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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw SPANGLE

Zentangle pattern: Spangle. 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.It’s solar ECLIPSE DAY here in North America!!

According to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), “On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.”

If this afternoon is typical of summer in South Florida we’ll likely have tropical rain instead of a solar eclipse, nevertheless I’m sure it will be well covered in the media so I won’t miss a thing! {Unless I’m occupied by our DVR recordings of Rachel Maddow or any of her colleagues at MSNBC, a total addiction. Not a total eclipse.}

The fun and whimsical organic Spangle tangle has been around for almost exactly four years (08/18/2013) and it’s way past due for being added to the site.

Spangle was deconstructed by CZT Mimi Lempart — Yes, the Mimi of VERY popular Mi2 fame — who was formerly teaching in western Massachusetts but she has since retired to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Spangle is a free-form variation (aka tangleation) of a Zentangle®-original tangle which resembles a ribbon of stemless, aura-ed laurel leaves which we also know as bay leaves, familiar in our spice cupboards. We often see this type of laurel leaf pattern used as a border for certificates and award documents, much like this stylized image.

Laurel leaf clip art

From Wikipedia:

“Bay laurel was used to fashion the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, a symbol of highest status. A wreath of bay laurels was given as the prize at the Pythian Games because the games were in honor of Apollo, and the laurel was one of his symbols.

The symbolism carried over to Roman culture, which held the laurel as a symbol of victory. It is also the source of the words baccalaureate and poet laureate.”

A victor's golden laurel wreath, probably from Cyprus, 4th/3rd century BC

A victor’s golden laurel wreath, probably from Cyprus, 4th/3rd century BC

Mimi writes Spangle is composed of a seed-like element that had been appearing in her Zentangle tiles for a few years …

The name comes from Spangle Grass, another name for Northern Oat Grass, which has seed heads that resemble this shape in its early summer stage.

Upon closer look, I could see a woven pattern within the seed head which became the inspiration for embellishing Spangle with various patterns. Add a single dot and it looks like a school of fish; add striations and they look like almonds…and so on.

Northern Oat Grass is also known as Northern Sea Oats, Spangle Grass, Indian Woodoats, Broadleaf Uniola, Wild Oats, River Oats = Chasmanthium latifolium. In this image of Spangle Grass you can clearly see the woven (dare I say Betweed-like?) pattern Mimi refers to.

Have you noticed that Kleenex™ has updated its packaging with interesting patterns? Spangle looks at me every day from my kitchen counter and my bathroom vanity {when you have allergies you have boxes of tissues strategically placed e-ver-y-where}. This box design nudged my memory of Mimi’s Spangle.

Now I don’t know why on earth this didn’t dawn on me before but Spangles could be the new orbs! They fit in anywhere and everywhere, make absolutely fantastic fillers, and it’s totally mesmerizing to embellish them, you’ll see. Whether you scatter them randomly à la Kleenex box, or grow them together as in Mimi’s steps, or give them some type of orderly formation, Spangles are so very adaptable.

Mimi illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Spangle here on her site. On this page she includes a lovely, highly detailed Zendalawith about 28 different embellishments” to the delightful little Spangles.

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 mimil for more of Mimi’s tangles on

Related Links

  1. Looking for tangles by Artist or Type? For details visit the ABOUT > HOW TO FIND TANGLES BY ARTIST OR TYPE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site.
  2. What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals.
  3. Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form.
  4. How to use the site — an excellent free video tutorial showing how to use the site as well as pointing out lots of useful features you might have missed.
  5. 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.
  6. "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.
  7. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  8. For lots of great FREE tutorials on TanglePatterns, click on the TUTORIALS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page.
  9. Strings! Have we got STRINGS! Click on the STRINGS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page for 250 different (free) Zentangle-starters. More than enough for any lifetime!
  10. Never miss a tangle! FREE eMAIL NEWSLETTER - visit the SUBSCRIBE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site and sign up to get notices delivered free to your inbox.


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5 comments to How to draw SPANGLE

  • Donna Lamoureux

    I love this Tangle! I have been drawing tangles on my deck for the last 2 summers. I use patterns that represent nature and this will be a great addition. Mimi, I met you just before you retired. A friend of yours, Angela, introduced us. Thank you.


    Thank you, Linda and Mimi. This is just lovely.

  • Anna

    This tangle should come with a warning – it is utterly compulsive! Once you start you can’t stop. I’ve just covered a page with lovely spangles as I kept thinking of more and more ways to embellish them. Thank you Mimi.

  • Thanks Mimi. Love nature inspired tangles. This one will be fun for sure. Linda says you are in Albuquerque NM. I’m in the Taos area. We should meet up some day.

  • Mimi Lempart

    Thank you, Linda, for adding Spangle to your wonderful site. I appreciate your comment about orbs, and also think Spangle could be used as a reticula/grid. Donna, I do remember meeting you. Glad you like the tangle. Sue, I hope we do connect in NM.

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