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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw M-ANNING

Zentangle pattern: M-Anning. Image © Linda Farmer and 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.Well yet another year is wrapped up for the Tour de France. Once again it was a stunning, surprising and exciting spectacle from the start in Düsseldorf on July 1st to the finish on the streets of Paris and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées almost 2,200 grueling miles later. Thrills, chills, spills, and fabulous scenery for the 3-week backdrop of the 21 individual professional cycling races. The Tour organizers never fail to bring new twists and turns each year. Now Robert and I look forward to the beginning of the college football and Premier League soccer seasons. Back-to-school ads dominate the weekend papers … time flies!

M-Anning is today’s lovely tangle and it’s from one of my CZT#7 classmates, Teresa Clerc. Teresa explains the unusual name for her tangle:

I was tired and sitting at the dining room table with one of the big Opus tiles working one of my favorite Zentangle “Printemps” then I was just going around and around as I sometimes do……when my daughter came in and saw my big tile and said “Oh….those look like Mary Anning fossils.” And she told me all about Ms. Mary Anning, a self-educated fossil hunter and collector.

Well, you can learn something from your kids!

Posthumous painting of Anning by B. J. Donne from 1847

And lucky us, we get to learn more about this bright, overlooked woman too. Quoting widely from Wikipedia:

“Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and amateur palaeontologist who became known around the world for important finds she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis in the county of Dorset in Southwest England.

Her findings contributed to important changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth.

… Anning did not fully participate in the scientific community of 19th-century Britain, who were mostly Anglican gentlemen. She struggled financially for much of her life. Her family was poor, and her father, a cabinetmaker, died when she was eleven.

She became well known in geological circles in Britain, Europe, and America, and was consulted on issues of anatomy as well as about collecting fossils. Nonetheless, as a woman, she was not eligible to join the Geological Society of London and she did not always receive full credit for her scientific contributions.

After her death in 1847, her unusual life story attracted increasing interest. An uncredited author in All the Year Round, edited by Charles Dickens, wrote of her in 1865 that “[t]he carpenter’s daughter has won a name for herself, and has deserved to win it.”

Her fame rose again in the early 20th century and her story was the inspiration for the 1908 tongue-twister “She sells seashells on the seashore” by Terry Sullivan.

In 2010, one hundred and sixty-three years after her death, the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

Mary died at age 47 from breast cancer. The rest of the Wikipedia entry including her major discoveries is very interesting reading, I recommend checking it out. Many thanks to Teresa and her daughter for bringing Mary Anning to our awareness!

In a way M-Anning is similar to Vicki Bassett’s very popular Showgirl, but as Teresa notes it starts out with Printemps and grows organically outwards from there. To do it justice it needs more space to fly to display its expansive nature so my thumbnail example doesn’t truly give the optimal impression of what you can do with M-Anning. (My thumbnails are always drawn and displayed actual size.)

Teresa illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing M-Anning below and her excellent example illustrates how lovely a result it produces. Lots of Tipple-y bubbly perfs surround M-Anning.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Please feel free to refer to the steps images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs, or to link back to this page. However the artist and reserve all rights to these images and they must not be publicly pinned, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. Click the image for an article explaining copyright in plain English.

For ammonites fossils, there’s more exploration for you to check out and here’s a starter:

Ammonites are perhaps the most widely known fossil, possessing the typically ribbed spiral-form shell … These creatures lived in the seas between 240 – 65 million years ago, when they became extinct along with the dinosaurs. The name ‘ammonite’ (usually lower-case) originates from the Greek Ram-horned god called Ammon. ~ From Discovering Fossils

As you enjoy any of the tangles on the site, please do leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours.

Check out the tag teresac for more of Teresa’s tangles on

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  3. Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form.
  4. Linda's List of Zentangle-Original Patterns — here is the complete list of original tangles (aka "official tangles") created and introduced by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, including those not published online. If you are new to the Zentangle Method I highly recommend learning a few of the published Zentangle classics first.
  5. "A Zentangle has no up or down and is not a picture of something, so you have no worries about whether you can draw a hand, or a duck. You always succeed in creating a Zentangle." Thus patterns that are drawings of a recognizable naturalistic or actual object, figure, or scene, are not tangles. A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle. TIP: tangles never start with pencil planning.
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13 comments to How to draw M-ANNING

  • Ooh I love this one, very organic! Could go on forever!

  • Sandi

    I, too, love this one! It can just keep going and going. Its organic form speaks to me.

  • Sharon Jerkovic

    Oh my! What a surprise to see your opening comment on the Tour de France!I have been a fan since 2004. Also, I remember reading about Mary Anning. This tangle is beautiful!

  • Julie Lewendon

    Wow. I love this tangle, very free flowing and I cannot wait to try this one out. Many thanks and keep up the good work.

  • I really like this pattern and the story behind it is wonderful!! Thank you for sharing both. I have added it to my collection.

  • Sue Zanker

    This tangle will be a keeper, I feel it in my bones! I can visualise myself going on and on and on and on until my pen falls off the edge of the tile! “LUVVERLY” !!

  • Mary Hellmers

    What a beautiful, easy fossil–er, I mean tangle! Thank you, Teresa.

  • Carol Cripps

    Wow. This is such a big, beautiful tangle. I’m certain it’s going to become one of my go-to tangles, the ones I use when confronted with a blank page in my sketchbook, or the vast expanse of a standard Zentangle tile.Thank you, Teresa, for sharing your tangle, and thank you, Linda, for sharing Mary Anning’s remarkable story.

  • Beverley Carter

    Being part of this Tangle community not only gives us beautiful ideas to try but our general knowledge is so often expanded by the stories that accompany many of them. Thank you Linda for delving into the history of this amazing woman who like so many others were sadly not recognised during their lifetime.

  • Just beautiful, this kind of tangles will always be keepers, I love it!!!

  • Vicki Bassett

    Love it! It’s already all over my desk calendar (which ends up being a huge Zentangle by the end of the month). She’s a lovely “sister ” to my Showgirl, but looks beautifully different. Thanks. Vicki

  • I love the history behind this tangle’s name – thank you for teaching us something new! I’ll never say that tongue twister again without thinking of Mary Anning.

  • Spirals get me every time. 🙂 This is a lovely tangle, Teresa! Large, small, monotangle or star with a chorus, it’s fun and easy to draw. I expect I’ll see this appearing on many tiles to come. Thanks!

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