bought one back in December from Lowe’s that was promised in-stock when I handed over the credit card and then mysteriously wasn’t in stock on the day it was scheduled to be installed. We found out from the contractor Lowe’s hired to do the installation.
Pissed, we went to a different store. We had to pay more money for the dang thing, but we figured that because it was a local store, we wouldn’t have any issues with service. They delivered and installed our new dishwasher as promised. It was brand new, and it was pretty. Unfortunately, it was also defective. We are scheduled to have it swapped out with a new unit on Thursday.
Until then, though, we are two disabled people trying to get through life without a dishwasher. I can’t even begin to tell you what a nightmare that is. I also can’t explain why it seems to have complicated every other part of our daily life, but boy has it.
The reason I mention all that is because putting together this video for the One Zentangle a Day series on my YouTube channel was an absolute nightmare. And I guess I’m attributing my struggles to the overwhelming chaos that seems to be connected to us not having a dishwasher. I hope you like this video, but if you don’t it’s the dishwasher’s fault.
I’m no Bob Ross, but I like to think that posting these videos will be relaxing and maybe even inspiring for some of you. This One Zentangle a Day practice has helped me clear my head and distract myself from all the yucky things I torture myself by thinking about during the day.
Day 37 of One Zentangle a Day includes the Zentangle pattern Warmth. The Zentangle inspired art created today once again uses an official Zentangle tile and the same alcohol-based markers I used for day 36.
Even though it’s not the most complicated or intricate of Zentangle patterns, I’m very happy with how this turned out. I have a feeling that the pattern combinations I used on today’s tile might find their way into some other larger projects I take on down the road.
I’ve been reading up a little on Zentangling and the creators of the practice. I learned that they actually have training seminars so enthusiasts can become certified teachers. Even if I could, I don’t think I’d want to teach Zentangle, but I’m a little interested in going through the workshops just for the sake of learning if they’re ever offered near me.