Wow!  Talk about a CHALLENGE… all capital letters.  This one qualifies.  This week we are honored to have a guest blogger so Laura can take a little vacation. CZT Maria Vennekens, who  attended CZT training with Laura back in 2010 joins us with this challenge: “The challenge for this week is: can you do a Zentangle® without  using existing patterns or tangeleations* of them? And what are your experiences while doing so? ”  And here is what Laura had to say about the challenge: ” This post – it’s a doozy, I’m not going to lie.  I’ll be very interested to see your contributions and your thoughts on the process.  I have my own thoughts that I’ll share later after sitting with this one for a bit.”

As I start this post I haven’t even put pen to paper on an actual zentangle tile yet.  I’m still in the research phase.  Here’s what I’ve done so far.

  1. I’ve looked at dozens and dozens of photos looking for patterns to do.
  2. I’ve done some research on fractals, which oversimplified, is a geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.  A tangle can be a fractal, if it is simple and can be done in just a few steps.
  3. I then went to the web site and refreshed my memory once more on what a Zentangle is and what a Zentangle isn’t.  When Rick and Maria first developed this method they determined that the word “Zentangle” was an adjective, not a noun, and definitely not a verb.  For instance, the zentangle method, a zentangle tile, etc.  A zentangle tile is made of repeating patterns known as “tangles”.   They have recently allowed as how, over time, many people use the word “Zentangle” to describe their finished work, morphing it over into a noun.
  4. Then I started making some sketches of things I saw in nature to see if I could come up with some new tangles without them being a tangleation of a tangle that already existed and has been published.  Not an easy task, let me tell you.

I haven’t even mentioned the “zen” part of zentangle yet or tried to define zentangle.  Rather than try, I’ll direct you to the zentangle website, here to read what Rick and Maria say about it.

So now I’ll sign off and go see if I can meet this week’s challenge.  I already know it won’t be easy, and I’m already two days late in starting, since it’s Wednesday already and I just got home last night from a week’s vacation.  I’m also going to “break one of my rules” and start looking at all the entries already posted.  If I don’t, I’ll never have time to look at them after I’m finished.  Besides, maybe it will spark some creativity, LOL!  See ya later!

Okay, I’m baaaaack!  I have one tile to show you that I believe to be simple, repeatable, and contains no published tangles that I’ve ever seen.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of these “tangles” {and I use the word advisedly{ before.The tangle on the lower left and the leafy type images are actually based on photos I saw when I googled “Photos of patterns in nature”.  They could be stepped out and made into tangles.  The rest is just line work I made up as I went along.  I didn’t find this exercise zen-like.  Too much thinking, not enough flow.

I thought I would also introduce two new tangles this week.  I didn’t use them in my tile, because I invented them (I think) last week when we were doing grid seeds.  BTW, if anybody knows that these have already been published and named, please let me know.  I’d sure appreciate it.  Here they are:


The name of this one (Yevaw X) stands for Wavey X spelled backwards.

Here’s the second one:


This one reminded me of parquet floor tiles so the name is an anagram of “parquet”.In summary, a very challenging challenge, but I’m glad I tackled it.  Now I’m off to finish looking at all the eye candy at the Diva Website.  Thanks Diva Laura and Maria for this week’s challenge.  Until next time, happy tangling.