Zentangles – and a piece of advice.

Advice first:

If you have had a tumour removed, and are possibly facing chemotherapy (but it’s not sure) DON’T, for the love of God, and for your own sanity’s sake, read this book:

The descriptions of the chemotherapy that the heroine of the story has to go through will make you shit-scared and very nasty to your husband (who’s only trying to help) however much you tell yourself that the young woman in the story had MUCH worse cancer than you.

And if you’re going to visit someone who has had cancer and faces the (fairly small) possibility of having chemotherapy, don’t lend them this book. It’s not great for the morale. Honestly.

And now, zentangling. (Click on the images to enlarge them)

Comeuse With A Chou said in the comments to my last post: I’ve no idea what zentangling is though (and am now intrigued). Do you have a link to a previous post describing it at all please? 

Well, if I’m honest, I would say zentangling has been around as long as doodling has, but it’s just that some rather canny Americans thought about how it could be used to their advantage, and have rather taken over what one would, in the past, have called doodling. A whole industry has grown out of it.

Rules have been formed, to say what is zentangling, and what isn’t… If I quote from the “official” page tanglepatterns.com

These are the characteristics that define a tangle:
The elemental strokes of a tangle in Zentangle

  1. a tangle is abstract, non-objective (non-representational)
  2. a tangle is non-directional, it has no up or down orientation — there’s no “right side up”
  3. a tangle is usually an overall pattern that grows organically, rather than a single motif. Zentangle is about “the repetition of a stroke, not the repetition of a drawing.“
  4. a tangle is at most 2 or 3 simple strokes — “Usually the number of elemental strokes needed are 3 or less. Often, you only need one or two. By ‘elemental strokes’ we mean a dot, a straight(-ish) line, a curve (like a parenthesis), a reverse curve (like an ‘S’), and an orb or circle.“
  5. a tangle is simple enough to draw without using a pre-printed grid, pencil guidelines or an eraser. “It also has to be done without any underlying pencil structure or preplanned grid.” Inked grids or dots, however, are often part of a tangle.
  6. a tangle never uses rulers, stencils, or any other mechanical construction aids
  7. a tangle is elegant, unique

In my view, this is all a bit of cobblers – it’s making rules where there is no necessity. They say: The Zentangle® Method was designed to remove the thinking, planning, decision-making and other obstacles that often hinder creativity or even prevent people from creating art at all.

But then, by making all these rules about what is/isn’t a zentangle pattern, I feel they are stifling creativity in people all over again!!

So I take no notice of the rules – I should, apparently, be calling my work “Zentangle Inspired Art”, for example, and instead I enjoy creating art, whatever it’s called, and in whatever form. AND (shock!horror!) I use a pencil, a ruler and an eraser to create grids, especially if I’m working on something that’s going to be a gift.

All the examples shown here are mine: the sheep was done for Michelle, from Boulderneigh Farm, I think (she keeps sheep). The cat was one of my very first forays into ZIA, and was designed for a charity Spanish Stray Cats.The chicken was drawn for a blog swap of some sort, for Busy Little Chicken (she’s no longer blogging) and the sunflower was a birthday card for my sister. Finally, the Harry Potter was completed soon after my return from Lines Summer School last year, as several of the teachers were confirmed HP fans. I didn’t send it to anyone, so it’s lying around my study somewhere.

If anyone reading this would like their own personal Zentangle, do let me know in the Comments – I’m always looking for an excuse to start a new one. I’ve done many subjects, including knitting, Celtic crosses, dolphins, fairies… If you want yo see other examples, click on the “tag” title Zentangles and you should find others that I’ve done.

I hope that answers your question, Chomeuse…


15 thoughts on “Zentangles – and a piece of advice.

  1. Don’t send cancer books to people with cancer. Noted 😉 (But seriously, that sounds like a bad idea anyway!).

    The Harry Potter one is AMAZING, no matter what you’re “supposed” to call it. At risk of sounding like I’m trying to impose “my” cause on you, there are a few children on Post Pals who would LOVE that (or something similar).

    I would love a fox if you feel like making me one.

    1. Aha! I thought I had an outstanding “promise” to do a foxy Zentangle – maybe it was you! If you want, I can send you the HP zentangle, and you could copy it & send it to those HP fans on Post Pals who might like it. Though I would need to find it…

  2. Thank you! Yes, that explains a lot 🙂 🙂 You clearly have a huge amount of creativity and your artwork is beautiful. I will have a think about a zentangle challenge for you (I am just back from an unavoidable ordeal in the UK so my brain is a little fried at the moment).

  3. You are so TALENTED! I do “conventional art forms,” but can’t imagine tackling one of these. And YES, that’s my ram!!! 😀 (Love the cat and chicken, too!)

  4. I appreciated the explanation! I too say BALLS to the rules! Your ones are excellent and I really like them! Please can I have a photocopy of Bev’s Fox!!! I don’t want an original because you have already given me two (by the way, I meant to say to you that the one I commissioned you to make for my Mum sits in pride of place in the living room of her new bungalow!)

    And is there some sort of tasty English thing I can send you in return?

  5. Ah, so that’s what zengangling is! Talk about complicating life with all those rules and regulations. It reminds me of poor Colonel Dedshott of the Professor Branestawn books; just trying to understand the Professor’s ramblings made his head spin! Love your tangles, by the way.

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