Wednesday, June 26, 2013

EVOLUTION OF MY MOOKAS Part 4: Mooka as strings

In the last 2 weeks, I have a few more innovations to the Mooka tangle.   One was to decorate the swollen heads on the ends of the fronds. This leaves room for numerous embellishments:

A second innovation was to use the tangle known as "fescu" to represent the mooka seen at a great distance:

Have you ever thought of using a tangle as a string?  For example, use Mooka to divide the area of the tile. Next, fill in the space inside the tangle:

Another way is to use the string (Mooka) to divide the tile, then to  decorate the external areas of the ATC or ZT card.  

I found out that if you try to do both, decorate both inside and outside of the Mooka itself, you lose the Mooka in the artwork. I personally feel the Mooka needs to be emphasized in either case.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

EVOLUTION OF MY MOOKAS Part 3: Mooka leaves

By the end of March, 2013 I had learned to draw the Mooka correctly. I had also created the inside-out variation along with the outward bent mooka.  Additionally, I had developed the ability to 'look through holes' at something beyond the active layer. I had also developed the movement or growth of something through the holes in one level of the drawing as well as 'floating' an object above the main plane of the drawing.

March, April and May were also spent investigating variations in the form and shape of the Mooka itself. The Mooka is a very organic tangle. As such, I viewed it with reproductive organs.  Toward the end of February, I came across a mooka variation by Daniele O'Brien CZT showing small leaves on the ends of each mooka frond.  She also demonstrated fronds which were elongated and which criss-crossed. This was a novel idea to me and one that intrigued me. I spent time with my sketchbook trying different variations of these two ideas. 

I decided that I liked the philodendron type leaf better than the smaller leaf that Daniele showed. 
The next development was to draw a mooka with blossoms, buds and fruit on it.
Somehow, this just did not seem "mooka-ish".  It destroyed the original feeling of the Mooka. Therefore, I went back to the philodendron-like leaf and  let is 'spread out' and bleed into other, neighboring spaces.

Somehow, this seemed natural. If you have had philodendrons, you know how they can spread.  I made several ZIAs using this 'bleeding leaf' and it seemed really natural.

One of the Mooka ends I had played around with was bulbous swellings on the tips, sort of like spore cases.

While the note on the drawing says this was after seeing the You Tube presentation, This was acturally BEFORE I saw the you tube presentation.  However, I did finally see Rick Robert's and Maria Thomas' you tube presentation of the Mooka.  I truly fell in love with Rick's way of drawing the "spore-heads" and practiced it until it seemed to come naturally.

Somehow, the more I worked with the Mooka, the less the philodendron leaves seemed to fit. Again, I tried several variations and on April 11, I finally found perfection.  Somehow, Mooka seems somewhat fern-like. Definitely not a flowering plant. The perfect 'leaf' for the Mooka is a GYNKO LEAF. The gynko is a living fossil.  At one time, the gynko and its relatives formed the majority of the plants on the face of the earth.  Today, I believe there is only a single species still living on the face of the earth.  It has a very strange leaf, different from all other leaves on the face of the earth.  I gave the Mooka a gynko leaf. I also gave it a POD for reproduction.  Now, the Mooka seemed almost perfect.
There seemed to be only one thing left. For further reproduction, the Mooka had to have 'runners' (sometimes called rhizomes) that grew along under ground, and sent up new Mooka plants periodically.  You know, kind of like Bermuda Grass.
If you put this all together, you get something like:

Yes, there is an alien-ness to the Mooka.  It is something that could grow on another planet.  It is also something that could have grown on our own planet several million years ago.  Is it possible it still grows somewhere on our planet today?  I don't know.  However, I am as hooked by the Mooka as I am by the whole Zentangle concept.

We will just have to see. The Mooka, like most Zentangle tangles are living, changing things. Depending on the person using them, they will change.  We will just have to wait until next month to see the next installment.   Until then, keep on exploring . . .

Saturday, June 22, 2013

EVOLUTION OF MY MOOKAS Part 2: Through or floating above

In February and March, I got more adventurous.  In early February, I became interested in forming holes in a tangle and looking through the hole to see something beyond the layer.

At first, I just used one 'hole' on each ZT.  However, after awhile I added additional holes.  Sometimes all of the holes viewed the same materials, as shown above.  Later, each hole viewed something different.

After looking through holes, I started wondering what would happen if something came through the holes?  This led to a variety of attempts to show this.

Finally, I got the hang of it, and creeping through holes started showing up regularly in my artwork.

Hmm, looking through at a different level, passing through from one level to another, that left just one thing to explore, in my mind at that time -- floating above.

Actually, what I found was that "looking thru" and "floating above" were basically the same, The only difference came with the shading. When 'looking thru', the deeper item is shaded, and may even have a shadow cast on it by the more superficial tangle.  When 'floating above', the floater casts a shadow on the layers below it, and the floater is brightly lit. 

Throughout the months of February and March, I drew numerous ATCs, ZTs and ZIAs which made use of all of these techniques. Here are a few examples.

That's all for now. More to come in the future. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

EVOLUTION OF MY MOOKAS Part I: Mooka, the first

As I said earlier, I first found Zentangle on Dec. 12, 2012. I didn't have much time to explore Zentangles (ZTs) as it was the annual Christmas rush.  However, I did do some reading.  I produced my first tangled art work on Dec. 26 and my second on Dec. 27.  I fell in love with Mooka the first time I saw it in a ZT.  However, I found it to be very difficult to draw, especially without instructions. That being said, my first use of Mooka was in my second ZT.  It looked like this: 

By January 3, 2013 I had purchased my first Zentangle book: "ONE ZENTANGLE A DAY", by Beckah Krahula. I must admit that the reason I selected this book from all the ZT books at the Hastings bookstore is that it had clear instructions for drawing the Mooka design.  I also liked the idea of working on one chapter a day and each chapter having only 3 or 4 new designs (tangles) to learn.  After practicing on scratch paper many times, my Mookas began to look more like what I saw in the book and online. By January 3, they looked like this:

Wow! I felt I was in Mooka heaven!  As I worked my way through the book in the evenings, I started drawing on Artist Trading Cards which were available even in my small town (population under 5000).  Somehow, every ATC I drew had at least one Mooka on it.

By January 8, 2013 I had found the YouTube demonstration filmed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts ( Now, my Mookas appeared perfect to me. However,after awhile I felt somewhat restrained.  By drawing the mooka as demonstrated, you were limited to how many 'fronds' you could build into one Mooka, no matter how large you started with the first frond.  I had started experimenting with the basic Mooka form. I saved the newspaper each day and , using a heavy Sharpie, Mooka'd every page in every conceivable way.

One modification I found was to draw the Mooka backwards - from the inside  out.  By starting with the smallest inner frond, I could keep adding new fronds to the outside and make the mooka as large as I wished!  A second modification was to turn the tops of the fronds outward - away from the center. Also, by adding small circles beyond the tips, it gave the appearance that the fronds were 'shooting' something away, like molds or ferns shooting spores away:

For the rest of January, I played with the Mooka and its variations.  I still found a mooka in almost every piece of artwork I created during this time.

Next, I will cover developments from February and March.  Happy tangling!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My first exposure to Zentangle and tangling

I first came across this new art form on December 12, 2012 while surfing for Christmas presents for family. At first, I didn't have much time to investigate, but I bookmarked it. After Christmas, I returned to the topic and found and These two sites are perhaps the most important to my development in tangling. I did quite a bit of reading and visiting tangle sites for the next few days, bookmarking everything. 

Finally, on December 26, 2912 I was ready to try tangling for the first time.  Of course, I did not have any of the 'official' zentangling equipment (micron pens, official tiles, etc) but I did have some ATC cards and needlepoint pens. My first Zentangle was done on a 2 inch square on an ATC card.  I look back at this first ATC and still like it. .  .

On December 27, 2012 I tangled my second artwork. Again, it was in a 2 inch square on an ATC card. . .

I had to skip a day, but on December 29, I created my third artwork, again in a 2 inch square. For some reason, I thought these always had to be done in a square frame.  This third ATC is still among my favorite attempts.  As a matter of fact, three months later, I recreated this on a 5-1/2 inch square heavy weight paper with the intent of framing it to display it on my wall.  While the enlargement did not exactly repeat the original, it is close and I still dearly love both of them.  This is my third ATC. . .

That did it!  I was hooked!  I was able to create a small work of art, even though I was not really an artist!  I was not only pleased by my attempt, I was thoroughly in love with it!

My Christmas gift to myself that year was to buy my first book about Zentangling: "One Zentangle a Day" by Beckah Krahula.  I still think that was a wise decision. Every night I worked on one 'chapter' before going to bed.  This allowed me to learn several tangles and how to put them together in my own way, with no pressure. 

Later, I donated several times to the "". With each donation, I was able to download one of their e-books.  The more I tangled, the more I became enthralled with the feeling I had while tangling and with the results of my efforts!

More to come . . .   :)

Monday, June 10, 2013


                                                    Mooka, Mooka everywhere,
                                                    Or so seems to be.
                                                    Growing, blooming from earth bare
                                                    Striving upward to be free..

                                                    One frond blooms, 3 more follow
                                                    Growth from inside out.
                                                    One size now, but on the morrow
                                                     Da da da da da  dowt.

                                                (Can't think of a punch line for the poem! <giggle>  )