Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zentangle challenge #2

This week's challenge, posed by The Diva, was to use a tangle pattern as your 'string' (the basis of your piece) and then fill it in with other tangle patterns (or the same one as the case may be); a tangle within a tangle. This challenge left me thinking a lot about contrast and the lightness or darkness of different tangle patterns when seen as a whole. Part of the trick of putting tangle patterns together successfully, in my limited experience, is achieving the right contrast between dark and light so they either blend seamlessly or stand out enough from each other that they don't get lost, depending on your goal. There are other factors as well; the use of perspective, shading, the visual texture of the tangles, color (which I have not ventured into yet) and a host of other things that I am sure I am not even aware of.

Comfortable Grids and Lines

So I fell back on my quilting knowledge and picked a dynamic but simple repeating shape, the Apple Core. I am sure it has another, tangley name but I don't know what it is. I chose to fill it with the kind of patterns I am most comfortable with, those containing grids and lines. These patterns are,  clockwise from the top left, Paradox, Puf, Betweed and Keeko (gee, think I've been spending a little too much time at I like the echoing textures and similar contrasts on the opposite corners. I like the balance of it as a whole and the movement  it seems to have because of the overall shape.

Caution, Curves Ahead
Then I spent every free moment for a few days thinking about, looking at and doodling more organic, curvy, free form shapes; can you say 'mildly obsessed'?  I love them for their freedom and asymmetry but they are not a style that comes easily for me. I had many disappointments and a few great images... done in pencil on the backs of envelopes etc. I finally came up with Caution, Curves Ahead this afternoon while waiting for my daughter at dance class . Of course it is on cruddy paper from a little notebook I carry around and was done with a black ball point pen and a dull #2 pencil, but I am a little afraid to try it again for fear it would not come out as well (that and I have NO more time to work on this this week!). Here again I struggle with my need for order and symmetry (in my art, since my surroundings are constantly a disaster)... note that there is not a straight line in the bunch, no grids, no regularly intersecting lines... yet the symmetry of the main shape (something like Sanibell, but not exactly) is part of its charm. I also like the alternating light and dark contrast of the patterns. The dark darks make it dramatic and the whole thing has a deco feel to it. I think the patterns here are Sanibelle, Fescue, Mooka, Zenplosion Folds and something else there at the bottom of I think I've seen, but don't know the name of. To see what other tanglers are coming up with for this challenge go to the Weekly Challenge.

**Edited** to add one more that I started and hadn't had time to shade (until the bus was 10 minutes late).


  1. Both tiles are wonderful. It's interesting how quilting and zentangle go hand in hand.

  2. all the tiles are really WOW, lot of thinking and planning and the end result is beautiful!!

  3. Oooo...I like these, especially the bottom one.

  4. All these tiles are beautiful but I especially like the first and the third one. Apple core looks very close to Huggins. It was a perfect choice for your tile!