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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Tangle Refresher 115 – Visiting the core of Zentangle, links to How to tangle on glass Christmas ornaments …

Tangle Refresher!Visiting or revisiting the core of Zentangle

Keep it Non-representational. Zentangle artwork is intended to be non-representational. Zentangle’s elemental strokes are also non-representational. We don’t teach complex elements such as hearts, stars or flowers.  Tangles are also non-representational.”- from The Book of Zentangle

Let’s take time this weekend for a simple exercise. This is not only for those of us who’ve been tangling for a while, but for everyone who hasn’t created a real Zentangle yet. With advice from co-founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas:

“Every once in a while, it’s good to revisit our roots . . . remind ourselves of the beauty, simplicity and comfort of an original Zentangle. So if you’re not already doing this, we encourage you to touch base with the core of Zentangle from time to time.

One way to do this is recreate a simple Zentangle (maybe a variation of your first one) and remember the thrill of creating this tiny work of art for the first time.”

Let’s revisit the roots of Zentangle by recreating just one simple tile: Breathe. Dots. Border. String. Tangle. Shade. Appreciate. Gratitude. [If you need help try my TanglePatterns BEGINNER’S GUIDE to Zentangle.]

Can’t find your first tile or need suggestions for tangles? Try these Zentangle-original classics: Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh, Bales and/or Printemps. And use a simple Z or X for your string.

I’m willing to bet you’ll be astonished and delighted at your growth from that first tile. And reminded that all you need is a pencil for your string and shading, a black 01 Micron pen, and a 3.5-inch square white tile.

Feel the thrill! And enjoy a beautiful weekend … 🙂

* * *

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. Zenful tangling!

BTW as you visit these tangles it would be great if you’d take a moment to leave a comment of thanks and encouragement for the tangler who’s shared with us, and please share the tangles with your followers on all your favorite social media. Thanks!

Buried Treasure from a year ago
Zentangle pattern: Snail. Image © Linda Farmer and Snail
Zentangle pattern: Inchworm. Image © Linda Farmer and Inchworm
Zentangle pattern: Alaura. Image © Linda Farmer and Alaura
Zentangle pattern: Curl. Image © Linda Farmer and Curl
Zentangle pattern: KauriKunde. Image © Linda Farmer and KauriKunda
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 87

More good stuff …


Enhance your Zentangle experience while supporting TanglePatterns:

CURRENT EDITION! TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition The 13th Edition of the TANGLE GUIDE is an instant-download 109-page interactive digital eBook/PDF containing approximately 2,000 tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2023. It's a great resource and a must-have digital tool for using the site. Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page and help keep going by getting your copy now!

"Linda, Thank you! I was relying on too few and getting stuck after 3 years of daily working with Zentangle. This has inspired me to ‘begin again’ with renewed excitement." ~ Barbara R.

See the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page. Note: this is a digital product you download immediately when you place your order, nothing will be physically mailed to you.
GIFT ORDERS FOR ANOTHER PERSON: 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 BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1 This is the only Zentangle book you'll ever need: the fabulous 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.
NEW! Now available in KINDLE format for $9.99. Spanish Edition here. Japanese Edition here.
"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


6 comments to Tangle Refresher 115 – Visiting the core of Zentangle, links to How to tangle on glass Christmas ornaments …

  • Sue Zanker

    Re-visiting the core of Zentangle is SUCH a good idea! I know I sometimes find thinking of,or choosing patterns to do on my tiles to make them all look ‘interesting’ or ‘different’, a little difficult at times. How nice to go back to some really old favourites and stick to the Zentangle principles again. Or sometimes I grab one of my folders of collected patterns and just let it fall open to any pattern and a I promise myself to do that particular one, even if it isn’t a favourite and THAT’S when they surprise me and turn out looking great! Another source of the beginning patterns is the little booklet that comes in the Zentangle box, they are the basics too ! A lovely weekend coming up for sure!

  • Carol LeBlanc

    I had been thinking of doing this very thing! I have all of my tiles, in order, from beginning to current. I have been tangling for a year. It will be fun to see how my very first tile, re-done will look!

  • A good idea! I have tried it today. I choose some of the first patterns I learned: Crescent Moon, Static, Tipple and Fescu. I also choose the Z-string. It was a nice experience to see the patterns grow. All of a sudden Mooka showed up to. Small one! It is easy to get lost in all those patterns around. This was a good lesson for me and I will do it again, looking for some early learned pattern. So relaxing. And no planning except finding the first patterns! It is also encouraging to se what it looks like today compared with my first efforts!

  • Donna Lamoureux

    Thanks for this idea. On some days I have only a few minutes to tangle and this is the perfect solution. As someone else said, it would be interesting to compare that first tile with now.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      This is a great solution for the times when you want to do a tile but your mind is a little, shall we say, blank. 🙂 And as I wrote above, “I’m willing to bet you’ll be astonished and delighted at your growth from that first tile.” Truly, it is remarkable to compare them and see how far you’ve grown.

  • Melena

    I did just this thing earlier this spring. I started tangling with “One Zentangle A Day” in the fall of 2013. I went through the whole book but some of it was way beyond me so I basically just learned the tangles. So I decided to go through the whole book again, starting at the very beginning.

    The first tile I did exactly like the first one, but boy did it turn out different. 😀 Then I used the same tangles and did a completely different tile. Another Wow! I then went through the whole book and tried out all the things that intimidated me the first time through. I did all the same tangles but with a different attitude and learned so much more about how to make my tangles stand out. It was a great learning experience.

    Now I just have to learn how to leave more white space. 😉

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