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.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Summer Fraganic Prompts

This week I discovered @jenicekhh on FaceBook through her delightful and satisfying "Summer Fraganic" prompts. In these prompts, she suggests a fragment and an organic tangle. We figure out the rest. This has always been one of my favorite combos, since it repeats a frequent pattern in structured gardens: a plant and some sort of support or patterned pathway. These prompts give me the feeling of working in the garden. I'm enjoying them so much, and since they come out every other day, I don't feel pressured or overwhelmed. She even posts her lessons for them on her YouTube channel. I strongly encourage you to try one! Here's what I've done so far. Please note that the fragments aren't identified, just the patterns. You will see the fragments on the list of prompts.

Day 1:  Hollis

Day 2: Hirari

Day 3: Toodles

Day 4: Inaflux

I hope you can take time this week to appreciate whatever organics come into your life!
With gratitude and appreciation.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Hodgepodge of Happiness

This week's art focused on pleasure! What would feel good right now? Here's the resulting hodgepodge of happiness.

Distress ink and Magicals backgrounds on some small scraps

 A relaxing YouTube video from LovelyGiraffe

A Distress Ink background and an Eva Wu video for inspiration

A Magical background with CrossUrHeart tangle

May your tangling bring you happiness!

Earth Day 2022

 With gratitude to and appreciation for our extraordinary Mother, Earth.

When you feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to happen to change the world and respect our planet, remember that it's all of our baby steps, our little things, our small sacrifices, that will eventually bend the arc.

"Never doubt that a small group
 of thoughtful, committed citizens
 can change
the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Meade

More Mesmerizing Magicals

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was learning to use the Lindy's Gang Magicals thanks to a workshop with 7F5RStudio, Mesmerizing Magicals. I've always enjoyed their beautiful backgrounds and jumped on the chance to benefit from their experience. The Magicals are finely ground pigments that are activated with water to produce deep, vibrant colors. Many of them include micah, which gives a subtle shimmer. You can even purchase the "shimmers"--gold, copper, silver, rose gold and pure shimmer--for more dramatic effects.
These tiles are from the workshop:

And these were extracurricular :)


More powders arrived yesterday, so stay tuned!


Sunday, April 24, 2022

In Memory

One week ago, on Easter Sunday, my dear beloved brother, Jim, passed away. I can never say it enough, "He was the best big brother a girl could have." His smile and sense of humor, which he used deftly to put people at ease and make them feel good, will always be remembered. Only a few hours before he passed away, he had his picture taken with the Easter Bunny who was visiting the care facility where he lived. He made sure to make the most joyful face possible, and you can practically hear him squealing: "Oh, my gosh! It's the EASTER BUNNY!!!!!" He was an 80-year old kid. A lawyer, he had a true sense of justice for ALL, especially children. He taught dance in his younger years, and always told my sister and me: "Whatever you do, keep moving!" When he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, he told us that the body that had served him so well and given him so much joy had proved to be "fickle". But rather than giving in to despair, his motto was "You just gotta laugh!" "Alexa, play John Phillip Sousa!" and he would march around the room in perfect time. He took up African drumming and worked on retrieving his skills on the piano. (He was an amazing pianist who never had a lesson.) He learned Dutch when he was 6, and Russian when he joined the Air Force. I could go on and on about his gifts to the world.

He has been freed from his fickle body, and his memory will always bring joy to our hearts.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Mesmerizing Magicals workshop with 7F5R Studio

After finishing my third kaleidoscope from Zentangle's Project Pack 17, I treated myself to a workshop on my favorite coloring medium: Lindy's Gang Magicals. These are pigment powders that offer brilliant, vibrant colors that shimmer, thanks to their mica. I've admired the tinted tiles that 7F5R produce, and often wondered about their technique. This workshop has empowered me to explore using them in different ways for different effects.

First, my kaleidoscope:

While waiting for my workshop supplies to arrive, I explored "bleeding watercolors" on a black tile. After applying blocks of color to the tile with watercolor brush pens, I tangled with a white Gelly Roll. I was curious about using neutral earthtones. They didn't really show through the white, so I finished the tile with a tan Gelly Roll. 

Now for the amazing colors!

My first go felt quite dark and muddy, but I think the highlights gave it some dimension.

Another dark tile. I "lightened' it by adding black! By making the black lines blacker, there is more contrast.

This tile has no black. I used a purple Gold Shadow Gelly Roll. 

I'm grateful to the women at 7F5R--Stephanie, Debbie and Susan--for their skill and sharing their expertise. I look forward to seeing where this takes me!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Life is like a kaleidoscope

 "Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope. A slight change, and all patterns alter."

-Sharon Salzberg

It's been two weeks since my last post, and the kaleidoscope of my life has gone through major, major changes. But, thankfully, I've had this quote that opened the Zentangle Project Pack 17, to consider. 

This Project Pack includes 24 triangular (3Z) tiles. Each kaleidoscope consists of 6 tiles that all use the same string and 4 tangles.  When I started working on it, I was minimally motivated. "What am I going to do with all these tiles?" I had a LOT of trouble focusing and had to begin over several times. I was not enjoying the experience at all. It became another piece in the increasing frustration and failure that I was already feeling.

Another project, doing an interview for a documentary about Zentangle, came to the rescue. Although preparing for this project initially felt like another "thing on my plate", I realized that I was reviewing the basics of Zentangle that are so important when we practice the method. Everything begins and ends with gratitude and appreciation. Life doesn't give us an eraser. Make every stroke as beautiful and deliberate as possible, and if it comes out different from what you intended, work through it, work around it, work over it, but keep going. Silence the inner critic so that the inner creator can move the pen. Anything is possible, one stroke at a time. Breathe. Be patient.

Repeating these mantras has brought me through these 2 weeks. Although I still have 2 more kaleidoscopes to complete for the Project Pack, I share with you what I have so far. Each piece measures 7 inches across.

With gratitude and appreciation, I wish you a week of wonder and new understanding.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Potpourri Week

With gratitude and appreciation for another week, I present you with its fruits. No theme emerges. This week I drew for the sake of drawing.

I found this in my stash of watercolor tiles that I  prepared after scratching my cornea. I enjoyed just dropping paint and gold pigment. 

Even though my watercolor stash is healthy, I couldn't resist creating another background. The Signo gold pen is so comforting in my hand. I added shading with more watercolor. This tangle, by Daniel Lamothe CZT, is called Autumnal.

This week's Meals on Wheels cards.

Bales as a reticula


Day 1 of Project Pack 17. We will be making a kaleidoscope with 6 3Z tiles.The quote introducing this project was compelling to me:

"Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope. A slight change, and all patterns alter."--Sharon Salzberg

I look forward to sharing more of this experience with you next week.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Outside the box?

The 3.5 inch Zentangle square that we all know and love was designed to simplify our compositions, much like the use of one black pen and graphite. It works, and for years, I have felt little if any need to venture "outside the box".

This week, finding less time for tangling, I picked up a 2-inch square, a Bijou tile, in black to play with an idea I had seen on instagram. I was pleased to create something in a short amount of time. The next 3 days, I continued with my exploration. Finally, I mounted the 4 tiles together on gray card stock.

My tangling continued "outside the box", when I picked up a scrap with distress ink. From my "Try This" pinterest board, I chose BonSai. (I love drawing this one. Nice rhythm and focus.)

I wanted to make a card for a friend's upcoming birthday. This was fun to do, and I found a free Google font--Special Elite--that looks like an old typewriter. The butterfly is from Pink Monarch Prints on etsy.

This morning, I continued with a Phi tile format. I really needed to do something with a LOT of white space. I used Ginilli and some Tripoli. After all my color tiles, which I enjoy so much, I wanted to "rest" with some black ink on white. (Interestingly enough, my week actually began by purging the tiles on my walls in my studio space, to leave more space--for wonder, for breath, for rest....)

And for all those suffering from the conflict in Ukraine, мир:

Sunday, February 27, 2022

With a little help from my friends

With immense gratitude for friends, I'll do a short post today to share how I got through this week. Many of these tiles were inspired by friends and members of our wonderful Zentangle community.

From a composition I admired on 7F5RStudio's website.

Alhambra String stencil by Marieke on Etsy

From Eni Oken's blog on Gothic Tracery

A "What If?" tile that began with one I made last week.

A morning meditation: No regrets. No resistance. No anticipation.

"Take Heart" pattern. #tanglingforukraine

Please take a moment to be grateful for your friends. Where would we be without each other?

Sunday, February 20, 2022

All is Well

Happy belated Valentine's/Palentine's/Galentine's Day! I hope that you found yourself surrounded with love and appreciation!

An excellent youtube video from Eva Wu

My week had me feeling stressed out and sad. I know it happens to all of us, and we "muddle through somehow". I found solace in paint, ink, paper and pen, and, perhaps most importantly, the Zentangle Method. As I've mentioned in previous posts, when I give attention to gratitude and appreciation, my spirit lightens.

A "note to self". I used the previous tile and added some collage elements.

Inspired by a lovely piece on timefortangling.blogspot.com. This piece started with incredible frustration as I tried to make the string using Bales. You can see some of my scraps. A lesson in self-compassion and patience. "Anything is possible, one stroke at a time."

 From 7F5RStudio's Tea and Tangle Tuesday video on youtube, featuring two new tangles, Everitas and Medianna.

This morning's tangling, from tanglepatterns.com Refresher 233.

I wish us all peace, love, and joy in the week ahead.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Meals on Wheels

"What do we do with all these tiles we make?" My Zentangle students frequently asked for ideas. I usually pointed out that they stood alone without frames, could be tucked by the corner behind light switches, made into cards or gifts, hung from ribbons, placed in albums, only to receive blank stares. And I understood! I, too, was starting to have tiles pile up.

One day, my friend and fellow tangler Melissa offered a new idea. What if we used them for cards and gave them to our local Meals on Wheels clients? Melissa offered to set it all up, and a community service was born. Since October 2020, we have made cards every week. Sometimes, we use Zentangle artwork, sometimes stencils or freehand drawing. Each card has a personal note. There are currently 4 of us in this group, and a few others contribute as well. Every so often, we get positive feedback from some of the 165 or so clients. These always make our day! And getting together with my friends, Melissa, Pamela and Becky, to share our results, has lightened the monotony of the pandemic! We gather every two weeks, usually in one of our driveways, and catch up for an hour or so. A breath of fresh air!

This week, I decided to raid my "tile drawer" to make 41 cards. I added some digital paper words from  Pink Monarch on etsy.

After I made my cards, I had a little time for some random tangling.

Rozhki, with watercolor

Gray distress ink with blue Microns

If you're in the Triangle area and would like to join our team, email me!