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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Another Side of Opus

Rick begins:

This morning at breakfast I heard Maria laugh. "You have to read this," she said. And with a big smile, she handed her computer to me. I began to read an email from Lesley Roberts, CZT, in UK:

. . . I have stopped teaching my Zentangle courses for July and August now, and they will begin again in September. At the last classes I showed my groups Opus tiles [10.5 inches, 27 cm square], to see if they might like to have a go at tangling on them, slowly, under no pressure, over the summer break. The reactions varied – from sheer excitement to anxiety. 

At the first class I showed the blank Opus tile, someone admired the back of the tile and said it was a shame that the inspiring words were not on the front of the tile as they would make a great border around the tangle.

Well, that was all the inspiration I needed! I immediately began my tangle on the back of the tile. I wanted to show them that you can just begin with no plan. I tangled – spontaneously and happily for between 2 - 3 hours a day for 8 days until the tile was complete. I shaded as I went for while, then decided to leave it all till the end, so I did not lean across the shading and smudge it.

I took photos along the way of creating it, as I knew I’d want to share them with students later on, and I’d never otherwise have remembered how I did it.

The first photo attached is taken by Martin, and I thought you might like to see it. 


I began to realise – from a teaching and learning perspective that all I’ve seen so far on the Internet are completed Opus tiles – lovely, amazing, awesome ones – but possibly very off-putting to those who have not worked that scale before, so I thought you might like to see all the stage by stage photos – for yourselves, and maybe to share them with a wider audience, if you think that might be valuable.

Sorry it’s such a long email, but I so, so enjoyed tangling the back of the Opus tile . . . and was very happy with the process and the end result. I limited the number of different tangles, and found that I kept creating variations of tripoli, on different scales – it seemed to bring it together for me.

I also liked the opportunity to tangle both on a very large and very small scale, it seems to add balance. Anyway, bye for now – have a lovely weekend. [. . .]

I said to Maria, "Let's do a blog post on this, today!"

Maria sent her an email and Lesley wrote back:

I would be very happy for Rick to do a blog about it – and very honoured.

I think that Opus tiles offer up so many opportunities to tangle in new ways, yet it is that bigger freedom and scale and possibilities which are so fearful for many people that they don’t know how to begin, so they don’t even go there.

In strange ways the Zentangle process – no mistakes, focus only on the one stroke you are drawing, no need to seek perfection – holds even more true than ever. I had thought it might be the opposite until I tried it out. If you were to look ahead at all the tangling to come, you might not do it! So you really have to be in the now.

Maria continues:

We are so grateful to Lesley for taking the time to put her experience into words for us all.

To see someone take something so simple as a Zentangle tile and use it like this in a completely unexpected way is invigorating. I love the way Lesley used the flourishes of my calligraphy for her border and then began with some pretty large tangles and used them to establish an inherent string.

It just goes to show, there is always something new to learn on this Zentangle adventure.

Rick comments:

Lesley sent more in-progress photos:


In this enlargement of the above photo you can see what Maria was describing about Lesley using her flourishing as border:


In this next enlargement of the same photo, notice how Lesley took inspiration from some of the printed elements, such as the horizontal lines, and totally ignored others, for instance, the typeset words:


Notice how Lesley continued to use the hollibaugh method of drawing behind to layer her tangles one behind another and how the text basically disappears under paradox:



Maria continues:

This is also a great reminder for all of us to be receptive for new opportunities, whether a fleeting image or a casual comment such as Lesley heard.

In my life, it has always been my children that teach my most profound life-lessons. And now, our compassionate students join them to guide us through this world of Zentangle discoveries . . . through their comments and their art.

We listen, learn, and evolve.

So, dear Tanglers, have you learned something you'd care to share with us about Zentangle ideas that perhaps came from a student or friend, that enabled you to the see impossible/improbable/crazy/unthinkable ideas that shape your art?

We'd love to hear your stories.

We will randomly choose a name from our commenters and send you, of course, a set of our Opus tiles!

Please have some way we can recognize you by a name or email. We cannot do this with a comment from "anonymous". ​

-----+-----

We did not really announce that we would choose a name from our last blog post, Art, Method, Sales and a "J", but we had so many fabulous comments, we just had to pick one!

Pat Floerke, please send us your snail (Bijou?) mail address to maria (at) zentangle (dot) com and we will send you a little something!

Many thanks to all for this glorious journey.

R&M

84 comments:

Andrea said...

I have yet to use the Opus tiles, but I can't wait to give them a try.
If I'm lucky I may win a set, too. I am really enjoying Zentangle-ing
and have found it quite comtemplative, soothing, relaxing,
meditative and a great way to gain focus - my husband of
40+ years died in March and I have committed to regular time
for Zentangle. It is a wonderful and rewarding endeavor. Thank
you.

BTW - Lesley, your work is so beautiful.

CJG said...

I agree that a larger tile might seem intimidating at first, but after seeing Lesley's process steps, I can see how it could be done in smaller chunks. I love how she used the lines of the tile as inspiration, and how she used the hollibaugh technique (thanks for pointing that out, Rick) to give the piece depth. Thanks so much for sharing this piece!

Didisch said...

What a great post, I haven't seen an opus tile, and I can imagine the size would be intimidating, but according the progress pictures of Lesley I think Everyone can do. I lke the idea of drawing on the back, the lettering indeed is awesome.

LyndaKay said...

How great to see the stages of the large composition that Lesley provided. It's inspirational and so lovely.

NanW said...

I haven't tried an Opus tile yet but love this tangle on the back!

dvcrztb said...

Love the words creating a border but so muted. Lots to look at here. I need to get doing instead of always looking. lol

Valerie said...

I was so glad to hear that with the tile being the size it is, doing it in one meditative sitting wasn't required! :-) I love how you keep bringing new creativity to the basic Zentangle idea.

HeidiSue said...

Most interesting to me is how Lesley didn't just start in one corner and work her way across...instead, she worked several sections, then filled some in, then some more. And...taking several days to finish it. Because a regular tile and a bijou tile are both small enough to complete in a few minutes to a half hour, my hesitation on working an opus tile is thinking I need to finish it in one sitting.
This is clearly not so, and never was, but seeing it in progress is a great relief. If I don't win the set of opus tiles, I'll be placing my order with Dave Hunter, new CZT and new friend. It'll be fun to play inside a larger playground.

swxe said...

Way cool. and very inspiring. I would love to come get certified! In the meantime, I play with this myself and turn my students on to it(community college, downtown art guild adult classes, and next week kids summer art camp). I got one of your kits for myself as a birthday present; in classes, we use whatever the school budget or my supply scrounging will allow. I always show them the website so they can continue on and see all the possibilities ~~~...~~~...~~~...~~~

Linda Fine said...

I am just coming off a high from the Zentangle Expo which was held in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend! From all the fantastic workshops, the thread of inspiration I felt was always listening to your heart and letting that come through in your tangling! Do what you love and put a Zentangle spin on it! Tangling can be incorporated in almost any aspect of your life!

Anne marks said...

I think it's another world when you get into a larger piece to work on. It may take longer, but the rewards are amazing. Normally I find a large Zentangle can take on a life of it's own which makes the art process more exciting and surprising. However I have yet to try an opus tile!

luvhymns said...

Such a beautiful piece of work! Thank you, all 3 for this wonderful continuation of tangling.

Tammy said...

I always say "it's the journey, not the goal". I loved reading about this journey. Thank you so much Lesley, Rick and Maria for putting my thoughts into words so perfectly. "A picture is worth a thousand words." With much love and appreciation, Tammy

Barb of the Tangles said...

I love the idea of tangling on the back. What a challenge it would be to make sure all the little lettering would disappear in tangles. Can't wait to try this. And I have just the frame for it. Have a great week, all.

bluetwigstudio said...

I had thought the same thing, that the words on the back of the Opus tile would be wonderful on the front. How clever of her to just use the back of the tile to tangle on. Sometimes the simplest answer is right in front of us.

Cris said...

Kudos to Lesley for thinking ahead and taking some pictures of the journey. The finished result is so beautiful that it could seem "impossible" but the process steps show that "one stroke at a time" makes the impossible possible. Thanks to Rick and Maria for sharing it with the world.

Marilyn said...

Thank you to Leslie for breaking this down for us. I have been toying with the idea of tangling on a larger surface. My sister has tried it and finds it very freeing! Marilynrobin at gmail dot com

Aleesha Sattva said...

I love that she used the back of the tile. I've never worked on an Opus tile but now I can't wait to work on one.

Seeing the flow of the piece really helped... I'm going to try that on a larger scale for myself.

As always I learn something from every blog post I read of yours.

hugs,
Aleesha Sattva CZT19

Grace Mendez said...

I love that we were able to get a peek behind the scenes. I also appreciate hearing how long of a process it was. It is inspiring me to get started on some Opus tiles.

Ellen said...

I love what she did! Going to order more Zentangle materials next week, I wasn't sure if I would order some Opus tiles, but now that I know about this beautiful back, I will make sure the Opus tiles will be in my shopping basket. Love Ellen, CZT, The Netherlands

Scripsi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scripsi said...

I've never tangled an Opus tile because they seem large and intimidating to me, so I really enjoyed this post. I also love Maria's calligraphy work so much that I might have ordered some Opus tiles just to enjoy that on the backside! I never knew it was there.

Daniel Lamothe said...

This is so beautiful...and just like many people above me have said, being able to see the bit-by-bit process of creating an Opus tile makes it so much less intimidating! Thanks so much ^_^

Paula (PEP) said...

Thank you Lesley for showing the possibilities - I love the way there aren't straight edges to the design but the tangles themselves produce an interesting edging which is then framed by the calligraphy. A fascinating post indeed - thank you all of you,
Paula (PEP) Peprcfp at aol dot com

Jean Kranz said...

Very beautiful tile.
Must try Opus tiles.

Sarah Hluchy said...

I just ordered another set of Opus tiles a few days ago, thanks for the idea! Can't wait to try it!

Diva Kreszl said...

I have not worked on the Opus Tiles but seeing how this was done has inspired me to get back to zentangling after a hiatus. I am always in awe of the amount of freedom this offers as well as peace and tranquility. I have even shared your site with my great niece who is eleven and she is just having the time of her life zentangling!!! Thanks for another great post and inspiring me to pick up my pens again.

Amy L. Smith, CZT said...

I have yet to tangle the Opus tile given to me by my dear CZT friend; now I am inspired...to tangle the back! How fun! Thanks for sharing!

sue jacobs said...

What an inspired take on doing the Opus tile! I love the combination.

Sue Zanker said...

I love the look of the opus tiles and how the tangling incorporated the lettering.
Oddly, some people thought of me at the time, I have always tangled on squares measuring 12 x 12 cms (about 5 x 5 inches) as when I started tangling (on the 12th February 2012!) I found the 'normal' recommended size a bit 'crampy' for me, so I experimented until I found a size with which I was happy, so my "dailies" have remained that size every since. Occasionally I lash out and make a ZIA on something larger, like an A4 or (twice) an A3, but I still love the 12cm squares for the relaxation, pleasure and a whole lot of other wonderful feelings they give me every day, and that's what it's all about, n'est pas?!

Marty McCarter said...

Leslie - thank you for not brushing your "thought" away ..... you gave your "thought" life. Enjoyed hearing your voice through the words you shared with all of us. Marty McCater/17

Donna Ravenscraft said...

Although I have only been doing Zentangle since January, it has felt like learning a language I already know. I just completed my first ZIA (gave it as a gift so am not free to share) and am exploring color. The possibilities are truly endless. I enjoy seeing what others create - and Lesley's Opus tile is a wonderful inspiration. Something about Zentangle just ignites creativity!

Mickey Weitsen said...

The size doesn't present a problem,but rather a challenge. After taking the zentangle patterns to the front of a blank canvas tot bag, working on the quality paper will be a breeze. Lots of space, lots of tangles, lots of positive impact from the serenity of the work. What could be better?
Mickey Weitsen, Covington, LA

MayAnn Scheblein-Dawson said...

Lesley, I've been wanting to start an Opus but just haven't had the inspiration! I think this is it!!!! Once I do one, I'm sure my students will want to give it a try as well. Thank you Rick and Maria for sharing this in your blog and Newsletter!
MaryAnn Scheblein-Dawson, CZT#1, Long Island, NY

Jen Morey said...

I haven't tried the Opus tiles yet, but I love doing ZIAs on larger media when I want to start a longer project. I had planned to buy some at CZT 20, in fact, but had to cancel due to unplanned cancer surgery (they got it all, thank the Universe). Zentangle is the only thing that kept me going during a long and painful recuperation (well, that and an amazingly patient wife). So thank you, Rick and Maria, for this wonderful gift of serenity, and I WILL see you at CZT 22 next spring!

Mary said...

I am still on a high from attending the session 20 CZT training and just enjoyed seeing and trying different surfaces and sizes of papers. I would like to try a sea zia on an opus tile. Maybe give it a watercolor wash with shades of blue and then tangle some sea life kind of creatures and see what happens. It's always inspiring to see what other zentangle artists come up with.

Ceil Petrucelli said...

I haven't used the Opus tile yet, but I have been working on some larger scale Zentangle® Inspired Art designs on 9x12, 8x10, 10x10, 8x8, and 6x8 mixed media or printing paper that I either purchase in pads or as single sheets then cut to size. I've been tangling for about 3 years now and I started with the small Zentangle® tiles to begin with, then just had to branch out from that. I also add a lot of color and shading to my designs when needed. It's my daily meditation practice and helps to keep me focused and relieve stress. It's also a very important part of my creative process. I hope to become a CZT some day but cannot afford to right now.
The larger size tiles inspire me and never intimidate me. It's just more space to fill with some beautiful designs.
It's inspiring to see the work of so many others who love Zentangle as much as I do!

Diane Yaciuk said...

What a great Idea! I love the Opus tiles and using the words as a frame is wonderful! I like to marblize the tile and then tangle on them. Thank you for sharing with us!

Diane Yaciuk said...

What a great Idea! I love the Opus tiles and using the words as a frame is wonderful! I like to marblize the tile and then tangle on them. Thank you for sharing with us!

Kathy Barringer said...

Leslie's Opus tile is an inspiration! It's time to pull out one of my own Opus tiles and get busy!

Terri Young said...

What a brilliant idea! Using the back of the Opus tile! I am now looking at the back of the Bijou and regular tiles to see what can be done on them! Thanks for sharing this super idea!

Louise DeRagon said...

I always thought you should finish in one sitting. I forgot there are no rules. Seeing how the Opus tile was done makes it seem more achievable.

Lady Dragoness said...

I had never given thought to using the back of a tile as the front... an interesting concept that I must try. Too bad all of my tiles are the standard size. Still, I might get adventurous; perhaps try a 3 x 3 layout... on the 3.5 inch tiles. Someday, I'd like to try the opus tiles too.

Vicki Bassett said...

So cool to think outside the box! Definitely trying that on my next one.

TB said...

While I've done tangles on larger media, I've yet to get any of the Opus tiles, and I Love what Lesley did. I've done a few tangles on the back of my Apprentice tiles. The little red box lends itself to some very interesting tangles. Thanks for the inspiration!

Patty said...

Wow, Lesley! You were really thinking when you picked up that casual comment from a class member and put it into action. I also really love the idea you had about taking progress photos of your Opus tile as you worked. It's brilliant! I've been thinking about how I could introduce my classes to the Opus tile but could only think of the way we did it in Providence, with everyone working on the same one. I didn't want to keep the tile they worked on or choose one person to get it. The progress pictures show them that you don't have to know exactly what you're going to do on the whole thing or draw a string on the whole thing before you start. And everyone can do their own. I do like the wording as a border. It would be a great way to combine calligraphy, for those who know it, with Zentangle! Thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful Opus tile!
Patty Smith-Hart
pattysmithhartpmhnp@gmail.com

Tracy McDonald said...

Hi Rick & Maris, I'v had to teach myself the tangles, and from the very first attempt, (on the back of a piece of scratch paper!) T found that I could not work tiny, nor even small. The ink just blobbed all together in a big mush. Yet I could do it with a ballpoint pen, or a pencil. Also I found the cost of your little tiles to be quite out of my range. I studied the info about your paper, and bought a comparable paper in tablet form, in 9"x12" sheets, Recycled! I found that I can do the tangles BIG, thus no blobs. I simply can't fathom how anyone can get even One decent looking tangle on such a tiny piece of paper. Then there are ATC's and Biju's?!? I imagine that in real life one cannot actually see the detail without holding the art piece very close to their noses! I've noticed that everything I've seen on-line is enlarged. Photos of these art pieces do not give true perspective. Yes, I've seen videos. I "see" people do what I find impossible (and not in the least bit relaxing.) I sit hunchback over the work surface. (So does everyone in your photos.) I solved that problem, which caused a crink in my neck, by doing the following: 1.) I get 2 regular bed pillows then place them on the work surface. 2.) I bought "pillow style" lap desk and placed it on top of the other pillows. === This brought my work surface up to me, rather than my bending down to it. No more "pain in the neck" ;-) This also allows me to sit back in the chair, providing support for my back. Muck more relaxing even though I still need to tilt my head down to see the paper. I find that the larger sized tangles on a larger piece of paper, fill up the space just as quickly as tiny tangles on a tiny piece. This also provides lots of room for using Crayola Crayons & Colored Pencils. I love blending colors with crayons. I do black & white too. So do you have any comments on this posture problem? Love, Tracy

linesbylynn said...

I was so blessed to meet Leslie and her husband this past winter when they visited Nashville, & I'm lucky enough to have some of her artwork on display in my studio. I love how simple her process was, & I thank you guys for sharing it with us! This makes the Opus tile less intimidating- can't wait to try this out!!

Maryly Snow said...

Very inspiring! And I imagine great practice for undertaking tangles on even larger surfaces. Even though I just finished CZT Serminar 21, I am feeling a tad intimidated by this gorgeous Opus tile!
Maryly

Robin Pichelmayer said...

This is my first time seeing the OPus tiles and I have to admit, using the back was a brilliantly creative idea! Her tangles are amazing also! Thank you for more inspiration and hoping one day to be part of a CZT class. (crossing fingers it won't be too long)
Robin
klpich@aol.com

Niki Lawrence said...

What a beautiful artwork! A brilliant idea to use the back of the tile. Im still buzzing from CZT Seminar in June. I feel an Opus coming on. Niki x

Karen Lloyd said...

I love doing things large and small. I have always been so fascinated with the miniatures done by monks who would work for years on a teeny tiny carving in a walnut shell or the intricate but large scale Byzantine mosaics. I think if I had the opportunity it would be amazing to do a zentangle mural.

Gillette Henry said...

I love the options of different sizes and love incorporating the words on the back, as even more inspiration. I am currently contemplating my options for some ZIA for my newly painted shed!!! Once it is completed, I will share some pictures. I used to live on the east coast, a few miles from RI. I am trying to save and find a CZT training that fits with my crazy work schedule so that I can be a CZT!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me and thanks for sharing all of the beautiful creations from everyone!

Annie Choate said...

TERRIFIC AND TOP NOTCH. I have plans for an plus tile in my future. This post Is so encouraging. It's good to know your timeline in creating your opus. The step buy step pictures show how an plus develops in reasonable sections. The finished drawing shows how several motifs repeated throughout make the piece hold together. It seems manageable! Now I've gotta to put away my Gelli plates for awhile and get out my pens.

Kat van Rooyen said...

I had been intimidated by Opus but this wonderful post has given me courage!

HeatherQuilter said...

This is so interesting, to see how the tangles progress - not sure what an opus card is ? I have not zentangled for a while, must find more time for it, intrigued to find there is a teacher here in the UK, how to I find out more?

beabeaDesign . . . . . . . Beate Winkler said...

What a lovely idea to take the beautiful backside - and what an amazing result. Thanks for sharing.

Eneida said...

This is such a great idea. I definitely want to try these new tiles. Thanks for sharing.

Jane Marbaix CZT6 said...

I am lucky enough to know Lesley and she really is inspirational and has helped me a great deal - we meet up in Oxford, UK from time to time and Lesley always finds patterns everywhere - she has lots of photos of bicycle tyres! As a CZT myself I am going to visit her in Septermber to do a couple of her workshops - I know that I will learn lots.( I went to TangleU in April and found the Zentangle community so giving and sharing) Lesley has contributed her wonderful work for inclusion in my books - one day she might have time to do her own book and I can't wait but in the meantime it is fantastic that she takes the time to send me her work - she is very generous with her time and a great friend!

Danielle said...

Working on 10" pieces of wood for a local public project was my first introduction to tangling large scale - and I'm hooked! I tend to gravitate to tiny and tinier, but my eyes and hands love the big possibilities of the Opus tiles. Thanks so much to everyone for being open to this different direction and for sharing your great ideas.

Merrie Howe said...

How wonderful to see large tangles. I prefer tiny things myself, but now think that it might be time for the larger movements and expanded thinking of a bigger surface. I have worked on rectangular paper as well, primarily because it is harder to find frames for square tangles. I bought three tins of the little Bijou tiles which are perfect for tossing in a purse to take along. I now am curious to try a larger tangle on the Opus tiles, extending the creative process of the tangle into several days. Thank you so much for promoting this magical art.

Dayna said...

I was trying to answer your question of how I've been inspired and this came to mind.... I follow several blogs and Facebookers and I've struggled so hard to get my tiles to look like theirs and they NEVER do! I joined a Facebook group for a "specific way" to tangle with parameters and rules. All the art work that was posted was so beautiful! I tried SO HARD but I kept getting my posts deleted and private messages about why my creation was "wrong". After a couple months of trying, apparently they got irritated with people not doing it "right" and started kicking ppl out of the group, including me, with some very harsh words. It was their group and their rules, and so I spent a couple days feeling bad. Then I realized I have my own style. Maybe it's not perfect and it definitely doesn't look as good as some people's but I needed to stop trying to tangle like others. SO in the past few days I went back to the heart of Zentangle and just started tangling in my own way, the way my own hand drew strings and composed ZIA's. I'm going to stop coveting others talents and try to develop my own. Thank you for the guidance and encouragement to breath, relax, and admire my assembled tools! I started this because of a painful disability to relax. Now I'm going to go back to that.

Lisa Cohen, Bow, NH said...

I've been enjoying Zentangle for a few years now, taking a class with my daughter who is now 10. My favorite item to tangle is picture frames. We have a local PYO ceramic studio that is always curious to see what I'll do next. I would love to go to your CZT class one of these days as I'm only in NH. The Opus tiles do seem intimidating, but I'd love to try that, too. Then tangle a frame to match! Thank you to all the CZTs, bloggers, and of course Rick and Maria, for the daily inspiration.

Donald Wilka said...

Have not ventured into using the Opus tiles yet. May have to look into getting some, unless of course I am lucky enough to win some. Appreciate the WIP pictures.

Laurie Earl said...

I totally love this opus tile idea and have been toying with doing it for some time now. My tangling is more like Zentangle "inspired" art. I love that we can it "our way" and not worry about anyone else's opinion. Although it's always nice to have someone notice and ask about it. Thank you!

Chrissy Morin said...

I really love how she used the calligraphy strokes!! I'm so happy she shared the progress photos as some of that detail wouldn't have been obvious in the completed image. I think I'd love working with Opus tiles! I started working in a large notebook when I discovered zentangle never really measuring how big 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 was and just recently started cutting paper to that size and finally have taken my first class with a CZT. Thank you so much for featuring an amazing Z-Artist :)

JAMIE HERRON said...

This blog had my name written all over it. Talk about, "afraid to begin on an Opus tile," I purchased a pack of 5 and could not even bring myself to peek inside the packaging to look at them or to hold one in my hand. I set the pack down and thought, "This will have to wait until I'm a better Zentangler.... This post is allowing me to relax and contemplate beginning. I LOVED that Lesley realized how valuable her "in process" pics would be to the rest of us, harbouring (UK spelling intentional) FEAR OF OPUS! Thank you one and all for posting!
~ Jamie Herron, CZT #20

Zentangle said...

Ha ha ha. . . .Fear Of Opus: FOO

Foo-ey to the fear! Let's everyone decide to conquer this particular fear, one stroke at a time!

Maria

Lesley Roberts said...

Thank you so much everyone, for your reflections and comments here. Also for the emails I've had from those I know and don't know! On Saturday morning I had wondered whether or not to follow my urge and send the photo of my Opus tile to Rick and Maria - and now, with their blog about it, and all these wonderful comments, I am so glad I did!
I have learned so many things from creating this particular tile, and from sharing it and reading all the feedback too. For example - I am not the only one who had never done an Opus tile before because I had been daunted by its size! I had, for nearly 4 years, been tangling mainly on 3.5" tiles or less (don't many of us!) and created rather complex-looking, dainty tangles - that I knew intuitively would probably not work well on the 10.5" scale - in terms of process and outcome. I simply did not know what would, and still be true to me and the way I tangle ....
So when my friend and student Jenny made her comment about wishing the border was on the front of the Opus tile, I was just inspired to tangle on the back instead, to make it the front! And I was off tangling, far more spontaneously and intuitively than I thought I'd be able to ....
I took photos as I went along to share with my students, who are also tangling on Opus tiles this summer during a break from classes, and I'll create a word document about this Opus tangle with them - with images, reflections, learning tips. I am so pleased that my desire to help them evolve and develop as tanglers has helped so many others too.
I hope you all enjoy your summer of tangling - perhaps experimenting and playing on a larger scale than you would have previously? It's relaxing and fun! Lesley

Sara said...

I believe that this has helped me a little bit with the feeling of overwhelm I get about tangling. I always want to tangle more than I do (which is rarely ever), and part of the problem is that I look at a blank tile and immediately feel overwhelmed. Where do I start? How do I choose which tangles to incorporate? This post has helped me realize that it doesn't really matter. There is no wrong way. There is no wrong answer. I can start anywhere and finish anytime. I can't fail. How nice to be able to let go of my perfectionism, even for a minute!!

gobarb26 said...

Hi. I have yet to work on an Opus tile. I was afraid of spending the money that I can not afford (due to my disability) for something that I may not be able to do. I am a bit of a procrastinator. I have worked on larger tiles, but started with some type of string lines, already on the paper. I am inspired by Lesley's insight to tangle the back side of the tile as well as photograph it as she went. It amazes me how everyone has a different style and technique. I love the way the lines and words disappeared in the tangles and all that was showing from all of the printed stuff was the calligraphy around the back and the red Zentangle box. Genius! I hope I win the set of tiles so I can give it a try
XOXO to everyone at Zentangle Inc. and Lesley
Barb B, CZT

Jeane Parker said...

I generally work in books I create that are about 6 x 6 so I think an Opus tile would be a great challenge. Challenging yourself to work in spurts (instead of all at once) would be fun - if you start the Opus on Monday - use only patterns that start with M, Tuesday - T patterns and so forth. Whew. I have to sit down! My head is spinning with possibilities. Lesley, thank you for your beautiful work and Rick and Maria, thanks for sharing!

Jeane Parker, CZT

Deborah Olander said...

I appreciate this "diary of an opus tile." The creative process always fascinates me. I'm not cowed by the size of the tile; in fact, I came home from CZT-17 with a pack of them (and lots of other super toys). The problem is that I seem to be hoarding these opus tiles like they were some kind of rare gourmet chocolate. Silly,I know :-D ! If I decide to throw caution to the four winds, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, thanks very much for featuring this lovely work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for showing the progression of this tile. It gives me encouragement to try something big and beautiful, one stroke at a time!

Phancy88 said...

I've never blogged before- the above 'anonymous' was my first attempt. I'm identifying myself because I'do love to win the opus tiles. Thanks for the great inspiration showing this beautiful opus tile progression.

1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More said...

My thanks too, to all, for this wonderful post. I also had FOO! Now to dig them out again and just start. Using the back was inspired!

Spike said...

" . . . used the hollibaugh technique of 'drawing behind'. . ."

Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Tucking this idea in my hip pocket for those days when I have no idea how I'm going to fill that space. Taking a ribbony tangle (like ornamato) and draping it through the big empty, then taking another tangle "behind" it sounds like just the ticket.

There is no wrong way to process this process, after all.

Barbara said...

I, too, have been intimated by the larger format of the Opus tile. After attending CZT #20, though and buying some Opus tiles and reading Lesley's suggestions, I am going to tackle them!

Thank you Lesley and thank you Rick and Maria for a wonderful training!!!

Barbara Horton
CZT #20
Roanoke, VA

Phyllis Jovich said...

I didn't even know there were bigger tiles. This is great! When I first started tangling last year I kept forgetting to draw my 4 dots and the inner frame. I would tangle the whole tile right out to the edges! I would figure it out when the tile was done, and I realized that the ones where I forgot the border were better designs, so these Opus tiles might be made for ME! Thanks!

Ruby said...

Hello Rick and Maria
She certainly does gorgeous work. No wonder you wanted to do a blog post! I had no idea about the opus tiles. They sound great. I've been using sketchbooks for years now, to tangle in, as I quickly found the tiles too small. I really must find out more about them -they sound like a Christmas present in the making.

Thank you very much for showing us Lesley's beautiful work. And also, thank you for offering a give-away of the Opus tiles. I can only hope I am lucky enough to win. But that's not my luck usually. So, I'll have to revert to Plan B, Christmas present request :D
Best
Ruby
Ruby (at) opaltones (dot) com

LezliB said...

I haven't tried the Opus tiles but when I heard that you were making the tiles in a larger size, I was excited by the possibilities it offered. Seeing what Lesley has done (and on the back yet - such inspiration!) makes it an even more exciting possibility. I don't always get to tangle as often as I would like due to arthritis pain in my hands, but when I do, it is the most enjoyable time for me. Thank you so much for introducing me to this and I hope to be able to take a class soon from one of our new CZTs here in Utah.

gobarb26 said...

I am so excited! I just returned from the cancer center where I am being treated. I asked my husband to stop and get the mail and there was a box from Zentangle, Inc. I just placed an order, yesterday and I thought it couldn't come that fast. Then I realized the size box was too flat. I opened it and much to my surprise, I found a Zendala tile that said "to Barb, Enjoy!" I am thinking, enjoy what, all I could see were packaging peanuts and the lovely hand calligraphed tile. Sure I would enjoy the tile from Maria, but why? I dug under the peanuts and low and behold, there was a package which held 2 Opus tiles! Oh my gosh, I can't believe Marie and Rick sent me the tiles. What a wonderful thing to find in the mail! Thank you, thank you, thank you Rick & Maria for sending me the tiles and giving me the opportunity to draw my first real Opus Zentangle!!! I love you both...
XOXO
Barb B, CZT

Christine Garrott said...

I recently completely my first Opus tile, just in time to exhibit it as part of an Instructor's Gallery Show at the art center where I teach. I must admit, I really loved the reactions from the other instructors and the various visitors. I had listed the piece for sale, but to be honest, I'm just as happy that no one took it home, because I'm seriously thinking of giving it to my oncologist, who has cared for me so beautifully since my original diagnosis in February 2013. Now that I am living with metastatic disease, I've come to realize just how precious every single day is...and I am using Zentangle to help build my legacy that I will leave behind when I am called Home. Each of my relatives and friends are being gifted with a framed tile, so that they will have something personal to remember me by...something born of both my heart and my spirit, which will never die. Rick and Maria, sending you both my love. I have such fond memories of my experiences at CZT 16 last fall.

Namaste,
Christine Garrott

Jacquelyn Morris-Smith, CZT 21 said...

I really loved the group Opus tile that we did at Zentangle#21. It was amazing the way it all came together. I plan to use the ideas I learned from Rick, Maria and Holly; but also the great ideas and beautiful work done by the students I met at this wonderful event. It is all sew Zinspiring.