My name is Alice Hendon, and I grew up in Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to Florida when I was 17. Two years ago my husband Mark and I moved to Maine to escape the Florida heat. We live seven miles from the Canadian border and love our little bit of heaven here in northern Maine. We have moose, bears, porcupines, deer, groundhogs and the occasional beaver living on our land.
I did not grow up drawing or painting, so to even think that one day I would be featured on this website would be almost unthinkable. My career was in law enforcement where I served the public for 27 years. The day after I retired, we began a 12-year home school adventure with our daughter. Kali spent the last two years of school on the road with a team of teens teaching communication skills to groups of students across the country and I needed something ‘new’ to occupy my time. I shot photography professionally, but it wasn’t my ‘calling.’ I needed more.
I turned to Pinterest in hopes of finding a new interest and was drawn to art journaling and an art style I had never seen before called Zentangle. I researched everything I could find on tangling and shortly found myself in Providence, Rhode Island, sitting under the training of Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher.
For some time I tangled traditionally using black ink on white paper, but soon tired of that. I loved all the bright, bold, beautiful color I saw on my Pinterest boards. I needed to learn how to bring color to my designs. I have taken many online classes and watched literally hundreds of YouTube videos – all the while creating my own style combining color with Zentangle and art journaling.
I love using watercolors – Schmincke watercolors specifically, but I do not use them in the traditional methods. I do not paint beautiful pictures of animals or flowers or food. I mostly use various watercolor methods to create backgrounds that I can tangle, or use for collage/art journaling, or just to enjoy the beauty in the way the colors merge and mingle and mix. I love it all!
I enjoy ‘playing’ with everyday household items as texture tools, with pushing the product to see how far I can take it, to try using it in ways it wasn’t intended to use. Just to see if I can make something beautiful in unorthodox manners. I am not always successful but I always have fun. And I guess that is the most important thing I can tell you about my art – I strive to play and have fun. If I am not having fun then I feel like I have failed. I am happiest when I have two hands covered in color and a little bit on my jeans. Usually teals, pinks, purples, blues.
Color products of choice – Schmincke watercolor, Da Vinci Watercolors, Brusho Colour Crystals, Twinkling H2Os, Peerless Watercolor, Dylusions Ink Sprays and Alcohol Inks. I have even turned highlighters, markers and mildliners into watercolor. It is all fair game and if I am having fun – then it is a great day!
What’s that you ask? How are highlighters, markers, and mildliners watercolors? There are two ways I have had great success.
- Scribble or color with the marker (or two or three) on a non porous surface – a plastic tray, a page protector, a cookie sheet – then spray water on it. The color and water will bead up. Place your paper face down onto the color. Lift and look for areas that need more color, and tip just that portion of the paper back down in the leftovers. Using multiple markers works very well. Allow your color to air dry OR you can use a heat tool to make heat rings, or push runs or drips.
- Color with the marker onto photo paper or Yupo paper. Before the color dries, manipulate it with a water brush. You can easily blend and manipulate colors with this method until they dry.
Zentangle – or tangling – works for me on so many levels. No surface is safe and I will tangle on any kind of paper I have on hand. Right now I tend to rely almost exclusively on the various Hahnemühle products. My favorites so far hands down are the Cézanne Hot Pressed Watercolor paper and the Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
For art journaling, I prefer the Leda Sketchbooks from Leda Art Supply. Small to extra large pages – it doesn’t matter. Combining collage elements, watercolor with acrylics, stamping, stenciling and various other mixed media products with tangling – they all combine to make a colorful, happy-feel-good kind of spread and I love doing these! In fact, I just participated in The 100 Day Project – a global art event – and I used the Baby Leda Pocket Sketchbook for most of my daily art pieces.
My art style is different from a lot of what you see here on Doodlewash. Please feel free to ask me any questions, if you would like to learn more about what I do. I would encourage each of you to have fun with your art. Let it take on a life of its own, let it make you smile. Learn to anticipate that smile and let it make others smile. It is a great feeling! And never stop learning.
I have several books available for purchase on Amazon: Tangle Starts, Tangle Starts Planner and Tangle Starts Strings are the first three volumes of my Artangleology Series, with three more volumes anticipated before the end of the year.
I manage a Facebook group called Zentangle All Around where we encourage and learn from each other. I would love for you to join us.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!