tangling without a string

I taught a Zentangle class on Sunday afternoon, and mentioned, as I like to, that the string, or the underlying pencil line in a Zentangle, is the foundation for the patterns we draw. A string is one of the things that makes Zentangle accessible to just about anyone who can use a pen. Once you’ve got the string, the patterns fall into place easily.

On Monday morning I was surprised by the diva’s weekly challenge no. 97: no strings attached! Even though I have plenty of art-making experience, this challenge felt a little like having the rug whisked out from under me. But, I plowed on. I wanted to do a Zentangle full of organic tangles, and thought this would be a good opportunity.



a family practice

Last weekend I had the pleasure of sitting around a table with my family, sharing some Zentangle patterns, and drawing together. Well, my brother did a puzzle, but we were all doing something that we have always done together: sitting quietly, pens and pencils in hand, drawing (or writing or puzzling). As children, we drew while sitting on the floor. It was normal for Mom or Dad to be at a table, drawing something. Even a quick sketch of an idea for landscaping, or to show someone how a machine works. The point is that my parents quite naturally introduced us to using images to communicate, and also to the practice of drawing as a way to be, quietly, together.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I have been thinking a lot about traditions. Maybe because my daughter has sworn off meat… our meal will not be the traditional fare. When the meal is done, however, we will both probably open a sketchbook or take out a Zentangle tile, and continue the comfortable family practice.


This week’s Diva Challenge is to use a pattern called Socc. There’s a link on the Diva’s page that tells how the pattern came about, and how to draw it. Here is my tile using Socc.


a bunzo tile


Bunzo is a new pattern just introduced in the October 28 Zentangle newsletter, and the Diva challenge this week (no. 93) is to use it, so I did. It is great fun to look at all the results each week. The pattern is easy to create and takes on a life of its own as it grows. It also takes shading very well, assuming a three-dimensional appearance. I will use it again!