© All images and text remain the copyright of Sandra Kay Strait.

Feel free to print, share or use my tangle patterns. Credit is not necessary, but you may not copy & claim the step outs as your own. You may not alter or use any other images in this blog without express permission from myself.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Challenge-Tell Your Story, Be Part of the Art

There is a page. here, of links to people who have responded to this challenge.

I'm in a reflective mood (nothing to do with avoiding that stack of dirty dishes in the sink).  I wasn't going to get into issuing challenges, because I think if there are too many, people will go crazy and just stop doing them.  But I just created my 200th tangle pattern--I've gotta do something. 

Comments on the artwork that I did as an example using Sparks made me think about how I come up with my titles, and why I enjoy the titles so much.
Often, looking back at a ZT, I wonder where in the heck I came up with that title. But that's why I name them right away. Zentangling puts your brain into a different zone. The titles give me, and all users a way to re-invent the art every time we look at it. A title implies a story or a view, and as you look for that story or view, you either enter my world, or invent your own. That goes for me, because I'm a different me than I was when I drew a zentangle.

I love the idea that everyone who views my work, adds themselves to the mix. It's a different work for every single person who sees it.

For example-my Sparks example.  Right now, I see a huge battle-ax in a castle keep, over which dark storm clouds are gathering.  But if I look for the title-Chemical Reaction, I realize I was seeing the movement--the bubbles produced as a fluid heats or possibly cools. The beeline tangle represents the thickening and changing of the fluid, and the Sparks represents a hard sharp-edged result, like a brittle candy shell or like ice. Ultimately, this is an abstract, so the stories are endless.  It can't represent just one thing.  It is as fluid as a chemical reaction, and so is every zentangle out there.   So, yeah, yeah, you say.  What's the challenge already?
Well, I ask you to look at a ZT you've just finished (no fair planning ahead of time).  Take note of the movement, the flow, the texture.  Spin it around.  Look at how the dark and light work together.  How do the tangles work together>  How do they resist each other?  What objects seem to appear?  What's the mood?  Do this immediately after you finish, and look, and do not second guess yourself.

Come up with a title based on your immediate impressions.  Then invite your viewers to tell you what they see or feel.  In other words, invite them to invest part of their world experience into yours.

Please come back and give me a link so I can see what you've done. 


  1. Great post!
    I love looking at the drawings, letting pictures, feelings and memories arise. It´s like interpreting cards ;-) .
    Yes, I always read the titles to get connected with the artists inner world… And how it relates to me.
    I will follow your advice the next few days. Seems to be an interesting experience I´m looking forward to!
    Thank you very much,

  2. I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up. Hopefully, they won't be too intimidated to try.

  3. I always name my tangles. Many times the title is self explanatory but often, as you observe, it is a product of the time and the tangle. Cool challenge and mega congratulations to the whole community for your 200th--an extraordinary achievement for you and a wondrous resource for us :)

  4. What a great idea, a glimpse into the subconscious, I sometimes tangle with a problem or idea in mind and then sit and see what new view the tangle gives me that I hadn't realized I thought :) I'm looking forward to it.

  5. I am hugely uninventive when it comes to tangle names. Sometimes a name comes, but I actually just have a list of song titles, and I use those. I do try to match them with a tangle that "fits" though.

  6. I am not sure how to post a link here to my contribution but its on my blog if that helps :)
    http://rhanitangles.blogspot.com/2011/02/yasi.html .. is that a link?

  7. Yes! That is a link. I'm off to take a look!

  8. I have great difficulty naming my tiles and art in general but this one was different:

  9. Great challenge! If I look at your zentangle it looks like the head of a rooster with an Egyptian crown. That would explain the holes in it, considering what's happening in Egypt right now. The right part could be his tail.
    My zentangle for this challenge is here:

  10. Sandra I think I would rather have you use this link http://leeanniszentangleiing.weebly.com/fauna-gallery.html

  11. Thank you all for commenting and joining.

    LeeAnn, I've added you (as well as every one else who has posted a link here) to the challenge page.

  12. Hello, gorgeous! I've joined in too, now - my link is http://startartblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/balloon-all-to-myself.html
    What do you think?

  13. OK. here is my entry. I really did blog what this particular drawing said to me. I would be VERY interested in what others might see, so please, leave a post with your impressions.

  14. Me too – I did it ;-)
    You can read my post
    here .
    I will take a round to all of your blogs, maybe it will take some time…

  15. Sandra, here is my entry for the challenge.
    I wonder what others might see in it.;-)


    Wishing you all a great day!

  16. than lets celebrate you're 200 th awesome tangle patterns!
    here's my attempt


    your work makes me think of a castle in its blooming period...a battle is going on right now, iron shields are free to use, just have to watch my head now-gun bullets flying towards me !hey,i'm not an enemy!stoooop!... great fun!!!

  17. Zentangle life is so funny, coincidently I have just posted my daily zentangle and it sort of describes how I name them then I found your post!
    Thanks Sandra.

  18. I'm slow, or possibly just overwhelmed by Life, but this has simmered in the back of my mind for weeks. Here's my tile and my story!