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.
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 . . .