Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Being brave.

When I started this blog I intended it to be a mixture of stuff about the shop, my creative pursuits and the places I like to explore. 

Looking back over posts so far, I can see that I've barely mentioned any of my art, so I've had a big think about why that should be.  I reckon it all boils down to confidence.  I'm always very nervous about putting my work out there for people to see, especially when it's something completely new. 

So today I'm being bold and brave and am going to show you something I've been quietly working on for a while.  I'd really appreciate your thoughts - both positive and negative (now I've taken this big brave step I have to be able to accept criticism!).

For a long time I've been fascinated by the work of an American artist called Sandy Steen Bartholemew.  She is an amazing artist and illustrator and (amongst her many projects) has written a number of books giving advice and suggestions for the incredibly relaxing and enjoyable art of zentangling.

Using just white paper, a good quality black pen, and a pencil for shading, you can create some fabulous zentangles.  I've done several small test pieces but, never having any use for the finished product, they usually just ended up in the recycling! 

When we were on holiday at Easter I bought a small sketching book in which I did some silly sketches of the things we got up to on holiday, and I plan to keep adding to this every time we go away.  On the cover was one of those really annoying stickers which ripped the fabric when I removed it, so I decided I'd recover it - and my first zentangling 'project with a purpose' was born!

I was really pleased with the result and had a think about what else I could do, eventually coming up with the idea of greetings cards.

This final one is a work in progress...

It's a scary step to take to commit to having some printed - what if no-one likes them?  - what if I'm left with boxes and boxes of the things?  I do need to have some of my other cards (from paintings) reprinted as stocks are very low, so at least I can combine different designs into one big order which makes these new designs a bit less of a financial gamble.

Decisions, decisions....


  1. Hey Kate....WELL DONE for being so brave...I know exactly what you mean about putting your art 'out there'...especially stuff that no one has seen yet! :)
    I love these new pieces....I never realised there was a word for this 'zentangling' seems a great way to describe it...me and my sis have been doing something similar for relaxation since we were young!...never realised others did too but of course they would :) Some of mine have ended up as starting points for other artwork...its a great way to just let your pen go for a walk I think....
    Love the book cover idea for it...and the covered 3D box too....cards look fantastic...keep it up I say :) x

  2. WOW, those are fantastic! I'm amazed that you're worried about sharing them!! I really want to colour them in!!!! Can see that this kind of doodling was behind the Usborne books http://tinyurl.com/34h398e

  3. OOh ...what amazing creations and great ideas Kate. I know how much it takes to be brave...but you shouln't've have been afraid to share these bold jazzy exciting designs.
    Cards, postcards, book marks and book or journal covers spring to mind...and cards for colouring in - or starter patterns for people to complete!
    Will be checking out the link too.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your creative side...I enjoyed the photos of your work in the SABAB art exhibition...
    Keep up the good (and brave) work!
    Ali x

  4. ...ps I've had a go with my son this evening...really calming! I've always doodled (particularly in meetings!) but doing it with nothing to think about in the background was really relaxing!
    Thanks for sparking a new pastime! x

  5. A HUGE thank you to everyone for taking the time and trouble to comment.
    It's so difficult to take the plunge and show off new work, but I'm very glad I did as you've all given me a big confidence boost. Hopefully I'll be a bit braver at showing you more of my arty creations in the blog from now on.
    Ali - I'm so chuffed that you've been tangling with your son :) I love your suggestion of bookmarks - hmmm.....

    Kate x

  6. totally awesome - I love them love them love them - you go girl - believe in yourself they are wonderful!!!!

  7. I know how scary it can be to put your work on show so I applaud your courage. You needn't have worried though, I think your cards are going to be a massive hit. Get printing!

  8. They are super, Kate, really attractive and I'm sure they'll be very popular. How exciting it will be to see you work printed up! Looking forward to seeing more of your creations,
    Liz :)


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