Zentangle Inspired Silk Paintings

In a nutshell, Zentangle is an intriguing art form where you build intricate-looking patterns called tangles, using a relatively easy stroke by stroke formula. I've incorporated Zentangle into scarves before (see this post), but this is a set of tiny paintings, just 4 x 4 in.

I fished some pieces of abstract, swirly, painted silk out of my scrap bag and adhered them to stretched canvases (forgot to take pics of them a† this stage). I then got out my black fabric pens and started drawing some of my favorite tangles. I had no preconceived idea of how any of these would turn out... I just started drawing at one point on the canvas and the patterns evolved from there. Shading was done with a graphite pencil afterwards.

I called this series 'The Gift' because after my first stage of drawing - the central motif with radiating arms - looked like ribbons around a parcel. Although they don't look much like parcels anymore, I'd thought I'd keep the name anyway!

These next two are a little different in that the scrap painted silk had more defined areas of color. Instead of drawing a whole Zentangle I filled in some areas with various tangles. I used a very fine fabric pen for the shading on these.

The sides of these little paintings are painted black and they are ready to hang or display on a mini easel. Contact me if you're interested in inviting any of them into your home!

Starting is the Hardest Part

New year, new stuff! At the beginning of the year, I resolved to quit putting off something that I've been dying to try but kept finding excuses not to get started - acrylic abstract painting. I had paints, I had canvases. But every time I looked at a blank canvas, I bolted. No more!

Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I'd become fascinated with poured acrylic paintings. This means that the paint - which is usually like a gel or paste - is made more fluid and pourable by the addition of water and/or fluid acrylic mediums. The paint is poured onto the canvas, then the canvas is tilted and turned to make the paint move around the canvas. I finally stopped just watching and started doing!

Here are some of my first pieces - they are a combination of pouring and finger painting.



Just like in silk painting and felting, the outcome of these poured paintings is quite unpredictable... do you notice a trend here? Other than pouring blobs of color in the places I think I want them, I'm not starting off with any preconceived idea of what the painting should look like. 

To some extent I can control the direction in which the paint flows and make adjustments to the developing composition as I go... but the organic patterns that are created when the paints interact with each other is pure serendipity!

Dear Reader, if you're a creator... of art, writing, music or whatever... you know how scary it can be to put these bits and pieces of yourself out there for the world to see and judge! That was definitely the case with me. But I have been very encouraged by the positive feedback I've received about these paintings from those who have seen them and am looking forward to doing lots more!

Thanks for reading,

DY signature 3 copy.jpg

Where are my Scarves?

Find them at

    Happy Holidays!

    To all my blog/newsletter readers, Facebook friends and followers, admirers and purchasers of my work - thank you! Your support has meant so much to me. And a special thank you to all who thought enough of my work to share it with someone as a gift!

    As an especially contentious year comes to a close, I'd like to send you this wish ~


    On another note, I'm happy to say that I got my online Felt Scarf Shop up and running last week! Although it and my Silk Scarf Shop are "on holiday" until the beginning of the year, you can go ahead and make a purchase now to reserve the scarf, and I'll ship it as soon as I return home the first week of January.

    Meanwhile, you can find my scarves in person at:
    Village Art Circle, Ashworth Village, 200 S. Academy St., Cary NC 27511. (Silks only)
    Gallery 311, 311 W. Martin St., Raleigh NC 27601. (Silk and felted)
    Joyful Jewel, 44-A Hillsboro St., Pittsborough NC 27312. (Silk and felted)

    Thanks for reading... see you next year!


    Revamping my Online Scarf Shop!

    When I first set up my website several years ago, the options for designing my online Scarf Shop somewhat limited, and I was never really happy with it. (I use a template from Squarespace).

    Quite by accident, I discovered that Squarespace had updated their shop options. After much procrastination (you're dealing with the Queen Procrastinator here) - "I don't wanna do all that work right now!" -  I finally dived in and have been feverishly re-listing all the scarves that I have in stock, in the hopes of snagging some Christmas shoppers! Here are some of the scarves I have available -

    I'm happy to say that I have indeed made some sales since doing this re-modeling! If you've visited my online shop before, you know that it was a bit confusing! Now each individual scarf has it's own listing, and its photo will show up in your shopping cart. Check it out!

    For now, only the silk scarves are listed... I'm still working on adding the felted ones. In the meantime, if you're interested in a felted piece, I have most of them in my Cary NC studio... you're welcome to come by... just contact me.

    My last day for taking online orders to ship in time for Christmas gifts will be Wednesday December 21st. I'm afraid I'm unable to take any custom orders at this time.  You're welcome to come pick up your scarf if you're in my area... I'll refund the shipping cost if you paid online. More shipping info here.

    You can also find my scarves at:
    Village Art Circle, Ashworth Village, 200 S. Academy St., Cary NC 27511. (Silks only)
    Gallery 311, 311 W. Martin St., Raleigh NC 27601. (Silk and felted)
    Joyful Jewel, 44-A Hillsboro St., Pittsborough NC 27312. (Silk and felted)

    Celebrating the Life of a Beloved Cary Artist

    Earlier this year, artists in Cary NC lost one of our own to cancer. Besides creating her own unique abstract art, Ella Tracey Williams was involved in many aspects of the Cary arts scene, from helping organize the Western Wake Artists Studio Tour, to volunteering at the Cary Arts Center.

    Throughout December, Ella and her work will be celebrated at The Village Art Circle, with a retrospective exhibition of her paintings and collages. The event kicks off with a reception and silent auction to benefit the American Cancer Society.

    “Beyond the Curtain”

    Opening Reception & Silent Auction
    Sunday Dec 4th, 1 - 4 pm
    Village Art Circle,
    Ashworth Village, 200 S. Academy St.,
    Cary NC 27511

    Show closes December 30th

    Ella in her studio

    Ella in her studio

    Ella's art was undoubtedly eclectic. She had a passion for texture, and would use any medium, and often found objects, to convey what she wanted to say in her work. Here are some of her pieces.

    Ella was a tiny person but after a few minutes chatting with her, you knew that she had a spine of steel. But what I remember most fondly about her was how quick she was with her impish smile and kind words. She is very much missed.

    Relationships as in living describe the life lived, so in art, relationships of space, form, line, color and values describe the context and language in each piece of art.
    — Ella Williams