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, December 20, 2014

By the numbers . . .

3,024 Zentangle Tiles
4.3 x 5.6 meters (14 x 18.5 feet)

Fina Man, CZT worked with her friend Keith To to raise HK$151,200.00 (approximately US$20,000) in Hong Kong for this year's Operation Santa Claus.

They also created the largest Zentangle Mosaic we've ever seen!

Here are some pictures:

Fina is 5th from the left.

That's Keith

Press Release from Kowloon Shangri-La

Congratulations, Fina!
Congratulations, Keith!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Zentangle Method and Schools

Gillian McAuliffe works with school children in Perth, Australia. After learning about the Zentangle Method, she began sharing it with students in her school district.

The outcomes were so positive and so dramatic that she had to find out what was going on. So earlier this year she traveled 11,639 miles from Perth to Providence (RI) to attended a Certified Zentangle Teacher training seminar.

Gillian is also working with an area university to design formal studies to investigate the benefits to students from practicing the Zentangle Method. In the meantime she wrote an article on this important topic that we want to share with you.

To more easily read her article, upload the original PDF here.

To "meet" Gillian, please take a moment to enjoy this short interview she gave us at seminar. One important insight she shares is the gradual deterioration over recent years in children's fine motor skills and how she employed a Zentangle practice to address this.

We just uploaded this video and five other new ones to our Zentangle Story Booth.

Thanks, Gillian.


Our winners from posting on Amsterdam, Day 2 are:
  • Toujours Soleil
  • Cathy in gorgeous Sonoma County
  • Lori S.
Please send your snail mail address to maria@zentangle.com and we'll send you a Tinful of Bijous!

Best from us both,


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Calm Down and Get Your Zentangle On

That's the title of an article in Psychology Today that we recently discovered.

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT in Arts and Health, begins,

Zentangle® is known to many artists and craftivistas as a way to create structured designs through drawing various patterns. Sometimes mistakenly called “Zendoodling” or “tangle doodling,” Zentangling or tangling is actually a formalized process that defines itself as something other than mere doodling because of its theory and approach. Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas [www.zentangle.com] are the originators of the trademarked Zentangle method. 

Later she writes:

Why am I interested in Zentangle? While the process may look intricate, it is a deceptively simple pathway to relaxation and inner focus. In fact, proponents of the practice note that it has multiple benefits including calming an anxious mind, increasing self-confidence, and cultivating moment-to-moment awareness in a similar way as mindfulness meditation. Here are some other benefits:
  • It’s Self-Soothing.
  • It’s Simple.
  • It Teaches How to Own Mistakes.
  • It Reinforces “Aimlessness.” 

In the complete article, she expands on those four benefits.

Her last reference to "aimlessness" reminded me of Leisure, The Basis of Culture, a book by Josef Pieper. Mr. Pieper's book builds on her insight into the value of "aimlessness" and has many other ideas that resonate with practicing the Zentangle Method.

We invite you to visit her blog post to read the complete article and perhaps, to leave a comment.

Thank you, Dr. Machiodi, for taking your time to write that article.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Amsterdam - Day 2 of . . . .

Our tour of Amsterdam was not only the grand museums, but romantic walks that one only dares to dream about.

You read of such walks in novels. And you think . . . nah, it could never happen in our life like that. Well. The beauty is there to behold. Everywhere you look. The heart-to-heart exchanges as you walk arm in arm, are timeless. You don't gossip. You don't talk about work. You don't even talk about the worrisome baggage we all seem to carry. You just see. Marvel. Notice for the first time. Feel so lucky to be where you are, at that moment. You meander with no destination in mind, taking in the wonder of each tiny detail that you would never notice at another time.

We saw (thousands!) of bicyclists, going about their daily rituals, with children in tow.

You could imagine what it would be like as a child, "en plein air" with careless breezes through your hair and the comfort of your parent behind you, on your way to the day ahead.

Rick was in that state of exuberance, stopping every few feet and chronicling that moment in vivid color as only he can.

(I am a bit partial here, as I think his photos are extraordinary). : )

The fairytale-esque architecture,

the fabulous fashions from around the world, stained glass, time-worn ceramic tiles

and building facades,

architectural details,

as well as the manhole covers, shadows, patterns and reflections on (and off) the floors and walls,


scooter seats, (shades of 'n Zeppel)

and trolley wires, (inviting 'n Zeppel)

the luscious food on our plates (!),

store displays,


all contributed to a never-ending portfolio of yet unrealized tangles and reminders of familiar ones.

My little leather journal was alive with images sparking tiles I had not planned. Sketches of borders, floral patterns, carved corners, etched glass abound.

The tangles, as if breathing life onto the folios in my hands, seemed to grow in spite of me. This, as you all know, is just what tangling can do to a person.

The very act of tangling, brings to me whatever I seem to need at the time. . . be it calm, excitement, focus, happiness, gratitude, passion.

What do you experience when YOU tangle?


Since we've been SO preoccupied with our fall seminars and the roll-out of our new website, we'll send our promised "something special" to five (instead of one) of you who took your time to contribute to that blog post's comments.

Each of the following will receive a set of our new Opus tiles. Just email your snail mail address to maria@zentangle.com and we'll get those out right away!

And the "winners" are:

Peg Stueber
Diane Wright
Art Lady Kate
Judy Holzschuh

We also invite your comments to this blog post and will send a randomly chosen commenter a gift in appreciation (perhaps not after so long a wait this time!)

Thanks so much!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Amsterdam - 1 of ?

Maria writes: 
On a recent journey, my beloved and I had the great good fortune to visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

This was one of the truly humbling experiences I have had as an artist. The architecture alone was stunning, with patterns and design everywhere.

We could have spent the entire day in one room, and not done it justice. There was one (colossal) room of just Rembrandt's works, . . .

. . . never mind the Vermeers and Van Goghs. It was so peaceful to watch people of all ages, from all over the world, standing still, as if hypnotized, not seeing anything but the works of art before them. The hushed din was reminiscent of a cathedral in mid day, when quiet was by choice, not demand.

Rick and I, were each on different missions: he with his camera and I with pen and paper. We wandered in different directions, checking back with each other every now and then only to point out one painting or ceiling detail that was not to be overlooked.

In the small (3-1/2 x 5") journal that my sister Sue brought me from Venice, I tangled or sketched snippets of images . . .

. . . a single button barely holding together an enticing swash of silk, an etched silver something or other, a drape of velvet, the inlaid ebony and ivory frame, a fold of lace . . .

The opportunities were endless and intoxicating. A sense of both excitement and calm was in the air.

The images fused together, as if they were always meant to be that way. Each "tangle" I encountered, was more beautiful than the last, begging to be included in the art-in-hand.

I kept thinking how fun it would be to bring groups of tanglers on museum hunts, harvesting the art, guiding our pens to immortalize these overlooked fragments of art once again.

Rick did the same with his cameras, taking (no kidding) thousands of photos of things I had missed or did not have time to draw. What an amazing re-viewing we had, when we finally sat and meandered through his treasures. We spent two days at the Rijksmuseum, one day at the Van Gogh Museum and another at the Staedtler Museum . . . all stories for future days and future blogs.

A return trip was in our hearts before we even left the city. It was that magnificent.

So, dear tanglers, we wish for you a day as we had.

Choose a local museum (and perhaps, a friend) and with your tools of our art, experience the romance of art, pattern and texture; of drawing in such an inspiring venue (double entendre intended!). Play an active and interactive part in your visit, not just a passively listening to words everyone else is hearing. Notice and appreciate the subtle details that are often missed . . . in frames . . . ceilings . . . floors . . .

Have people (or statues and paintings!) look over your shoulder, wondering what you are drawing.

See the art like you never have before.

Tangle, like you never have before.

Over the (harvest) moon.

Rick adds:
What began as, "This will make a great blog!" has become, "This will make a great blog series!"

Reviewing the (yes, thousands of) pictures, we realized this is a feast better served in courses, all the better to appreciate and savor its unique sights and insights; its individual tastes and tangles.

Inspiring details were everywhere. Here it seems Maria might be drawing from this painting . . .

. . . but what was recorded in her sketchbook was that painting's frame:

The sights were wonderful and inspirational. It was fun to see Rembrandt (van Rijn)'s "chop" on gilded pedestals . . .

. . . and stenciled walls.

It reminded me of one of my chops, with an added "V" (for "the fifth" . . . yes, actually!).

We are excited to share with you more of this visual bounty that we found in Amsterdam!

More . . . Much more . . . to come.


If you have had an experience like this, or just want to comment, we will randomly choose from our comment posters and send one of you a little something special.

Please remember, we have to be able to contact you, so if your comment comes in as "anonymous", that makes it rather difficult. Add a name, or make one up, and we will announce the winner in our next blog.

Click images for fantastic larger views!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dear Bijou . . .

Bijou says:

I have received (beaucoup) lettres from very enthusiastique tanglers from here and beyond my imagination.

One letter, from C(zed)T 10, Mademoiselle Marty D, tres magnifique, sends me her drawings of three wonderful cousins, "Bibi, Nina et Margot" who I have not seen in some time (they are so very slow to correspond . . . ugh, snail mail!).

They look happy. And the tangles, as you can see are very beautiful. I am sure my cousins are having a grand time playing amongst the tangle lines. I am very happy (and perhaps a bit jealous that I am not there playing, too! Non??)

But I have much work to do now that I am a, how you say it(?) "Blogger."

I have a special little beret I wear, when I am at work at Z Centrale, with my new friends in Whitinsville. I love my work, but prefer to just tangle all day in the sunshine, wouldn't you! Mais oui, certainement.

Here are some Zentangle creations and comments that will bring joy and a smile to even the busiest of you.

Mademoiselle Marty writes:
Dear Bijou,

Loving your little tiny tiles so much! Here's a sampling of them with a few of your cousins (they miss you so much) . . . Bibi, Nina and Margot!

Hope you enjoy them!

With special thoughts of you . . .

Marty and your dear cousins.

Merci beaucoup, Marty!


Click images for larger views.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Laniakea Tangles

Rick writes:
This morning we watched a stunning video from Nature - The International Weekly Journal of Science, showing superclusters of galaxies.

It's a short video. Short enough that I suggest you first watch it with the sound off just to appreciate the imagery . . . an imagery of tangles drawn by strokes of galactic trajectories, within three dimensional strings of universal scale, creating mosaics with other superclusters.

We wrote in The Book of Zentangle,
Our world is awash in patterns.
Our world is patterns.
This video suggests the same for our universe.

Our night sky displays one perspective . . . but step back a few fractals and appreciate the elegant patterning of supercluster tangles dancing within cosmic boundaries of 3D strings (nicely displayed at 3:00 in this video).

"Laniakea" translates from Hawaiian to English as "Immeasurable Heaven"  . . .  how wonderfully reassuring.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014


A dear friend of ours and CZT, Sarah Del Mastro, recently posted these on her blog. We thought you would enjoy them!

Sand Tangles
(We've always said you could create Zentangle art with a stick at low tide!)


Bijou etait a la plage!

What/Who IS that coming out of the sea onto the beach?


Thanks to everyone who added such wonderful comments to our recent "Stuck Up" blog post. It's always nice to "see" everyone's voice over the waves.

If you haven't already, please take a moment to read some of the great ideas that posters offered on that blog post.

As promised, here are a few names we picked at random to send some "Bijoux" (translated from the French word for Jewels) your way!

Diane Lithgow 
Barb Burgess 
Robin Jones 

Please contact Bijou (he insists on helping) at bijou (at) zentangle.com to give us the snail mail address to send you your "Bijou" tiles!


Rick and Maria (and of course, Bijou, too)


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stuck Up!

Maria writes:

I have received a couple of letters recently that said:
"What on earth am I supposed to do with all these Zentangle tiles once I have drawn them?" 
Well, I never have thought this might actually be a problem (as you'll soon see).

Maybe if I carved life-size birds out of wood, after carving 50 or so I might wonder where to put them, but not a 3 1/2" square of paper.

Since we already have sooooo much stuff on the walls, we are having to get really creative as to where to put them. But it's fun. Sorta like it's the hunt for the "perfect" pair of boots that makes the day interesting, not the purchase.

While I can understand that it might not be feasible to frame and hang every one of your tiles, it may be fun to have your favorite ones hanging around and interchange them often . . . giving yourself time and opportunity to appreciate your new-found artistic self.

So, here, my friends, are a few suggestions on what you do. Get stuck up. I mean, literally. There's this stuff called "mounting putty" or "removable adhesive putty" that is super sticky but not so sticky that it destroys stuff when you take it down. And it does not (as far as I can tell) destroy your Zentangle tile. This stuff sticks to pretty much anything. And because a tile weighs almost nothing, it hold fast and you don't need to use much.

I stick tiles to the walls, mirrors, furniture, car windows, inside the glass on glass cabinets, bathrooms, stick them on top of the glass on other framed pieces that you might be a bit tired of (this is actually pretty cool), kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, windows . . . you get the idea.

 You can see the putty because the tile is on the inside. This is a tile that was sent to us by an avid tangler.

 We use this everywhere.

 Old pictures get new life!

 Often gravity is sufficient. 
Or wedge one in a frame, . . .

 . . . in between mandolin strings . . .

 . . . or inside a car lantern found in Rick's dad's basement whose windows were exactly 3.5 inches square!

Well, one other thing I like to do with my tiles is give them away!

Let us know what you do with your Zentangle tiles and we'll send a gift* to one of you lovely commenters!

What's your story?

Click images for larger views.

* Bijou insists we send a Tinful of Bijou Tiles!