Welcome to BLOG Zentangle. To learn about Zentangle, visit our website, read our free newsletters, take a class with a local Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), and best of all . . . create your own!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More CZT Seminar Pix

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming with some more images from our recent May seminar.

We each started by creating a Zentangle. Here's our class mosaic:

Folks brought lots of cool Zentangle Inspired Art in many media for everyone to enjoy.

Here are a few samples in cloth, metal and wood.

Much more later.

Click images for larger views.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Maria writes:

It is my sister Sue's birthday. I created 3 tiles with mirasu. This coiled tangle was inspired by those little "weavings" my older sisters would teach me to do with an old spool and nails when I was very young.

Marasu comes from my sisters' names, Madeleine, Rachel and Sue. I'm going to have her pick one of them.

Which one will she choose?

Click images for larger view.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Creating a habit of creativity

We are receiving many wonderful emailed comments in response to our recent blog request.

We know we're supposed to be saving these for our book, but we felt this next one touched on such an important idea, that we couldn't wait to share it with you.

CF wrote:
I picked up an old copy of Ornament Magazine  this week (2008, Vol 31 No. 4). There was a quote in one article that really struck me as being appropriate for anyone who tangles. The article was titled "Cari Borja: The Creative Habit" and this is the quote:

"When I was doing my Ph.D. research in Jamaica, an artist and teacher said to me, 'All these students, I don't know why they're thinking about becoming an artist because none of them have the habit of being creative.'"

Zentangle makes being creative so simple and so accessible to anyone who has the bug. So often we think of being creative as creating large pieces of art, but Zentangle art, creating small pieces finished in a short time, lets us practice being creative in spite of life's all-too-busy schedules. Zentangle was recommended to me as a way to get the creative juices flowing but I find it satisfying as an end in itself and a way to be creative as a habit. I'm totally hooked.

"A way to be creative as a habit." That is such an important concept. Creating a habit of creativity is a major part of Zentangle's magic. Thank you, CF,  for putting those words to it!

And thank you to all who have sent and are continuing to send in your stories!

Speaking of creativity, Maria often talks about how she experiences her flow of creativity has increased  since she began creating Zentangles. Here's one from yesterday with her comments.

Our long busy day ended, bringing with it a warmish-coolish comforting breeze that begged to be appreciated, for soon it will be gone . . . replaced with New England's summer heat. I sat on our porch with just pen and paper (and pencil) to enjoy a delightful mix of tangle and spring air. After completing this tile (about 35 or so minutes) I began to "put the icing on" . . . my favorite part. I shaded it but still it wanted more. So I "rounded" the corners on some of its tangles and with that added bit of contrasting focused black, it was done!
(Rick adds: See those gray bands playing with those parallel pen lines? That's done with a very dull pencil.)

Click image for larger view.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Can you please give us a hand?

"So, Rick and Maria, where's your book about Zentangle?"

We are working on it. Actually, we've been working on it for . . . well . . . let's just say, we've been working on it for a while. But now, with important help from wonderful people, we are on a regular schedule and we are making great progress.

And, we want you to be part of it.
  • Tell us about you and Zentangle. 
  • What does it mean to you? 
  • What did you discover about yourself? 
  • How did it affect you. . . your life . . . your art?
  • How did it affect others? 
  • Whether it seems quirky or profound, simple or grand, what's your Zentangle story?
We know our perspective, but we don't know yours. We want you to be part of this book because without you, we wouldn't be writing it.

Tell your story in the comments below or email it to us.

And thank you for being part of this adventure!

Fine Print
If you submit your story it means you agree that we are free to use it or not use it and we might edit it. Please include your initials and tell us in which country you live.

About that hand
That hand is one of a pair of bookends that we bought from Sandy Bartholomew, CZT, when we visited her delightful store, Wingdoodle, in Warner, NH (USA). Maria tangled it with a Sakura Pigma Micron Brown 01.

Click image for larger view.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

String Theory #23

Laura Harms, CZT has a new challenge call String Theory.

Here's Maria's contribution with her comments:

I did this Zentangle late last night by candlelight. I wanted some continuity, so I striped each section, then tangled the stripes as they presented themselves. It's rather dark, but I was in a great mood! Go figure . . .

I enjoyed going back to the square format, which I had wandered from lately.

Congrats to Laura Harms for crashing the 100,000 mark on her blog!

Click image for larger view.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tangling NYC!

I know, I know, we're supposed to be telling you about our CZT class, and we will! But, this just came in yesterday and it was too cool not to share right away.

Sheryl wrote:
Dear Rick and Maria...

My daughter and I just spent a week in NYC and left over 50 Zentangles in many fun places. The Zentangles added a new "footprint" to our trip. Thank heavens my traveling companion was younger than I am . . . and since I was the "mom" I made her do the climbing when we left our cards in "high" places!!

Thank you so much for your Zentangle wonderful boxes and ideas.


What fun! Thank you for sending those.

Click images for larger views!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old Pen = New Pen

We interrupt our current CZT training summaries to share this tile.

We were playing around with this last night. Maria started it, then I added to it, then Maria added more. Back and forth we went with black micron and white Gelly Roll Sakura pens, one atop the other.

Hint #1: Allow ink to dry before drawing on it.

Hint #2: A lighter touch with the white Gelly Roll allows more ink to flow.

Our initial inspiration for this blog post however, is the mooka in this tile's upper left corner. It was drawn from a nearly dry micron 01. It has its own unique effect which is difficult to replicate with a fresh pen. So save those older pens - they can do things that new ones can't.

If you are more organized than we are, you might even identify which ones are older and which ones are newer. But then, you'd miss being surprised by what kind of line came out of your pen!

Click image for larger view.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CZT Friday Party

We met everyone at a reception in our home Friday. It was a wonderful time to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

People could see some of the art and Zentangles in our home and studio:

Enjoy some refreshments:

Look at many Zentangles under our gnome's watchful eye:

And wander about in the front yard:

Friday was the first really nice warm May day we had. The wisteria and lilacs were in bloom, as was the tree that we planted when my dad passed on.

Even the Hens & Chickens plant offered its inspiration for future tangle ideas.

The weather cooperated wonderfully as it temporarily pulled aside a chilly raining curtain just long enough for our guests to enjoy a few glorious New England Spring days!

More next time . . .

Click images for larger views.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome CZT Class of #6

We are thrilled and excited to welcome and introduce our Certified Zentangle Teachers from our sixth CZT seminar.

This is always such a high for us. We meet wonderful people and begin life-long friendships. We watch people from all over this planet (South Africa, Australia, England, Canada, USA) make connections and friendships. We get to hear others' stories. We learn how Zentangle has powerfully impacted lives. It's thrilling, exciting and humbling all at once.

We'll be sharing some great images and moments from seminar in these next couple days.

In the meantime, thank you for your understanding for our reduced blog posts and slower email responses during our seminar preparation and as we rest and catch up.

More soon!

Click image for a wonderful larger view!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Playing A-round

Having some fun while we get ready for seminar this weekend.

We'll share pix later.

(Note to self . . . Take pictures!)

Click image for larger view.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


In this morning's paper we read a blurb about Action for Happiness and their 10 Keys to Happier Living which they list through their acronym, GREAT DREAM:

As we explored their website, we enjoyed the resonance with Zentangle - particularly those parts where they mention "noticing the world around you and taking the time to appreciate things" or, "trying out and learning new things." Their "Resilience - finding ways to bounce back" is so similar to our, "There are no mistakes in Zentangle. Whatever happens can be used as an inspiration for a new pattern." Their "Acceptance - being comfortable with who you are" is familiar to anyone who has heard us talk about how we expect everyone's Zentangles to look different.

We love how both approaches give tools to enable people to focus on what brings themselves happiness.

There are many more similarities. We encourage you to take a moment to explore and enjoy.

Best from us both,

Rick and Maria


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mooka Love

Fina Man, CZT in Hong Kong writes:

This is a Zentangle to my mom.
Happy Mother's Day to all moms.
Thanks, Fina.
Happy Mother's Day from us to everyone!
(Every day is Mother's Day.)

Click image for larger view.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cloisters & OoF

Let's expand a bit on our May 7 newsletter.

That piece that Maria was drawing in the chapel . . .

. . . is a late 12th century carved and painted torso of Christ from Auvergne, France. Here are some additional views.

Everywhere you looked in The Cloisters, there were patterns. In brass pitchers . . .

In the ceiling . . .

In the stain glass . . .

In the gardens . . .

In carvings on stone sarcophagus covers . . .

And in carvings on stone pillars . . .

When you study those previous two, you will notice that the pattern on the sarcophagus cover and the pillar are fundamentally the same tangle. This will be a fun one to explore.

In our newsletter we also introduced a new tangle OoF, inspired by this window when seen "Out of Focus."

Here's a larger view of Rick's Zentangle with OoF from our newsletter.

Materials used: Zentangle tile, Sakura Pigma Micron black 01, 08, Graphic 1, and Sakura white GellyRoll.

Click images for larger views.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Our daughter, Molly emailed us:
I saw this and it really made me realize how many people really get you guys. . . .  she has taken a very complex pattern and broken it down into simple steps to create a tangle. The language you have so delicately invented is encouraging others to express themselves. Awesome!

Molly is referring to this blog entry by Laurie Patterson, CZT.

We agree with Molly. This is a great example of
  • looking at our world with fresh eyes
  • noticing patterns we might have overlooked before
  • then deconstructing those patterns to their most elemental forms 
  • so that pattern can easily be recreated through repetitive strokes without "drawing" it.
Take a peek at Laurie's blog and see how she got from this:

to this:

Very cool, Laurie!

Click images for larger views.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Place Setting

. . . for a pattern feast!

When we were in NYC for GEL, food was served with recyclable wooden "silver" ware. Our friend, Iris Chase, CZT, began to recycle her spoon (during one of the lectures) with knightsbridge and Maria finished it. The fork and knife remain to be tangled.

This setting's plate is a blue willow pattern which contains a wealth of tangles.

We only use cloth napkins at our home. When a bed sheet gets old and becomes torn, Maria rips it into squares and frays the edges. They become a great surface to tangle . . . here,  an "R" with mooka.

With everything on a William Morris placemat . . . Bon app├ętit!

Click images for larger view.

Monday, May 2, 2011


On our way home from NYC, we stopped at the Cloisters. It's difficult to convey the wealth of tangles to be found in this museum dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. We stayed there five hours. That was too short a time to appreciate everything, but after a while we were too full to digest any more. Must. Go. Back.

Here are a few pictures (of some 400+) that we took to give a hint of pattern treasures to be found. We already have two new tangles and will show one in our next newsletter.

Betweed anyone?

We're looking forward to sharing many treasures we found with you.

Click images for larger views.