Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Adore a Good Aura...

Time to let the Diva, aka Laura Harms, work her magic and inspire me to complete another Challenge tile! Weekly Challenge #66 is "Laura's Auras"...about which she writes, "Ha, this actually has nothing to do with me, but i just like how Laura and Aura rhyme. :)"

I'm actually quite behind on my Challenge responses. I have several started but not finished, and part of me wants to get some closure on those before moving forward. But that's just foolishness--part of the beauty of the Diva's Challenges is that each one is a fresh start, no need to worry about your Challenge history.

So I went to my new favorite Tangling spot: Gourmet's Market and Cosmo's Caffè , a wonderful kitchen shop paired with a cafe/bistro in Knoxville's Bearden Art District. It was my first time tangling there...but the environment was just right. I knew it would be. It's a cozy, funky, casual, gourmet destination. They carry my favorite chocolate bar: Cinnamon Chili Mexican Style Chocolate, stone ground and handcrafted in small batches by southern chocolate artisans in Nashville, TN: Olive & Sinclair. YUM!!! But I skipped the chocolate today, since I have a few bars at home, and went for the latte, which is now a rare treat for me, as I no longer caffeinate daily like my former coffee--guzzling self.
Mooka, Rick's Paradox, Pweeko, Snircle, Inapod,
Vitruvius, Bales, and Sez.
So here is my response to this week's Challenge. As you can see, I played not only with the concept of auras, but also with line weight and rounding.

This is my first use of Snircles, a fun circular tangle from Sandy Hunter, CZT. Her blog is http://tanglebucket.blogspot.ca/, and I learned about Snircles from Geneviève Crabe's blog, Tangle Harmony.
As I tried to explain to Caroline why I wasn't quite happy with it, she understood and summarized beautifully: "I think maybe you overworked it."

Fortunately, I took a few photos of it in progress at the coffee café, so you can see how it looked before shading.

  . . . before the outermost aura . . .
and after the outermost aura and Sez background. I think I like it better like this than I do shaded. But that's okay...it's all about the process,
as the Diva reminds us. :-)

I would LOVE, love, LOVE to hear your thoughts, questions, suggestions, responses to my art and/or my blog entry. So don't be shy!
Leave me a comment!
And if you are new to my blog, please read my back posts to learn more about me and my amazing tangling daughter Caroline.

Happy tangling!
Amy in TN


  1. Wow, you really excelled in this challenge. Your aura is fabulous!

  2. I would say I like both of your unshaded versions best. They are bright and crisp. I think the shading looks a little muddy. Just one opinion! I really like the snircles! Beautiful zentangle!

  3. I am so glad to get some feedback! Thank you!
    I agree with you, Lisa. I think it was better before the shading...and "muddy" is a good word to describe why! But I wouldn't have known unless I tried, so no regrets. I'm just glad I took a "before" photo, even though it's just an iphone snapshot, not a good scan.
    I can't wait to use Snircles more--what a fun tangle!

    1. LOL! I often take pictures at different stages just in case I go too far and like the before pics better! :D

  4. It's fun to see the progress. I'm not sure which I like best. In the shaded version the mooka really stands out like in a pop up book. At least it is great educational now you know the effect of different means. And I really love the balls :-) keep going!

  5. Beautiful tile! Love the Snircles.

  6. I'm inspired and off to try a Snircle or two...love this. Mooka is hard for me, yours is wonderful.

  7. I like it better with shades. They add depth and make it more visually pleasing.

    I just started following you, so yes, I will go back and explore the work of you and your daughter :)

  8. Love the Snircles...can't wait to give them a try! Endless possibilities. I liked your finished tile best of all. The others didn't have the dimension that brings the tangles to life! But it is all about the process and the learning and the whole Zen experience.

  9. Really excellent tile. I prefer the un-shadowed version, but I know we are supposed to shadow. Just our personal preferences I guess. the final version before shadows is just marvelous! :) Love all the snirkles designs, what fun.

  10. Thanks so much for you comments, everyone. I'm happy to see varying preferences regarding the pre- and post-shading versions. :-) It's not about what's "better" or what "right"...it's about what we as tanglers choose to do, and what is visually pleasing on a personal level to the viewer, and it shouldn't all be the same. Gloria, I don't feel like shading is required...but if I don't, I find myself wondering, "what would it look like if...?!"
    Sharon, Mooka is both hard and easy for me...I keep wanting to engage in drawing it, but it seems to have a mind of its own, and I have to let go of my sense of control, and just let it happen.
    Bilja, thank you for joining my small group of followers! Welcome! I look forward to checking out your blog, too!

  11. Wow, I love your post! It's great to hear how and why a tile ends up the way it does, and what a good idea to take pictures of the stages... (why didn't I think of that?). I'll follow your blog as well. I love your tile(s) and am not sure if I prefer shaded or unshaded.... they both have very different feelings - but that is the point of shading, right? Snircles look like fun - I'll have to look them up. Your mooka is really stunning.

  12. beautiful! i'm still trying to get the hang of shading. your piece looks great!

  13. Amy, I love your tile - especially the unshaded one. I like the Sez in the background - what a good idea. I haven't posted mine yet because it ended up in a strange position on the tlle. Maybe if I take your cue and put a tangle in the background it will even it out. On the other hand, it may get too busy and crowded. Decisions to be made - meanwhile I am enjoying your tangling and your blog.

  14. Thank you Sue, Alice, and CathWi!

    Sue, I am happy to have you as a new follower! As for documenting various stages...it took me a while before I finally started doing that, and it's not always a feasible thing to do. But I try to when I can, especially if I about to make changes that I think will have a big impact on a tile.

    Alice, I appreciate your compliment. I am always looking to see how other artists use shading in their Zentangle tiles & ZIAs. It's helpful to see what works for other people.

    CathWi, Let me know if you tangle your background! I'd love to see it. Sez is a great tangle for this challenge; I knew I had to work it in there somehow! And I've often admired others' tiles when they extend the design right up to the edges, but I don't tend tot do that, so I wanted to try it.

    I really appreciate the comments!