Friday, December 1, 2017


This tile uses the new tangle 'dewd'. It works especially well on a black tile with white ink.  I liked the organic nature of the dewd tangle so I picked several other organic tangles and off I went. I named this tile "midnight in the garden of good and evil ". The tangle dewd seems so pure and innocent to me with all its orbs, while the tangle punzel makes me think of a devil's horn.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Paradox and Bunzo doutangle

There is a definite comfort to doing tiles with limited tangles. Decisions are limited so you can just start tangling. In this tile the two tangles are Paradox and Bunzo. I'm starting to get inspired by all the holiday things I'm seeing on TV so I started with a star shaped string and the rest of the tile grew from there. I used a sepia colored pen so I added some simple background shading with colored pencils. I liked the way the tangling was so I decided not to do any shading on the inside of the star shape.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tangled Rocks

Tangled rocks. Sometimes I need to switch things up. While I love doing Zentangle tiles, I get the urge to try out new techniques and products. Lately I've been seeing posts on Facebook about people that paint rocks and then leave them for other people to find. And hopefully those people will post a picture of their find and maybe hide them again, thus continuing the cycle. above are a few of the rocks I've painted with the intent of hiding them. I'm not sure when or where, but keep your eye out!

I was inspired by another artist that posted some of her work, Judy Feskun. She got me going into the recesses of my craft supplies to find my old metallic paints.

The rocks themselves come from a variety of sources. Some came from a friend's garden (with her permission). Others came from a big bag I bought at a Home Depot. Look in the gardening supply area and ask for the 'river rocks'. It costs about $10 for a big bag.

These have been basecoated. Sometimes I started with a coat of white gesso. Sometimes black gesso, and sometimes I just went right for it on the bare rock. Most of these have a variety of colors mixed together. I would put one color down and before it dried I would smoosh another color into it. 

As I said, these paints are OLD! If you have been crafting for a while you will know that most of these labels are the old version and some of these paints aren't even made anymore. If you want to try this yourself, just look for acrylic, metallic paints.

I used an IDentipen on top of the metallic paints. I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't bleed when I spayed the finish coat on top. The white chalk pencil was what I used on the black rock. And it's also what I used to write on the back of the rocks (not shown).

Have fun! And I'll also be posting these on the Facebook group, 'Chicago Suburb Rocks!'.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Trying out a new tangle here. It's called Wibble from Shawna Martin and you can find the step outs here. It's a fun tangle that as I played with it, it reminded me of a strange little worm.  I drew it with the tangle 'laced' and 'printemps' in the background. This was done with a sepia colored pen and shaded with colored pencils.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fall and Hollitwig tangleation

Fall is truly here in Illinois. The weather has definitely turned colder and leaves have changed into the glorious colors of autumn. I love playing with color so for this Zendala tile I started with one of my precolored Zendala tiles. I tangled using a sepia Micron, and added colored pencils in several shades. I came up with a new (to me) tangleation of the Hollibaugh tangle. The step outs are below.

This picture shows the early stages. While this isn't the exact tile I used, it does show a similar colored tile. On the note pad you can see how I played with the Flux/leaf shape that I wanted to use for my border.

Hollitwig takes the basic steps from the Hollibaugh tangle and tweaks them a bit. To draw Hollitwig imagine you are doing an outline of the letter 'Y'. Do not use a ruler or even worry about straight lines, it's better when you just go for it. Draw as many outlined 'Y' shapes as you wish - each time drawing the new one 'behind' the ones in front. As your space fills up you may want to add a few basic double lines as needed. (see picture). Shade as desired.

There are many tangleations you can do and pictured are just a few. Draw Hollitwig with very shakey lines, Draw it thicker than before and try out different shading techniques, or fill in the negative space with other tangles.

Friday, October 27, 2017

white on black - lace

Tangling on the black Zentangle tiles is a different experience from using the white or tan Zentangle tiles. It means you have to think of things in a different way. But it's definitely worth the effort. 

This time I was inspired by lace patterns and did a portion of a Zendala. I used white ink and my new glass dip pen. I need to play with this pen some more but when I have I'll do a blog post on it. The white areas that are softer are done using a wash that is more water than ink and applied with a paintbrush.

If you do a search for lace patterns to try this yourself, I suggest you also look for lace patterns from Arlene Linton. She is an artist and teacher with several books on the subject.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


The challenge this week was to use the tangle 'striping' as a monotangle. I love using this tangle but usually I've used it in random ways, as fillers within abstract strings. I wanted to try something different so I started thinking about using zendalas as a string. So these pieces are more orderly, and more calming to work on.

I used my Stabilo colored pens for the first piece and shaded with colored pencils. The second piece was done on a black Zentangle tile with the Sakura Moonlight gels pens, with a little white chalk highlight added.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tints two

OK, I've calmed down a little. Enough that I was able to try another tile with the tangle 'tint'. This time I was able to think clearly so I focussed on exploring tangleations for tints. I started with the tangleations that Henreike Bratz had posted on her website
Then I was able to come up with a few more.

I thank all of you that took the time to comment on my last post, both here and on my Facebook page. The support was overwhelming! There was one comment from the other direction. I appreciate the time that was made for a respectful comment.

I am hopeful that the outcry from all directions may finally be enough to force congress to take some action to curb gun violence. But knowing the gun lobby, I'm not gonna hold my breath.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I'm soooo angry!

I really needed to tangle yesterday. I was so mad I couldn't see straight. I saw the challenge to use the tangle 'tint'. I had a few ideas about imaginative ways to use it but I ended up just repeating the basic tangle over and over again. It was as if I couldn't get past my anger. I hope that I can find a way to live with my anger.

The tragedy in Las Vegas is so sad. BUT IS WAS AVOIDABLE! Who do I blame? Congress and the NRA. They both share the blame for refusing to consider reasonable gun legislation. It is because of their inaction that the terrorist was able to get his hands on high-powered automatic weapons that have NO real reason for being, except to kill. The terrorist couldn't have shot so many people from so far away without the automatic weapons. I'm not talking about taking guns away from law abiding citizens. I'm talking about regulating guns in the same way we regulate cars. There have been numerous posts about the way to do this. Please watch this video from President Obama

I've tried very hard not to express my political opinions on this blog. I imagine I may get some pushback from some people reading this post. I'm sorry if I offended you on a personal level. But No, I'm really not sorry. If you agree with the position of the NRA, PLEASE, GO F**K YOURSELF! Because I hold YOU responsible for all these deaths too.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Random n'zeppel string

Using a random n'zeppel as a string and based on techniques I learned at the Sharla Hicks seminar I created this fantasy botanical tile.  I used a blue pen and pastel chalk pencils for the colors. Fun!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sharla Hicks seminar

Learning to see shapes in predone backgrounds.

I just got back from an exciting week at Bear Lake, California. I was attending a seminar with Sharla Hicks and Beckah Krahula. Wow, It was so worth it. We learned a lot, we laughed a lot, we enjoyed wonderful scenery, and we ate some really good food. Sharla and Beckah are both Certified Zentangle teachers. There was Zentangle, but sooooo much more.  We dove into mixed media, we tried new tools, and learned new techniques. Dianna Hudson, a chef and a CZT too, prepared all our meals so no one was ever hungry.

I've posted pictures of the work that I did. I'd love to post instructions but you will have to take classes from Sharla yourself!!!

Learning ways to do florals.

Finding botanical shapes in an abstract piece.

Tea bags used for backgrounds.

Solar printing.

Printing backgrounds using osmosis.

Block printing. I made 4 from one plate here.

Silver point.

Using an amazing multi media paint pen for metallic paint. Contact Beckah Krahula to buy one for yourself. Find her on Facebook.

Visiting the Eye of God.

The view from Sharla's cabin.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stained Glass?

Stained Glass was the prompt that started this tile. When I saw the prompt I knew - COLOR!!! And I LOVE to play with my coloring tools. Not too much tangling but that is because I wanted the colors to shine. 

This picture shows the pen that I used to do the 'lead' lines on this tile. I actually drew the piece out lightly with pencil first and then did all the colors. This way, when I drew the thicker lead lines, I could cover up some areas I wasn't too happy with. The tangle line work was done with a Pigma Micron 01 pen

I used my Tombow markers and a watercolor technique to get the stained glass effect. I wet a small area first, then picked up color off the Styrofoam plate with a wet brush and touched the color to my tile. I love the unpredictability of the watercolor method. By the way, you may notice in the last tile that I intensified some small areas with more color. For that I used my Inktense pencils.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Zentangle plates

Zentangle plates is a concept where 4 tiles are put together. They all have the same circular strings but are tangled with their own tangle patterns. When put together they form a 'plate'. This was a fun project to do. It was interesting to choose tangle patterns that varied in light and dark, curves vs straight lines, and random vs geometric shapes.

Below is each tile separately and at the end is the grouping before shading.

 Sampson, Bales, Coil, ?

 Rain, Meer, Zenith, N'zeppel

 Crescent moon, Echoism, Copada, W2

 Bales fragment, Onamato, Ditto, Surf's up/also named ___?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fragments D1

'Reticula and Fragments' is the name of a chapter in the Zentangle Primer book. The concept is that you take a small fragment and by flipping and/or mirroring that small fragment, you can create a myriad of new patterns.  In this tile I used the fragment that is labeled D1 in the Primer. You can see in the picture below how I drew the tangle several times on small pieces of paper. I could them experiment with twisting and turning the fragment to see what I wanted to draw.

I used a brown pen and colored pencils for shading to create my version using the D1 fragment.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Playing with Inktense pencils

Playing with my Inktense pencils recently. I saw photos from a class that another CZT gave. I apologize that I didn't write her name down and thus can't give her credit. - If you saw her pictures on Facebook please let me know so I can properly thank her!

I started with a selection of my Inktense pencils, activated them with water, and then tangled around them as usual. I decided against adding a highlight to turn them into gems as I just wanted to use the glow from the colors.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'Nzeppel - Renaissance road

Follow your path, wherever it goes. The tangle used in this tile is 'Nzeppel. It has always reminded me of a cobblestone path so I decided to go with that theme. I used a Renaissance tile, brown Micron, colored penil to shade and a white chalk pencil to highlight.

My path in life is very different than it was two years ago. My husband and I were settling into retirement and enjoying the grandkids. Now that he is gone I am looking at my new life as a widow and wondering what my future will hold. But just like the Zentangle philosophy of  'one stroke at a time', I'm taking things one day at a time. My new phase of life may be a renaissance. We will see.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Twisted Corners

Sometimes I get into an artistic funk. I just can't really get going. I've been in this funk for a while now. I surf the web and see all sorts of beautiful work but I haven't been inspired much.

Thankfully I have the CZT group to inspire and encourage me. Yesterday I saw a Facebook post by Romi Marks CZT showing the tiles from her latest class. She taught the tangle pattern Twisted Corners from Alexandria Cortez Diaz. As I hadn't tried this tangle before now I had to try it out. The other tangle patterns here are Diamond drop, Cadent, and Flux. I added colored pens and colored pencils.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

new pen play

At a recent gathering of Zentangle fans in Wisconsin I was introduced to a new way to use a pen. It's the Elegant Writer pen and its main use is for calligraphy.  But someone discovered that when the lines are touched with water the ink bleeds in a variety of colors. Now if you are trying to do an elaborate calligraphy piece that would be a problem. But since there are no mistakes in Zentangle, this is just a happy accident.

In the pieces pictured above I tangled using a variety of tangles, with the main tangle being Aquafleur.  I used the pen both with the thick part of the pen as intended, and also holding the pen so I used only the thin edge. Then I used a brush loaded with plain water and touched the edges of the tangling, allowing the pen to bleed.

 I did a quick video to show how this pen bleeds when it hits the water. I'm trying to figure out how to show the video here but until I figure that out just click on the blue type - 

I tried running the pen through a wet area on a card just so I could see what would happen. I suspect that this isn't the best idea for the future as it may dilute the ink in the pen. But WOW! it was so cool to see what happened. Look in the picture below to see what happened after the piece was fully dry.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Twisted rope two ways

Twisted rope is the name that was given to this string. It's a string that is fairly simple but I love what you can do with it. And there are several variations too. You can see the basic string at Margaret Bremer's blog by clicking here. 

Here I used it twice. Once in a traditional black and white and then again with color. The colored one was done using Derwent Intense colored pencils with a watercolor technique. I did the color first so I could focus on the highlights. Then I added the tangles with penwork, purposely skipping the highlight area to add some sparkles.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Puffin and Munich

Traveling to new places can be so inspirational for tangling. I was recently in Munich, Germany and had the pleasure of visiting several of the beautiful and historic churches. The ornate decoration in many of them is amazing. I took lots of pictures. I was fustrated in visiting some of them as they had a service going every time I got there and of course they don't want you to take pictures or walk around during the service. I finally waited and was rewarded with magnificent organ music and choirs. And when the service ended I was amazed at how each smaller altar was decorated differently.
The tile here was inspired by the elaborate carvings around the columns and on the walls. I used some tangleations of the tangle "puffin" as I did this.