Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Elegance of Limits

There must be a way to make friends with time. I wonder if I'll ever discover a time perspective that endures even through the super busy times of life. Ashleigh Brilliant's take on the matter explains my dilemma nicely in 17 words:

When I work, I dislike feeling confined to a schedule, but not much gets done without a schedule. Most people, in fact, seem to need structure to feel safe enough to let their creativity flow spontaneously where it will. The creative force that courses through our lives is powerful. It is largely unknowable, which frightens and excites, and people get stuck between these polarities of fear and longing. The pen remains poised and still, just above the paper. The mind wants forever to plan the masterpiece it senses within, and fears the failure it will have to face if said masterpiece falls short. At the same time, the heart says, Move forward! 

One way the Zentangle Method imposes enough structure to get the creative process underway is to include the string -- what Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas call "the elegance of limits" (The Book of Zentangle 61) -- as an essential part of the creative ritual. A string divides the tile into areas that the artist draws into life, one by one, as each tangle unfolds. A string is simple. You create it yourself with a few pencil lines. After the string is on the paper, the rest of the piece emerges through tangles drawn in pen. In essence, the string serves to untangle the heart and mind so that the hand can do its work.

I want to rename deadlines alivelines to shift the temporal understanding of limitations to a more spacial and graphic perception. While a deadline focuses on the results of a process, a string invites the artist to begin the work and to focus on possibility as it unfolds. Click the link below to see how a tile developed from a simple 2 x 2 grid. The large pattern that looks a bit like ears of corn is called Hi C's, created by CZT Anita Roby-Lavery. Within that pattern, I filled in a few other patterns and added shading for extra dimension.

Have a look at this sequence of images showing how a tile develops