tangles filling the pages

Once, in kindergarten, Mrs. Hauser handed us each a piece of paper, upon which was mimeographed the outline of two mitten shapes. We all set to work with our crayons, and undoubtedly gave Mrs. Hauser a few moments of quiet.

My mitten page has long since gone back to the ground in the Janesville, Wisconsin landfill, but I’m sure I filled my mittens with splashes of colored energy, and plenty of red, which was my favorite at the time.

I don’t recall my creation, but remember clearly that my friend, Judy Ludwig, very carefully filled her mittens with thin, horizontal stripes of alternating colors. I was enthralled! I began to practice making stripes, controlling my hand and the distribution of color, creating shapes full of the new pattern I had learned.

Learning the tangle patterns and creating new pieces of Zentangle® art has recreated the wonder of a new discovery and the thrill of practicing new patterns for me.

August 1: zedbra, lily pads (with points), tripoli, triangles, flux, shattuck, crescent moon, and allium.

August 2: cadent, punzel, shattuck, flux, onomato, and a tangellation of florz.


beginning tangles

I don’t know about you, but as a woman planted firmly in middle age, I have trouble sleeping through the night. Actually, I should (cautiously) say that I used to. One of the benefits I’ve found from tangling (entering a state of mindfulness by drawing a Zentangle®) on a daily basis for the last couple of weeks is that I have slept really, really well.

Here are a few of my first tangles, done while on a working vacation, helping my daughter move belongings and clean her old apartment

July 29: Mi2, Tripoli, Zander, Keeko, Fescu, and a tangellation of Shattuck.














July 29: Tripoli, Zander, Footlights, Tipple, and a grid-based pattern.














Technically not on a Zentangle tile, but drawn in my Moleskine sketchbook; the following tangle would be considered ZIA, or Zentangle Inspired Art.

July 30: Mi2, Betweed, Squished Eggs, Meeko, Florez, Paradox, Featherfall, Keeko Fescu and Shattuck.



zen and the art of the tangle

One evening during the heat and drought that stormed Wisconsin this summer, I grabbed my mail as fast as I could so the 100 degree air would stay outside the house. There in the stack was a post card announcing an event at a retreat center about an hour from my home. I was invited to come and learn the Zentangle® form of drawing repetitive patterns as a way of meditation. I was more than intrigued. I mean… patterns? …meditation? How cool was that?!

Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to investigate, I can tell you that, at least for me, the Zentangle art form has been an incredible discovery. It’s more than just doodling (or, in Zentangle terminology, tangling), because of the mindful and focused nature of the mark-making. It has renewed my love for— and practice of— a daily drawing ritual. It has helped me clarify and reinforce the direction I’ve been heading with my painting practice. The best part is that it is deliciously simple to do, even for non-artists.

I’ll add some of my own tangles here, and inspiring Zentangle work by others to my blogroll, but should mention the creators of the copyrighted Zentangle art form and method, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Their website and their blog can tell you a whole lot more, and may lead you in directions you never thought possible. Enjoy!

One of the first tangles I made using the materials in my new Zentangle kit. Patterns I used: Mi2, Shattuck, Zander, and Msst.