Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Diva's Challenge #219

Challenge #219

This week's challenge involved using only straight lines...no curves, no swirls. So I went to my Zentangle organizer which is a photo book where I keep my Zentangle cards.

I organize my cards by categories (fillers, grids, accents, borders). On each card, I write the name, the steps, who created the pattern. Sometimes, I draw variations on the back. I don't have cards for every pattern, just the ones I really like. I also tried to create a digital book using Penultimate and Evernote (apps on my IPad) but I like the tactile nature of the cards. 

So in my book, I found a few patterns I liked.  I knew I wanted something in the center and bold patterns around it. I ended up using the pattern Maryhill in the center and Flukes and 'Brella around it. Flukes (the one that looks like roof shingles) is one of my favorites. I just love that with a bit of shading, you can make it look 3-D. 'Brella is new to me and I like how bold this variation is. 

After finishing, I thought perhaps the Maryhill should have been a bit bigger. Other than that, I'm happy with the way this turned out.

I'm also working on a new Islamic Geometry art. This one may take me awhile!

I was in Little Rock, Arkansas last Thursday through Sunday for my nephew's graduation so I didn't get to work on my art journal. But I did have a great time with my mom, my sister and her family.

I'm very proud of my nephew who will be attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Intricate Patterns

I am posting a couple of challenges in this post along with a new to me form of art. The picture you see above is for Diva's Challenge #218. This week's challenge was to create a white on black tile. I started with Isochor (top left) and added Flux, and Shattuck (and Printemps. I used a Sakura Gelly Roll (white) on Black Artist tile by Strathmore. I tried to shade with a white coloring pencil but I'm not sure if they show up. This is only my second attempt at white on black.

This one was my first attempt. I have a difficult time thinking about how the finished piece will look or picking appropriate patterns to use. And working on black paper means you can't sketch with a pencil first. I know that's the goal of zentangle but it is still intimidating,

I also tried doing Darcy's Weekly Challenge #6 which was to use P-Q-R patterns.

I used Pozer, Quandry, and Rixty. I feel like I cheated a bit as I did not use Rixty very much. I don't normally color my tangles but I felt as though this needed color.  I've always found Quandry to be a difficult pattern but not this time. 

On Monday, I was browsing YouTube looking for a tutorial on mandalas and I found a few videos on Islamic geometry art. I taught geometry many years ago and remember constructing various polygons with a compass and a ruler. But this is incredible!

After several tries, I was able to create the structure above. I actually made a mistake so I didn't create what I had intended but I like the resulting structure. What is so incredible about the Islamic Geomtry Art is that with a compass and a ruler, you can create so many different structures you see in Islamic art and architecture. I think I will be trying more in the future.

The appeal of Zentangle and Islamic geometry art is that they satisfy both sides of my brain. When you see a zentangle tile or these geometric art structures, you are drawn to them because they are beautiful and intricate. But creating them takes both your analytical and artistic skill. I have to do more research on brain hemisphere and how that affects the art you create. 

Hope you have a great week. I need to pack up because I am headed to Little Rock, Arkansas for my nephew's graduation! Very exciting!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dictionary Art, Sort of

I recently joined a Facebook group called Dictionary Art. As you might guess, you draw on dictionary pages. Most are finding vintage dictionaries at garage sales and some on eBay. And most vintage books are hardcovers, it makes a nice art journal. Basically, you just choose a word on a page and draw and color.

I have several dictionaries at home but they were all paperbacks and fairly new. Our temple had a garage sale recently and my son was helping with religious school so I asked him to find an old dictionary and maybe another vintage book with pictures (possibly for an altered book). So this is how the conversation went...

And when I picked him up, he gave me two books, neither was a dictionary, but close enough. He picked up a Reader's Encyclopedia. It is alphabetical, but the words are related to literature. It just means that I have to be creative to find words I can draw. I find myself working on this when I can't sleep, like tonight. The Chesire Cat was started at 3 a.m. 

My first piece was drawing J.S. Bach.

Coloring on an old, thin page is not easy, especially when using a wet medium like inktense. I couldn't blend well, and ended up ripping the paper in some places. I should have prepped the paper first with either matte medium or clear gesso.

My second piece, I prepped the paper with clear gesso and used Crayola Slick Stix to color.

Madame Butterfly is one of my favorite operas by Puccini. And I found a reference photo online. I love how vivid the red is on this piece. Using the clear gesso strengthened the paper, and allowed me to blend without damaging the paper. The Slick Stix are like gellatos, creamy and highly blendable dry or wet! 

I went back to my favorite inktense for the next two.

These are all quick sketches. It's fun, and it's a great way to practice your drawing skill. I would like to do a graphite drawing and a pen drawing someday.  So next time you're looking for something to do, grab a dictionary and doodle!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My First Diva's Challenge

This is my first entry in the Diva's Zentangle Challenge. In this Challenge (#217), we were to use the patterns Dex and Bunzo. My original thought was to create a tunnel-like structure with Dex and have Bunzo snaking through the center. The tangelation required to do that was too much work, so I took the easy route, which was to flatten the overall structure.

Bunzo is always a fun pattern. I had to make myself stop before it overtook the whole paper. I hope I will be able to participate weekly. 😊

Take a look at how other participants used these patterns here.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 10, 2015


If you are my friend on Facebook, you probably saw the picture of my mother I posted. It was an old photo of her in her early 20's. Even so young, you can see her toughness, her resilience..,at least I think you can. Here's the photo.

I didn't get to see her for Mother's Day but I did speak to her over the weekend. She must have been thinking about her mother because she was re telling me some stories about her childhood. 

My mother was born in 1938 in Okinawa, Japan. You can probably guess that her childhood wasn't pleasant, as WWII began to heat up in the Pacific after Japan attacked Pear Harbor. Okinawa is part of the Ryukyu Islands southwest of Mainland Japan. It is a beautiful tiny island and is strategically located in the Pacific. This is not going to be a history lesson but a memoir of a woman who lost her older brother and her mother during the war. 

She told me that she was almost 6 years old and her sister only 2 when the war in the Pacific began to intensify. Her older brother was already shipped off to fight, they never knew where he was headed or where he died. They never even got an official notification because they no longer lived in a house. Her family, along with others were nomads, moving from one cave after another, trying to stay away from the fighting. My mother has mentioned it briefly and I have seen documentaries about the war in Pacific and what happened to many who hid in the caves. My mother said they were lucky. They were found by American soldiers who only wanted to see if there were Japanese soldiers hiding along with them. Once it was determined that there were no soldiers, they took the men with them, including mom's father. For a few weeks, the remaining women and older men tried to provide shelter and food for everyone. I can't imagine how scared my mother and her sister were. 

Eventually, her father was released and ended up working for the Americans later after the war. But during the aftermath of war, the living conditions were horrible, many infected with Malaria, including my grandmother. There were no medicines, no access to doctors. My grandmother did not survive the infection. At 8 years old, my mother became the matriarch of her family. She was able to finish what is equivalent of junior high, but she had to work and take care of her dad and her sister. She never went to high school but made sure her sister did. She and her dad worked to build a small house because you need a house to keep the spirit of a person and mom wanted to make sure that her dad's spirit had a home.

My mother has told me these stories before. And her experiences definitely shaped her adult life. My mother is a tough woman, brutally honest, always dignified in appearance. We have had a difficult relationship, but I always try to respect her wisdom, try to understand where she comes from, the sacrifices she has had to make. I do lover her very much. I remember having fun with her growing up. I keep trying to remember those things when things are tough between us. But no matter what, I will always celebrate her survival and her strength. I hope she had a great Mother's Day. ❤️

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Favorite Poem

I was introduced to the work of Tyler Knott Gregson about a year ago from my friend, Mel. He is a contemporary poet whose words become an image in my mind. You can find Mr. Gregson's work here

The art journal entry you see above is my latest. Of course the first thoughts I had after reading the poem was the joy and anticipation of sipping that first cup of coffee. I started this piece in sepia tones but I actually kept seeing the colors purple and yellow. So I had to add them. This is the first time I had colors insisting they be used. Perhaps I'm losing it if I'm having a conversation in my mind with colors.

Adding purple was easy, it's a striking background. But yellow? So I just went with easy. Used a bubble wrap to crest simple flowers. 

This is a piece I did months ago. I saw the poem on Mel's timeline on Facebook and immediately fell in love. And I saw a basic image of a woman's face with gold cracks. I had done two of my Woman of Wisdom series already by then so the hair was influenced by that. I usually like to write the words out by hand, but for this one, I did it digitally.

This is also a piece I showed publicly at out Temple art show. Here's what I wrote about this piece for the show.

Yukari Bromfield

This piece was inspired by a quote from Tyler Knott Gregson and a Japanese art of mending broken pottery called Kintsukuori.  

Some days I wake up
and all I feel
are the fractures
in the flesh
that covers
the only me
I've ever known.
Some days,
it's those exact
that let the light
pour out
and cover
in gold
that found enough beauty
in the cracks
to stand

Kintsukuori is a process by which gold or silver lacquer is used to repair broken pottery with the belief that the piece is more beautiful for being broken.

Many of us are broken, put together with love and understanding.  And we are all beautiful for surviving.

Do you have a favorite poem or a poet?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Beautiful Gift

This is a journal spread in my brand new journal. This journal is special to me because it was a gift from my husband for my birthday. 

It is a leather bound cover with a blank sketchbook inside. It's a beautiful book and I was totally overwhelmed. My husband had always been supportive of my hobbies and interests. He has never complained about all the supplies I've accumulated. But he has never really had much interest in what I do. So this was totally a surprise. And my kids even got me a gift card to Michael's! I felt so cherished (borrowing my friend, Brad's word). I felt that my family was valuing and honoring my passion. 

So back to my art above. I may be obsessing a bit about my age. Maybe I'm going through a mid-life crisis, who knows. I don't feel any different than I did a few days ago, maybe a few more gray hair, but nothing noticeable. But it's a mind set. I can't get sucked into thinking I'm somehow less than I was before. And it's nothing others are making me feel this, it's all in my mind. I guess that's why I liked that quote by Twain. So enough, already. No more talk of my age!

The next piece I did in my new journal was a response to a journal prompt from a Facebook group, Fauxbonichi Journalers (check us out!). What is my dream job? Well, that's easy! I'd like to be a professional tester of all things art supplies! Companies would sent me a complete line of their new products, and I'd get to try them and review them. Lol. For this piece, I used the ends of a baby bokchoy we had several days ago that I had saved as a stamp. Using some acrylic paints, I stamped the flowers and filled in the flowers. The leaves and the background wash was done with Staedtler watercolor crayons. 

I'm going to enjoy using this new lovely journal. What was your favorite or most special gift you've received?