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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

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Tangle Refresher 131 – Featuring what to do if you get stuck completing a Zentangle®

Tangle Refresher!Brexit! Wow, who would have guessed. Well if there’s one thing that’s sure about life, it’s change.

* * *

Every other Friday I publish a Tangle Refresher to spotlight tangles from a year ago and I also make an effort to include a useful and interesting introduction to each Refresher. So I encourage you to visit the Refreshers to see what’s new and what might helpful for you.

Today we’re revisiting an introduction from January 2015, but first a welcome note to all my new subscribers. Every day new tanglers join the Zentangle® community and we welcome them all with open arms! This wonderful meditative art form is gaining lucky followers all the time, and I say lucky because it has so many great benefits for everyone and any age.

When you’re just starting out there’s a lot to take in but at the same time the principles are very simple and straightforward, and as CZT Sandy Hunter has written, the “rules” are there for a reason in the Zentangle Method™.

Some time ago a new tangler asked for advice on what to do if you get stuck completing a Zentangle®, and that request prompted the following introduction to Tangle Refresher 95:

Melissa would like to know, “What do others do when they get stuck and are not sure what to put where next or is everything preplanned? [What do you do when] you’re in the middle of a Zentangle or ZIA and just don’t know what to do next?

Let’s start with advice from Zentangle’s founders Rick and Maria.

The whole idea behind Zentangle is there’s no pre-planning, no expectations, just let go and follow your intuition. Then when you find yourself thinking about the outcome rather than just tangling, Maria recommends going to your “mac and cheese” tangle, the one you love to draw, “the one I start tangling when I need to draw and not think.

The charm of Zentangle’s method is that you can relax into the pleasure of creating ‘one stroke at a time’ without concern for the outcome. We often speak of Zentangle as a practice. We never speak of it as a competition.

Maria says,

Draw whatever tangle makes you happy at that moment. That is the essence of Zentangle, enjoying putting pen to paper one stroke at a time. It feels so good to enjoy that moment without fretting about an outcome or someone else’s opinion.

So, if you want to learn a new tangle (or explore a new path or try a new food), that’s fine. But most times what you want is a comfort tangle; and then, comfort tangles it is!

* Tried
* True
* Simple
* Familiar

And remember too, this sage advice from Bijou, “Sometimes I even leave a section blank; which is occasionally my best choice!

So fellow tanglers, what are your thoughts on the matter? How do you proceed when you run out of steam but somehow feel your Zentangle is not finished yet?

And which ones are your reliable, familiar, comfort tangles?

* * *

The Tangle Refresher series, aka Buried Treasure, spotlights hidden tangle gems from the past. It can remind you of tangles you might not have used for a while or introduce you to some you haven’t come across yet.

Here are five more tangle pattern gems and a Tangle Refresher from a year (or two) ago for your tangling pleasure. Remember to check out the “More Good Stuff” links below too.

BTW as you visit these tangles please do leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity for you to enjoy. And please share a link to your favorite tangles with your followers on all your social media. Thanks!

Zenful tangling!

Buried Treasure from the tangling past
Zentangle pattern: Flux. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Flux
Zentangle pattern: Omen. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Omen
Zentangle pattern: Keystone. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Keystone
Zentangle pattern: Balo. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Balo
Zentangle pattern: Lacee. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Lacee
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 103

More good stuff …


Perfect Holiday Gifts ...

TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE, 2016 Edition

TanglePatterns.com TANGL GUIDE, 2016 Edition The current Edition of my TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2015. It's a must-have tool for using the site.
Visit the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page.
Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page for more information and support TanglePatterns.com by getting your copy now!
GIFT ORDERS: To give the TANGLE GUIDE as a gift, visit this page to place your gift order.
If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my TanglePatterns.com BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1 Remember you can get your official Zentangle supplies here too, including the fabulous new Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1. It's your CZT-in-a-book by the founders of Zentangle®! Visit the STORE tab on the top menu bar or click on the image. For more about the content and to read the rave reviews, visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab.
"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H

The Official Zentangle Kit Another great jump-starter for new tanglers is the original Official Zentangle Kit. The Kit includes all the supplies you'll need to get started properly: Sakura Micron Pens, Zentangle Tiles, pencil, sharpener, tortillion, a booklet and an instructional DVD by co-founder Maria Thomas. Click on the image for more information about the Kit and its contents.

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3 comments to Tangle Refresher 131 – Featuring what to do if you get stuck completing a Zentangle®

  • When I get to the “What now?” point, I sometimes use the die included in the Zentangle Kit. If you don’t have the kit, you could use Linda’s Random Tangle Selector!

  • Sandra McVeigh CZT 15

    When I start a piece, I tend to go to the ones I like the most and I have a few that I love to do. As Marie says draw whatever makes you happy at that moment. I have a lot of “happy at that moment” tangles. My sketch book is full of them. It’s funny when I go back through the pages of my sketch book, I didn’t realize it before, but there are a few of preferred tangles that I like. I visit Tangle Patterns often searching for a fun tangle I haven’t tried. The way I find them is just by looking at them, if they looking interesting to me, I’ll try it. I put them in my sketch book for future reference.

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