New Zentangle Experiences

I have four new interesting Zentangle experiences to share. The first was ZenAgain 2021. This was a 4-day intensive specifically for Certified Zentangle Teachers. I have attended it a few times in past years. This ZenAgain conference was supposed to be held in Newport, R.I., in November.

November, 2020, that is. But COVID was calling the shots. (Is that a pun?)

Rescheduled for November, 2021, ZenAgain was cancelled-again, and I ended up sitting in front of Zoom for four entire days in my dining room. If I didn’t love Zentangle so much, it would have been difficult. But even on Eastern Time, getting up at 6am for the start of the day, I loved every minute of it. The theme was “It’s About Time.” We created zendalas of the Phases of the Moon, most appropriately coloring them with Moonlight Gelly Roll pens. We visited artists across time, looking at their work and letting that process inspire our own Zentangles: Leonardo da Vinci, William Morris, and Salvador Dali.

Here are a couple of my favorite tangles from ZenAgain.

This first one comprises two new tangle patterns, introduced by the Zentangle team with traditional celebration and fanfare. The first is Pangea. The individual shapes below are the Pangea pattern, separated by white channels of space. They are named for the “original” continent, Pangea, that split apart to make the continents we know today. Pangea was surrounded by Panthalassa, the original ocean.

Inside each Pangea shape reticula is the new tangle Mrth used as a fragment. Mrth has a “hole” in the middle with grassy spikes protruding out, and is covered with radiating, rounded stripes.

My second Zentangle experience I want to tell you about derives from the first. I sent a copy of the above to my friend Christy Tews. Christy has a very high-tech sewing machine, with which she has embroidered everything she could get her hands on. Tea towels, my new favorite blouse, jackets, t-shirts, and more. Somehow, Christy managed to create this embroidery from the drawing. I was simply blown away by the beauty of her creation!

My third Zentangle experience to report was a Project Pack called The Twelve Days of Zentangle. Zentangle has created theses Project Packs for some years now. They snail mail you a package with everything you need, all the pens, papers, and tools, to follow along with a series of videos that guide you in creating beautiful tangles. For this project pack, every day for 12 days, they posted a video guiding us in making a beautiful creation. The theme was 3-D objects. I was not happy about creating a little army of zentangled objects that would sit around and collect dust, but I went ahead anyway and am glad I did. Fewer than half the 12 videos were objects, and some of the rest were amazing.

Here are my favorites.

Again, this Zentangle is using the Pangea pattern. this time the continents are filled with round tipple dots and are floating with the Panthalassa Ocean channels between them. What is amazing to me is that there are pale white Mooka patterns appearing inside the Pangeas but not appearing in the channels between. It was mind bending to make this happen, using black pens on black paper to keep the Panthalassa ocean black.

I just love this zendala. I don’t know why, it just gives me chills. I like the 4 crescent shaped borders with the coffered ceiling shapes. I like the 4 starry night black triangles that add drama. I like the over and under of the swirling leafy shapes.

Creating these above pieces, and for some time now, I have been wanting again to create my own art, rather than following someone who is guiding me to create their vision. I do this with my Alcohol Ink paintings, but not so much with bigger Zentangle projects. This brings me to share my fourth and final Zentangle experience.  Throughout my life, before Zentangle, I always valued being able to see what came from me. It was like a mirror to the inside.

When I discovered Zentangle, I just loved drawing so much, and for all these years of Zentangle I have just said who cares? to all that. I just wanna have fun. I will follow your lead, dear Zentangle teacher, whoever you are, and create your beautiful vision happily alongside you. It didn’t bother me in the slightest. I felt proud of my lack of vanity not needing to be the “creative one.” But then lately, I began to want to look again into that mirror. I felt some trepidation beginning this, but here is my first original Zentangle-style mandala, designed by me.

Zentangle Experience #4.


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