Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Zentangle® Diva Challenge #250 – Back to Zentangle® Basics Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on January 11, 2016 · 53 comments

Zentangle supplies

[Not sure what Zentangle® is? Start here.]

Zentangle supplies

All you need for Zentangle.

Zentangle enthusiasts have a tendency to get all fancy at times and our work verges into Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA). You can check out some of mine on my Zentangle Inspired Art Pinterest board.

The desire to engage in ZIA is a boon to art supply stores as we respond to the siren call of exotic papers, colored pens, colored pencils, pastels, paints, glitter, and all manner of art storage containers purchased in a futile quest to keep it all organized. This week the Zentangle Diva urged us to get back to basics, to pure Zentangle, done on a 3.5 inch off white square (tile), using a black pen, and a pencil for shading.

For my travel blogger friends, and travelers in general, you can see why Zentangle has an appeal for those who spend considerable amounts of time cooling our heels in airports, train stations, on cruise ships, and confined to metal tubes hurtling through the sky at 37,000 feet for up to 18 hours at a time (my record on a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to JFK International Airport in New York City.) This minimum of simple equipment also makes Zentangle an attractive pastime for those destined to wait at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), doctors’ offices, on jury duty, and in the after school pick up line—-in other words, everybody.

“Pure” Zentangle is a meditative art form wherein decisions are kept to a bare minimum. Therefore, we always start the same way: a pencil dot in each corner of the tile connected to form a border; then a “string” (a random  line drawn on the tile with pencil); and, finally, intentional simple repetitive patterns (tangles) drawn in each section — one stroke at a time. There is no eraser because there are no mistakes. (A concept that is a little hard for us closet Type As to get our heads around). In my case, the Zentangle method has enhanced my ability to be calm and present. It actually helps me engage in constructive, meaningful thought by screening out distraction.)

This week, the Zentangle Diva, Laura Harms, challenged us to get back to the basic Zentangle method. Of course, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to incorporate some of the myriad Zentangle tiles I have amassed by combining six of my specimens into a mosaic.

Zentangle mosaic

Zentangle tiles mosaic

If you’re already a Zentangle enthusiast, how has it improved your life? If you’ve never tried it, do you think you might like to? 

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmela January 11, 2016 at 11:47 am

Wauw, Awesome, beautiful tiles.

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joanne Faherty January 11, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Lovely. What’s the top right zigzag type tangle? The one with n’zeppel on the tile too.

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Debi Lander January 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm

These are gorgeous but didn’t you need a ruler? I think I’d better start with just the coloring craze!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Nope. No ruler. The point is you’re not supposed worry about perfection.

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Yorkshire Tortoise January 11, 2016 at 12:55 pm

A good post written so much better than I. All that is left to say is what wonderful tiles you have drawn. I too would like to know what that tangle pattern is called.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Since a few people have asked, the tangle in the top right tile is one I think I invented. I named it “Segundo”. http://www.boomeresque.com/boomeresques-second-tangle-invention-segundo/
And, is long as we’re talking about invented tiles, the other one I think I deconstructed is one called “Tercero”. (Do you notice a pattern here in my tangle names?
http://www.boomeresque.com/boomeresques-third-tangle-deconstruction-tercero/

Please let me know if you think I’ve reinvented the wheel with either or both of these.

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Simone January 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I would be glad if I could explain it like you – but my English is not good enough. I totally agree to your words.
I love your tiles!

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Jean Chaney January 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

What a great idea to make a mosaic of your own tangles. Lovely selection!

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Sue Reddel January 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

I love this idea. It reminds me of the doodles I used to do when I got bored in class. Looks like something that might be fun to start doing. Doesn’t seem like there’s many “rules” and can be done with few art supplies. I see a lot of people doing “adulit” coloring and I think I’d prefer this seems like it could get very imaginative. Love your Zentangle work Suzanne!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Sue, as a traveler, Zentangle has proved to be a real boon. I “almost” look forward to having to wait for various forms of transportation. If you go back to this post, there are some (affliliate) links you can use to order some things to help you get started. http://www.boomeresque.com/what-is-zentangle-and-is-it-habit-forming/

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ria matheussen January 11, 2016 at 3:41 pm

all the tiles are nice but my favorites are the second and the thirth because I find them more special than the others

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Rebecca Hall (Bex) January 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Gosh – how interesting! What a different way to de-stress and be present. I am trying the colouring books that are all the rage now and liking it – but have never heard of the Zentangle…it seems intriguing.

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Carol Colborn January 11, 2016 at 9:18 pm

I have looked at your zentangle art a lot and wanted to do it but enrolled in a painting class instead. But I tell you what! I gave a basic kit to an 11-year old granddaughter as Christmas gift. I just knew she would love it. She thanked me profusely. Now I return the thanks to you for giving me the idea!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 12, 2016 at 12:37 am

That is wonderful to hear. I hope your granddaughter enjoys it. When I attended my zentangle teacher training last year, they said that they had been quite successful teaching the method in schools.

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Debbie January 11, 2016 at 10:05 pm

your shading looks fantastic! Great job!
Debbie Butterfield, CZT 19

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Annemarie January 12, 2016 at 5:49 am

These are awesome, Suzanne!!!

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Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru January 12, 2016 at 7:21 am

I can see how this could be relaxing and meditative, yet engaging at the same time. Your work is stunning and you’ve become more sophisticated in your patterns and composition. Just beautiful!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 15, 2016 at 12:08 am

Thanks, Betsy. The next time we’re together, I can give you a one on one Zentangle basics class.

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Donna Janke January 12, 2016 at 9:35 am

Your drawings are beautiful. I can appreciate how Zentangle could be relaxing, but I suspect I would difficulty with the no erasers, no mistakes thing.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm

In its purest form, Zentangle is no erasers no mistakes. However, once you’ve verged off into “Zentangle Inspired Art”, there are no rules and no one to report you to the Zentangle police if you use an eraser or —God forbid—a ruler. 😉

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1 Art Lady Kate Tangles January 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

Great post, I so enjoy your writing, and a most lovely mosaic of tiles. My fav is the bottom right tile, but all are lovely.

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Dudley Bacon January 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

From your honorary Boomer, it appears your muse mounded a mountainess mist of magic dust on all your tiles and invited us to linger and look and love each delightful and delicate stroke. Your tiles are individually and collectively beautiful. Thank you.

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Karen Warren January 12, 2016 at 10:52 am

Every time I look at your site I see the lovely designs and think I should take up Zentangle. But being a bit OCD I could see it becoming a bit of an obsession (and I have enough of those already!)

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Sheila Grube January 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

All of the expressing beauty through the basics. Wondeful job! I’m LOVING the last one on the right with barber pole spiraling right into the next tangle and trumpeting out!

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Jacqueline Gum January 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

These are absolutely gorgeous! Shows how beautiful basic can be, most always is! I love the idea of how it can be meditative, and it would seem to be so helpful in honing focus skills. Yes, I would love to try it… but wonder where I’d find the time. I don’t sit in a lot of airports anymore:) But in the days I did, I would have much preferred Zentangle to solitaire or gin rummy:)

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Jacquie, as a writer, I think you’d find Zentangle to be a delightful muse. It’s amazing what ideas can come forward when you declutter your mind of distractions. Somehow, Zentangle does that.

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Anita January 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I’ve done a few starter zentangle thingies, and found it to be mesmerizing. Not sure if it will sustain me for 12-hour layover, but I love the no-mistakes attitude of it all. Hoping I can make some tangles a little like your upper left one!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 12, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Anita, I’m glad to hear you’ve dipped a toe into Zentangle. Check out http://www.tanglepatterns.com for instructions (step outs) for myriad tangle (doodle) patterns. The next thing you know, you’ll be sorry you have to stop to board the plane, train, etc.

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jane canapini January 12, 2016 at 2:11 pm

yeah, I’m way too Type A for this! (see colouring book comments! 😉
But I admire people who can find a relaxing way to kill time. And I’ve seen some of your designs, and they are beautiful.

I guess I’m just not good at finding the zen in my pen.

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Nathalie January 12, 2016 at 11:13 pm

I want to try it more and more every time I see one of your designs!

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Irene S. Levine January 13, 2016 at 11:42 am

I think I might like to try because I love pen and paper but it seems daunting to start without a class or coach!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 17, 2016 at 1:14 am

I give classes, so next time you’re in Philly…….

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Tom Bartel January 13, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I’m semi afraid I might like to try this. So I won’t.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 13, 2016 at 11:18 pm

Tom, I’ll trade you a Zentangle lesson for a photography lesson.

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michele January 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm

Wow! great collection of tiles. I love doing “Crescent Moon” into a wormhole like that;-) It’s one of my “mac ‘n cheese” patterns for sure. My favorite is the bottom right.

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Rachel Heller January 14, 2016 at 7:19 am

I love looking at your Zentangle tiles! I’ve never really looked into it, but I do similar sorts of doodling sometimes, particularly during meetings! I’d like to try it out next time I’m stuck on a long flight; it looks calming…

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Rachel, for some reason, it is very compelling. You can get into a meditative zone—-and I say this as someone who has never been able to meditate.

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Quinn January 14, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Love them all, especially top right and middle left! Wonderful 🙂

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AngelEggroll January 15, 2016 at 8:16 am

I like all of your works, but this time, I like your text more…..even a long text for me is still difficult to read, but I tried my best to understand. I think your points is totally the reasons with them I fell in love with Zentangle. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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Anja January 15, 2016 at 10:19 am

Beautiful work, Suzanne! Love them all!

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Annette P. (aka LonettA) January 15, 2016 at 12:37 pm

All are beautiful! Especially I like the last one with its wonderful movement!

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Donald W January 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Nice Mosaic. I like Segunda. Before I read the comments I was going to mention I was not familiar with this one. Now I know why. ‘Nzeppel is one of my favorite tangles also as well as Shattuck. Had to chuckle when I read your comments on my tile. I would not have questioned if you had imbibed. I do not spend a lot of time thinking about messages with my tiles. I kind of look at it and then I just go with the thought.

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Vicki Winters January 15, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Seems a great way to UNTANGLE my brain. Very meditative and ZEN…..I would try it.

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Billie Frank January 16, 2016 at 10:15 am

I love seeing your Zentangle work posted in Facebook, but I’m a crossword puzzle-at-airports woman. I think this would make me a bit insane. It’s great to find something that works for you and becomes a passion.

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HeidiSue January 17, 2016 at 11:21 am

yes! this is why zentangle is my primary hobby: Ease of transport, and the minimalist supplies. Your post has inspired me to make a regular zentangle tile, using the classic zentangle approach, every day. Meditative. Calming. Lovely tiles you’ve created, btw. Good work!

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Patti Morrow January 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I love seeing all your Zentangle work — the patterns are beautiful. I could never do this — my artistic abilities are more in line with whimsical watercolor painting, which is probably opposite. Looks a productive way to make use of time that might otherwise just be wasted waiting for transportation and other delays.

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LezliB January 17, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Suzanne, as always, both your words and your tangles are inspiring. There are a few blogs that I especially love to read and just devour the words….yours is one of them. Your basic Zentangle tiles are very well done and draw the eye in to see every stroke. Nicely done, as always!

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alison abbott January 18, 2016 at 8:57 am

You are the only one I know involved in Zentangle. I love seeing your work and couldn’t believe how many books were on the shelves of Barnes and Noble regarding the subject. It is beautiful to look at and must really take you to another place when you are working on one. I love the way my eye moves with each piece.

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Nan @ lbddiaries January 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm

I’d actually hang that on my wall. They are unusual, beautiful – and some just make you dizzy to look at them! I love your art.

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Roz Warren January 24, 2016 at 9:21 am

Saw somebody zentangling on my last flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia and thought of you. She looked peaceful and absorbed.

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