My tangle pattern: Zizyphus

Around 2 or 3 hundred thousand years ago, there's this guy who finds a stick. "Huh" he thinks, and picks it up 'cause it might be good for something.  He's dragging it in the dirt and he happens to look back, and sees the mark he's made.  "Huh" he thinks (not a great thinker, this one), and he starts playing around making marks in the dirt with the stick.  Then a Sabertooth tiger or something big with claws and teeth jumps out of the bush and eats him because he wasn't paying attention.

But the point is that this pattern has been around for at least that long.  It's one of the basics, because it's really cool, and you can get a shimmery effect in the center.  And because it's an example of 'Notan', a balance of light and dark.  You can look at this and see spiny thorns radiating toward a center like cactus barricade, or you can see spikes radiating outward like rays from the sun.  The white (or negative space) has as much weight and importance as the dark space.

That's big, because we're taught, from time we're newts, that the lines, the ink, the pencil is what's important, and we tend to let the white stuff just happen.  When you achieve balance between the two, then the work is balanced.  

"Huh".  Wonder if that happens with life in general?

Don't get caught up on those dots.  They are only to help you end each triangle at an equal distance from the edge.  Don't worry about getting the dots centered.  In fact, play around with not centering--that's always more interesting.

Have fun.  After all, you don't have to worry about Sabertooths eating you or anything.


  1. Your patterns and tangles are really great!
    I put a link to your site on mi blog.
    You're doing a good job with the tangles list.

  2. wooow,you keep amazing me.....great doodle!!!sensational roundness,love the composition,colors!!!triangles are descharge of stress elements for me but,is it for you too?wow again,that spider fabric...awesome!!!

  3. Love it and love the reminder about contrast - still working on that one.

  4. Thank you both!

    Ildiko, I almost named the pattern Owie! as well as the zentangle because the triangles did seem so sharp and alarming. And yet, it's also a symbol for the sun, warm and renewing if you look at the white space. It really is a pattern that balances dark and light in all ways.

  5. Gabriel ProductionsAugust 30, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    I have done this one with humoungous triangles (looks like a comic strip BAM! circle) and with weeeeensy triangles (my fat pen could not handle it) so if the fairy tale is prophetic, next time should be just right!

  6. But remember, along the way, there is no wrong!


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