Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I'm doing swimmingly well.

  I have so many things to show you this week!

  I thought I'd spend February filming videos, and doing more personal projects... But I ended catching a terrible case of the flu that took me three weeks to recover from. :( 

  Other than the flu, February has treated me well enough. Chinese New Year happened. I had reunion dinners with both my in-laws, and at my mum's place. Here are some fishes I painted using Peerless watercolours to celebrate the holiday.

  I had a workshop at Bukit Batok East Community Club. The CC's staffs who attended the workshop were very creative and engaged in creating beautiful Zentangle art works.

  Here's their class mosaic. One of the tiles is mine. :)

  Group photo!

  I completed a couple of tiles for Travelling Tangles. Here's one from Jules Mack.

I had to black out the lower left circle because the watercolours made the black ink bleed.
I do like how the coaster turned out, though.

  Here's one from Sandie McClellan for the September Cadent Swap.

  And this lovely tile was from Debra Huff.

  I added watercolours for the background and then pushed the “bracelet” forward by adding Diva Dance Waltz. Subtle shading was added using Polychromos coloured pencils.

  Debra also sent me a tile for the Embedded Letter Swap.

  I was very tempted to add a frame around Debra’s tangles. But eventually decided to expand her work outwards. I thought about filling the tile out, edge-to-edge... but I chose to stop here. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. :)

  Over the week, I found a new gelato place at Bedok...

  Today also happens to be my first year wedding anniversary. ^-^

  Alex and I celebrated it early, last Sunday, by going to watch "Black Panther" at Cathay Platinum. The theatre had extra wide, plush seats, that could recline! The theatre's staffs also served us some finger food (directly to where we sat). And there was a little lamp that you could switch on if you needed to see what you were eating. It was a great experience.

  That day, I wore a peach-coloured vintage tulle dress that used to belong to Alex's grandmother. :)

  Lastly, here's a tile I did this morning for Diva's challenge. We were supposed to use a heart-shaped string on a Zendala.... I did do that, but I didn't exactly follow the string.
The background was created using Caran d'ache's Neocolor II.
I bought a set of 30 for $20! What a steal!

  Thanks for popping by. I hope the year of the dog has begun just as well for you as it has for me.

Friday, 26 January 2018

colours of the week

  Let's kick off this week's post with some tiles from Travelling Tangles Project...

  Firstly, here's a tile from Janet Shillam-Day sent to me in October 2017. She drew the tangles in white: Abundies, My Swing, and N’zeppel.

  I played around with the idea of extending N’zeppel to other areas of the tile, but ended up doing a watercolour wash of blue and then adding Fassett to the area. Shading was added using Derwent’s Coloursoft coloured pencils.

Fassett Zentangle for Travelling Tangles Project by Stephanie Jennifer

  Here’s a 3Z tile from Lin Laidler. I tried to make my Diva Dance sort of weave in and out between the other tangles.
3Z Zentangle for Travelling Tangles Project by Lin Laidler and Stephanie Jennifer 01

  And here's the after. No matter how many 3Z tiles I complete, I’m always so surprised by how small they really are. They get completed so quickly!

This was a tile from Barb Mavraganis sent to me in APRIL LAST YEAR (!) How quickly time flies. Yesterday morning, it spoke to me and I finally got around to completing it. It's the orange tile in this picture.
Zentangle for Travelling Tangles Project by Barb Mavraganis and Stephanie Jennifer 01.JPG

Watercolour Zentangle for Travelling Tangles Project by Barb Mavraganis and Stephanie Jennifer 02
I added extra colours using Derwent’s Art Bar, and Coloursoft coloured pencils. The white is from a Uni-Ball Signo Broad pen.

  Onwards, here are my tiles for this week's weekly challenges. Diva's challenge for Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day, featuring the colour purple.
Diva's Challenge #348 by Stephanie Jennifer

  And a tile for Joey's challenge, featuring String #165 and the tangle Exeter.
Joey's Challenge #200 by Stephanie Jennifer

  And a couple more tiles, just for fun. I found a new way to use Inktense blocks and Art Bars, so I'll probably be making a video tutorial soon. :)
Mooka and Naida by Stephanie Jennifer
Featuring Mooka, and my tangle, Naida.

Watercolour Paradox by Stephanie Jennifer
Paradox-y thing, with Flux.

Watercolour Diva Dance Simplified by Stephanie Jennifer.JPG
And to finish the week off, a tile featuring my simplified version of Diva Dance.

  Thanks for popping by. I'll see you next week!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Cold Weather Tangles

  Last week, Singapore had its coldest weather in a long time. Temperatures dipped to 22°C (72°F). Usually, our days hover at a warm 27°C to 35°C (80°F to 95°F).

  Here's what I've been up to lately...

A Bijou tile from Yvette Campbell for Travelling Tangles.
I used Flux, Printemps, and Tipple. Then added shading using Derwent's Coloursoft coloured pencils.

  I also completed some tiles for last week's weekly challenges.
The Diva asked us to do a duotangle tile using Phicops and Huggins.
My tile ended up looking like a seashell washed up on the beach. So I added Peerless watercolours to further push that image.

Joey wanted us to use Ta-Da and a string.
I really liked her tile for that challenge.

  And here are my tiles for this week's challenge...
Joey asked us to use the tangle "Didada" (which was new to me) and string #237.

The Diva asked us to create a string using found objects. I kept it simple and just used a scissors. You can see the initial string in pencil on the left of the picture.

  And here's one last tile for Travelling Tangles. A beautiful tile was sent from Raye Burnett (she drew the gem) to Debra Huff (she added the bezel. The tile was the sent to me. I added the blue background and echoed Deb’s lovely striping.

  And that's it for this week. Thanks for popping by. :)

Friday, 10 November 2017

school holidays are coming up. join a class!

  During the school holidays, we teach a holiday program. These classes follow the same lesson plans as our weekly classes, but instead of having one class each week, you attend four consecutive classes. This program is great for adults and children who want to learn about the Zentangle method but do not have time outside of the school holidays to attend extra-curricular activities.

  Teacher Joni will be teaching a holiday program at Changi-Simei Community Club from the 21st to 24th November 2017 (Tuesday to Friday). From 10am to 11:30am each day.

  As for me; I'll be teaching a Course Xpress class at Aljunied Community Centre on the 23rd of November 2017 (Thursday). 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

  Course Xpress classes are like trial classes. However, they are only held during off-peak periods (Mondays to Fridays, between 9am to 5pm). These classes are aimed towards home-makers, students, and senior citizens. The classes are one-time off and only last for one hour. Materials will be provided for by the teachers, but you will only be allowed to bring your art work home. These classes are a great way to try out Zentangle, to see whether you'd want to take part in regular weekly classes. Each class is an affordable $10 for non-PAssion card holders; $9 for PAssion card holders; and $3 for senior citizens.

  I also hope you saw my previous post regarding our new multi-flap greeting card classes. What's a "multi-flap greeting card", you ask? Watch this little video I posted on my Instagram:

  We'll be using Tombow dual brush markers, and you will learn so many different techniques on how to use them... Misting, colour blending, how to create gradients... And best of all, you'll learn how to draw gorgeous gemstones! Ahhh~ It's going to be so much fun!

  If you'd like a link with all the classes that we're going to teach, you're in luck. You can copy this link to share with all your family/friends:

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

it was love at first sight

  Here are my tiles for Joey's challenge (on the top left), and Diva's challenge (bottom right).

Joey asked us to use Metal Plating, and Laura asked us to use Wibble so I used it as the edge of a tile and added Meshmerize inside of it. The pink bijou used the tangle Wooooooo! and the other Bijou used Barquillos.

  Here's a full page spread. I started with Me Too (Mi2) and then added Mooka. But it then sort of turned into Waybop..? I like it though.

  And this one was a postcard that I coloured using watercolours, then added a quote on it. It reads, "It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.". It's a quote by Rumi. I then glued the postcard to my sketchbook and added Archer as a border around it.
Archer is a new tangle to me, and I really like it. Very simple and elegant.
  And that's all I have for this week. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017


  Here are my tiles for this week's challenges... The top tile is for Diva's Challenge: Halloween. I don't think I've quite gotten the hang of drawing Gourdeous....

  The bottom tile is for Joey's Challenge: Cylinder String, featuring Diva Dance. I used all the versions of Diva Dance, including my version of Rock and Roll. It's a simplified version of the tangle, and you can find step-outs to it via this link.

A Zendala inspired by Margreet Krijgsman.

Here's a tile I did in my sketchbook for #InktoberTangles
It's Oof with auras. I really like this version of the tangle.

  And here's another page in my sketchbook:
 The top tile was done just for fun. The bottom tile featured Q-belle for #InktoberTangles.
  I hope you had fun with InktoberTangles. If you did, there are other challenges going around for November, namely #Giveatangle2017 and #Gratitangles. I hope you'll continue your habit of drawing once a day. And to everyone that took part in InktoberTangles, thank you for playing along. I hope you'll join the challenge again next year. :)

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

not everything is black and white

  Last week was crazy busy for me. But I've finally found the time to slow down and get some ink on paper. :)

  Are you still keeping up with Inktober? I've been diligent in creating something for all the prompts but I've not been posting anything on my social medias.. which is a little odd. But I guess you do what works for you, yea?

  Here are my tiles for this week's Zentangle challenges:

For "It's a String Thing" #216
The colours in Abeko were done in Coloursoft coloured pencils. The background was done with Peerless watercolours. White auras were added using a Uni-ball Signo Broad pen.

Joey's 3D triangle... The string has gotten lost in the background. But basically, one side of WUD followed the edge of the string, and Frunky was used within the triangle itself.

  I happened to choose to draw my tile for Joey's challenge on black before I got to know that Laura wanted us to do something on black paper this week. So here's another black tile for her challenge:
And if you notice, I've changed my chop. It's on the lower right on this tile and is a stylised version of my Chinese family surname. I'm excited to use it in my future tiles.

   I think chops can be extremely personal. In Chinese calligraphy, your chop is hand-carved and your skills as an artist will not only be judged based on how your calligraphy looks like, but also where you place your chop and how it looks. A Chinese painting missing the artist's chop can be worth very little. Imagine that- just because of a tiny signature...

  I also feel that in my personal artistic journey, I've felt a need to change my chop/signature every time I felt a new chapter of my life starting... Have you changed your signature before? Or do you still use the very first signature you had?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Review of the Japan Calligraphy Art Academy Calligraphy Exhibition

  Last Friday, I attended the grand opening of the Japan Calligraphy Art Academy Calligraphy Exhibition at The Luxe Art Museum Singapore. I was part of the media team, and got front row seats at the event. (Woohoo!) The event had light food, and there was a great turn-out of a blend of Japanese and Singaporean attendants.

In a sea of black suits, I stood out with my pink dress.

  Bokushun Kito, the first speaker, is Board Chairman Representative Director of the Japan Calligraphy Art Academy. During his speech, I found out that it will be the Japan Calligraphy Art Academy’s 72nd anniversary early next year. Mr. Kito said that he wanted visitors of the exhibition to feel and experience Japanese culture through the art works displayed.

 The second speaker, Kenji Shinoda, is H.E Ambassador of the Japan Embassy in Singapore. His hope is that the exhibition would inspire Singaporeans to understand the elegant and beautiful Japanese art form that is Japanese calligraphy.

  Following him, a representative of the Sunstar Group, Yoshihiro Kaneda came on stage to give his speech. He talked about how Sunstar wanted to act as a bridge between Japan and Singapore, and said that it was fitting that the exhibition was held in Singapore, where diverse nationalities and cultures mix.

  Finally, chief executive director of the People's Association, Desmond Tan was the guest-of-honour for the event. He was rocking it without a speech prompter or any notes. He was eloquent and talked about the importance of strengthening ties between Japan and Singapore.

  After the speeches were made came time for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Got white gloves and shiny scissors some more... Very stately and super official.)
Group photo!

Anddd~ Snip!
  After that, we were ushered into the exhibition hall where all of the art works were being displayed. It was time for the calligraphy demonstration.

  The first of three artists to perform that day was Matsui Gyokusou. After completing her painting, the emcee asked if she had anything to say to the audience about how she was feeling or anything she had to say about the painting. Matsui said that she wasn't nervous today. She also told us that we should take note that Japanese calligraphy doesn’t have to be drawn on a white paper. The paper used in her painting has gold flecks and a gradient. So when viewing the paintings within the exhibition, we should not only take note of the calligraphy but the paper, too.
I liked the light, airiness of her calligraphy.

  The next artist that performed was Ohtani Yoshun. His painting depicted a maiden on the Silk Road. Ohtani noted that unlike Matsui, he was feeling nervous today as there were many great Chinese calligraphers present at the event today. He mentioned that at the Japan Cultural Workshop Day that was set to happen the next day (21st Oct), there was a movie that was going to be shown called “Shodo Girls”. The movie tells the story of how a group of girls revive their sad town by organising a calligraphy performance competition. Then he joked that the movie had their "Shodo Girls" and he was, instead, a “Shodo Uncle”. The joke received a peal of laughter.
In Mandarin, we'd say that his calligraphy has qi.
A sort of strong energy that gives the art work life.

  The last artist to perform for the day was Kito Bokushun. He wrote a series of calligraphic words from a famous Chinese poem. The poem was written by a general going to war, and is one of Kito's favourite poem.
I really liked how the large and small words balance the art work.

  If you'd like to watch a video of the three artists creating their art works specifically for this event, you're in luck, cause' I filmed:

  I mentioned to Teacher Joni how much pressure I'd feel if I were asked to perform in front of a large audience using such an unforgiving medium such as ink... I really tip my hat to the three wonderful artists who showed us different types of Japanese art styles that day.

  After that, we were allowed to walk around the exhibition hall to admire the art works hanging on the walls. As I've mentioned before in a previous post; the exhibition covers four categories: Sino-Japanese ideograms (“kanji”), Japanese syllabary (“kana”), new calligraphic art and seal carving. And even if I couldn't read a word of Japanese, I kept my heart and mind open to this new experience...

  I followed Matsui's advice and took note of the paper that were used in the art works...
Look at the pretty floral embellishment on this art work.
I also super loved the soft peach colour of the paper.

A painting in a painting...  Notice the soft blue mountains on the lower portion of this art work.
It was done by Hasegawa Gyokuri and depicts a waka poem expressing the beauty of the ocean.

Here's a poem by Li Bai about looking at a mountain.

This one was drawn by Ohtani Yoshun, the second artist that performed that day.
Again, I really love the energy in his work.

Lastly, here's another seal carving piece by Shimamura Misao that depicts some ancient Chinese phrases. I really loved the deep cobalt blue of the background.

  I've studied Chinese calligraphy before, and one of the stark differences between the Chinese calligraphy exhibitions that I've been to and this exhibition was the way the art works were framed. Chinese calligraphy is still displayed in its scroll form, hung from a nail on the wall. Whereas the paintings in this exhibition had really modern, minimalistic silver frames. I really liked that.

  All in all, I was really pleased with how well-planned the event was. The emcee/translator at the event was great. Attention was paid to even the small details: Like the fact that they had a backing paper for the paintings that were done for the performances... In this way, pictures of the paintings would show up better because the black inked words would contrast better against a solid white background rather than one piece of sheer rice paper. There were microphones for all of the guests. People were ushered in an orderly manner. The food was lovely; as were the people who attended the opening ceremony...

  I had a wonderful time viewing the art works. The Luxe Museum is just behind Plaza Singapura and is accessible by MRT (Dhoby Ghaut) and other buses. If you have the time this week, do drop by. The exhibition will run all the way till' the 25th of October 2017.