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Monday, January 31, 2011

All the News That's Fit to Tangle

Last night we found this jewel in our email inbox.
Dear Rick and Maria,

While enjoying the December, 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, I saw Sandy Steen Bartholomew’s article: Add Patterns to Journals with Zentangles and Transfers. I visited your website and was immediately “hooked”. I shared that with my niece and we have both been obsessed ever since.

When our local newspaper acquired newspaper stands from another city and needed them repainted, they offered them to artists to “do their own thing,” we knew exactly what we would do….Zentangle!

It took two of us 33 days and 100 hours to Zentangle all four sides and the top of the newspaper stand. 100 hours of pure pleasure. We still can’t decide which is more fulfilling: drawing every line or seeing the finished product.

“Our” newspaper stand now lives in front of the Golden Waffle restaurant on Main St in Chico, California.

Thank you for sharing Zentangle with the world. LH

Wow! Thank you so much for sending that, LH. It's awesome!

Please send us a picture of it after it's installed.

[Edited to add]

Here's a picture of its installation.

Click images for larger views.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Bee, See!

When we wrote this blog entry, we didn't have a picture. Now, we do!

Original is about four inches square. Maria used goauche for painting and a mix of walnut shell and peat ink for lettering. Surface is goatskin (vellum).

Since we've been introducing words recently (see newsletter) this is a good time to introduce a couple more:


Consider this is sneak peek into a fun project we've been playing with for a while now. More later!

Click image for larger view.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Visit

Pat Ferguson, CZT, and award winning quilter, came by this week to pick up some Zentangle supplies and show us some Zentangle delights. We thought you'd appreciate seeing them, too.

When Pat makes mats for framed pictures, she saves the inside cutouts and makes bookmarks. After tangling them, she sprays them with a protective coating.

She had decorated punch-cut wood ornaments with Zentangle tangles. But before that, she traced one to create part of her string.

She also brought a copy of The Quilter Magazine.

That "ZEN Quilts" teaser on the cover of their Feb/Mar 2011 issue takes you to a lavishly illustrated four-page spread inside. Congratulations, Pat!

Pat [email] has a couple Zentangle inspired quilting classes coming up in Rhode Island. One's this Saturday and one is February 26. Drop her an email for details.

Thank you Pat, for sharing this we everyone!

Click images for larger views.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ixorus #6

We introduced a new tangle, ixorus, in our recent newsletter. (If you haven't read it already, please do. It includes some great comments and a new word, "tangleation.")

Laura Harms' weekly challenge #6 is to create a Zentangle using ixorus.

Here are two contributions from Maria.

We were looking at some other contributions to Challenge #6 and when we saw Carole Ohl's, the similarity of this one to Maria's just above made us want to cue up the theme from Twilight Zone!

Thanks again, Laura, for this fun series.

Click images for larger views.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Zentangle Flood Relief

Jane Monk, CZT in Tasmania, Australia [blog] [web] wrote to us yesterday:
You may have heard about all the flooding in Australia. The Queensland Premier has a flood aid appeal and a group of blogging quilters have had an online auction - very successful as they have raised over $45,000. I auctioned three items - two related to Zentangle - the Zentangle Kit raised $120 and one of my Zentangle drawings raised $225, one of the unsuccessful bidders was quite keen so I offered to do another drawing for her at her last bid of $200 - she was very pleased to accept the offer...so Zentangle related items raised $545 in total from my little auction ... I thought I would share that with you, it reinforces my thought that Zentangle really does go everywhere and affects everybody... hugs

Here's an image of one of Jane's Zentangle creations for Australia's flood aid auction. The winner can choose a letter which Jane will add to the framed area.

What wonderful creations and contributions, Jane! See what else Jane created for this fundraiser at this blog entry.

Click image for larger views

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Conversation

Maria struck up an online conversation with Cathleen Rehfeld, a professional fine artist who works primarily with oil paint. They decided to trade creations. We join this conversation after Cathleen receives Maria's piece.
Hello Maria!

Your beautiful bee came my way yesterday! I LOVE it!! I love everything about it, even the matting is beautiful. I must get to work on your piece of artwork.

I have to tell you, even though I haven't spent as much time as I would have liked with my Zentangles, it has already changed my sketching - my sense of composition of the whole is better.

I am glad you like her. I thought she was kinda cute.

Favor: would you be willing to write a sentence or two about how Zentangle has affected your life and art? I love what you said, especially since you are a professional artist......and can we publish it along with a few of your paintings and a link to all your sites..... we'd love to feature it on our blog. If you rather not, no problem.

Thanks. Best, Maria

oh of course! I love testimonials... : )

I'm not much of a writer though, here goes:

Zentangling has changed my sketching for the better - my sense of composition of the whole is improved. It increases my sensitivity to contrasts in a composition, and gives me tools to affect it. The idea of balance of light and dark for a composition for example, I never want to have exactly 1/2 dark and 1/2 light, more like thirds - 2/3, 1/3 light/dark or vice versa. And also the idea of things flowing into and out of other things, maybe a sense of direction in a sketch.

ooooh I don't know if that makes sense - so please paraphrase, add or subtract (or ask me to clarify) it to suit your needs!!


I love the way you put it.....especially the part about 1/3 2/3 light and dark. I use sacred geometry and phi ratios in a lot of my pieces, but using that ratio for light and dark is brilliant. Thanks so much. I'll have to try it. I am basically self-taught, so everyone is my teacher. I love it that way. Can we send people to your website and blog? Thanks so much. M

Hi Maria,

Glad you are happy with the testimonial! It came from my heart!

Yes, please do send people my way! Thank you!


We are so familiar with the excitement and inspiration that Zentangle brings to people who believe they aren't artists or can't draw, that we overlook the benefits and insights that Zentangle can offer to established working artists. This conversation was a great reminder.

I [Rick] thought I had photographed the bee that Maria sent Cathleen. Alas, I did not. I'll ask Cathleen to send me a picture and then I'll add it to this blog.

Thanks, Cathleen, for letting us share this conversation.

We invite you to wander through Cathleen's online collection of creativity and beauty at her website and her blog.

If you recently began following our blog, you may not understand our title for today's blog entry. You can read the first in our "conversation" series here that we had with a different person.

[Edited to add:]
Cathleen just sent a great picture.

Thanks Cathleen! We talk a bit more about this image on this blog entry.

Click image for larger view.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Zentangle Article

This is the top front page of yesterday's Concord Monitor newspaper in New Hampshire.

An interview with Diane Lachance, CZT [blog] [email], resulted in a well written article full of good quotes and Zentangle insights. It's titled  "Zentangle Untangled" and you can read it online here.

Since the online version is text only, Diane sent us these pictures of the print version.

Congratulations, Diane!

Click images for larger view.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A, B, C, C, D, E, F, G . . .

CC just tangled an alphabet and sent it to us.

Take a closer look at some of the tangles she used:

She's working on a script version. We look forward to seeing it. And we look forward to meeting CC at our next CZT seminar. (Psst . . . bring the originals!)

CLick image for larger view.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shades of . . .

We received this note from Sue, who is coming to our February CZT training.
Hi Rick and Maria.

I wanted to let you know that I have received your letter about the upcoming seminar. I am really looking forward to it! My husband was so impressed when he saw the envelope in the mail. It was kind of hard to actually open the envelope - I didn't want to rip it!

I am planning on flying in on Monday and spending a day with my sister.

I also wanted to show you the Zentagle I did yesterday while my husband was excitedly watching the football game. He was really excited that I could do that. By the way - He wanted me to offer our condolences on the Patriots loss.

See you soon,


Cool technique of creating something from nothing and enhancing it with shading. This is a great example of a basic Zentangle technique of always drawing behind - in this case, behind nothing. Thanks for sending that, Sue. We look forward to meeting you in February.

Tell your husband, "Thanks, and good luck with the Packers."

For those interested, there is still space available in our February CZT training. Email us if you have questions.

Click image for larger view.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Orbs #5

Maria is enjoying Laura Harms' challenges. Regarding this week's Challenge #5, Orbs, she writes,
When I saw Laura's challenge, I smiled. Everyone knows I love curvy, voluptuous lines. I like to think of my Zentangles as "Rubenesque." This just feeds my soul.

As for the word, "Orbs" . . . we wanted a word that described this shape's essence (rather than "circle") . . . so that everyone would understand this shape's beauty is not its circular perfection, but its organic, full, nourishing, yielding and luscious roundness. Mmmm.

Thanks so much, Laura. Your personal touch and enthusiasm are inspiring some awesome Zentangle creations.

Click image for larger view.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend B-T-B

B-T-B, as in "Back to Basics":
  • Breathe
  • Tile
  • String
  • Tangle
  • Appreciate  
After a wonderful day of family, food and fun, Maria sat down and "recorded" it in this Zentangle.

Click image for larger view.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Lazy" Remodel

Writes Diane Lachance, CZT:
My kitchen really needs a remodel, but it will take some time before we get there. So, I decided to at least put a bright spot in one place while I wait. Here are some pictures of the metal shelves in my lazysusan cabinet – all tangled. I used a Sharpie, which glided over the metal like butter on a hot plate. It was a lot of fun!

Very cool! We can now add "remodel" and "rejuvenate" to Zentangle's growing list of benefits. Thanks for sharing that with everyone, Diane.

Diane is a CZT in New Hampshire. Her blog is TimeToTangle.

Click images for larger views.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Starry Eyed

Laura Harms, CZT, is at it again with her challenges! Challenge #4 was to create a Zentangle while listening to Paul Oakenfold's Starry Eyed Surprise.

Maria writes:
This challenge is by far the most difficult challenge for me yet. It is not my habit to listen to music when I do my Zentangles. And to listen to a genre of music that I am not familiar with was even more of a challenge.

In this first Zentangle, I wanted to represent the vibration of a string (not necessarily harmonious to me),

. . . and in this second one, a star overwhelmed by its surroundings.
Rick adds,
I was impressed by this music's impact. While it's obvious Maria created these, they have a different character. In that second Zentangle, while that star is indeed overwhelmed in size by its surroundings, it nevertheless defines a sort of "resonant space" within which the rest of that tile vibrates.

These pictures were taken just as this morning sun's first rays entered at a low angle. If you look closely, you will see how this paper can slightly deboss under pen pressure for a nice 3D effect.

Fun stuff!

Click images for larger view.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day!

It is S[n]O[w] beautiful here this morning!

Everywhere you look it's like a blank tile, or there are suggestions of strings and tangles . . . here in our hydrangea bush . . .

. . . or looking at our wisteria vines.

Maria (r) and Nancy (l) say "Hi!" . . .

. . . and Rick is going back outside to enjoy this beautiful day.

We wish you a wonderful day!

Click images for larger views.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Totally Tangled"

Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT [website] just received a great review on her new Zentangle-inspired book, Totally Tangled.

There are also many wonderful reviews on Totally Tangled's Amazon page.

Congratulations, Sandy!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Get thee to Texas!

Specifically to Irving, near Dallas-Ft. Worth. That's where Angie Vangalis, CZT, [email] is putting on an exhibit of Zentangle-inspired art created by some wonderfully talented people.

If you're in the area, you have until January 28, 2011 to enjoy this exhibit which fills two galleries.

Best of luck, Angie!

Click image for larger view.

Friday, January 7, 2011

4 x 4 Follow-up

As a follow-up to Party Time's 4 x 4 Zentangle Ensemble, which was done by four different people, today we have one done by "C." She sent it to us with this note:

I would just like to thank you for a wonderful product, the tangles take me back to when I was a teen, [ . . . ] and now, I find myself going back to black and white work. These tangles help me to forget my worries for a while.

Thank you Maria and Rick



P.S. The attached is a 4 tile Zentangle I did this morning.

Beautiful! Thanks for sending that "C."

This is another great example of applying our Ensemble approach. Congratulations.

One of our design intentions behind why we die-cut our tiles is to support how Zentangle tiles fit together to form a mosaic. The seed for this idea was planted when Molly put Rick's jeans through the wash with some Zentangles still in the pockets. They came out still looking great (another benefit of using this combination of tile and pen), but with nice rounded corners and soft edges.

If you recently started reading this blog, be sure to check out Molly's "Naptime" Ensemble series which is based on one of the Ensemble sets that we provide.
Click image for larger view.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Peg Farmer, CZT writes,

Hi Rick and Maria,

I thought you would enjoy this: several months ago, my youngest grandson (aged 10) and I were tangling at his kitchen table. All of a sudden he said to me, "Grandma Peggy, if you ever want to make something for me...like for Christmas, maybe....you could draw a sword and fill it all full of your little stuff." (How's that for a description of Zentangle from a 10-year old's perspective?)

So, being a grandmother that can certainly take a hint, I made the attached for him for Christmas. He liked it and he even remembered telling me about it.

Happy New Year to you and the whole family!

Thank you for sharing that, Peg!

It's 19" long (the frame is 8" x 20") and Peg used Sakura® Pigma Micron pens, sized .005, 01, 03 and 05.

Peg Farmer [email] is a CZT in Dayton, Ohio.

Click image for larger view.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Party Time!

We received this email from four friends we've yet to meet. We're sharing it here, with permission (and a few edits). It's so much fun and such a good idea. Enjoy!

Hi Rick and Maria,

We live in California, and had a Zentangle party before Christmas for the "unveiling" of our four-tile Zentangle Ensemble. A few months before we'd made a circle and a few simple lines on an 8" x 8" piece of cardstock, cut it into four squares, then passed them out to four participants to tangle secretly. We all got to see them together finally at the party. The foods & clothing aspired to be "Zentangly".

Black and white bean soups, poured simultaneously into one bowl, then "marbleized" with a chopstick or knife.

We also had a plate of white mozarella balls and black olives, plus other healthy crudites, and bruschetta.

We decorated cupcakes for dessert.

Clothing and tableware was "Zentangly."

The four tiles:

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful day with us and with our Zentangle community!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One String, Eyes Shut

For Laura Harms' Challenge #3 of an "eyes wide shut" string, Maria created . . .

Thanks for that challenge, Laura. (There's more to this story . . . !)

Click image for larger view.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Extreme Paradox

Geneviève Crabe, a CZT in Ontario, Canada (or, as she would say a "C-Zed-T" :-) sent us this beautiful Zentangle inspired mandala she entitled "Extreme Paradox."

This is based on our paradox (also known as Rick's paradox) tangle. For instructions on how to create this tangle, see it's introduction in our newsletter here, and further examples here, here and here.

To see more of Geneviève's Zentangle-inspired mandala creations, check out her flikr page. Here's her website.

Thanks for sending that, Geneviève!

Click image for larger view.