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Art or Craft–It’s a journey.

Every knitter started with the same stitch, probably even the same dishcloth pattern.  And we are all still on the journey learning new things, trying new yarns, buying new toys.  The more we knit, the better we get.  Seems that practice does make better, if not perfect.  So why do I bring this up?

It’s about drawing.

I can’t.  Draw.  My students used to hoot when I would draw stick figures on the board and then have to label them “People.”  Here is a picture I drew in 2010–and I was trying hard here.

This is what a design looks like when I sketch.

You can click on the thumbnails to enlarge them, but I don’t recommend it yet.

Then I discovered Zentangles.  Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the inventors of Zentangling, describe it as a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns.  All you need is a piece of paper and a pen.  There are some suggestions, but no rules; nothing you draw is wrong.  How can you not take a look at this?  The official website is here.

I love black and white (and Turner Classic Movies); I love patterns; I love feeling zen.  This is clearly my kind of sport.

My first Tangle attempts

I started just copying some of the simpler stuff I saw on the website.  It wasn’t so good, but I kind of liked the last two sets of lines.  Then I bought a real drawing pen and nervously practiced some more and then drew this.

Nothing compared to what I saw on line, but it was mine and drawing it was a really focused and enjoyable period of time.

I kept at it.


After a few months, my tangles seemed to get more confident.  At least it felt like it.

A year of practice and this is what I drew.  Definitely some improvement.

I still can’t draw a picture, but I don’t care.  The bird above is clearly some kind of bird and I am having fun.

I subscribe to some blogs that Certified teachers post which teach me new things and sometimes I come up with something on my own.  Like knitting, this requires minimum supplies, is very portable, invites me to forget about the real world for a while and makes me feel good.  If you do any embroidery or quilting, then this will be very familiar to you.

Linda Farmer‘s site is a great jumping off place to look at how Tangling is spreading and evolving.  Suzanne McNeill’s is also awesome.  Suzanne even has a book of tangles designed for machine quilters.  Check out amazon.com for a bunch of books if you are interested.

But like knitting, the amount of free instruction or free Tangle patterns available on the net is huge.  All you need is paper and pen–or pencil.  No artistic talent is required.  Honestly.  And it is such fun.

Oh, don’t look on flickr yet.  Some of the folks doing this ooze artistic talent.  Wait til you are having fun or you’ll be intimidated.

More later–


One Response

  1. Real proud of your efforts – you go girl!! Keep it up. Love your stamps.
    Maybe I’ll start tomorrow? (Ottawa, Canada)

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