Posted in Zentangle

Back to Basics 2

Ten days ago, I talked about being so overwhelmed with so many new tangle patterns being developed and shared. I decided to spend time working on the basics of Zentangle and a more manageable number of patterns. I pulled out my handily shelved Zentangle Primer and started from the beginning, as though learning tangling for the first time. I have shared some of my Back to Basics work here and on the Zentangle Mosaic app, and I have temporarily removed myself from the world of Zentangle challenges (not that I take part in more than two or three!).

It has been an interesting week of tangling for me, as I draw for the lesson exercises, breaking things up with an occasional meditation with greater complexity. But I continue with the Basics to get my tangling back on track. 

‘Nzeppel practice
Striping practice
Crescent Moon exercise

The ‘Nzeppel I shared previously, as I got it almost perfect with input from friends on Mosaic. The Striping exercise is the result of a “teaching session” in the Primer. The Crescent Moon tile is the result of an exercise challenging the tangler to shade Crescent Moon in several different ways. Interestingly, today a T3 (Tangles, Tips, &a Techniques) video was posted on the Mosaic app showing three specific things that could be done with Crescent Moon to make it look different on each tile. A lot was covered that I had recently completed in my tile, but there was a lot more information that kept me interested and following along. The resulting tiles, each containing only the single pattern, made me realize that I don’t need all those new tangles that are constantly showing up to produce something special. 
Three ways to tangle and enhance Crescent Moon

Today I practiced Crescent Moon as monotangles (one pattern tiles) three ways. I started practicing a tangle I am not especially fond of–Rixty–but am not ready to share where that pattern is taking me. It happens to be the next pattern introduced in Lesson 6 of the Primer. It’s a long chapter and will take some time to complete, even though none of the patterns are completely new to me. After all, this is not my first time through the book. Each time I go through it or check a step-out or seek inspiration, I learn something new or see the pattern from a different perspective. 

There is so much to learn from practicing the art of Zentangle, not the least of which is meditation and relaxation. I hope to be tanglingin the physical company of others soon, as I will be attending a certification seminar in late April (2017). Afterwards, I hope to bring Zentangle, its methods, and its philosophy to people here on Sint Maarten who would find it beneficial to their health and outlook.

If you are in or near Sint Maarten, join me for a tangling session! 

Until next time, Happy Tangling!

Posted in Zentangle

A Little Help From My Friends

For the past ten days or so, I have been re-visiting patterns I learned early in my Zentangle “career,” but have stopped using. Some fell into disuse because I simply didn’t like them; others because I couldn’t make them work for me; still others for reasons I have forgotten. Using the Zentangle Primer to guide me, I simply started at the beginning.

Yesterday, a Primer exercise (#zp1x16) directed me to draw a tangle I either don’t like or have trouble drawing to my satisfaction. I selected a pattern that looks simple but that gives me trouble, ‘nzeppel. 

‘Nzeppel

‘Nzeppel is a simple enough looking pattern that is drawn in a grid of exes. But it has given me a lot of trouble because I can’t get the corners to curve instead of come to a point. This tile shows my best effort in the 10 or 11 months I have “known” it. I posted it on the Zentangle Mosaic app with an explanation, figuring that was the end to it for a while. I was incredibly surprised to learn how many experienced tanglers–individuals whose work is incredibly artistic and beautiful–had difficulty with this pattern as well! Their admission left me feeling so much less klutzy! I am so grateful to them all.

Some CTZs offered suggestions (privately) on how to draw ‘nzeppel better–tips that they used themselves. These made me think about the pattern differently. So I redrew it. 

Better ‘Nzeppel.

This is much closer to the effect I was trying to create all these months. It reinforces my feeling that tangling with a group has many significant advantages over tangling alone. Other tanglers can offer advice based on personal experience or contact with other tanglers. It also made me realize that I am not simply having a unique and personal difficulty with a simple pattern. So often, the most complex patterns turn into an easy exercise (my experiences with Way Bop before seeing the step-out, for example), while the simple, easy-looking patterns are challenges for even artistically gifted tanglers. It is such a relief to know that I am not simply an untalented klutz with a pen and pencil. 

Several of the tips and suggestions I received after uploading the first tile yesterday included references to personal difficulties with the pattern and the tip or instruction that yielded that “Aha!” moment. But it came from group participation and sharing. 

And sharing is just another important aspect of Zentangle. We all get by (and get better!) with a little help from our friends!

If you live on the island of St. Martin, in Sint Maarten, or are planning a visit to the island, let’s get together and tangle under a palm tree or beach umbrella by the sea! 

Until next time, Happy Tangling!