Mantangles and More Art Group First Challenge

We completed our first challenge in the Mantangles and More group and I’d love to share the fruits of our undertaking here with you. I wanted to reawaken a group spirit that started quite a few years ago which was inspired by the Zentangle concept. I asked everyone to create mandalas in the same style and so the mantangle concept was born.

This time around we are not only silk artists but a collection of creatives who use any medium they have to hand to follow the brief and let a piece of art emerge that they probably don’t expect.

Our first brief was as follows: write down the name of something that triggers you. Put this on the canvas of your choice (canvas, paper, fabric, etc) and then allow the artwork to emerge around it. I encourage everyone to not paint or draw something pretty, but rather to just go with the flow and watch the process that unfolds.

We have 5 submissions in total this first time around and here they all are with a few words from the artists who created them. I hope you enjoy sharing in these and even more so, I hope you might feel inspired to come and join in with us in our work group on Facebook.

Do leave us your comments and let us know how you respond to what has been created here.

And above all, enjoy!

“The Grand Illusion” by Janet Dean

(1) Thanks for this challenge Fiona – I am brimming with ideas sparked by this. Here is my challenge piece – ink on ceramic .

I’m calling it ” The Grand Illusion”.

Power is something so many people strive for or are imprisoned by but in reality does not, can not exist. It is a manufactured state that starts from a belief in powerlessness. This piece is inspired by that trigger and hopes to show the viewer the beauty and complexity that lies beneath the illusion.”

“Rain” by Joy Light

(2) I ironed pleats into the silk and then wrapped and tied it with string to a PVC tube about 6″ diameter. Then I added blue and purple dye to it. I subsequently steam set the dye, wash and iron out the pleats. The arashi shibori method is tedious and the outcome is always unknown. I was going with the flow of RAIN, the ubiquitous weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest where I live .

“Trap” by Jessica Jackson

(3) …making this picture has given me a story to look at, a story beyond belief, and I relax when I look at it. It actually happened and it wasn’t real or true.

Change the verb to a noun and choice opens. Verbs get personal. Nouns are simply being what they are. Thoughts can be traps difficult to disentangle from, so why bother? Change the verb to a noun and the tangle is gone.

“Butterf-lies” by Lis O’Kelly

(4) Initially the first layer was very strong, angry lines as I felt into this trigger. As I continued contemplating Lies, the word ‘butterf-lies’ kept coming to mind and then I began to see the outlines of several butterflies, which I highlighted in white. Then it came to me that butterflies are symbolic of transformation and that through Love even Lies have the potential to transform into Truth. What started out as harsh and hard lines, softened and the painting is becoming lighter and infused with love. It’s been Interesting. I may leave it as it is or continue to see if there’s more there.

“Out of Control” by Fiona Stolze

(5) I painted and steamed this one twice in different layers. The second time I mixed quite a strong blend of reds, sienna and dark blue. It ate its way through the rather gentle soya wax and got a bit out of control. Rather fitting for the title. I didn’t get the look I was aiming for as I had wanted to have a much darker background. Of course the writing had washed off when the dye went on, so I had to write the letters on in gold at the end. The frustration I have felt online filling in endless immigration forms didn’t really come through in this process, however it was good to bring it to completion despite falling out of love with it midway. It’s okay for me to publish pieces that aren’t my favourites.

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And I’d love to encourage the artists to leave their comments below. It’s always very interesting to suddenly see your artwork in a different context.

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3 Responses to Mantangles and More Art Group First Challenge

  1. Fiona Stolze says:

    Jessica, I felt prompted to share the poem you incorporated into your piece of artwork – “Trap”. Thanks for letting us know who wrote it. I greatly enjoyed it and thought it was lovely that it is an integral part of your picture. This is what you posted for us –

    The text is from ETERNAL ECHOES by John O’Donahue, about not “settling for a false shelter…There is no cage for the soul…There are no small spaces within…Awaken the eternal beauty and light of your soul, then you will bring light wherever you go…” John O’Donahue has such a sweet brain!

  2. Joy Light says:

    I am glad I followed through and completed my first Mantangle challenge! I have watched this creative enterprise for a while and finally jumped in to play too!
    I was very happy with the outcome, the rain in Oregon is ubiquitous, practically a daily event, sometimes frustrating, but always providing the much needed moisture to our region. The colors and pattern of the arashi shibori technique are very rain-like, although when it’s raining and pouring in Oregon, it’s generally very grey outside!
    I loved seeing the group’s response to the challenge, thank you for including me!

    PS. I almost immediately sold the arashi rain scarf as part of a collection of 10 scarves to a local boutique!

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