Wednesday, July 18, 2018

new string pull tangle

I finally figured out what I wanted to do on another one of my string pulls! We did the pulls a couple of weeks ago with some CZT friends (Mary Kissel and Lesley Goldberg). I figured out right away that I wanted to tangle the brown parts with a white pen right away so I was happy with that. But I felt there was too much white space in the background so I had to sleep on that for a while. Then I decided to try tangles that fir easily along lines - also sometimes called border tangles. I lightly put in pencil lines to see where I wanted these lines to flow. You can see the lines in the photo below.

Photo has everything before shading.

Photo has just the white tangles and some light pencil lines to see where I might put my border tangles.

note: these photos were taken at different times of the day so the lighting is different in each.

Sting pull before any tangles.

Friday, July 6, 2018

string pull tangles

I recently learned about creating art by doing a string pull. If you've never tried it, it's fun. I tried this with a couple of friends and we had a blast. There are videos that show how it's done but simply: dunk a piece of string in ink, lay it carefully (and artfully) onto a sheet of paper, cover with another sheet of paper, hold down, and pull the string out.

This shows the piece I did in it's before state and below is the after. I took a few liberties with the shape but following the Zentangle method, I used my 'string' as inspiration and went with it.

I used a brown pen for the tangles and though the color looks different in the picture above, I think it's just due to taking the pictures at different times of day.

This isn't the best picture but it shows you a few of the other string pulls we did that day. We experimented with different types of string, different degrees of wetness of the ink, and different inks.

Monday, May 28, 2018

old tile - new shading

This week I was challenged to take an older tile and redo it. As I flipped through a pile of tiles I found many I was happy with and some that were pretty hopeless but were fun to do at the time. Then I came across this one. It wasn't bad. But could I make it better? So here's what I came up with.

The string is the same. It uses fairly basic tangles but as I looked at it it seemed too crowded. So as I did it again I made several of the tangles bigger and eliminated one all together. That helped. Then I looked at the shading. It was OK but I felt it could really be played with and bumped up. What do you think?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Adding auras

I was at a meeting earlier this week and sometimes I find myself randomly drawing things. I was looking down at my purse and found I needed to deconstruct the pattern it had on it. So I drew it out during the meeting and then when I got home I tried it again and photographed the steps as I did it. As I did it I found adding auras was something that came naturally. More auras and shading made me happy.

The inspiration

The drawing I did during the meeting.

The start. A simple 4 petal shape with 'V' auras.

Pull down double 'C' shapes from all four sides.

Complete the other side of the 'C' shapes, Add half circles.

Connect the outer edge of the half circles in.

Connect the inner edge of the half circles.

Starting the auras. Add detail lines too.

More detail and more auras.

Needed just a little more detail - and another aura.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Painted Portland

I'm continuing to share posts from the time I spent in Portland OR at Tangle U. This is from a class named 'Painted Portland' taught by Julie and Art Allison. It was a fun class where we learned how to combine traditional tangling with color and images that referenced landmarks or other aspects of the location.  Some of the places referenced are the Chinese and Japanese gardens, the river, 3 bridges, industry, horse rings, bubblers, and more. At home, I decided to add in a reference to Voodoo donuts.

We used a paint called Lumiere Metallic Paint. It's water based so it's easy to work with. It has a marvelous sheen that doesn't show up easily in photographs. So I tilted the paper until I got the sheen and took closeups - see below!

Thanks Julie and Art!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Peerless watercolors at TU

One of the optional classes I took at Tangle U in Portland was a class taught by Tess Imobersteg. She introduced us to a product from Peerless. These are small cards that have watercolor paint dried onto them. We took our strips of color and attached them to a folder along with a sheet of clear acetate. Then we played around with the colors and a waterbrush to test drive them.

This is the outside of my folder. You can see the info along with the website for Peerless.

Closeup of my folder, the waterbrush and two tiles I did in class. If you look carefully you can see the sheet of acetate that is taped into the center.

You can see by the lighter dots on the paint chips how little paint it took to color my tiles.

So, what did I think of the paint? Well, I found there was a little pilling of the paper as I picked up the color off the paper but I was told that as I got used to it I wouldn't need to use that much pressure to get the color up. I had mixed feelings about the color palette. I would have liked a more saturated color but it wasn't bad. We only played with the summer palette but if you look at their website you will see the complete range of colors.

Where this really shines though, is how wonderful this product is for travel. You can pack  this in a backpack and travel light but still have access to all the colors you need to embellish a journal or a couple of tiles.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

linen panel from Kim

I've recently returned from Tangle U - a conference for CZTs where we have a variety of classes on Zentangle related subjects. I learned so much! I'll be showing you more pictures and telling you about the classes in the next few days, so stay tuned!

This class, taught by Kim VanZyll, had us tangling on a 10" x 10" linen panel. We were able to incorporate many of the same ideas we used on Renaissance tiles so it was still in my comfort zone. I was thrilled with the way it came out.

I photographed it several times. Usually I set my work on the slate, front walk to my house but this time the neutral tones of the slate looked so blah against the linen background that I looked around for something else. so I went to my garden and found some spring flowers. Perfect! Then I came back in and got a clear shot on the kitchen table so you could see all the detail.

Do you like my zenbutton in the center?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

more zenbuttons/spundalas

These zenbuttons/spundalas are so much fun I've kept going. I keep experimenting with color schemes and it's always a surprise when they are finished. The shading and highlights add such a pop to it that I can't wait to finish each one.

Go back to the previous post to see how these are done.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Zenbuttons and spundalas, these are the new fun techniques people are trying in the zentangle world. Zenbuttons came from the mind of Marguerite Samama, a CZT from Amsterdam. Her Zenbuttons create the string and add shading. A Spundala is similar but adds color using a kids toy commonly called a paint spinner and markers. 

I've combined the two techniques here. I didn't have a paint spinner but I remembered that we had a kids pottery wheel stored in the basement.  I needed to hit the store for new batteries but found that this worked just fine. - In fact, I think I liked it better because this didn't have the high sides that the paint spinners have so it was easier to control the color from my markers.

This is the toy pottery wheel I had in my basement. I attached my tile to the wheel with a couple of pieces of tape rolled up. That worked fine.

This was the first picture I took of my 'finished' tile. When I looked at it up close on my computer screen I decided it needed more shading. I went back in with colored pencils and added more depth.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Pickpocket tangle

Pickpocket - that's a fun name for a tangle. And this is my first tile using this tangle. I did draw it out on a sketchpad first to get the hang of it It is a little tricky but since I love the tangle W2, this is really just a skewed version of W2.

Zentangle also doesn't usually have things that are representational but since this tangle starts out with a dot grid, The eyes of my 'worm' were already there in my grid!

This tangle comes from the mind of 
Tomàs Padrós

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Curvy Paradox

Paradox is the monotangle here. It's a tangle that I really enjoy doing. I wanted to push myself here so I started with a curvy string. It's trickier to do this tangle when the lines curve but I really enjoy the different effect that I got. Look below for the string I started with.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


The Diva asked us to try out the tangle Siri from Simone Menzel  CZT this week. It's a grid based tangle but I ended up deconstructing it and trying a different way to connect the elements. Fun. You can find the step outs for this tangle by going to

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Inspired by Henna and Coco

There are so many patterns that can be found around the world in different cultures. And many of those patterns have found their way into the world of Zentangle. I love how we can incorporate all these things into our artwork. In these tiles I was influenced first by henna designs. Then I saw the animated movie Coco, and I was blown away by the colors and artwork I saw on the screen. I started doing more research on the Mexican artwork that inspired that movie. These tiles are the result of combining those inspirations.

These tiles began on tiles I had previously colored the background with watercolor paints. The line work is done with the Moonlight gelly roll pens from Sakura with a little metallic gel pen added here and there.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

heart zendala

Zendalas are typically done with a symmetrical type of pattern. I love doing them but sometimes it's fun to do something different. I've done this string before and it's one of my favorites. I use an empty heart in the center (well actually off center) and build tangles flowing out of the heart. - This was my second Valentines Day since my husband has passed. The rawness is fading, but I still miss him. So this empty heart is a bit symbolic of how I feel.

I did this using one of my zendalas that was previously colored with a pink watercolor. The tangles are done with a pink pen and shaded with three shades of colored pencils.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

purple blooms

Playing with a new technique this week. At the last Prairie Tanglers meeting, Tess Carlson Imobersteg taught a class using paper circles punched out of a variety of papers. She then showed us  a folding technique to get the blossom petals.. Add tangles, and fun! I enjoyed this new way to play with tangling.

I used a colored pen for the purple lines and a brush with an iridescent white ink for the white lines. It looks white in this picture but sparkles in person.

These blooms are in progress. I've used a variety of scrapbook papers, colored cardstock, and even junk mail. The purple one is in the middle and I'll be pondering what tangles I want to use on the other blossoms.