Saturday, 30 June 2018

Art Journal and Zentangle months of the year

For three years I kept an art journal (2014, 2015, 2016). This was my way back into regular artwork. I started one for 2017, but keeping a diary has never been something that has appealed to me in the long term. The journalling part of keeping it was minimal and the imagery was the primary aspect. The entries had increasingly became zentangles, and so it became obvious that tangling was the point for me, not journalling. In July 2017 I created a final zentangle, supposedly as part of the art journal, and from then on I have just enjoyed tangling.

I created three tangles based on the days of the month for the 2017 art journal. These were fun, and perhaps I’ll create the other nine sometime. Sounds like a calendar in the offing to me!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Broadhaven, Stackpole Quay, and Dinbych-y-Pysgod sketches

Here is the last in this little series of ‘getting excited about being on holiday in Pembrokeshire’! These are all drawings from last summer’s visit.

Stackpole Quay
I have not really succeeded in capturing a sense of distance in this drawing. The sea was so rough far out, that you could see wave shapes on the horizon - something I had never seen before. Previously I’d only ever seen a sea horizon that looked flat to my eye.

Stackpole Quay
Despite the wild sees far out in the distance, Stackpole harbour was peaceful and this boat was only moving gently on the ebb and flow of the waves.

North Beach, Dinbych-y-Pysgod
Low tide at North Beach. I think this is probably my favourite of the Dinbych beaches. It is usually quite quiet and there is a lovely view of the town. I also like Iron Beach which is just beyond the mound shown here.

Broadhaven Beach
The sea was really wild this day and it was building up for a storm. It was not very warm and extremely windy, so I just stood and quickly sketched this image. Proportions are a little out, but I feel it grasps something of the energy of the scene.

So now I am truly lusting for Pembrokeshire, and looking forward to time to sketch, stare at the sea, and soak up the wonders of landscape and seascape.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Pembrokeshire delights - barnacles, Dinosaur Park, and Saundersfoot beach

Here are three more tangled images from holidays in Pembrokeshire.
Dinosaur Park, near Dinbych-y-Pysgod
We’ve visited the dinosaur park a couple of times. Although it is entirely a tourist site aimed at children, and not usually our sort of place to visit, the setting is rather pleasant. There is a delightful woodland walk. The walk is enjoyable and simply has the occasional dinosaur model among the trees beside the path.

These were washed up all along North Beach, in Dinbych, one summer. We have only ever once seen them lying at the water’s edge like this at low tide. Hopefully they survived until the tide came back in.

Saundersfoot beach rocks
One year we stayed in Saundersfoot for one week and Dinbych for the second week. Saundersfoot offers lovely beach walks in both direction from the town. This going west, towards Dinbych. The rocks are slipped and folded and range in colours - perfect for experimenting with tangles to hint at the patterns in the rock.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Barafundle Bay, Stackpole Quay, The Boathouse Tearooms, Bosherton Lilyponds

A favourite visit whilst we are holidaying in Pembrokeshire, is Barafundle Bay. It is a lovely place to visit for several reasons. Firstly, you can only get to it on foot. This means that it remains unspoilt and is usually quite quiet. It is accessible from the coastal path.

Barafundle Bay
If you park at Stackpole Quay to walk to Barafundle, you will discover the second reason for visiting this area: the Boat House tearoom. This is run by the National Trust and provides light meals and fabulous cakes. Stackpole Quay is a tiny little harbour and also delightful.

If you want more reasons to visit, there is a circular walk from Stackpole Quay, to Barafundle Bay, and then on to Broadhaven Beach, through the lilyponds, and across the fields back to Stackpole Quay. There is parking at the lilyponds at Bosherton as well, and at Broadhaven,  if you wish to walk to Barafundle Bay from the other side. The headland above Barafundle Bay is sometimes graced with the presence of wild ponies, and you can see razorbills swooping a nesting.

Above is my watercolour of Barafundle Bay painted from the wall to the east of the bay in 2015.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Holiday time soon!!!

Goscar Rock, North Beach, Dinbych-y-Pysgod

It is nearly time to go on holiday. WOOHOO!!

And yes, we are camping in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, as usual. This year the weather is looking promising and we have chosen a lovely quiet campsite north-west of Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Tenby). On the map it looks as though there is an across-country walk to Dinbych. Hopefully we can find this route and enjoy the walk of about three miles.

When I first started tangling, I was unaware that ‘The Zentangle Method’ had become a copyrighted thing. Can you really copyright a way of drawing, and simple patterns? People have been doodling on paper forever and will have inevitably discovered some of the patterns that zentangle artists now give names. I support artists receiving appreciation and payment for their work, and I greatly value the support and inspiration of the zentangle tutors, but as to owning and having rights to a tangle ... I don’t want to get involved in that particular hot potato! 

Anyway, as a beginner in 2016, I created a number of tangled images from photographs. This is not regarded by zentangle method purists as a correct, because it is based on a predetermined image. The idea of zentangle is that the image is created spontaneously and in a meditative state of mind. It is not intended to particularly look like anything in the end, but just to be a meditatively creative exercise. I understand and value this approach, but looking back I do still quite like the tangled images I created on holiday in 2016. The images have something of my love of Dinbych and my love of zentangle combined. So I am posting a few of them to whet my appetite for more Pembrokeshire delights to come.

Croft Gardens, Dinbych-y-Pysgod

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Interfaith Conference

I took part in a most interesting Interfaith Conference a couple of weeks ago. It was organised by the Onyx Link Foundation, headed by the most kind and lovely gentleman, Dr Abdalla Mohamed OBE. There were presentations from a range of different faiths, and the atmosphere of the whole event was warm and inspiring. The theme was 'One Humanity, Morality, and Earth'. My presentation examined the enlightened potential of embracing friendship.

Giving my presentation

Receiving a beautiful cut glass vase
We were looked after royally at the hotel venue, and every presentation was interesting. I hope to be able to take part in more such inspiring events in the future. 

The conference is available to see on YouTube and my presentation is near the beginning of the second part.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

New book in the autumn, and zentangles

I have been on something of a writing marathon for the first part of this year. The book is now written and is in its editing phase. This will also take some time, but I am confident that Battlecry of Freedom will be ready for publication in the autumn.

The book is about the Seven Points of Mind Training (bLo sByong -- Lojong) of ’Cad-kha-ba Ye-shes rDo-rJe (Chekawa Yeshe Dorje -- 1101-1175). The seven points contain fifty-nine slogans -- pithy sayings to remind you about practice, and I will be publishing sets of the fifty-nine cards to accompany the book. Here's an example of a slogan, picked at random:

le lan thams cad gCig la bDa’
The belief in an inherent self is to blame for all pain, dissatisfaction, and for cyclic existence.
Personally take the blame and accept responsibility for everything.
(Point 3: Transformation: 2nd of 6—12th of 59)

It has been my most challenging and inspiring writing project to date. I have thoroughly enjoyed the research, and also translating the points and the slogans from the Tibetan to try to engage with their essence. I hope it will be a useful book for Buddhist practitioners.

My other creative pastime is drawing zentangles. I am now part of a couple of groups who create zentangles in response to a challenge set every week. So usually I create one or two a week. I find this fun, relaxing, and creatively satisfying.

These were my first two tiles in response to the challenges. The top one is a challenge set by The Diva, #355. Other people's zentangles for this challenge can be found on Instagram by looking for #dc355. The bottom one is my Tickled to Tangle challenge #231. Adele Bruno sets these challenges and the many wonderful tiles can be seen on her blog.