Friday, 22 February 2013

A Zentangle Story

Zentangle … do you think you can?

Zentangle© was created / discovered by two wonderful souls by the names of Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts of Massachusetts, USA.  They have developed it so others can teach and spread the idea further afield.   Zentangle is a very simple concept of deliberately drawing in a repetitive manner, creating patterns.  It is while creating these patterns that the mind is allowed to rest much like as you do when meditating.  The benefits of Zentangle are reported to be wide ranging in respect of physical and mental health.  So pick up a pen today and make a start.

I have always drawn with ink and pencil, abstract meanderings on paper.  Life, however, gets in the way and we drop some things that we enjoy.   However, I was starting to draw again by 2007 and in late 2009 I came across the term Zentangle which led me to the Zentangle web site.  I was enthralled by these creations.  I started to use the Zentangle idea in my quilting and, with the blessing of Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, I taught what is believed to be the first class in the world that was Zentangle for Quilters in Adelaide, Australia.  Three weeks later, much to my delight I attended a teacher training workshop in the USA in October 2010, gaining my accreditation as a Certified Zentangle Teacher.  I was the first in Tasmania and one of three in Australia who attended this workshop.  It was wonderful.

Since then I have taught numerous classes to non-drawers, drawers and quilters, people from all walks of life.    In 2011 I had the opportunity to make a short DVD on my style of quilting utilising the Zentangle concept of repetition of simple markings.  This was with Australian Quilters Companion magazine and was released in January 2012.   I still have a few copies available for sale in my online shop .  

To start Zentangle, you need a piece of paper, a pencil and an ink pen, preferably black ink.  That is it!  Cheap, portable and doable.   Zentangle make a range of products which are good quality and relatively easy to obtain through their website.  I also stock some products, but not all.  

Taking a class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher will allow you to gain a good understanding of the basic premise of what Zentangle is.  You will learn how to draw a string line and how to draw the patterns from basic through to the more challenging patterns.  

I personally have an arsenal of over 60 personal patterns I have developed along with over 100 created by Zentangle.   There are of course, hundreds and hundreds of other patterns and you will more than likely develop some of your own if you pursue this lovely past-time.  

So now it is time for a picture fest of my work, starting with some more basic drawings up to the more complex Zentangle Inspired Fine Art that I so love to do. 

Some of this art is in my own personal journals.  I have three, an A5 sized, A4 sized and a huge A3 sized journal.  The A3 journal has my family names and is a work in progress which I will leave to my son to be passed on in generations I hope.  Each drawing in this particular journal has taken many many hours of drawing time.  Time in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep and moments of time stolen in the day, time I relish and love.

I wish for you all to be able to create something with Zentangle; something you can look at and say, “I did this”; something to be proud of because you can draw.  Something you can show others how to do.

So … photos … enjoy. 

 My Certification
 My A5 sized Journal ... with fabric cover I made.
 Inside my small journal.

 This is from my larger A4 sized Journal.  Simple patterns

 The following are from my extremely large A3 journal.  Each drawing takes hours, some over 100 hours of drawing time.

 This is a Zentangle Inspired Fine Art drawing with my own original concept.
 Again, a large Zentangle Inspired Fine Art drawing of my own design.
 A grouping of my small Zentangle tiles in a frame.  A very stunning look. 

I hope you have all enjoyed this little trip with me and I hope that I will be able to meet some of you as I continue down this road on my journey with Zentangle. 

Cheers for now ... and happy tangling .... Jane x


  1. When one is least looking for that 'moment', it is found, on no particular day, moment or time. Upon reading this, I was so mesmerized and taken with your words and knowledge. Thank you.

  2. I can proudly boast that I have a one of a kind Jane Monk work of art hanging in my lounge room....I look at it in wonder every day and marvel at your talent...I am so pleased and indeed proud to call you my special friend....and would love to see your exceptional, amazing talent plastered all over the rock girlie..xx

  3. My first visit. Inspirational blog. I'll be back.

  4. Hello Jane darling! I have long admired your art, and revisited your blog today. LOVE, love your quilted journal cover. Astounding. Also your tangled names...swoon. What is the name of the font you used for "Jane" and "Monk"? Or did you create the lettering? Simply wonderful! What an incredible talent.
    Ann Hathaway CZT 10

  5. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments ... Marguerite, I hope you enjoy your pursuit of Zentangle as much as I have. Pink Daisy, thank you for visiting and I am glad you will be back. Raylene, I am humbled :) Ann Hathaway ... thankyou. I developed my own alphabet for this project. All my alphabets are hand drawn with only a pencil and pen ... I do use an eraser when needed for doing letters :)

  6. Hello Jane- I just found your blog last evening, and I am oogling your work. Love it! I have been afraid to tangle in a book like you have, for fear I will "mess it up" beyond repair. Still learning-but loving it. Your work is so inspirational. Think I will give the journal thing a try! Thank you for sharing your beautiful pieces.