letting a tangle get under your skin

Remember learning how to button up your shirt? Tying your shoes? Riding a bike? Serving a tennis ball? You did it over and over and over until it became fluid and natural. So too, with Zentangle patterns. Keep going. Your first try might be a little wobbly, but as you practice, in a sketchbook or on tiles, you start to understand how you need to move your fingers to get into a tangle’s rhythm.

Case in point: The diva’s challenge 121 was to use Mary Kissel’s birds on a wire tangle. My first try was all about learning the motions. The tile itself is a little bit like a patchwork quilt; a bit of everything, arranged in squares and rectangles. You can tell that I was uncomfortable with the new tangle.


In addition to birds on a wire, I used sláinte, hibred, onamato, knightsbridge, kitchener, and groovy, comfortable favorites.

So, I decided to keep going. This time, I was able to add some variation to the birds on a wire. I also was able to let go and follow the string, going with what felt right in the moment, and in that magical Zentangle way, I got into the focused groove. I think the results are much more powerful.


Tangles here are birds on a wire, deelish, ynix, meer, mooka, striping, quandary, and a strip of facets.

13 thoughts on “letting a tangle get under your skin

  1. Geez! Your art is beautiful. I just thought how amazing Groovy looks because I have problems shading it right. And then I saw your second piece…I’m now speechless. ^^

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