Sunshine in my shadows

Welcome to sunshine in my shadows. This blog is my space to share all the stuff that makes up my every day life. Family, friends, crafts, recipes, books and all the little things that add 'sunshine to my shadows'. We all have a sprinkling of sunshine and an equal sprinkling of shadows in our lives. Hopefully you will find more sunshine than shadows to read about here and on the days when shadows fall, know that the sunshine is peeking just around the corner!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh what a tangled web ...

I'm probably way behind the eight ball as I usually am on trends, latest ideas, fashions etc. So some of you are sure to have already discovered what I am about to share on this blog post. I recently heard/read the term zentangle and not knowing what it mean't sent me scurrying to google to find out.
My understanding is that the term zentangle is copyrighted and refers to a particular art form as described
Making a zentangle is supposed to be a form of meditation or at the least relaxation. The simplest way of describing the art work is that to me at least it seems to be upscaled doodling. I have read that most work shared online as zentangle's are actually tangles or doodles. Only certified teachers of the zentangle method can properly call their work zentangle's. Somebody feel free to correct me if I have this wrong.

I am sure we can all remember zoning out in class at High School and doodling in the margins of our books etc.After spending a whole afternoon following google links to zentangle tutorials, videos, tangle patterns, zendalas (a mix of mandala and zentangle) and falling in love with the zentangle images on google images I decided of course that I had to give this simple art form a go.

All that was required was good quality art paper, a pencil and a fine tip permanent marker.
The official zentangle site suggests specific tools and equipment but I used an artist sketch pad, a 2B pencil and a 0.4mm tip black marker successfully. Here is my first and rather ordinary result.

Using repetitive patterns is supposed to be relaxing and put your brain into a meditative state. I can see how this would happen with practice. Despite reading that there is no wrong way to zentangle I found my inner critic making herself heard whilst trying to just relax and get on with the process. I haven't given up though and plan to keep practicing. It was a lot of fun and I imagine in time your creative side would discover many new patterns and ways of incorporating them.

If all else fails there are websites and lots of photos online that share patterns and ideas. Some people even colour their art and some of these pieces looked stunning. Do a search for zentangle on utube and you will find a lot of videos to keep you busy for a few hours. I also found a few blogs featuring zentangles and zentangle inspired art. My poor first attempt looks pretty shoddy. I promise if you take a look at some of the links I have listed here you will be blown away by some of the art work.
Have a peek here.
and also here.
OR visit the 'official' zentangle blog here.

Have a go yourself, it's not hard, needs few materials and can take as little or as much time as you like! I know it will bring a little sunshine to your day!

wishing you sunshine in your shadows


  1. l had a chuckle when l read your post Helen. l too had never heard of a zentangle. Like you l always called it doodling (or p'raps wasting time)... Last week (first time ever) l started painting one of my "tangled zens" and am finding it way harder than drawing them. Your first attempt is great by the way, and drawing certainly beats watching the c..p they put on the telly these days...Have a great weekend, here's hoping for some sun.

  2. I love the ring of the word zentangle! :)

    <3 Belly B

  3. Bron of course you realise now I want you to share some of your 'tangled zens' on your blog! I agree it is so much more satisfying to find a creative outlet than to watch some of the awful stuff they show on TV. I've never been an artist to speak and showed no talent in art class at school but I do enjoy dabbling with pencils & paints etc. I love the simplicity of this doodling art.

    Bel me too! Thanks for visiting and commenting :)

  4. Have enjoyed catching up with these last few posts,by the way I love that fire place(and the ug boots)

  5. Thanks simmone I have been around and about but family have kept me busy and I am still finding blogger issues won't let my comments go through at times.

  6. Thanks for putting a name to what a friend is doing, of course the artist in her makes them stunning. I rather like yours and am going to have a go at it. A pencil, an art book and peace and quiet sounds like all I will need and will post my results

  7. Lynne I love the fact that you need so few materials and it really isn't hard AND it's fun! I've been doing some research and I believe with practice anyone could make stunning pieces of art in this style. Look forward to seeing what you create!