new ideas

I had the pleasure of attending a living room show last week, in Madison, Wisconsin. My daughter was the star performer, kicking off her Kickstarter crowd-sourcing project. You can see a video and read all about the project (and donate, if you like) here.

The hosts introduced us to the house they call Muriel, and a fun idea: living room shows. I drew a tangle in honor of Muriel. She’s 99 years old.


Tangles used: all about v, juke, mi2, shattuck, knightsbridge, quandary, and flux.

This week’s diva challenge invites us to tangle on an outline of the Moebius Syndrome Foundation logo. The syndrome is dear to the hearts of many tanglers now, because diva Laura Harms shares her experiences with Artoo, her son who has the disorder.

We did this challenge last year (here’s my tile), and I really liked the Zentangle I came up with. That made the second time around a little daunting! I decided to try a Zendala tile this time, and abstract the moebius strip a little more than last year by not including all of it on the tile.


Tangles used: striping, betweed, hibred, knightsbridge, flux, sláinte, emingle, printemps, knase, and unyun, plus an African-inspired symbol and a technique I saw used with beautiful results by a man named Witold Reidel. You can see his delicious drawings here. Click on catalogue for a clickable list of his drawings.


happy new challenge!

This week the diva challenge is to create a zentangle with the new year, or 2014 in mind. I decided to create a zendala for the first challenge of the year.


I used these tangles: tortuca, cruffle, tipple, zander, knightsbridge, flux, hollibaugh, meer, rain, copada, and a Polynesian barkcloth pattern.

new year, new ideas (and familiar ones too)

As the old year closed and the new one circled around with more daylight (and a lot more snow here in Wisconsin), I decided to broaden my Zentangle experience. In addition to my usual black ink and graphite on white tiles, I tried brown inks and colored pencils — and the new Zenstone — on the new brown Renaissance tiles. I also experimented with water soluble graphite and colored pencils on regular white tiles. And then, just to mix it up a little, I went back to the old, familiar white tiles with black ink.


Tangles: flux, tipple, tripoli, a hollibaugh variation, sez, lanie, and eye-wa.

First, I used a really dark brown pen on a Renaissance tile. I also used some Prismacolor pencils, and, in the flux tangle along the top, I highlighted the leaves with my new Zenstone, which I love. It adds a light tone (not quite as white as the white Prismacolor pencil which outlines the tripoli triangles, below the flux), and it is remarkably strong. When I hold it, I am aware of its squareness, and it looks translucent, not like it can produce such a nice light effect.


Tangles: copada, crescent moon, borbz, prestwood, and flukes.

Next, I experimented with colored pencil (the blue and green in the copada) and with water-soluble graphite (Derwent Graphitint) that has just a touch of hue for all the other shading.


Tangles: shattuck, betweed, quandary, well, elven, knase, copada, keeko, and an oval pattern I’ve been working on.

On another Renaissance tile, I used the Sakura Pigma Micron lighter brown ink (more of a sienna than their super dark brown, though when I filled in larger areas the ink really got dark). Then the Zenstone and some Prismacolor pencils. Aside from the ink, I haven’t tried any water-based media on these tiles. They are a little more fragile feeling than the white tiles, and felt like they wouldn’t take water well. They really soaked up the ink to the point of getting really dark.


Tangles: opus, striping, krli-qs, warble, nzeppel, borbz, verdigogh, and flux.

For this tile, I used a water-soluble graphite wash as my string, and tangled on top of it with the dark brown ink. It is really close to black. Then I went in with dark brown and white pencils to add shading and highlights.


Tangles: a variation of well, knase, hibred, meer, shing, striping, festune, and a leafy form like sampson.

Inspired by Margaret Bremner’s houses, I wanted to try some house-like structures, only with a little more abstract quality. Where hers are whimsical and delightful to look at, I wanted mine to be about surface planes. I live on a hill and look down at rooftops. I like how they blend together with the landscape. This tile was still a bit too realistic for me.


Tangles: a variation of florz, dansk, meer, lanie, sanibelle, tipple, nzeppel, and striping.

I returned to the old black-and-white to work on a string made of the forms that suggest the planes of walls and roofs. More abstract; more me.


Tangles: flux, emingle, ynix, knase, tipple, flukes, sez, striping, prestwood, dribbetz, divadance, crescent moon, a variation of chillon, and a variation of bucky.

I added a few more organic elements to the planes and like the results.


Tangles: eye-wa, sand swirls, knightsbridge, warble, sez, and meer.

This one got a lot more flat, and doesn’t suggest landscape as much. It’s more about filling large areas with pattern.

Sometimes a change, or trying something new, doesn’t have to be a big, huge shift. Just a different background, or a dollop of color are all it takes to keep things lively and fresh.