Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Drawing Together

A few days ago, I bought an easel. I was on the fence about buying one. I just wasn't sure I would really use it. Greg went with me to Blick's Art and I showed him the one I'd seen many weeks before. It was now on sale for about 1/2 off. I still hesitated. I didn't want a large object hanging around the house that I would never use.

"Just get it." Greg gave me a little nudge, and that was all it took. He was kind enough to put it together for me. I could do it myself, but he's lots quicker at such things, and he was in the mood to do it anyway. We set it up in the kitchen and retrieved a single sheet of newsprint that we had taped to a door months before. We'd gotten as far as drawing a string and putting in two small tangles, and the process had stopped there. It was just too difficult to draw on a door, and the lighting wasn't the best, either.

With a pad of newsprint behind it set up on the new easel in our well-lit kitchen, we got busy in a way that surprised us both. I brought down a set of colored Sharpies from my office upstairs, and once the color was unleashed, we found ourselves spending long periods of time working together at the easel.  The result is something of a visual cacophony, but that doesn't matter at all. The process of making this drawing was such pure fun, and constantly interesting. Greg and I have different styles, and we make different design choices at almost every turn, but that was totally fine.  We criticized each other, gently, twice, once in each direction, and that was that. The rest was pure magic.

Have a look at some details:

Quandary is such fun in color! It takes on an energy and playfulness that is absent in black and white. As for the little face peering out, well, that's Greg being mischievous yet again. I see faces almost everywhere -- in wallpaper, clouds, carpets, woodgrain, stucco ceilings, and blades of grass, but it would never occur to me to put a face into a non-representational drawing.

I also find Bunzo to be loads of fun in color. The tone of the Bunzo area competes with the Quandary, but hey, our focus was on the spirit of spontaneous creation working together, and not so much on what the thing would look like when we were done with it. Working in a larger area, and working with color were dual challenges that we chose to appreciate for the sheer fun of it.

This area has a lot going on. It's busy but somehow pleasing. I learned that trying to hook lines to the edge doesn't work so well when the edge is drawn in black, and the lines I want to hook are drawn in different colors (e.g., in the Hollibaugh area at center).

W2 is great fun -- so easy to draw yet bold and dramatic. (I did not draw the W2, by the way, but enjoyed watching Greg work on it.) Woven patterns like W2 really help demystify the deconstructive approach to creating Zentangle drawings. In the real world, we tend not to focus on the places where the lines meet, at those little squares, but those very intersections become important to notice as guides to structuring the tangles.

The pattern in green (left) is one that Greg invented while drawing. I don't know if a pattern like this one already exists, but until we find it, or until someone tells us about it, he calls this Fenst. Here is the step out:

Not too neatly drawn, but to quote Voltaire, Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. :D

Merry Christmas Eve to all. We're having a big salad, cheeses, a good red wine, and pumpkin custard for dessert. How about you?