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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw MARYHILL

Zentangle pattern: MaryhillMaryhill is a wonderful new tangle pattern from CZT Betsy Wilson and it’s her first on the site. Betsy is located in Vancouver, Washington.

Maryhill is almost a technique rather than a tangle per se. And it’s totally simple and fun to draw. Another good pattern to give your aura-drawing and line control skills a workout. As Rick wrote in a post on another subject but it applies here, “with Zentangle’s approach, simple repetition of basic elements (in this case, a straight line) allows something quite beautiful to unfold in a very enjoyable way.

You can apply Maryhill to any shaped section, you just turn your tile after each section and keep going. Note that each 7-shaped stroke meets at the same point in the center of each section. As Betsy writes, “that windmill shape just magically appears“. This is another pattern that really benefits from that final touch of shading for its 3D impact.

I just finished my CZT training (14) with the Zentangle family in Rhode Island. It was amazing to say the least. What an experience!

When this pattern came to me, and it did just pop into my brain, or rather it just flowed from my pen, I had just given up on coming up with a pattern. Everything i ‘tried’ was either too representational, or too complicated or both. I decided to not try and if something came to me, fine, if and not, fine too.

Circles had been on my mind both consciously and subconsciously.  … We were camping at Maryhill Washington, hence the name. Anyone who as been there will remember the beautiful Columbia Gorge with sweeping hills, looping roads, windmills on the hills and cliffs, and a replica of Stonehenge. Circles everywhere.

I think this is a basic tangle because of its simplicity, of the fact you can insert it into just about any shape and that your focus comes from the repetition of the lines.

Start with a basic shape or string. … Divide it up into pie segments, any number. Work one segment at a time. Draw an inside aura from the left side and stop just before reaching the right side of the segment. Then bring your line to the center. It helps if you turn your tile as you move from the left to right stroke to the downward stroke. Repeat to fill in the segment. Repeat in the rest of the segments. See how that windmill shape just magically appears? Try different shapes, or different numbers of segments. Try skipping every other segment and fill with another tangle … Try filling in every other segment with a reverse Maryhill.

Betsy illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Maryhill here on her blog and demonstrates its effects when drawn in a variety of different shapes. Note: click on her blog images for larger versions of the steps and of the lovely Zentangle® she features in her post.

Update November 2014: Betsy has recently added a whole range of variations of Maryhill here on her blog.

Update December 2014: Betsy shows how Maryhill works in a spiral string here. Lovely!

Check out the tag betsyw for more of Betsy’s patterns on


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