Welcome to BLOG Zentangle. To learn about Zentangle, visit our website, read our free newsletters, take a class with a local Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), and best of all . . . create your own!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Zentangle Blog

With our new website upgrade, we decided to host our Zentangle blog within zentangle.com.  So from now on all new Zentangle blog posts will appear at :


For the foreseeable future, we will maintain the zentangle.blogspot.com site as an archival Zentangle resource because of the wealth of information and inspiration there.

From time to time, we may revisit some of the particularly special blog posts and reprise them here. But in the meantime, if you are just beginning to explore all things Zentangle, we encourage you to look through the wealth of posts and comments on http://zentangle.blogspot.com

In honor of this switch, we want to know which of the posts on BLOG Zentangle have been your favorite (and why!). Head on over the zentangle.com/blogs/blog and tell us in the comments there. We will pick a commenter at random to receive some Zentangle goodies!

 Thank you for joining us on this journey! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What Light

Rick writes:
In 2007, we started BLOG Zentangle and began our enjoyable series of conversations within our Zentangle community.

In reading through these blog posts with their insightful comments, we decided to bring a few of them to your attention from time to time. It is easy, for me anyway, to sometimes think of old information as stale information. But these insights and conversations are anything BUT stale!

This post was actually never posted on BLOG Zentangle, but we invite you to enjoy it just as well. It is a post from Molly's own blog from 2013. She was reminded of it as her and her husband celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.

                     Begin previous post . . .                  

Molly writes:

When my husband and I were planning our "wedding" we wanted to pick a special song to play as we entered the ceremony. It just so happened that during the months working up to our special day, one of favorite bands came out with a new album. It seemed to be the soundtrack of our life for a couple of months and there was a particular song that described so much of what we felt about entering a new part of our lives together that we decided to make it part of the ceremony. 
We don't listen to that album as much anymore but when we do, I smile and remember how important the words are to me. 
I heard this song on the radio the other day ... they never play it on the radio, so I took it as a sign.

If you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

And if you're trying to paint a picture
But you're not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

I took it as a sign to wallow in the feeling that the lyrics and melody inspired. Luckily that feeling lingered long after the song was over and I continued my day with a smile and a recharged confidence in myself and paths I have traveled ... and an optimism to all the journey's ahead.

I am including a Zendala I just finished that seemed to speak these thoughts to me and also a tile my Mom did a while back that I just loved so much that she gave it to me. I have had it on my refrigerator for over a year and every time I see it ... it just makes me refocus for a moment. 


Because there's a light (what light)
Inside of you


Monday, October 2, 2017

Clint Burkholder, CZT

CZT Family Tree

We always say that the Zentangle Method attracts really awesome people. We have had the pleasure of working with wonderful Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZT) all over the world and we are excited to share these wonderful people with the entire Zentangle Community. Through our series, CZT Family Tree, we will introduce individual CZTs.

Today, we are excited to introduce Clint Burkholder


 Name: Clint Burkholder                                                                                       CZT#: 26
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

Favorite tangle: Paradox. Pairing multiple ones together makes for great patterns as they blend together.
Favorite place to tangle: Work. When I find downtime, I use the Zentangle method to help relieve stress.
How I use the Zentangle Method in my life: Zentangle is a huge stress reducer for me. The art that comes out of it seems to be a great bi-product of this, but the soothing relaxation is the best part of the whole experience for me. I work in a very high stress environment, in a jail, and tangling has better equipped me to deal with the daily issues that I face.
My favorite story or memory about teaching the Zentangle Method is: There have been so many through the last few years, but each time I teach, new memories are made. In the jail, where I primarily teach the Zentangle method, there are lots of different populations of inmates that I teach the Zentangle method to. By far the best memories are from the inmates who are here with mental disorders. These are people that are having some of their worst moments in life, may never have had positive memories of their own, and sometimes see nothing but dread in their future. The Zentangle Method brings so much to these inmates, in that they can find the peace that tangling can bring them, they find self worth, and that by producing some artwork they find that they can bring something positive into the world where so much negativity surrounds them.
One particular inmate was known as a mean spirited downer of a human. He mumbled to himself, and to the voices in his head, often cussing and ranting. He would be negative to those around him, and rarely smiled. He came to my Zentangle class a few years ago, and started drawing. The next time I saw him, he ran back to his cell and brought out what was about 15 pages of drawings. He proceeded to show me each and every one of them. Throughout this display, he didn't stop smiling. He was proud of himself in that he had made something, for he had found some semblance of self worth in just a pencil and paper, and he was so happy to be able to share this with me. It is the moments like that day, the smiles, the realization that they can do things in life that are wonderful, that make me happy to teach the method to any I can, especially to a population that needs that so.
I wish I could show you all some of the amazing artwork the inmates have done in class and beyond. Many put my artwork to shame. Sadly there are legal and other issues due to sharing some work of incarcerated individuals. 

Through my experiences as a CZT, I have learned: By producing art, you become an artist. This is something that I end every class with. I never did artwork nor drew before I learned the Zentangle method myself. I didn't think I could create art. I felt the same way many of my students feel, and I want them to know that just like me, they too can find that they are an artist.
If I’m not tangling, you will find me…: Playing with my kids, or online in a video game. (often both- my boys are better than me)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ceremonial Tangling

Rick writes:

A couple months ago, we received a call from Micah Morgovsky, CZT. She is an active Certified Zentangle Teacher and Cantor at Temple Sinai in Stamford, Connecticut (USA).

Micah asked if Maria and I would consider tangling during their upcoming Rosh Hashanah service. She would project our tangling on a giant screen so the mesmerizing pen strokes would not only help focus attention during the service but would result in beautiful artwork to memorialize the occasion.

During the following weeks, the three of us discussed details and sorted out logistics.

The day before Rosh Hashanah, we arrived at Temple Sinai to set up our document camera and test everything. This beautiful, bright and open space had seating for about 750. Above the worship area, were two giant screens . . . each  ten by fourteen feet.

The left screen would show the Rabbi, Jay TelRav, Cantor Morgovsky and other participants throughout the service. The right screen would focus on the tiles as we tangled.

During the service, Maria and I tangled six triangular tiles symbolic of the six days of creation. Each tile measured about 4.75" (12 cm) on a side. We paced ourselves so that we began each tile at a certain moment in the service. We traded back and forth as we tangled each tile.

We decided to use mooka as a connecting theme, but in true Zentangle fashion, we did not plan the specifics of any tile until seconds before we began tangling that tile.

The service began with the right screen blank. Cantor Morgovsky began with these words:
It begins as a blank page.

B’reisheet bara eloheem, et ha shamayim, v’et ha’aretz… 
In the beginning, when God began to create heaven and earth, all was unformed and void… 

The universe begins unshaped, open to endless possibilities.

The creation of Torah begins, parchment untouched, open to endless possibilities.

We, too, enter this day with the promise of new beginning, open to endless possibilities.

A blank page.

A clean slate.

A giant white screen.

Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of a new year. Today is the day God created the world. And today is the day we partner with God in creating ourselves anew. Above me, you may have noticed a large blank screen. This screen, like the parchment of a new Torah scroll, will mirror our own spirit of renewal. For today is a day, today is the day, of creation.

If you and I have had the opportunity to chat these last few years, you’ve probably heard me speak about Zentangle. Zentangle is a meditative art form which employs simple repetitive patterns to calm and focus the mind and, in turn, create unique and intricate artwork. We are so blessed and honored to have the founders and creators of Zentangle - Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas - with us here today.

Over the course of our worship this morning, Rick and Maria will be tangling, creating Zentangle art, on six triangular paper tiles - one for each day of creation - and you’ll be able to watch their breathtaking artwork unfold on the screen over our heads. When finished, the triangles will form the points of a magen david - a Jewish Star, the center of which is made from vellum, animal skin, much like the Torah itself, and has been tangled on and inscribed with gold-leaf and Hebrew calligraphy with the words K’hilah K’dosha - sacred community. The completed work is Rick and Maria’s gift to Temple Sinai and we plan to display it prominently within this sacred space.

We, the leadership of Temple Sinai, know that this is quite a different Rosh Hashanah experience than you might have been expecting today. And we also acknowledge that embracing change requires an open mind and sometimes even a measure of discomfort. But, as LeAnn Heller so aptly said in a recent board meeting, “If we are not uncomfortable, we cannot grow.”

To that end, we are confident that Temple Sinai, this K’hillah Kedoshah, is comprised of open-minded and creative souls who do not shy away from new experiences. So today, watch, listen, sing and pray, as we join God in bringing into this world something that has never been before. It begins as a blank page. We begin as a blank page, and together we will create something new. Please join me, as our work begins, with the blessing over Torah on page 112, a blessing of gratitude, for the gift of learning, and for the opportunity to engage our hearts and minds in the sacred work of renewal and creation.
After Micah completed her introduction, we began to tangle and continued throughout the service.

As the service was ending, I placed the six triangle tiles in their spaces on a mat that Maria had cut and tangled and put that into a frame so everyone could enjoy the result.

The center hexagon was created ahead of time on vellum (calf-skin) like a traditional Torah. Maria began the center hexagon by applying a background of multicolored gouache. The she lettered the Hebrew and gilded the large initial letter. The words translate to "Sacred Community." (Hebrew reads from right to left.) We both took turns tangling the background using Sakura® Micron 05 and 01 pens.

Maria used the same multicolored gouache on the triangles which were made from 100% cotton Rives® BFK print making paper.

The immediate enthusiastic feedback validated the value of Micah's idea. People kept saying how the gentle cadence of our tangling helped them stay focused throughout the three and a half hour service.

The finished piece measured 22 x 26 inches (56 x 66 cm). As beautiful as each individual tile was, no one expected how exquisite the completed piece would be. 

This use of the Zentangle Method as an integral component to support focus and attention during a ceremony or event and create a piece of art that anchors and memorializes the event opens up an exciting new area of exploration for the Zentangle community.

This was the first time Maria or I had attended Rosh Hashanah or had even been in a temple. The service was moving and powerful. We were honored to be part of it. We will always remember the warm welcome and new friends that we made.

We are grateful to Micah, Rabbi Jay TelRav, and the community at Temple Sinai for this opportunity.

Rick and Maria


How have you incorporated Zentangle art in an event or ceremony?

Do you have ideas about how you might do that?

We (and everyone) would love to learn from your experience and thoughts.

We will randomly choose someone who posts to send a thank you for contributing to this important topic.

Thank you!



Lady Dragoness, you were randomly selected from our previous blog. Please email your mailing address to julie (at) zentangle (dot) com.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tangling Outside the Box

Molly writes: 

 Some of you may have heard of the phrase, “thinking outside the box”. This metaphor speaks of a creative thought process that perhaps explores an unknown territory, looks at something from a new perspective, offers a unique approach and steps outside of the otherwise expected way. Encouraging this perspective on brainstorming and problem solving often leads to new and exciting exploration and discovery.

I was raised in an “outside the box” house. Every day, every meal, every holiday, every hairdo, even every prom dress was a new adventure. Sometimes I would ask to get back in the box. Not an option. Looking back I realize how lucky I was. I now know to not just look at things for what they are or what they have always been but rather what they could be. Life is full of change, growth and opportunity and aren’t we lucky to be able to take advantage of that.

To me the Zentangle Method is a beautiful collision of structure and chaos. While it nurtures specific steps and illuminates borders it also encourages us to take our practice into uncharted territories. It pushes us to not fear so called mistakes, but rather see them as seeds for new opportunities. It invites us to “color outside the lines,” and to be lead only by those strokes that we put down ourselves. It teaches us that our unique marks are not only beautiful, but also important because of their uniqueness. 

We often say to our Zentangle artists to learn the rules so that you can break them. I love the structure and beauty of the method as it written, and I find it so inspiring to explore and try things a little bit differently once in a while. In the world of Zentangle art we time and time again see tanglers taking that artistic license and going “outside the box”. We continue to learn and be inspired by the all the ways you are doing this. This type of thinking is different for everyone. It might be that tangling a little lower the string line is a big deal for you, or you might be someone who likes adventure like perhaps tangling underwater like mermaids do.

When the time is right take a leap in your practice. Jump at that opportunity. Allow yourself to look at something for what it could be.

Whether it was a so called mistake or flash of brilliance that led you there, it took that bit of confidence to take a chance to see what could happen when you not only "think outside the box" … but actually “tangle outside the box". 

Join us with your "outside the box adventure" … Tell us your story here and post your work on the Zentangle Mosaic App using #outsidethebox. You can also download the Zentangle Mosaic app for free and search #outstidethebox to see the Zentangle art from across the globe!

We welcome both literal and metaphorical interpretations here … we do like to have fun after all.
We will pick a commenter at random to send a box of Zentangle goodies to in our next blog!