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Friday, March 1, 2013

E Unum Pluribus

Some years ago (feels like five, but it was probably more like eight or nine) while I was cleaning up a bit (it sounds like I do a lot of this, but really not as much as I would like to think I do) I decided to make up our bed a little differently. I had just been in the linen department of some big store and witnessed the obvious use of "bed making" experts/specialists. Wow, those beds were awesome! Hmm . . . I thought . . . I could do this!

I figured that if the work we are doing ever went "south" or we moved to another part of the world . . . I could be one of these experts! But what does it take to get a job like that? Do you need a resume? Where do you go to school? Do you need a masters degree in bed making before someone looks at your portfolio? What school offers that as a degree program?

So, just like that, I began my "education" here at home. I challenged myself to make our bed in a different way, every day for one year. I am not talking about different colored sheets and bed spreads . . . oh, no. . . I mean using the same sheets and bedspread each time. (I did wash them every so often!) It was in the way I turned down the sheets, or folded over the spread. The position of the pillows (none of those throw pillows that ultimately get "thrown" on the floor (is that why they call them that?) Just the four pillows we sleep on. It was awesome.

Rick would often comment that it was an especially beautiful/interesting/funky "bed day." (Then he'd take me out for dinner! Of course, he probably was going to take me out anyway. . . but I liked to think it was because of my latest greatest techniques. :-)

I found it to be a great exercise in creativity, pushing myself to the limit . . . all within that similar self-imposed "elegance of limits" that we refer to in Zentangle . . . and all the while enjoying the outcome and the ridiculousness of it all! We got a lot of laughs . . . and I did it every day.

So what does this have to do with Zentangle? I decided to try out this phenomenon with a tangle. One of my favorite tangles is purk. I decided I would do a whole series of Zentangle tiles with just purk and see if I could make them interesting, beautiful, different, exciting, and fun. It really took the worry out of always trying to use something different, and it egged me on to discovering some interesting tangleations.

Rick adds:
Maria has discovered the fun subtlety of shading our black tiles with a gray Fabrico™ pen from Tsukineko® . . .

. . . and she continued playing with it on a Zendala tile:

Maria continues:
There's that "elegance of limits" sneaking in again . . . working within a narrow boundary (my tile) and with limited ingredients (purk). If you are feeling like a dare. . . give it a try. And if you have anything to add about this, I may have to give away another tile. Let you know who next week sometime.

As always, have fun.

- maria


Oh yes, Jane Menard will be receiving a tile from our random drawing on the Tea Time blog post. Congrats, Jane! 

Click images for larger views.


BarbaraW said...

As usual, I'm speechless when I see what you've done. All I can say is WOW!

Lois Stokes said...

There was an old lady from Purk
Who thought she was going berserk
She felt with elation
her cool tangleations
were elegantly drawn
without work

Marcia C said...

Such beautiful elegant patterns! I am so inspired every time you share your works of art with all of us. Can't wait to meet you both in June.

Tangle Jam said...

You two continuously purk me up. I am so excited to receive your tile Maria. What an honour. I will send you the results of my Tea Time with Mom when I get back to my scanner.

Zdibbers said...

Excellent!! Brought a smile to my face from the get go!! ;-)

Debra Castaldi said...


I have come to a time in my life where a little excitement is in order. My husband and I have been married for 29 years and still together after the death of our eldest son. Seems at times we may not make it but, so far so good. Lots of hard work. Recently I was thinking a little change to the routine, a little tweek to what we know, may even a little surprise might be in order. Your post has put a spark in my heart and the spring like sunshine dosen't hurt either.

Thank you for giving me a "sign" as to what I should experiment with next, on the tile and in our lives!

Angela Werner said...

What fun insights you bring to us! Imagine "purk" with square or rectangles rather than just orbs... Will have to give it a try. Variation and tangleation taken to the max! I love your imagination.

Sherri said...

As always Maria, you continue to amaze. Have loved the last few posts (including Molly's) and will be giving my tiles a new look. What luscious and delicious fun lies ahead this week. Thank you for the continuos inspiration you both give. Hugs!

distangleart.blogspot.com said...

Maria, Your blog entry is timely to me because these past days I have felt like being in a Zentangle slump. How can this be I have asked myself each day. My tiles looked dull, boring and unimaginative, what is going on? I can see the challenge you presented to yourself by stretching your ability to create in many different ways using the same tangle. You actually showed this at the CZT 8 seminar. Thank you for rekindling the spark, I am feeling the tickle of creativity already.

Genevieve said...

What a wonderful idea! Sometimes I see a new tangle and I'm not terribly excited about it, but I love this exercise. With 2000+ patterns in my constantly growing collection, his could be a lifetime project!

Shelly Beauch said...

Maria your tangles would make the most exotic doona cover designs for an amazingly sumptuous bed.

Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO Maria!! I do love the "elegance of limits". Very inspiring, and i can't wait to try Purk and a few other of my favorites in this manner! Thanks for sharing with us all!

Marty, CZT#10

Alice Walkowski said...

I'm new to the world of Zentangle (have yet to make my first one.) I just stumbled on this blog and have only read a few posts, but will be checking it often.
This technique of "variation on a theme" is a method artists use a lot for the very reason you've given.
I make metal clay jewelry and zentangle will give me inspirations for it.

Now I just have to look up what "purk" is. I love the one with the heart.

Francie said...

I'm always amazed at your tiles...so beautiful and interesting. I love this exercise and I'm excited to try it!

Precious Worker said...

Its really a major step deeper into monotangle. I love the challenge to become far more creatine when doing one. Thanks for the push!