Wednesday, 2 April 2014

in a maddening loop

My Remote Zentangle Mentor (as I see her!) chose to include my first tangle Snag in the selection for her String Thing challenge for this week.

First the thrill, then the fear - what if people don't like my tangle. What if they can't do it. What if it's no good. Rush to pen and paper - play with the tangle myself - find I love doing it, find something so satisfying in those repetitive loops. But then the realisation that they don't always come out that neatly, that evenly.

I do a tile to test the theory and it's true. It's a wobbly old tangle that I invented. How apt from this wobbly old inventor of tangles and other penned meanderings. But perhaps it also embodies one of the things I like best about Zentangle - it's forgiveness of wobbles.

My starting grids are rarely straight. My Snag loops are sometimes small, sometimes large. But once I've looped back and forth across and around the tile - choosing different angles, and meeting points for the Snags. I can go back and fill some, leaving other, shade and shape and slowly something pleasing emerges.

A quote (from a popular song) I often chew over asks 'Do you want the truth or something beautiful?' And perhaps only within Zentangle can you have both. The truth of the wobbly lines, the mistakes, the smudges, the experiments or ideas that didn't come out quite how you hoped. But also always a beautiful result. Beautiful because it's made by you, beautiful because of the pleasure of the process, beautiful because of those truths.


  1. Snag is my new favorite tangle. Well to be honest, I am a beginner so all the tangles are new to me but Snag just flows so easily. I love a design that looks complicated but isn't. I am circling the playing field, watching the experienced players but have placed the goal of entering a challenge sometime soon (or when one comes along that fits the profile of what I already know!) Thanks for sharing your Zengangle journey.

  2. Hello D. Pivec! Thank you for saying you are enjoying Snag! And I know what you mean about finding your feet before you enter a challenge. I did that for months. But when you do (please do!) you will feel a real thrill, seeing your work out there, knowing others are looking at it. I, for one, can't wait to see what you do!