Monthly Archives: February 2014

iTangle Is Finally Here!!

itanglecoverMy gosh . . . it’s finally finished. The first and only instruction book for tangling and doodling on your iPad.

I am not a tangler nor a teacher of tangling. But I do know my way around the iPad pretty well (you’d think I should – after writing over 700 pages of iPad art instruction since 2012!).

Because I invited my friend, Sandy Bartholomew, to teach at my retreat last year, about half the attendees were tanglers of one type or another. We even had several CZTs in attendance.

And ALL of them were carrying iPads. And NONE of them were practicing their tangle art ON the iPad.

The iPad is a GREAT tool for making art of all kinds, but as easy as it is to use, the art apps are not only confusing, they don’t come with instructions either!

So, my job . . . figure out which of the hundreds of drawing apps worked best and most simply for this art form, most closely mimicked the real life experience of pen, pencil, and paper, and which also included all the basic operating features of iPad art apps, so students could move on to more complicated apps and understand them better, if so desired. (Wow! Was that sentence long enough for ya?)

I did all that figuring, and then wrote a manual which teaches you how to use the app to tangle, doodle, or do line drawing using step-by-step instructions WITH pictures. Easy as can be. Even my cat can do it – she thinks she can anyway.

Learn to make the right size Tiles and string them, and use them if you practice traditional Zentangle (TM).

Learn to draw tangles with the tangle instructions right there on the page with you – but then make the instructions disappear and leave your beautiful design all alone -ready to enjoy and share on the iPad, or print, or resize, or . . . anything you want because you now have a *digital* tangle design with no need for scanning.

I want to make it clear that this is NOT a book of tangle designs. Folks like Sandy Bartholomew do a much better job of that than I. In fact, Sandy’s three ebooks are great companions to the iTangle Book because you can keep them right there in iBooks and pick any design from them to work with. All right there within the iPad!

Click the SHOP button on Sandy’s blog to access those wonderful books. (The Santa Fe one is my favorite, of course.)

If you are not so traditional in your tangling practice, the iTangle book teaches you how to erase and correct from a bug’s eye perspective (yes, you can erase iPad “ink”), and even how to do some blended SHADING like Sandy uses to make her tangles look 3D.

And, if you are not into tangling at all, this book is still for you, because, of all the iPad art books I’ve written, this is the one that most simply introduces you to line drawing on the iPad. So if you draw rubber stamps designs, or just doodle for fun and creative exercise, this the perfect way for you to learn to do that on your iPad.

I am redesigning my website to present these books better, but I know you don’t want to wait for that, so here is the link to the Shopping Cart where you can buy iTangle right now.

There is even a BUNDLE there for saving $10 on a three book combo, and you can learn to print from the iPad too.

I don’t have connections with any tangling groups, etc.,so if you do, please share this post with them so we can get the word out to all those tanglers walking around with empty iPads!


Let There Be Light . . . and Other Stuff

brushpaintingBrushes . . .

Sketch Journal Two has begun and the first thing we are doing is learning to draw and paint brushes – a favorite subject of mine always. I love drawing art supplies.

This sample is a work in progress in which I am attempting to paint with watercolor on canvas. It’s not easy – I have tested all kinds of additives and am not thrilled with anything. Also, the piece will need to be varnished or sealed somehow when finished. I don’t like the watercolor canvas at all – or painting on absorbent ground. My goal is to get the same look I get on Arches cold press, which this does have so far. Wish me luck.


For your enthusiastic support for putting my work and my gallery online.

Since somebody mentioned the glass night lights, and I have some on hand, I started with them. The gallery website does not exist yet, so I will be using my “jessica” site for awhile. I haven’t done much with that one and I should.

Here’s a reminder of what my night lights look like . . .

bluebirdbranch goldenstars

The design is done by a method called kiln carving. You create and cut your design from a special, thick paper made of ceramic, and then let the glass slump over it when fusing. The design gets “carved” into the back of the glass. The result is very pretty.

And here’s the page with all of my current lights.:

Coming VERY Soon   . . .

A brand new iPad Art Book, called “iTangle”.

All about how to tangle, doodle, and draw on your iPad. It also happens to be the best simple introduction to the basics of how art apps function on the iPad.

Yes, I have been busy – now where are those elves?!



Creative Process, Part 4 – The Earth Paints

earthpaints1There is just no way to describe the sheer beauty of the Tucson Gem & Mineral show. The venues aren’t fancy or pretty (at least the ones I attend), but whether you are an “earthy” girl like me, or appreciate the “sparkly” side of things, the visual feast here is beyond imagining.

And the best part of all – it all comes from the Earth and its amazing processes.

I have to make this post rather short because I have to head home today, but I wanted to share one of those “creative process” moments that happened as I laid out my newly purchased treasures last night in my room at the inn. (Tubac Country Inn – I LOVE it here).

The pieces you see above are various picture Jaspers. Impurities in the formation of this form of quartz create landscape paintings you could never duplicate with paint and canvas.

I will make pendants from these for the gallery and I was thinking I should have a “name” for this particular line.

As serendipity would have it, my friend, Val, who was here with me for a few days, had pulled a book from the bookcase (which I never have the time to notice!), and left it on the coffee table – where I was laying out my goodies.

It’s a wonderful book called “The Earth Speaks” . . .

earthpaints2I thought “and the Earth PAINTS, too”.


So the name of this line will be “The Earth Paints”

Byline: The most beautiful landscapes are painted by the Earth itself.

I like it.

And this brings me to a question.

Is there any point to my sharing the pieces I create from this and other lines here on the blog?

I read a lot of blogs written by folks with Etsy Shops who show their works and seem to sell them. I don’t want an Etsy Shop because I have my own e-commerce site to use, but would you all (just spent a few days with my brother from Texas, y’all), be interested in being able to shop from my new gallery here online?

You sure like shopping my gallery when you are here in Santa Fe! (thank you all very much). So maybe I should put somethings online?

I have to create a website for the new gallery and I am debating whether to make it a pretty page or enable it for shopping. Of course, the shopping would also come from the tourists we would meet as they came through, but why not you too?

Would you be interested?

Sketch Journal Note . . .

Sketch Journal 2 starts Saturday, and after that, the tuition on both Sketch Journal 1 and 2 returns to normal.

Here’s the link:

Sketch Journal Workshops


The Last Tomatoes . . .

One of the blogs I read regularly is the Susan Branch blog – not because I aspire to be as sweet as she is, or to become a domestic goddess, but because I love her watercolor illustration.

And, there is something about living in someone else’s shoes for just a few minutes, that is refreshing. I don’t wear shoes, of course, but you know what I mean.

This lady publishes books and calendars, designs products, and works her butt off – so I identify with that last part.

And she appreciates the small things in life – like cats and squirrels. I identify with that too.

The weather has been terrible on Martha’s Vineyard, and Susan said this:

“This is when the little things in life are really all there are . . .”


We got our first snow in months this week, and really have to celebrate it, even though it came with bitter cold, and wind. With Susan’s thought echoing in my head, I spent some time in my garden room appreciating the small things – like I still had three tomatoes on the vine and it was February 5! Yes, we ate them and they tasted like Summer.

We didn’t eat these, but I was thrilled to have bright red Impatiens to gaze at in February . . .

redimpatiensfebAnd this little bird is still nestled in purple Bacopa blossoms . . .

claybirdAll while it looks like this outside . . .

winteragainSo, I appreciated the heck out of all of this, and then left for Tucson where it is much warmer.

Also, where I am exploring the Gem & Mineral Show.

Then, to Tubac for their Festival of arts, and to strategize my Art Journaling Retreat which will happen there at the end of March.

Sorry I never made that one public, but it sold out to former students before I had a chance, and became a “graduates” retreat. It will be a great creative “reunion”.

And, speaking of workshops, by popular request, I am leaving the reduced price on the Sketch Journal Workshops until Sketch Journal 2 begins on February 15.

These workshops are the BEST and easiest way to learn to draw and use watercolor in your art journal, and that’s the truth.

To clarify because I have had so many former students ask, these Sketch Journal Workshops are brand new. You may have heard some of the principles before, but this is ALL NEW content. Even if you have taken ALL my other workshops (and many people have!), you have not had any of this.

Sketch Journal Workshops 1 & 2

I’ll let you know the best things that happen here in Arizona!


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