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!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

More Inspiration

Maria writes: 

I have found, in passing, not to be surprised by what can inspire a tangle. I would think it would be a pattern in something, but it seems to be the really "out there" sort of things that have grabbed me lately.

For instance, I had been staring at this pretty set of dessert plates with lovely pen drawings of fruits and veggies on the border. The back says "Fine Staffordshire Ware" but does not name the artist. I was particularly attracted to the onion shaped pattern and the "weighting" on the lines. So I started playing with simple shapes that use this technique, rather like an old engraving.

I think you could add interest to almost any tangle by rhythmically "weighting" some of the components. Try it on some tangles, particularly tangles that haven't "grabbed" you yet.

This next one was another unexpected inspiration. Indiana (Molly's daughter) was playing with one of Rick's learning toys (of which he has many). I started to see patterns as she was manipulating the sides in and out. . . and this is what resulted:

Like a regimented hollibaugh . . . Fun!

The label on this wine bottle was just beautiful. It sort of reminded me of the tangle cirquital. But I went ahead with it anyway.

These next two, as you can more than likely tell, were inspired by looking at a bicycle wheel. I call it unspoken. Here you see two variations and there is another in our book, The Book of Zentangle, on page 76.

The center of that last Zendala Zentangle tile was "breathed into me" from one of Rick's tiles that was on my desk. (Why it was on my desk, I have no idea . . . except probably to inspire me!)

Rick adds:
That tile is a version of cadent. After I tangled the orbs and the connecting "S" shapes, I drew straight lines from the center of each "S" shape to the center of each adjacent "S" shape. That's what created those triangles and squares. Then I used a version of aura-ing to echo those "S" shapes in a hollibaugh fashion and "drew behind" those triangles and squares. Then I put a large dot in almost all the circles . . . just because!

If you'd like to go on a cadent journey, please take a look at Margaret Bremner's recent blog post, Cadent and Then Some. When she says, "and then some," she means it!

Coincidentally, Margaret also won the tile from our last blog post, Inspiration.

Double congrats, Margaret!

We look forward to reading more of your comments about what inspires you.

Click images for larger views.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Maria asks:

What inspires you?

Look around.

Can you find inspiration from where you sit? Maybe it's a who who's inspiring!

The inspiration for my Zentangle tile du jour . . .

. . . is from my muses du jour: petermaxfieldparrish! ;-)

Rick adds:

Is inspiration an active or a passive event? I think the popular view is that it's passive: "That inspires me." 

However, one of the definitions of inspire is: "To draw in (air) by inhaling."

You don't need to passively wait for inspiration.  You can actively inhale it!

The origin of "inspire" is "to breathe into." Each breath is literally an inspiration!

Relax. Look around you. Find something to relish. Actively draw* it in. Inhale it, appreciate it, make it your own.

Then (if so inspired) express it . . . one stroke at a time.

* For more about "draw" see this blog post.


Maria continues:

Carol's name was drawn in the random number pick from the previous blog's list of commentators. Since we do not have any other info on her, here is her comment:
carol said... Maybe when we learn small things, taught with great love - we can accomplish great things . . . thanks Maria & Rick for your inspirational teaching!
Carol, please contact me at zentangle (at) gmail (dot) com with your snail mail address.

Click image for a larger view. Breathe deeply!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Great Things

  (From a book in which Maria writes favorite quotes.)

Maria writes:

This perspective is something Rick and I had thought about when we designed the Zentangle Method.  

Being confronted with a large blank canvas or sheet of paper can be a bit intimidating.

But, a beautiful small square of paper, well . . . 
 . . . not so much. 

And each small stroke done with great love . . . 
. . . is precious.

We can accomplish something 
Start to finish.
Admire our completed work of art or,
Start over. 
In one sitting. 

Without taking a day off or 
Ignoring day to day happenings. 

Just draw 'til we are done . . . 
. . . one stroke at a time. 

Then move on to life as we know it . . . 
. . . one stroke at a time.

But with maybe a bit of a smile to make the day 
One we can work with. 

Anything is possible.

A few tiles to ponder. Comment if you will.

We will send one off to one of you lovely folks as a token of our gratitude. . . . because, well, it's all about gratitude, isn't it?? 

Rick adds:
And who's to say that . . . 
. . . small things . . .

. . . can't also be . . .

. . . great things?

Each stroke . . .
. . . great love.

Click small images for great views!

Debra Castaldi . . . a tile from our blog post "So Many Tanglers" is on its way to you. Congratulations!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Seminar XI

We recently held our eleventh seminar for Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZT). This newsletter [link to follow shortly] has a more complete description. This blog post is a companion to that newsletter so that we can show larger and more images and provide a place for your comments.

We are so thrilled to welcome and introduce to everyone the newly graduated and students and now CZTs of Seminar XI!

Here's the collaborative which everyone tangled:

Here is our first group mosaic:

. . . with a random close-up:

Each student tangled the back of their name tag. Here's a peek at a few of them:

We enjoyed a session about working on black tiles and tangling with black ink on top of white ink and white shading: (Speaking of black tiles, we also announced in this newsletter that we just released Black Zendala Sets.)

Lots of students brought work they created. Here's a very small sampling.

This next one is actually 3D:

Quilting (with detail):

Zentangle inspired acid etched jewelry:

Here are some examples of using tangles as textures and colors. Note how some tangles morph to suggest shading.

There was so much more to see and share. This is such a small sampling, but we trust it gives you an idea of how much fun we all have at our CZT seminars.

Please check this link to find a CZT near you.

Now that we are settling back down after seminar we will return to posting more frequent blogs.

As always, thank you for your comments!

Click these images for a larger view.