My tangle pattern: Galatea

This is an easy pattern.  But it does bite.  There's a lot of depth here--some columns seem closer than others.  But when you start adding highlites, the depth may reverse on you.  You'll exclaim "Oh, Poodle!" but it's an illusion.  You didn't get it wrong.  Stop.  Then continue.  If you do get off count, don't worry.  When you fold cloth, the patterns don't always line up.  Your Galatea will seem more real for not matching perfectly.

I am in a mood today. my example a Zentangle or not?  There's sort of an ongoing question among ZT'ers.  At what point does a zentangle cease to be a zentangle and become something else?  

I drew strings with a micron, and then drew Fescu. Then Galatea. Then Bubbles & Quatiny variations.  I had a vague idea of turning my Bubbles into Nipa.  Color suddenly seemed desirable for the bubbles, so I grabbed some tombows and ended up coloring the page.  Little thought here--I know how my colors work together.  You follow steps just like you would with a pattern. Blue, then pink, then shades of yellow, ending up with the lightest last.  Then a darker blue in corners to make things pop.

So then sparkle took my fancy, and I grabbed up the gellyroll white and metallic gold.  I started drawing the tangle Eke, and doing asterisks and stippling, then smearing it all.  I even did some Cubine in the upper right corner and smeared it.

During this process of dotting and spotting and smearing, there was a big bang in my head (some people call this an idea, but to me it's a lot more exciting than that, lol!) 

I liked the way the color and texture were building up, and they seemed more interesting than the linework.  The color and texture had to dominate.  So I continued with my white and gold, going over most of the micron lines, sometimes dotting, sometimes covering, until the line mostly became pattern.

So there was impulse here, and decision.  I mostly laid down color or pattern, and my finger smeared it into shading and texture.  Other than thinking that I would use certain patterns, follow certain steps for adding color, and deciding to turn most of the lines into pattern--I don't feel I thought that much (but maybe that was too much).  After I finished, I was totally relaxed and refreshed.  I had absolutely no idea what my husband had been watching on the TV, and was surprised to find I had taken about an hour to do this.

So what do you think?  Whether it is a zentangle or isn't doesn't really matter in the end.  It's the exploration of the question that proves of interest.


  1. At the risk of sounding heretic, for me the question is irrelevant. I ask it sometimes but only because I don't want to violate any FlickR group posting rules. I am not altogether sure (possibly because I am not Zentangle trained) why not thinking is such a positive. Getting into the rhythm of anything--be it folding laundry or walking the puppy relieves the mind of hamster thoughts (those crazy thoughts that spin madly). It still leaves some thought. We are not trying to achieve coma or automatic handwriting or seance status--he he, excuse the royal "we", bad habit. I may be over reading and if so, please excuse me, but it sounds like you are saying in those paragraphs "I didn't think much so maybe this is still a Zentangle".

    Possibly I am completely unobjective. I admire your work so much, I am indifferent to what you call it. The only reason it gives me some pleasure to see it as a Zentangle is because it gives me some doorway, an entrance, into how you began it and proceeded with it. No doubt it would add to my viewing pleasure of other works if I had an inkling of the theory/practice behind cubism or impressionism or any other "ism".

    I do give full credit to the Zentangle mavens (originators, CZTs and followers) for providing such a wonderful way and approach to a blank page; indeed, it has quite changed bits of my life. But, again with the heresy, I feel no obligation or guilt or need even to use a Micron (hate them), the Zentangle tiles (don't like the size or the texture), strictly black and white or even the shadowing that is illustrated.

    Oh dear, I hope this doesn't make me sound nasty or snippy or ungrateful. I suspect, in retrospect, that this might be better done over a latte.

  2. I don't think there is anything heretical at all with your approach. I honestly feel free to depart from the 'rules', and I think Rick and Maria encourage that.

    You've boiled my long-winded prose down very well--"I didn't think much so maybe this is still a Zentangle".

    But to phrase it as a question, what I'm driving at, is a zentangle a chicken or an egg. Is it the process or the result that make it a zentangle? Or is it (more likely) some hazy, nebulous mix of the two?

    The chicken or the egg--there is no answer but inquiring minds still want to ask!

  3. Words of wisdom.
    Your tangles are always great!

  4. Personally, I am with Gabriel in parts: I'm not too sure it matters what you call it. If pushed up against a wall to take a stand(gracious, what a violent metaphore! Sorry), I would probably say that this particular work uses the Zentangle process but ends up as a variation.

    I note that the word "Zentangle" begins with ZEN. I understand Zen to be a process, the process of getting lost in the process, which you did. It is that experience of 'getting lost' that makes it 'zen'.

    Ok, that was confusing. Let me try again.

    It seems to me that there are two distinct experiences of any art. One is the experience of the artist as they are creating. The other is the experience of the viewer.

    From your point of view, as the artist, this is unquestionably a Zentangle.

    From the viewers perspective, it is a variation of a Zentangle. As I understand it, part of the definition of tangling is that it is highly graphic.

    Your work, dear Molassess, Explodes onto the page. Even your blank & white work has passion and color. Some zentangles (including mine) are beautiful, but controlled and abstract. I love them, but that is not the only way to approach art. Your work pulses with life. Movement is dominent(if you look away and then look back real quick, it may have moved!). It takes on a reality, an actual life of its own.

    Needless to say, I am a fan.

  5. Thank you, thank you! It's been wonderful hearing (even if I'm actually seeing it--hmmm. Could make that another philosophical debate. Do you 'see' or 'hear'; are you writing or talking online?) ...oops. Lost the train of thought.

    It's been wonderful hearing the responses that people have given me. Tons of food for thought, and even more proof that the people I meet online are among the fabulous!!!

  6. just found ZT and you over the last week. i'm swooning. thank you so much for your blog and your art/ZT/thoughts etc. wonderful/


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