On the weekend, I attended Tangle Island in Parksville, BC Canada. It was an inspiring weekend learning multiple watercolour background techniques with Twinking H20s and Tombow Dual Brush Pens. The theme was dragonflies and butterflies, and at the end, we combined all our pieces into a hand sewn booklet. I had the most amazing time. I met so many wonderful tangle-minded people, and the instructors, Jerryann Haggart of Tangled Artistry and Nancy Dawes of Crafting-Passions, were phenomenal at teaching techniques, sharing ideas, and showing great patience as we worked through our creative process.
Upon arrival at the Macmillian Art Centre, each table spot was set with a decorative book box filled with supplies we would be using through out the two days, two cups of water (one clean for wetting tiles and one dirty for cleaning brushes), a few little treats. There were about 15 people in the course and each table sat two people. My table partner was a lovely lady name Ann, we worked well as a team having different strengths and understandings of the different processes, we helped each other a lot!
Being the keener that I am, I arrived about 35min before class started, this extra time gave me a chance to browse Jerryann and Nancy's mini store which was set up over a couple of tables. There were many wonderful treasures I wanted to buy, but I had to be reasonable. I knew I would visit the store more than once, so on my first visit, I picked up 3 opus tiles (larger than a typical tile), Cris Letourneau's book Pattern Play and a package of Zentangle Pre-strung tiles (first series). Cris Letourneau was attending this course as well with her multi-talented daughter Alexa. Cris signed my Made in the Shade book and Pattern Play book.
On the first day, we learned how to do two types of watercolour washes. The first was a gradient wash and the second was a drop wash. We learned that when using Twinking H2Os (twinks) it is super important to make sure that your tile is very wet (I forgot a couple times, but eventually got the hang of it). On the other hand, when using Tombows, it is very important to make sure your tile is dry. Apparently, if your tile is wet when using TomBows you run the risk of the tile surface pilling. I loved practicing the gradient technique. I like how the colour gets lighter and lighter. The second watercolour wash we learned was a drop wash. I liked how drop washes allowed you to use a couple different colours and they blend to create new colours. It was helpful that we were provided with a colour wheel. We were reminded that complimentary colours (opposites on the colour wheel) blended together create a browny mud colour. I really loved working with the greens, blues, and purples.
Once we had "mastered" the gradient wash and drop wash techniques, we used these basic techniques to experiment and explore other techniques. For example, we played with rice, rubbing alcohol, a stylus, glaze pen, wax paper, plastic wrap, and tissue paper. My favourite technique was using a drop wash with Twinks and plastic wrap. The finished product reminded me of broken glass. We were also taught how to do gems with Twinks. I struggled a lot with creating decent looking gems and I look forward to practicing this technique some more.
As we played and experimented with the various techniques, Jerryann and Nancy also taught us some tangles. Those tangles included Skye, Poke Leaf, B'Dylan, Henna Drum (Drum Henna?), Molygon, Aquafleur (courtesy of Cris), and Mumsy (courtesy of Ann). We also learned how to draw simple dragonflies and butterflies using simple twirly scrolling lines.
Included in our wonderful supplies provided were four Twinkling H2Os and four TomBows, I purchased six more Twinks and five more TomBows from Jerryann and Nancy's store. I also bought a book recommended by Nancy. I'm so excited to build my supplies and continue experimenting and playing. Our homework for the first night was to use our favourite tangles on our drop wash rice tile. I think they turned out beautifully!
At the end of the second day, we began piecing our collection together. Before Nancy taught us how to bind our collection together, we gathered everyone's pieces together to admire all our hard work and creativity. To bind the book we learned a Japanese 4 Hole Stab binding which result in each of us taking home our very own hand sewn book.
I was pretty much giddy throughout my entire time at tangle island. I was so grateful to have such a wonderful opportunity to further my understanding/techniques of something that I am very passionate about. I truly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful artist, and I look forward to staying connected through our love of tangling. I can't wait to attend the next Tangle Island in October, and this time, I'm going to bring Momma Deb with me!