About a week ago, I hurt my back. I pulled a muscle at the base of my shoulder blade towards the middle of my back. I’ve been unable to sit up for much of the week, let alone draw.
This afternoon, I discovered I could sit and draw, and so I took the opportunity to work on my slightly rusty hand-eye coordination and fine motor control skills. Just over half an hour of blissful drawing before the soreness started to return, telling me I had nearly over done it.
This morning, I woke thinking that I really do need to pop all my favourite texture and filler patterns somewhere so I can refer to them easily. So, a sampler page it is! And yes, I videoed it and you can see the video on YouTube by clicking on this link!
I’m actually looking at the artwork I’ve done in the past few days or so that has been inspired by the work of Rebecca Blair. I’m really enjoying these kinds of simple, straightforward and rather graphic patterns. As they’re new to me and I keep coming up with my own variations, my fear of forgetting things kicks in.
Athazagoraphobia is the psychological term for the irrational fear of being forgotten or ignored, or just of forgetting things. Forgetting things like patterns or textures I like. That’s why I have a number of A5 journals with collections of drawings and patterns and so on in them – my visual references. This partly comes from a desire to collect such things and have a reference at hand to get inspiration from. But it also comes as I do worry about forgetting things as well, especially when I’m exploring or learning something new.
And it’s a totally irrational fear! My memory is usually really good, but I worry about forgetting things as well. Maybe it’s a result of seeing the devastating effect of Alzheimer’s on my father. I can’t remember if I was this way before that. Actually, I was. For a long period of time I kept a journal to keep my thoughts and memories in. Oddly, I don’t really do that now. I have a large collection of journals here and my only desire is to destroy them as I don’t look through them and I really don’t want anyone else to be able to look through them either. They are way too personal for that!
Anyways, I’m making a page full of my favourite patterns from my recent artistic endeavours, just in case! If nothing else, it will be something to spark creativity at a time when I’m a tad stumped for it. It’s also a fun thing to do and a lovely way to review my recent drawings.
Cute and whimsical fish! What a lovely way to fill a sketchbook page and end up with a shoal of fishies.
Being whimsical, and cute, is so much fun when it comes to drawing as anything goes. All are recognisable as fish, even if only one looks like an actual fish that exists! And I’m fine with that!
Drawing practice, or indeed lettering, has to be fun, enjoyable and something to look forward to. Yes, I know it’s important to develop and advance skills, but that doesn’t mean that just drawing for fun can’t be important too. Drawing for relaxation, to de-stress, to learn how new media work, is also important, as well as expanding and exercising the imagination and creativity that we all have.
Every time I draw it’s practice, even if the result is a finished and fairly polished artwork.
This page from my new A5 landscape Enviro sketchbook from Artway, is definitely practice. Practice of pen drawing, geometric pattern creation, colour and using pencils and a tortillon to add shadow.
It was also a chance for me to practice creating iterations of a square ‘fragment’ used to create the surface patterns and border patterns.
This isn’t something I’ve done often when delving into the Zentangle realms. I’ve never really taken the time to try out different permutations to do with rotating and mirroring the unit square. Nor have I really spent time altering the unit square ways that it’s the same but different.
Using a different colour to add interest and depth to the patterns is also something I’ve not really done, but I found it interesting to do.
The idea to work with the basic pattern unit, or ‘fragment’ as the Zentangle creators term it, and try all these different things out.
It becomes addictive, especially as it seems almost impossible to do something truly horrible! But if something doesn’t work, it’s learning about why it doesn’t, and can you make it work.
I’ve ended up with a page filled with variations on a ‘fragment’ that I can refer to for inspiration as I need to.
I also have ended up surprised at how much I like this page. It’s not my usual kind of thing, and while working on it I had many moments of ‘What the feck am I doing? This really isn’t going to work out nicely at all’. I persevered and am quite happy with the end result. It may not be my usual style of art, but it gave my pen skills a nice work out!
Zentangle is a particular method of drawing abstract patterns, step by step, with a focus on meditation and gratitude. It is something anyone can do with the most basic of equipment – pen, pencil and paper. There are lots of fab videos on Youtube from the Zentangle creators, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, along with others. They also have a website – Zentangle.com – full of resources. Another great online resource is TanglePatterns.com, run by Linda Farmer, a Certified Zentangle Teacher.
These kinds of patterns and abstraction have been a feature of my art long before Zentangle was a thing. It’s nice, however, to dip into the Zentangle resources from time to time for new inspiration and challenges, or just to practice my drawing skills.