Zentangle® - April 2019

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At the beginning of April, I was in the Certified Zentangle Trainer class…creating tiles as we learned best strategies for teaching others the Zentangle® Method. The tiles were put into a journal with corners like were used for pictures in old scrapbooks. My two favorite tiles that I did during the class were the ‘creature’ tile and the triangular tile (the different tile shape and color).

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I didn’t include the tiles from class in my 30 picks for April (I averaged over 3 tiles for each day of April…so had a challenge to pick just 30 for this blog post!). I’ve grouped them into 2 groups below:

The tiles I made on the iPad. I keep returned to black background and white ‘ink’ – even though I sometimes am in the mood for color…change up a little…temporarily.

The big experiment of the month was some round coasters I ordered from Amazon (here). They are 3-inch rounds rather than 4.5-inch that we did in class (and I found overwhelmingly large). The coasters are a good thickness and texture for Zentangle. I’ve used two pens: the Pigman Pen 05 (used for younger students…which I will have in summer campers this summer) and the Sharpie Ultra Fine (lots of colors). At some point I might experiment with a sealer and use them as coasters!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

3 Free eBooks – April 2019

All three picks for this month are groups of items rather than just one – two magazines and the last one a series of volumes from the late 1700s of plants and animals. So many freely available books…so little time!

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Shadowland (magazine). New York City: M. P. Publishing Company from 1919 – 1923. Most issues available from Internet Archive here. Shadowland was an American monthly magazine about art, dance, and film. I particularly enjoyed the covers by A. M. Hopfmuller. The sample image I choose to include with this post was one that reminded me of a Zentangle pattern….a very stylized ‘tree.’

Sunset (magazine). San Francisco: Southern Pacific Company. Issues from May 1898 – 1923 from Hathi Trust here. The magazine has morphed many times and continued to be published after these fully available online issues (expired copyright); check the Wikipedia info here for the history. I have perused the issues to 1904 so far. I was intrigued by the picture of oil production in Los Angeles from the year one of my grandfathers was born.

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Shaw, George. The naturalists' miscellany : or Coloured figures of natural objects. London: Nodder & Co. 1789. 24 volumes available from Internet Archive here. The sample image I am including for these books is a cecropia moth; I’ll be starting my volunteering at the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens soon and hope we have cecropia caterpillars again this year!

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Ten Little Celebrations – April 2019

April has been a busy month – only at home for a week out of the month and not all at the same time. There was plenty to celebrate with spring in full swing and the travel to see it in different places.

Certified Zentangle® Trainer (CZT) class. There were so many perspectives of the CZT class to celebrate: the beauty of the creations everyone was making, the conversations, the food…the challenge of being a student…the Zen.

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Train ride home. I don’t go many places where taking the train is feasible…but the CZT class was one of them. I celebrated the low stress hours going home…a fitting finale to the class.

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4th and 5th grade field trips. The early April field trips happened with great weather and the students enjoying being outdoors to learn about the Patapsco heritage (land, water, and rocks) and BioBlitz. It’s always inspiring to see their curiosity and enthusiasm --- celebrating a spring field trip.


Getting to Dallas. I had to travel to Dallas quickly and it was easier than a thought it would be. And I celebrated that I was less stressed by the rapid change in plans (maybe the Zentangle class providing an added benefit.

Spring days. Noticing the rapidly developing blossoms of spring is fodder for many celebrations – oxalis is probably one of my favorites right now. It blooms when the sun is shining!

Rainy day (spent indoors). After busy days – having a rainy day spent indoors is something to celebrate…with homemade soup for lunch!

Josey Ranch Pocket Prairie. A little bit of prairie – carefully tended by volunteers – in a Dallas suburb! Right now it is a celebration of spring wildflowers.

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Cedar waxwings. Birds are migrating and there are serendipity sightings of birds that don’t stay around the area long. I celebrated seeing a small flock of cedar waxwings last week.

Botanical reminders of my grandmother. Many flowers in my parents’ Carrollton yard were planted by my grandmother…good memories to celebrate.

Home again. Providence, Rhode Island to home to Carrollton, Texas to home to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Smith Island to home. I like to travel…but coming home is celebratory too.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® Paradox and ‘Paradout’

Paradox is one of the Zentangle® patterns that is straight lines inside a shape; the link is to the Tanglepatterns site that includes links to illustrated instructions plus variations that have been developed over the years. Paradox can be drawn without lifting the pen and what emerges is often surprising: curved lines and metapatterns – particularly when multiple paradox patterns or used. I recently started making a pattern that is like Paradox (starting at a point of the shape as the bottom of a v, drawing a line to complete the V until another line is encountered…then repeat until the shape is filled) except it is

  • Made outside a shape (either closed or open) and

  • It is curves instead of straight lines and

  • I haven’t noticed any metapatterns although it does have a dimensional quality.

Sometimes I combine it as a frame for a Paradox series…but it works as a frame for other patterns as well. It can also be used to fill spaces with irregular curves as well.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

A Student Again

The paper coasters and pencils in my room at the Biltmore Providence had the slogan ‘we are all students’ and it fit the week for me. I loved being a student. The middle two days (of the 4 day class) were intense and I was very ready to sleep by the end of the day. I woke up at my usual early time each day and saw the sunrise from the hotel room.

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Over the course of the class, we created 24 Zentangle® tiles which eventually were attached inside our student journal.

My favorite tile creation of the week was a voice guided Zentangle meditation – not just the tile itself (I like all the tiles I create) but the way it was done. There was none of the usual visual demonstration of the pattern. It requires a lot more descriptive language from the instructor…and good listening skills from the students. I’m not confident that all patterns could be learned in this kind of session – but it was very easy to slip into meditation with this presentation of the Zentangle Method. The mosaic we made afterward (a tile from each student created during the voice guided session) had even more variety than other tiles from the class.

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Here is the one I created. I photographed it after I retrieved it from the mosaic and put it into my journal.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Biltmore Providence

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The Certified Zentangle® Trainer class was held in the Biltmore Providence (recently renamed to Graduate Providence). The high ceiling and glass/brass elevator in the lobby are vintage 1920s when the hotel first opened.

I started seeing patterns in lots of places in the hotel. In the room, it was the wallpaper on the upper part of the bathroom walls (shells with sparkle), the bathroom floor tiles, and the carpet.

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On the floor where the class was held (ballroom and snack area) there were fixtures and fabrics…some the original vintage of the hotel and some very recent. I felt I was immersed in a pattern rich place – but there are many places that turn out to be pattern rich when we look closely.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

On the Train to Providence…and Home Again

Last week, I went to the Certified Zentangle®  Trainer (CZT) class in Providence RI. I decided to take the train since the hotel in Providence was within walking distance of the train station…and I had never taken more than a day trip on the train. The class started in late afternoon and the train from the Baltimore Washington International Airport train station was about 7 hours. I left in the early morning. It was a little daunting when my husband dropped me off in the dark at a station under construction (or renovation…not sure…most of it was not open). I was glad it was not a cold morning. There were no Amtrak personnel around that I noticed but there were enough experienced train riders to reassure me that I was in the right place. I also learned about the quiet car…what luxury. The sunrise (blur) happened not long after the trek began.

The gentle rocking of the train and the quiet was very calming…so different than an airport. The seats were larger than an airplane seat – and therefore more comfortable. Overall everything was roomier than an airplane. There was never a wait for a bathroom. A lot of people got off at New York and I moved to a window seat – still in the quiet car. I tried taking some pictures from the train window. Many of the views were of cities (construction, debris and trash, industrial areas) and forests.

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As I got off the train in Providence, my seatmate – a native of Providence - pointed me in the right direction for the hotel and Google maps on my phone picked up the directions shortly after I started walking. It was gently downhill! I realized that several days later it would have to maneuver up the hill.

That is what happened on the morning I left. I got some ‘active minutes’ on the walk to the train station and took more pictures as I got tired – crossing the Providence River

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And the landscaping in front of the train station. The landscaping seemed new and I wondered how long it had been since the station has been renovated. Hopefully the one at BWI will be improved by the construction that is happening now.

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The station in Providence was closer to what I expected – a large indoor area where there were wooden benches (like pews) for sitting around an open area…some places to get food. My train did not leave until almost 9. There were marques that were like ones in airports that directed people to the right track a little before the train arrived. I took the elevator down rather than the stairs since I had luggage that was OK rolling…but not carrying.

And then I was on the train for 7 hours – enjoying a good book and journaling the events of the week. Overall the train was a good experience and I found myself wishing that it was possible to take trains to more places I travel.

More posts about my Providence experience in the next few days…

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - March 2019

I made some physical tiles this month since I am going to class in March where all the work will be with Micron 01 pens and card stock tiles. I felt like I needed to reacquaint myself with the feel of the pen and paper. It’s been almost a year since I started using the iPad and Apple Pencil…and once I made the change – I didn’t look back. Until now. Here are 6 tiles that I made the old-fashioned way – reacquainting myself with pen and pencil and tile.

Of course – I still enjoyed creating iPad and Apple Pencil Zentangle tiles as well. I like the black tiles and white lines. I appreciated the shading I could do with the Procreate app too; color matched to the ink…a lot more flexible that the graphite pencil and tortillon. Note that one tile in this group is only half done --- it is one to come back to sometime…and finish the other half!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

3 Free eBooks – March 2019

In some months it’s hard to pick just three books to feature for the monthly eBooks post. March 2019 was one of those. I cheated a little and picked a periodical…with lots of issues available online…for the first one.

Baer, Casimir Hermann. Moderne Bauformen. Stuttgart: J. Hoffman. 1902-1923. Hathi Trust has volumes for each year here. A German periodical about architecture and interior design with many illustrations – some in color. It’s a slice of history of the period. Many of the interiors look modern…others dated. I realized again how appealing I find glass bricks, window seats, alcoves with benches and sometimes a table or a wall of windows and comfy chairs for reading, and curtains to divide a large room into segments. There were quite a few ideas I’ll use in Zentangle tiles as well.

Trouvelot, Etienne Leopold. The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings. 1882. A slide show of 15 drawings is available from Internet Archive here. Trouvelot was well-known for his astronomical drawings made from observations at the Harvard College Observatory and the US Naval Observatory. Unfortunately, he also is the person that introduced the European Gypsy Moth into North America.

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Day, Lewis Foreman. Nature in Ornament. New York: Charles Scribner’s sons. 1892. Available from Internet Archive here. Lots of ideas for Zentangle patterns in this book. I particularly liked the different stylized peacock feathers.

Zentangle® - February 2019

Only 28 days in February; I had a lot of tiles to choose from to pick the 28 in the mosaic below. I’ve continued to be more experimental during the month –

  • With and without a frame.

  • Starting with a string or not. There are times I like to start with something in the center or off to the side and then just let the tile evolve from that start.

  • Picking a pattern from the tanglepatterns.com or finding inspiration in other sources (this month it was basketry books and early 1900s architecture/home decoration…art deco). Many times, a portion of the tile is just auras or other ‘filler’ of blank space.

  • The ‘screen’ filler has become one of my favorites although I also have experimented with the ‘screen’ as a grid.

  • Black tiles with white ‘ink’ for lines and shading is my favorite on the iPad but I switch to a color or overlay a color periodically just to be different.

I’ll be creating some physical tiles in March to prepare for my upcoming CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) training that will happen in late March; going back to traditional paper and pens will be quite a change for me.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - January 2019

January 2019 was a big month for creating Zentangle tiles. I was working my way through the Zentangle Primer Volume 1 (Kindle Edition) that was recommended as prework for the class I will go to in late March. I enjoyed the exercises that I completed on my iPad with the Apple Pencil but going back to the traditional light-colored tile and black ink…drawing a frame and string, initialing, and shading. It was a burst of change – some new patterns, going outside the frame, overlaying patterns on previously completed tiles (the black tiles in this group). I selected 20 of the tiles I made while working my way through the primer to display below….going beyond the 31 for the month.

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Now for the 31 for January. The ones done after the primer tiles all have a frame. I like the white shading that I can do within the Procreate software…after some practice. I probably will revert to frameless soon but will continue to use the shading.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Ten Little Celebrations – January 2019

As usual – it is easy for me to find little celebrations every day…and here are the top 10 for January 2019.

Getting rid of ‘stuff’ – My husband and I celebrated taking two loads of ‘stuff’ to the landfill (trash and recycling) and donation. I feel like we are finally making progress in getting rid of things we no longer need. We managed to fix 4 floor lamps that we thought were broken…just before we were set to take them to the landfill.

Wedding anniversary – My husband and I usually have a quiet celebration when our wedding anniversary comes around just after Christmas and the beginning of the year. We’re always pleased with ourselves for becoming long-time marrieds….but realize that it has been easier for us than it is for so many others.

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A morning hike at Mt. Pleasant – It was muddy but otherwise an excellent day for a winter hike. I enjoyed getting outdoors.

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New hiking boots – I celebrated getting new hiking boots. The lining of my 4-year-old boots was tearing. I bought the same brand (Merrell) but waterproof and a little wider to leave more room for bunions and thick socks.

No cavities – I went to the dentist for a checkup and celebrated ‘no cavities’ or anything else that required follow-up! It’s been that way for the past few appointments…and I’m glad my teeth seem to be OK and stable.

Anticipating Zentangle class – I registered for a Zentangle class scheduled for late March and started working through the pre-work….what a joy and worth celebrating both the tiles I am creating now and the anticipation of a great experience in the class.

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Walking in snow at Belmont – I celebrated the beauty of snow on the landscape….and that my boots didn’t leak!

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Witch hazel blooming – What a thrill to find the burst of color in the browns, dark greens, and whites of a winter day! I like that the petals are like little streams as well…. appropriate for a celebration.

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Peppermint snow ice cream – Yum! Yes, I was very cold after I ate it but is was well worth it…celebration-worthy food!

Macro photograph collection – I celebrated the macro photographs I’d made over the past year or so as I prepared charts for a presentation. I have enjoyed the clip on macro lens more than any other photography accessory!

Zentangle® - December 2018

“Thirty days has September, April, June and November…all the rest have 31 save February…” – so there are 31 tiles for December.

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My favorite is one that looks a little like Christmas confetti (with snowy auras). And digital confetti pieces are not damaging long-lived plastic debris in the environment. All for the good.

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I also tried again making a Zentangle in a busy airport terminal as I waited on my flight home from Texas – with more success than in November. I was much more relaxed on the flight as well.

I probably skewed toward Christmas related colors more frequently in December


But not completely. There was a string of cloudy rainy days that just called for some yellow patterns on the black tiles….and there were two that really did brighten an otherwise dreary day.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - November 2018

Lots of colors – tiles and pens. At the end of the month I reverted to black tiles. I think I like the dark background the best.

The travel during November did not impact my tile creation; carrying the iPad and Apple pencil are very easy. I experimented creating a tile on the flight to New Mexico after I realized that Bluetooth connections were permitted on the plane. Creating the tile was not as Zen as I like; full planes are too crowded and often bumpy. The tile did not make it into my top 30 tiles for November.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - October 2018

I found myself creating theme sequences with colors in October. I selected 31 tiles (one for each day) and all the themes are represented although I had quite a few more tiles that 31 to choose from. The iPad makes it much easier to create tiles with a lot of variability without worrying about using up favorite pen colors or not having the color of tile I want with me.

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The first theme was rich red ink on black background. My favorite of the set is one what has more background showing than usual. It reminds me of a brocade pattern.

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Black on white…how can it get simpler. My favorite was made with a string created with 3 overlaid cursive G’s.

The next theme was white tiles with black designs that were finished with color – or colors. My favorite is probably the red and black one.

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I switched to black tiles again…white design and aqua/turquoise finishing color. The theme was short lived.

I decided to use the color first and then finish in white. My favorite is one that include orange and then white.

I went back to single color on black tiles for the grand finale of the month. The theme will continue into the early part of November.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - September 2018

…”30 days has September”…  so I’ve selected 30 Zentangle tiles to feature from the ones I made during last month.

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I’m presenting then in the order they were created – Starting with the blue that was part of the series at the end of August.

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Then there were yellow ones. I think I chose yellow to help brighten all the rainy days we were having.

Then it was pink and purple. I was thinking about the very short time in my daughter’s life when that color combination was her favorite. It did not survive early elementary school. I made a new template to go back to square tiles. I prefer them to the rectangle.

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I changed to orange thinking ahead to the fall.

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And then found my way back to yellow when we finally got sunny hours for several days in a row.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - August 2018

31 days – 31 Zentangles. I always enjoy the segment of my day that I am creative and centered….producing something that I find visually appealing. Once I started using the iPad with Apple Pencil, I haven’t created a single tile with paper and pens. I am digital all the way these days.

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I started out the month with a tile continuing the burnt orange on black series from July.

Then I switched to white on black.

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Bright green was the next series.

And then it was back to turquoise on black. The color combination is probably my favorite.

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Later in the month is started experimenting with a rectangle rather than square tile. I was surprised that it felt so different. I’m still working to acclimate myself to it!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - July 2018

31 Zentangle tiles for July. I am posting the tiles in the order they were produced although this is only about half of the total. I averaged slightly over 2 tiles per day. I used the same ‘ink’ color for a series before moving to the next color. I have discovered that I almost always prefer a black background.

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The butterscotch series was the first

Then Pepto-Bismol pink.

Red was the next series.

Here is one that I used the software to change the background color. It makes quite a difference.

The lemon series was full of mythical flowers and many-segment bugs.

The green series was made from my summer office – looking out at a wall of wet green forest.

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The purple series includes some experimentation with simple patterns that I could share with summer campers. It was a short activity during the full rain photo shoot at Mt Pleasant for the older group of campers.

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The last series in a slightly burnt orange. I don’t necessarily start out thinking of plant images but I’ve noticed that a lot of my tiles turn out that way!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - June 2018

I enjoyed using light blue brush color this month…particularly with black background; the color dominates 21 of the 30 tiles I selected from the tiles I created in June. I’m still pleased with my iPad (and Procreate app) for creating tiles…no need to worry about running out of ink like happens with a physical pen! I experimented a little with different backgrounds but came back again and again to the black. It’s may favorite (maybe) because it is still new for me; I didn’t have light colored pens or black card stock easily available when I was making physical tiles.

The other 9 tiles I made simply for variety. I thought I would create more tiles with two or more brush colors this month but was too intent on the Zen to make a big change like that; many of the June tiles were created in the scant quiet moments in Carrollton – to make a calm space and time from the jumble of emotional and physical challenges of being at my best to help my mother in the hospital, in rehab and at home after she broke her hip. As this post is published, I will be on my way home and she is about ready for outpatient PT!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - May 2018

It was challenging to pick 31 Zentangle tiles (one per day) out of the 75 I created in May. They were all created using the Procreate app on my still-new Apple iPad (6th Generation) Wi-Fi and Apple Pencil ( I first started using it in April).

I’ve noticed several things about my choices this month: I seldom choose a white background. Only 3 of the 31 used a white background.

I experimented with different colors of background…lots of variety: 6 tiles and 6 different background colors.

My favorite background color – for May – was black with 22 of the 31 tiles started out with that choice. There are a few that used more than one line color. Could that be the trend for June? Maybe.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.