Welcome to BLOG Zentangle. To learn about Zentangle, visit our website, read our free newsletters, take a class with a local Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), and best of all . . . create your own!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bordering on Reverie!

Maria writes. . . 
Most of you know that I am a passionate picture framer. My family had a frame shop/art supply store/gallery years ago. It was there that I learned the importance and value of good presentation of one's art.

I continue to marvel at the moulding designs and textures, the colors and subtle details. Working at "Chamberlain's" (the name of our store) was like working at a candy store (that is, if I actually did like candy, which I don't, so maybe I should say "was like working at an Italian restaurant". . . but, I digress).

Many days were spent planning the framing and matting of my works (mostly calligraphy, some water colors) and I had the luck of being able to choose pretty much anything. But I did not abuse this and I work well with found objects. I would use the bits and pieces of partial mats and old frame mouldings and antique frames found at yard sales, and see what would happen. I would create hand-painted borders on my mats, with multiple layers of whites and ecru mats, creating a deep, lush presentation. Sometimes I would add small strips of hand-marbled paper in an old-world fashion. But, more often than not, it was the hand-painted ones that our customers asked for.

If I were to describe them today, it would be "Zentangle-style French mat" done with brush and water color. Here are two examples from BZ (before Zentangle). This first one is a frame I did for tapestry piece that I found converted into a pillow.

This second one, of Noah, Molly and Martha, I did when Molly graduated from college:

Such fun. Of course now, I just tangle away!

If you can tangle . . . you can border.
Rick comments:
It's neat to notice the seed forms of mooka and crescent moon in Maria's bordering on those mats.
There are a few ways you can go about this, with rulers, pencils and erasers; but come on . . . you guys know how I feel about those!

Let's try (just this once, I promise) in a more freeform style.

I had some pre-cut 8 x 10 mats, hand drew a (rather wobbly) line about 1/4" from the inside cut.

Then another subtly-wobbled line about 1/2" out from the first. (Of course this could be smaller or bigger, depending on the size of your mat.) You have created your "String" for your border.

You can tangle it a couple of different ways. In this example, (you can see I began with brown ink so you can see it later) I started by drawing a few simple mookas around leaving spaces, not worrying about the spaces being perfectly even.

Then I added some punzel next to each mooka, then some tripoli next to each punzel . . . etc. When everything seems to be filling nicely, I finish it off filling the odd spaces with perfs or printemps ("spring" shaped spirals), a bit of striping . . . and voila: border!

Next is the frosting on the cake. With a pencil, grey marker or a brush with some watery gray color, shade the outer edges, both sides, and watch your border pop. So professional of you! The wobbly-ness disappears and is replaced with a softness that a ruler can only dream of.

This works every time.

These borders are really cool for framing:
  • favorite photos or pieces of photos 
  • a special postage stamp
  • a beautifully pressed flower or leaf 
  • a feather or shell 
  • a page from an old book of poetry 
  • an old spoon or fork (that one cannot even figure out what it must have been used for. . .) 
  • a lovely old brooch with the pin missing (what will I ever do with this?) that your mom wore often 
  • a poignant greeting card from someone special 
  • a lock of baby hair or. . maybe even, no wait, wait! how about . . . a Zentangle! 
So dear tanglers, have some fun with this. Even if you don't frame them. . . just make your border on a Zentangle tile and clip a photo, getting rid of the "too much background" that we all are guilty of in our photos. . . . and you have a fabulous piece to cherish or give away!

AND, speaking of give away . . . let's hear what you have to add to this and I would love to give away the mat in this blog (8 x 10") to one of our commenters. Be sure I can contact you somehow!

Supplies used:
  • Sakura® Micron™ black 01 and brown 05 
  • Fabrico® cool gray marker
  • Strong black tea. I used this, not only on the white Zendala, but also over the white Gelly Roll® ink to add some warm tones ever so
  • Sakura white Gelly Roll™
  • mat 
  • Zentangle Original tiles, black tiles and Zendala tiles 

Click images for larger views.


Anonymous said...

OMG! These are just incredibly gorgeous. As a decorative painter I am fascinated by this art form. I used to paint borders on mats but this opend up a whole new "thing". beautiful.

Jean Rood

Shelly Beauch said...

Zippity do da! They are super special! Thank you Maria for those wonderful tips!

sbsudbury said...

Thanks so much for your inspiration. These are fantastic ideas. Also thanks for the opportunity to win one of your pieces that would truly be cherished. sharon.bourque@sympatico.ca

Anonymous said...

I found a reference to Zentangle on a comment on another blog and having been perusing your web site all afternoon! I'm fascinated! I'm still absorbing but may dive in soon. And I love, love, love the frame idea! Pick me!


Barbara said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the different ways to use the mats to frame things. My husband is our poster/picture/drawing framer and he loved the "tangles"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Maria! I have so many ideas running through my head right now. One more thing to share with my students!

Margaret Bremner, Artist said...

More inspiring ideas from you!
And such a sweet little redhead :)
Are the gems on the apple actual gems or are you simply a super-accomplished trompe-l'oeil artist??? I just looked again... it's a brooch, isn't it? Brilliant!

Sue said...

Love the mats. Can't wait to be able to try something like this someday.

Alice said...

so beautiful, maria! thanks for the directions! so many ways to use this - i love it :)


Webster said...

I will certainly have to put these ideas to good use. Thank you, Maria.


Paula (PEP) said...

I'm just speechless - I've just set the tangle challenge on the Chocolate Baroque Stamp Company's Ning site as "Borders" so this is an absolutely fabulous tutorial if I might link to it.
Personally this post has given me so much & I'm sitting here smiling for you've made me day.
Thank you! I've not booked for CZT as migraine control isn't stable enough for the journey - but one day.
Paula (PEP

Anonymous said...

Maria! I always look forward to seeing, enjoying, and being so INSPIRED by what you do and have done!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your talent and ideas with us!
Marty Deckel, CZT#10

Molly said...

There is something about a frame that just makes whatever is inside it seem extra special or important. Put a frame on it and something ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Lorelei Campbell said...

As a past teacher, I adore the apple in its frame! Wowza!!! I am going to try this with an antique prayer card. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work!

Unknown said...

Absolutely amazing Maria! My head is exploding with ideas! You are such an awesome inspiration....thank you for being you......Joy

Unknown said...

Oh, and also......tangling new baby's names has become my signature gift.....people go crazy!....but adding a tangled mat would be the icing on the cake! Thanks again Maria. Joy

Gail said...

I just started tangling in January. I am amazed and obsessed by this art form. I'm so glad I found you. I hope to make it to a certification class one day. gaillannum@aol.com

Chris said...

You always give me a spark when I have judged that "I cannot do this." Mooka is definitely the tangle that I associate with you, and I readily identify it in other works of art, thanks to you. When your border contained mooka, I started to turn away, since I am not "fluent" in it, yet. But, I persevered and with the tutorial, used it and made something that I am pleased with, shushing my inner critic for now.
Chris Clark, CZT10

Unknown said...

I'm speechless! these are beautiful! I am new to Zentangle but am becoming addicted. I am a yoga instructor, meditation facilitatot\r and ayurvedic wellness counselor and soon to be CZT! I'm in the October class, tried for the June but didn't know about it son enough. It would be such an honor to own one of your pieces!

Marcia said...

What another great way to give an inspired beautiful gift to someone special. Add a little tangled mat and instantly it's the most spectacular gift. Just love the idea. Thanks Maria!

Linda said...

What beautiful ideas! Thanks so much for sharing and giving us a different direction to focus!

Anonymous said...

I have been fascinated by your penned frames since I read your published book. Thanks for sharing your secrets on your blog, very inspiring.

Diane Masloroff

KimberlyD said...

Absolutely stunning! I am hoping to take a Zentangle class within the next few months. In the meantime, I'd love to have this mat! Thanks for the opportunity!

Kim Dwelley

Sherry said...

Beautiful borders! Thank you so much for sharing your tips. You have my mind reeling with possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh ooooh ooooh, (raising my hand high like an eager school girl: ) I would LOVE to see this beautiful piece, up close and personal. Thank you for all you do to keep us inspired. cindy@bowles.us

Anonymous said...

Thank you for more inspiration! I now have even more ideas rolling around in my head! I have a project that this is going to be perfect for, and with the steps, I might actually be able to do it! Kate Ahrens, CZT IX

Susan said...

Oh my goodness!! What an inspiration! Your work is amazing as always!
This opens up so many wonderful possibilities...and what a great way to augment artwork or photos.
Thank you so much for the inspiration and sharing your talent with us. I so love Zentangle and hope to improve.
Thank you!
Sue Brailey
wahini97 at yahoo dot com

TToon said...

Beautiful. Simple and complex at the same time. I am definitely going to try this. Thank you so much for sharing. I am a Zentangle "newbie" and have instantly become addicted. Blessings!

Renata said...

Lovely, lovely border. And your instructions make it seem almost do-able! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.


Anonymous said...

As always Maria, you make this look easy! Thank you for breaking down your process and sharing it with us ~ everything is lovely.

CathWi said...

Inspiration comes with each post! I love these frames - I will definitely be making some of my own. Thank you for sharing.

Carmen G. Burgos CZT9 said...

I am finishing a table set for my granddaughter and plan on using a border for the design on the table top!

Unknown said...

I LOVE the border around the apple pin. Stunning!Wish I could see it in person :)! Thanks for sharing and inspiring us!!!

Wendy Long said...

Your work is so inspiring! Just beautiful!

Eden said...

Fabulous frames! And yes, I agree that the right framing can really set off a piece of art, or not. I have drawn on the occasional mat, usually something to give away.

Daniele OBrien Design, CZT said...

Fabulous work, what inspiration for future framing! Thanks Maria for sharing some of your wonderful processes.

Jane Monk said...

The beauty of your work amazes and inspires me Maria. Absolutely gorgeous. Thankyou for you and Rick's continual sharing with us all.
Jane Monk