transitions: telling a story

On day thirteen of One Zentangle A Day, Beckah Krahula describes deconstructing as an area where a pattern falls apart or transitions to another pattern. Transitions like this, she says, add interest and “gives the art piece a story.”

There are lots of parallels to draw, thinking of composition in terms of storytelling, or composing or playing music. Repetition, rhythm, harmony, and transition are just a few of the conceptual ideas that are similar, whether you are making a painting or strumming a guitar.

I think of deconstruction as a particular action, and associated analysis, that has to do with form, rather than a transition in and of itself. You can deconstruct a form to help a transition along, reconstructing the form in another way. I think of M.C. Escher when I think of this kind of transition. Within the first minute of this video, you’ll see what I mean. (I haven’t watched the whole thing, but it looks really interesting).

Transition can happen by deconstructing and reconstructing, and it can happen in other ways. A lot depends on what you are moving from, and to. It can be as simple as putting two objects or areas close to each other, something that happens quite naturally as you fill areas of a string with different tangles. Because two areas are next to each other, they relate to each other. You can push the relationship by overlapping, or extending one area into another.

In the Zentangle world, deconstruction is about breaking a form down into simpler parts. When you figure out how to recreate a pattern that you’ve seen out in the world, you break it down into simple, linear elements (preferably one or two) that are easy to understand and are easy to draw.

I think Beckah Krahula gives us a lot of food for thought and discussion with day thirteen. I am a bit of a purist when it comes to Zentangle: I think that the composition happens naturally when you just go with what’s happening under your pen, so there is no need to think so much about what you are making. But I do like to extend one pattern into another! The art student in me loves to try all these new ideas.

Here is my day thirteen tile. I tried to create a progression between the grid-based patterns that swoop through the bottom half. I used onamato, knightsbridge, nekton, florz, and beelight tangles to create the tile.




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