December 11, 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Twelve Days of Zentangle Series!

In the Twelve Days of Zentangle series we borrow a traditional holiday song as a playful way to share fun, little Zentangle projects for twelve consecutive days.  Although this is a Christmas song, all projects can be interpreted and appreciated by all traditions.

This year we take a trip down memory lane and explore the tiles, tangles and techniques as they came into the Zentangle world over the years.

For each day of the next twelve days, we will do a tangling project together. All the necessary supplies are available in Project Pack #02 (available below).

But if you don't have it, don't worry, the video instruction is free and available to all. You can play along with whatever supplies you may have.

If you wish to comment, we invite you to our blog on our new website . We'd love to read what you have to say and each day we will randomly pick a commenter and send that person a gift. 

And so, we begin . . .  Enjoy!

"On the First Day of Zentangle . . ."

On the first stroke of Zentangle
R and M began, 
With white squares and simple black lines

In the fall of 2003, Rick and Maria developed the Zentangle Method. In these early days of its conception they decided that the method would use a 3.5" square white piece of high quality artist paper. 

In the photo above, Alfie holds an example of the first Zentangle tile design. This is the first tile that Molly tangled.

They knew right away that they wanted to work small. The idea behind this was to help conquer the fear of a large blank surface that may seem overwhelming. And so Rick and Maria tested to see how much surface you could cover with tangles in about 15 minutes or so - the length of a standard coffee break. 

They found that a 3.5" square was a nice size to allow you to create something beautiful in one sitting. We all know now that you can easily spend much more than 15 minutes, but the idea was that you could develop your practice within  these parameters. 

They decided on a square rather than a rectangle because this supported their concept of no up or down as the tile could be worked on and viewed from any angle. 

The quality of the paper was also important because the quality of your materials affect the respect and value you put on your time and your art. We always say to find the best tools available to you. Even if you decide to tangle with a stick in the sand at low tide, you would still want the best stick and the most beautiful patch of sand. 

Maria and Rick set off to test and explore all kinds of papers and pens. They finally landed on their favorite combination, Fabriano® Tiepolo®, an exquisite, 100% cotton mould made paper from the oldest paper mill in the world and Sakura® Pigma® Micron pens with beautiful black pigment ink. And so they started cutting up this paper to create small canvases for this new art form. 

The name of these drawing surfaces was decided upon as they contemplated how a group would display their individual creations in a collaborative. They chose to call the group a "Mosaic" and the individual pieces of paper, "Tiles."

The first tiles were actually square with ordinary cut corners as you can see in the photo above with a very preliminary version of the Zentangle logo. Actually, these tiles were created late one night in preparation for their first public class in the summer of 2004.

Time went by and many tangled works were piling up. One day, Rick put some of his tiles in his jeans' pocket, then forgot about them and threw the jeans in the washing machine. The tile and its tangles survived both the washer and the dryer but in the cycle inherited lovely rounded corners and a frayed natural edge very similar to the deckle of the large sheets of mould made paper. Rick and Maria were thrilled with how beautiful this made the tile and so decided to die-cut the tiles to add another layer of specialness to this drawing surface. 

Within a year after the birth of Zentangle, the first manufactured Zentangle Tiles were produced at a small printer and die-cutter in Massachusetts. A meticulously designed die was created to cut these magical 3.5" square pieces of Fabriano Tiepolo complete with subtle deckled edges and rounded corners. To this day, our original white tiles are still made this way.

Today, we celebrate the 3.5"white square Zentangle Tile. We thought it would be fun to go back to the beginning. Many of you know that when we introduce the method to someone we start with a very specific tile that showcases the 8 steps of the method and also teaches some key Zentangle techniques. 

This tile is one you may have done may times. It has dots, border and a Z shaped string and four tangles: crescent moon, hollibaugh, a grid tangle and a simple organic tangle. 

Whether you have tangled this type of tile a hundred times or never before, we invite you to join us we explore it ... with a little twist, of course! 

Project Pack #02 - Day One
Project Pack #02 - Day One

Tangle Along with us for  the
Twelve Days of Zentangle!
Project Pack #02

As we noted earlier, you do not need this pack of supplies to enjoy the Project Pack #02 videos. However, this Project Pack includes everything (except a few household items like scissors and tape) you will need to play along with us for these twelve days of tangling fun.   
Project Pack #02: $32.95


Project Pack #01

If you missed the fun in Project Pack #01, find it here along with a link to nine YouTube instructional videos for Project Pack #02. 

If you want to see what tanglers around the world created, you can see that for free on Zentangle Mosaic (app for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphone).

Project Pack #01: $19.95


Upcoming Zentangle Events

Kripalu in December
Warm up your winter at a Zentangle workshop!


In one of Zentangle HQ's rare teaching engagements, we are once again invited presenters at the renowned Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Western Massachusetts. Join Molly and Martha on December 15-17, 2017, for a "Zentangle Weekend" at one of the most delightful retreat centers around.

Zentangle Weekend Info and Registration here.


Thank You . . .

. . . for tangling along with us and with tanglers around the world.

Be sure to check out what people are doing and posting on the Zentangle Mosaic app.

We will post one newsletter each day for the next twelve days. Then, after we enjoy our end of year holidays, we will return to our regular one or two newsletters a month schedule.

Remember to stop by our website's new blog and leave a comment.  We will do our traditional give-aways to one person a day who comments on the blog. 

Have fun!

With all our best wishes,

The crew at Zentangle HQ

© 2017 Zentangle, Inc.