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Zenith ~ A New Tangle from Zentangle HQ


A new tangle from Rick and Maria at Zentangle Headquarters is always time to celebrate. It is a fun border tangle called Zenith.

This tangle is composed of a series of curved and straight lines, as well as an aura.  Aura is what is known as a tangle enhancer. It is simply done by drawing a border around the tangle pattern, following the shape of the tangle and keeping a uniform distance from the edge. See the fourth step in the drawing to the right.

Zenith was introduced back in April during Zentangle teacher training in Providence, Rhode Island, and was just released to the public.  Give it a try and enjoy!



ps: to see a larger photo, just click on the image and it will pop up in a separate window.




Happy New Year...tangled


I hope your year is off to a wonderful start.  Dan and I decided to go with a Happy New Year card this year and per my usual, peace is the theme.  I cannot think of any better wish for our friends and family, or the world.  The dove is similar to one in the well-known Woodstock poster (as in Woodstock music festival, not Peanuts : )   I drew everything after starting off with a pale outline of the numbers, done in Microsoft Word. This Zentangle Inspired Art piece (ZIA) is tangled with what would fit when working on a small scale.  And of course, it is shaded, which makes all the difference.


Office Max did a quick print-job in black on my own Cryogen White paper - you may be able to see the slight sparkle of the paper if you click on the image to view full size.  I hand-colored green in the leaves with my trusty Stardust Pen ~ love them!  The card is simple and very me, and as we said inside...

May your year be filled with light and love.


Zentangle Inspired Christmas Card

I am beyond impressed with this lovely card created by one of my students, Beth, after just one Zentangle class!  Obviously, she had lots of talent to start with and Zentangle added another technique to her artistic quiver.  

After I snatched it out of her hand, Beth agreed to let me to share it with everyone ; )  Her ornaments include each of the tangles we did in class, as well as a couple of additional ones.  Beautiful, isn't it?


CZT Retreat Group Mandala Project

Bette Abdu and Christine Britos, hosts & facilitators extraordinaire for the Certified Zentangle Teacher's Retreat in North Andover, MA this summer, planned a group project.  Each of us chose a section to tangle within a 'pre-strung' circle. Best of all, everyone received a copy to take home (which I must frame for my office!).  Here's a shot of the entire piece; just click on the image for a larger view:

I decided to draw a fun border tangle I dreamed up and named Frippery.  Below, you can see a close up of it within the group project; it's the diamond shaped border right below Suzanne McNeill's red heart and hands.  Christine did her section after I completed mine and I love the way she shaped her Betweed columns under the Frippery border to integrate the two patterns.  Looks great!  Again, click on the photo for a larger view:


Tangled Trading Cards


I finally got Zentangle's delicious new Artist Trading Cards, also known as ATC's, up on our web site.  Switching to a new web site host and aching wrists and fingers (don't want to hear the 'CT' phrase please!), have slowed me down. Still... I managed to find time to Mooka-up this baby:MookaATC_300
And... it was fun, relaxing, invigorating.  As mentioned, the tangle is Mooka, with a little Flux thrown in because I wanted to.  Also, some doo-dads.  Next up, one of the new Black ATC tiles and my trusty White Gelly Roll Pen ; }  Stampassion.com also carries ATC's from Ranger, including Manilla and Glossy White papers and... ATC's made from Claudine Hellmuth's fabulous Sticky Back Canvas.  Lots of options for creative opportunities!

Using Art Stamps as The String

For those familiar with the method developed by Zentangle® creators, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, you know that we start Zentangle tiles and ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) with a "string".  This helps to segment and frame the space, gives us structure and something to "hang" the tangles on.  As an art stamp lover, retailer and etailer for lo these many (18!) years, it's natural for me to reach for a stamp.  The structure of the stamp has now become my "string".

I had tons of fun working on my latest class, Zentangle & Art Stamps, combining these two mediums.  The samples for the class are shown in prior posts, but I also wanted to create a tile to give my students a peek at how the tangles would look in a conventional Zentangle format.  Here it is:


The tile includes the tangles...




Poke Leaf


Take a look at my two prior posts to see the tangled cards created with rubber art stamps and how tangle-ations of these patterns were used within the stamp.  Too fun!

More of Zentangle & Art Stamps Class

I was up til all hours finishing this bit of Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) for my July 13 Zentangle & Art Stamps class. Not because it was difficult—it wasn't—but because I could not STOP.  Adding a little more color here and some additional shading there.... I was having a blast, just me and my pencils. Goofy, but true. I can proudly say that I color for a living (and live to color too).

Open_poppy_t'd_stamp650 (click on either photo to see a larger image)

The Open Poppy rubber stamp comes via one of my favorite stamp purveyors, Memory Box. Open is good when you're tangling, so this choice was a natural for our new class on combining stamp art with Zentangle®.  The repetitive patterns in both this ZIA card, and the one in my prior post, are official Zentangle-tangles that I've altered to fit the project, which is called a "tangle-ation". The flower is tangled with a version of Finery and the leaves are Poke Leaf, embellished like crazy 'cause, again, I was having way too much fun to quit ; )


Here's a close-up of just the card:


Like the other class project, this is colored with PrismaColor Pencils and shaded with them, along with a regular #2 pencil.  I tangled using several different sizes of Black Micron Pens.  You often need a smaller or larger nib, depending on what you're doing, so the Micron Pen set is a sensible buy for tanglers.  I added Black Glaze Pen to the center of the flower, along with some black gems for a little sparkle. 


Zentangle & Art Stamps Class

Life has been hectic (as usual) but I finally put the finishing touches on the ZIA projects (Zentangle Inspired Art) for our new class, Zentangle & Art Stamps, on Wednesday, July 13.  It's all about combining rubber stamped images with Zentangle®.  The stamp, aptly named Flowers in a Pot, is from Lockhart Stamp Company and is perfect to tangle within.  As you can see from the photo, the stamp is open and not too big, so it's quick to color and tangle—so fun.  Stampassion carries the full line of Lockhart Stamps, as well as Zentangle products, and you can find them all here on our web site.

2007flowers_in_pot650 (click on either photo to see a larger image)

I absolutely love being able to take two of my passions, art stamping and Zentangle, mush them together and end up satisfied creatively and happy, happy, happy.  Zentangle is fun and so adaptable—as I've long said about rubber stamping, you can also tangle on anything that isn't moving too fast : ) 

I'll post the second project later.  For now, here's a close-up of just the finished image...


The image was colored with PrismaColor Pencils and shading is a combination of color pencils and a regular old graphite pencil.  The tangling was done with a .01 Black Micron Pen and the flower center is accented with a White Sakura Glaze Pen, which will be up on the web site soon.

Meet... OoF




Here are step-out directions Rick and Maria have kindly provided for the new tangle, OoF.  Take a look at my earlier post for an abbreviated explanation of the name, and be sure check out Rick's tile, illustrating one way to use this new tangle. You may stop at the last step of this pattern or continue, as Rick did.  One hint from R&M, the Masters, "When you draw your arcs, draw them all the way alongside the diamond edges, not just point to point."

There's an often-asked question from my new Zentangle students, and it's an excellent one. Specifically, what tangles fit well/look good together?  I find the best way to explain this is... balance. 

Each Zentangle tile or piece of Zentangle inspired art (ZIA), needs a balance of light and dark, as well as a balance of line and curve. 

So, no hard and fast rules or easy explanation, just... balance.  It is a combination of patterns that allow your eyes to move around the tile, while still having a focal point to draw you into the piece.  The principle of balance is certainly not unique to Zentangle. It is the foundation of any good photograph, handstamped greeting card or work of art. 

How do you learn it?  There's nothing better than experience: practice grasshopper, practice ; )