Category Archives: Posts

Zentangle tile

If you’re looking for a perfect artist, you’ve come to the wrong place!


NOTE:  This blog entry first appeared on my old website on March 30, 2016 (a month before I became a CZT).  2400 tiles later, it still rings true today. 

There are lots of websites filled with fabulous art by highly qualified and professional artists. I love them, and I visit them regularly for inspiration, ideas, and simply to enjoy seeing what other people create.

But this website is about mucking about, remembering how to have fun, and being fearless in creating, removing the judgement of what is “good art” or “bad art” or whether someone is “better at it”. Because we all deserve to create art regardless of what other people (or we ourselves) think of it. So that means I am going to commit to showing you a variety of work I’m doing – the stuff I’m really proud of and the stuff that didn’t quite work out the way I might have hoped. It’s important that you get to see the warts as well as the roses, because it’s important to know that it’s okay to create work that isn’t perfect.

Artists will tell you this is something they learn to deal with. They will tell you about the Inner Critic who is constantly reminding you that this “isn’t good enough”; that it doesn’t measure up to someone else’s benchmark. One of the great things about Zentangle is that it helps many of us move through this barrier, and once that happens we can look at the work of other people with an objective eye. Instead of bemoaning, “I could never make something that good” we can study it. “How did they achieve that effect? What would happen if I tried that? What would my version look like?” Out of that comes the realization that our work will never look like someone else’s and that’s the whole point. We each have our own style, and that means nobody else’s work will look like ours, either. And that means you actually are an artist!

The tile shown is my very second one, done Jan 12, 2015

What’s a ZIA?

ZIA is short for  “Zentangle Inspired Art”.  While the Zentangle Method is specific in its philosophy and principles (non-representational, no mistakes, no rulers, keeping it simple), it’s only natural that enthusiasts would find Zentangle-inspired attributes spilling over into other art forms.  It’s a way of stretching the ‘rules’ of Zentangle in ways that retain the original Zentangle intention of being relaxing, enjoyable and mindful, while allowing for flexibility in how to apply the practise.  Many Zentangle practitioners and CZTs explore other forms of art including painting, quilting, card making, sculpting, drawing, collage, found art, pottery, embroidery, glass making…the list goes on.


ZIAs can have any or all of these characteristics:

  • patterns are tangled on something other than a 3.5″ tile – like a coffee cup, greeting card, Christmas ornament, plant pots, stones, fabric, a journal cover…
  • colour can be used, either in the drawing itself, or in embellishment – think sharpies, watercolour, pencil crayons, fabric paint….
  • can be representational – you can take a template/line drawing and tangle inside
  • rulers and/or more complex designs might be employed – mandalas are a beautiful example of this


ZIAs are a fun way to stretch your Zentangle muscles!


“Sunburst” Tangled on Alcohol Ink background

Tangled Tidbits – A Weekly Tangling Class

I’ve been thinking – wouldn’t it be nice to have a weekly Zentangle session where the same folks can meet for an hour, do a bit of tangling, and have a little Zen-ish moment?  This is what I came up with.

Tangled Tidbits is a new, virtual classroom where we can meet for an hour each week and learn something new through guided instruction. We’ll tangle following the principles of the Zentangle Method, which focuses on gratitude and appreciation, simple strokes, and enjoying the process.

An hour is just long enough to:

  • Try a new tangle
  • Learn a tangleation
  • Practise a tip or technique
  • Start working on a specific tile
  • Ask a question
  • Play with materials
  • Try something new

Each week, I’ll have something fun to share, or we’ll go with something the class wants to explore. You’ll have a say in what we do! The goal will not be to finish a project in this class. We will try something new and different, or get started on a tile that you can finish on your own throughout the week. Unlike a regular lesson, it’s just a tidbit – for example, we might talk shading tips, but it won’t be a full shading class. 🙂

It’s important that we keep this fun and doable for everyone, and that means keeping materials simple – things everyone has easy access to (- like 01 Micron, paper, pencil and tort to start!)

COST: Monthly subscription of $35 for weekly one-hour sessions.  You can register here.

What do you think? Are you in? Contact me if you’d like more information.