13 April 2011

Pen Dancing Lightly : drawing in Time

This week I was challenged (by Laura Harms a.k.a. "I am the Diva") to "do a Tile or Zentangle inspired piece within fifteen minutes.  Dots, Border, String, Tangles and Shading - all in fifteen minutes."

This may sound a little daunting... especially to those of us with a tendency toward careful, exact drawing techniques, but here's a tip for you.
I've discovered a fun way to approach Laura's 'challenges.' I just picture her, way up there in Saskatoon, thumbing her nose at me, and saying, "I dare ya!" And, if it's a particularly daunting challenge, I also check out her local weather... which is often a bit of a giggle (for me). Et voila! There I am in a playful mindset. Ready to dance my pens across the paper to the tune she has set for the week.
Before I go on... for those of you who like musical accompaniment to my blog posts (Hi Shelly!), here's the song I've chosen for this particular pen dance. ♪♫♫♪♫

For fifteen minute drawings: you can play this song four times
(and still have 36 seconds left over for a final shading touch

...and don't forget to write your initials on your artwork)

What fun this challenge turned out to be!
I so love playing these mini drawing games each week (thank you, Laura ♥).
First, here is what I accomplished, blank paper (tile) to end product, in fifteen minutes:

(Click images to embiggen)
Shattuck, Flux, Mooka, Jonqal, Paradox, and others

Process: I set the timer on my watch (without looking at it as I drew) and, on my first attempt (just) made it from start to finish in the time limit.  I admit to drawing a smaller string than usual (no edge to edge work for this one!!), and to shading it with my finger rather than taking the time with a paper stump... but I didn't 'rush' this drawing.

Technique: I drew at an easy but continual pace, using my current fave tangle patterns, and used faster variants for some of them as I drew.  I drew Jonqal with stripes instead of solid shading; and I drew big fat tendrils for my Mooka furls.

Bonus: There was a happy 'chewy centre' with this challenge, too. Quite serendipitous. I went to get the kitchen timer today to photograph the tile I'd drawn Monday night. Yes, it's a Panda timer. 1, 2, 3, "Awww!" But, see if you notice what I did...

It's white and stationary — a Chancy State of Existence in this household, as my ever-moving partner will tell you. (Of course, stationery is fair game too, but that goes with saying... doesn't it?!) So, of course, it was just begging to be tangled! And, of course, I did (and used some great new tangles on this one – click through on the links in the caption to find the instructions for each).

(Click image to embiggen)
Flux, Donna Hornsby's Keenees, Sue Jacob's Ace,
Cristine Letourneau's Esses, and Laura Harms' Artoo

I think that the message for this week is all about Participating in Life, and Making Time to do so.  So I strongly encourage everyone ("all humans eligible," as one blogger commented!) to go and check out Laura's weekly "I dare ya!" games.

Also, check out Shelly's poem "Today" (and her fifteen minute tile, too — wow!).

You can do this.
Take the Time...
Make the Time to be the Living Embodiment of your Dreams.

This can be a scary path to dance, I acknowledge that, certainly.

Although, as Willian Shedd wrote, "A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." But, with great respect for William's wisdom, let me propose an alternate view for you to consider: much as it may seem safe to stay 'in the harbour' or 'on the sidelines,' a spectator, there is no safety in living your life without thought and awareness.

Following on from there... I'm reading a book at the moment by one of my favourite authors (and poets), Oriah House: The Call. I would like to share with you two of her poems (knowing that you'll likely go looking for the rest!). [Note: these are only excerpts... click on the titles to read the full poems. And find Oriah's books on Amazon (or Book Depository for free shipping).]

In The Call Oriah writes:
I have heard it all my life,
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.
There's no safety in that!

.....read more.
And a natural segue to that prompting (just right for this week's post) 
in The Dance Oriah writes:
I have sent you my invitation,
the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of living.
Don’t jump up and shout, “Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!”
Just stand up quietly and dance with me
.....read more.

I'm sending love today to a dear friend,
who loves Ronan's song too (and introduced me to it).
Hugs to you, girlfriend! ♥

I Hope You Dance 
[Ronan Keating]

...and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance (Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along.)
I hope you dance (Tell me, who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone?)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,



  1. Great post! Your 15 minute tile is lovely and I enjoyed reading the commentary. I like your panda timer too!!!

  2. Dippity doo-dah! A downright darling tangle dance. Thanks, I love the freedom of dancing and have often been the 1st on the floor and the last to sit down!

  3. Beautimus! Love the panda too!! :)

  4. Great tangle, great post! They're always a fun read. I esp. enjoyed the 'I dare you' part and the 'it's white and stationary' qualifier too.

  5. Interesting... this is the second time this week that I've been led to a "tangle" blog. Mayhap the Universe is trying to tell me something (gee, ya think?!). I'll have to give it a whirl when I have a "free" art moment.

  6. A thought-provoking text, exquisite art and lovely music - great stuff here, Kit! "I hope you dance" has been a favourite song of mine for over ten years (by another artist) and I absolutely LOVED this presentation of it. Your tile is fabulous with wonderful flow and no sense of constraint by time. The panda is, as they ever are, too cool for words! Thanks for the conversation!

  7. love your post, very thoughtful and provocative. I'll have to try another tangle to the song you have provided, that may be just what I need. (and hope the phone doesn't ring this time, or I just won't answer!!) thank you for visiting my site and leaving your comments, they are precious to me.

  8. Wonderful – ZT and text… The song is not available in my country :-( . But I think I would have liked it ;-) .
    Thank you for sharing all your musings!

  9. you did that in 15 mins? i am -awed- and -amazed-!

  10. Love the post, tile, and panda! Nothing white is safe in my house either-LOL!

  11. Gorgeous tile and timer (and cool pics) :D

  12. PS. Once again another great post and I just wish I had time to do them justice! Keep up the great fun!

  13. *Grin* Your posts always make me smile (or think, or sometimes both), Kit. Loved the post, loved the song (I, too, know and love it from another artist. But I think I like this variation better :D ), and as usual, loved the tangles. And the panda being white and stationary? Hilarious! Love it!

  14. I love your posts! and your tangle is fabulous!

  15. Oh and I love your song choice.....I listened several times!

  16. That panda timer is awesome - love the tangle, love the panda, love the post.

  17. I really enjoyed reading this post and when your blog loaded and I saw your header I thought - wow, she's a pro at this...and I'm right. You really do beautiful work, I like it so much.

  18. beautiful tangle and beautiful post! :)


All comments welcome...