Saturday, December 7, 2013

Patterns, patterns everywhere!

Paul Klee
The last few months I've been working patterns.  Up until this time, I'd only played with patterns, done small ones, felt like they were insignificant and/or not completely worthwhile - I should be doing "real" art instead.  I don't know where I got the message that patterns aren't as important as realistic art.  There are many famous artists who have worked with patterns, some almost exclusively.  Paul Klee is a good example. He worked extensively to analyze color and shapes and patterns and taught those subjects at the Bauhaus School in Germany.  Lots of other artists have played with pattern as well including Mondrian and Gustav Klimt.  I have always been drawn to this type of work and have always created patterns and doodles of my own.  When my friend Linda Hollett told me about Zentangles a few years ago, I felt like I'd come home. 

The folks who created Zentangles describe them as the following:
The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.
We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.
When I learned about them, I started filling 6"x9" notebooks full of my own Zentangles which I have started to call Zendoodles.  I teach classes about them at as well as at my studio.  Here are a couple of my earlier ones...

 Recently I've been creating larger ones on 11"x14" Duralar, a type of translucent plastic paper that can be drawn on on both front and back.  Here are some of those...  (Sorry for the quality of the pictures.  I photographed them with my iPad and cropped them there, but the crop didn't transfer.)  These are done with Micron pens and color pencils which  glow beautifully on Duralar.

Figure Drawing 1st, Doodle 2nd

Flight of the Bumblebee

 I had such a wonderful time creating the Ringdoodles that I decided to create one that is much larger - 6'x10'!  I had a piece of canvas I'd put up on the wall several months ago.  I used it as a blow out piece and got all the mileage out of it I could so I decided to use it for this new piece.  I spent 10 hours working on it today.  (I've been busy with Beyond Barbie this week and with finishing up a commission the weeks before that and hadn't had much time to paint, so I've had a great time painting non-stop today!)

I don't consider this piece finished yet, but I made a lot of good progress today.  The background was already done.  I've just put in the rings today.
computer-generate image that stitched all my photos together.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Launching a NEW BEYOND BARBIE!! Finally!

We've decided to launch a new Beyond Barbie in 2014.  We have great momentum for it so far!  Our topics are wide-ranging, diverse, and potentially controversial, but that's what makes this series so fantastic - we can broach difficult topics in ways that bridge gaps, increase understanding, educate, and create empathy. 

If you're interested in taking part and/or want more detailed information about the first meeting, contact me and I'll send you the document.

Intention of Beyond Barbie - We are a group of women who've decided to let our lights shine.  We want to inspire, empower, educate, and entertain the community and help other women access their own power so they can move out and change the world for the better too!

Next meeting:  Fri, Dec 13th, 6:30 PM.   Send me a message and I'll let you know where it'll be.

Potential topics for the evenings and who's agreed to lead that evening:
1. The Gifts of Age/golden Girls/Celebrating the Crone - we need a leader.  Contact me if you're interested in leading or taking part.

2. Women in the Ministry/Women in the Pulpit/Women and Religion/Women and Spirituality - Denise Bennett will be in charge.  Contact her to take part, with ideas, to learn more. 

3. The Importance of Self Care and how hard it is to do and why - we may have a leader, but I'm not sure.  If you're interested, contact me.  And please, someone, come up with a better title than I did!!

4. The Big O/Sex/Sensuality - Dawn Flores will take this one on.  Shelli Jost Brady will assist.  But I'm sure they're willing to share the fun - contact Dawn to sign up!

5. Race/ Powerful Women of Color/The Experience of Being Black in RVA/ Pairing Youth from the Projects with Successful Women of Color - we need a leader for this evening.  Contact me if you're interested in leading or in taking part.

6. Women and Music - Sylvia DeVoss is leading this evening, and boy! is she on fire with ideas!  She's already contacted many musicians to get them on board.  Amazing!  Contact her to join the fun!

7. Women in Politics/Women and Power/Getting involved in Politics - how do I do it?  Why would I?/ The Great Divide - how can we bridge it? - we don't have anyone committed to take this on yet.  Please get in touch with me if you're interested in leading or participating.

8. The ERA - why hasn't it passed yet?  Why should it?  - Eileen Davis will make sure this evening happens, though she needs someone to do lots of the legwork.  She'll provide ideas, speakers, etc, but doesn't have time to pull it all together.  Please contact her to take part/ lead.

These evenings are not set in stone, especially not the ones that don't have leaders yet.  If you have an idea you want to see happen, this is the time to get in touch, to come to the meeting, to put your passion forward and let us know what you want to present.  If you want to take part in one of the evenings, if you want to perform, if you want to help with logistics, or if you don't know what you want to do and want to hang out with amazing women doing amazing things, come join us!  All are welcome.  We'll find a place for you no problem!

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to join the fun!
See you soon, I hope!  (Remember to RSVP if you can come to the meeting!)