Zentangle is...

The Zentangle® Method, created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, is an easy to learn, fun and relaxing way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge #76: Maryhill

Thank you, Joey, for choosing Maryhill for this week's challenge. This tangle is so striking, yet simple to learn. It has a big bang for the buck! (Mooka would've been nice, too. Maybe next year!) This is another challenge I may revisit. There are so many possibilities! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's work. For this version, I tried going from light to dark by using wider pens (from Micron 01 to Graphic 1). I wanted to give the front tile a ghost effect with my zenstone, but it had no effect. I added white charcoal, which couldn't really adhere to the zenstone very well. Sparkles in the lines would be nice, too. I feel another Maryhill coming on!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Zendala Dare #107

I found Erin's template especially beautiful this week in its elegance and simplicity. I decided to stay fairly classic, with black on white. While Mooka jumped onto the tile, some of the other tangles found their way via the icosahedron, notedly Florz, Hollibaugh and Mist. 
Thanks for another fun dare, Erin! I really enjoyed this one.

Diva Weekly Challenge #232

Thank you, Holly Atwater, for this week's guest challenge. I chose the audio meditation #1 and found it especially relaxing to listen and watch my pen follow your directions. It reminds me of yoga class.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's a String Thing #107

This week, Adele had a string that celebrated the seventy-sixth anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and the magical Yellow Brick Road.
When I looked at the Pixioze tangle, which was new to me, I was immediately taken back to the scene where Dorothy and company start down the road to the Emerald City with flowers--poppies!-- on either side. When I finished tangling Pixioze, I decided to leave the "road" white. However, I still wanted to pay tribute to yellow! This morning I found a lovely yellow gold paint which I dotted on to the flower centers. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: (ThinQ PinQ) LinQ

Ahhhh. First challenge of the week down, three to go, and it's Thursday evening!
Joey, my creative juices seemed to be in a bit of a drought for this one! Even if I didn't find all my efforts to show any particular talent or inspiration, I stuck with it, and that was rewarding. I even tried it with my non-dominant hand, just to see! Then there was a ribbony version of the tangle, and finally ribbony on a gouache colored background. All very different, aren't they? Thanks for the fun!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Diva Challenge #231: The Undulating Tangles in C and S Minor

Thank you, Sharla Hicks, this week's guest blogger for the Diva Challenge. She invited us to explore undulating C and S patterns in our work and shared several beautiful examples of her own tiles. I agree with her statement that these forms can lead us to a very deep  creative space where it's easy to let go and follow the lines. Looking back through my sketchbooks and tiles, I found several examples of this. For my first tile, shown here, I chose Bunzo, Cadent, Purk and Tidings.

Stay tuned! I'm sure there's more where this came from!

Friday, August 21, 2015

It's a String Thing #106: Where am I?

Thanks, Adele, for another challenging challenge!!! Although you wouldn't know it from my ridiculously simple results, I spent some time on it! I knew from past experience that Asian Fans were difficult for me, but Bud and Budlite looked easier. However, when I tried to use them, I was reminded of how I have issues with proprioception, defined by Wikipedia as the "sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement". Translated: Where am I? In yoga class, for example, I'm usually going the wrong way. When I tumble, in gymnastics, I don't know where I'll end up! The spirals in Bud and Budlite had the same effect!!! At one point, they had somehow just disappeared and I was drawing Pokeleaf! Whatever the process, I finally got to the point where I was happy with the product. And that's what matters, isn't it?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Zendala Dare #106

Thank you, Erin, for this lovely zendala template! I used a white Zendala tile and couldn't resist adding the red at the end. I'm grateful for your challenge and for the tools I had to create this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: K is for Kozy

This was just fun. Another white on black tile made me slooooooow down. I almost left it unshaded, but I love my zenstone! For those of you are reluctant to try white on black, I understand! I have to share something you may not know: it is much more forgiving than you might think. You can use your black pen to go in and "clean up" any shaky lines and smooth things out. I only remembered this technique today! Hope it helps you!

Thanks, Joey!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Play, don't plan: It's a String Thing Challenge #105

Yesterday, I came up with a lovely orange colored tile that I was sure to use in Adele Bruno's challenge. This morning, I took my sketch book to play around with the string and the four tangles: Dicso, Daviso, Undu and X-ess. The more I played, the more I liked it! Lesson learned: Play, don't plan! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Joey's challenge this week was to do a monotangle using Jemz. Since the French word for "gem" is "bijou", I had to use my Bijou tilesI worked on learning the pattern for a few days and always struggled with keeping the squares, diamonds and circles regular. I tried to show the evolution of my work by starting with a wonky grid--which had to be N'zeppeled a little for fun!--and ending with my best shot at a regular rendering of Jemz.
Thanks for your challenge, Joey!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Let's all be ZenDivaDala!

Diva Challenge #230: Create a zendala using the given template.
A zendala template is a mandala, the Sanskrit word for "circle", filled with tangle patterns. These are always challenging for me, and I am noticing that when something is challenging, I usually respond by seeing how much more I can push myself outside of my comfort zone. (This only applies to my zentangle journey! Otherwise, I'm a wimp!) I decided to do the zendala on a black tile. I started with Printemps (a little shaky!), then added Eke, ING, Bales and Swarm. To reward myself, I shaded with soapstone or zenstone. (I love the buttery feel.)
Thanks to the guest blogger and Zendala Diva herself, Erin Olson, CZT, for this challenge!

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Last weekly challenge for this week! This is the Zendala Dare, which was such a challenge for me that I turned to my Icosahedron and zentangle legend, which I had never used! I rolled it, and came up with Bales, Keeko and Purk. (My Purk interpretation is pretty loose!) 

Joey's Weekly Challenge: Inapod monotangle

Thank you, Joey, for this week's challenge to use "Inapod" in a mono tangle. After completing my tile (or so I thought!), I decided to add stripes and shade my peas! The curvy line passing through the middle was an "oops". Since there are no mistakes in zentangle, I chose to take it through the pods and out into a curlicue. (My peas then became "string beans"!)

Friday, August 7, 2015

And now for the challenge!

Recently I decided to structure my practice a bit by doing four weekly zentangle challenges: the Diva Challenge, Joey's Weekly Challenge, It's a String Thing and the Zendala Dare. (Links to all on the right.) The weekly challenge gives you parameters to follow and then a place to post your results alongside those of fellow tanglers. I always feel reminded of our classes during the CZT seminar, where we all started with the same tools, usually the same string (a framework to draw in) and the same tangles, or patterns. At the end of the lesson, we placed our tiles side by side to create a mosaic. Mesmerizing to see how we all had our own style, but also how harmoniously everything came together.
I am grateful to these bloggers for the opportunity to learn and expand my practice, all the while reliving the seminar experience!
Today, I posted my first two challenge tiles online. Here's my "It's a String Thing" post for challenge #104, with special congratulations to Adele Bruno on the 2nd anniversary of her blog.

And here's my tile for the Diva's Challenge, titled simply "+/-".

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Hotel Providence

As worthy as it is of a lengthy tribute, the Hotel Providence, where I recently enjoyed 4 days during my CZT seminar, is not the subject of today's blog.
"Providence", according to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary from 1828, is "in theology, the care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures." Years of meager material means had left me with a deep respect for the word and its concept. (Although the word is not commonly heard in American English, its French equivalent, "la providence", was commonplace in the circles I frequented during my 12 years in southwestern France.) "God will provide."
Providence, where my CZT experience was to begin, has resurfaced like an old friend. Now that I'm retired, and have seen my income reduced by 65%, I know that I am living in "the (NEW) Hotel Providence", where I have what I need and I need what I have.
A few weeks ago, having admired Maria Thomas's calligraphy, I decided to have a look at my old calligraphy pens, stored in a small box for at least 15 years. Much to my surprise, they still had cartridges with fluid ink in gorgeous colors. I took a pen, inserted a grey cartridge and started to write in my sketchbook. "Create life" flowed onto the paper. Happy to see my work, I closed the sketchbook and moved on with tangling.
Many days later, I read the Diva Challenge for July 27: "Choose tangles that feel organic." (These leafy, viney, flowery ones are always my favorites!) Here's what happened:

This page reminds me of the abundance of amenities at the (NEW)Hotel Providence.

A family of friends

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of lunching with 5 retired colleagues from my old school. To celebrate our time together, I wanted to give them a taste of Zentangle (TM). I knew they were curious about my retirement gift to myself, the Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) seminar in Providence, Rhode Island. I decided to make a frame and a monogram tile for each of them, using tangles that started with the first letter of their names. The results follow:

J is for Jax and Jeewels.

L is for LLilly and La Bel.

M is for Mooka.

P is for Puffles, Pokeroot and Pokeleaf.

R is for Retro and Rixty.

An intro to Zentangle (TM) class is sure to follow!