Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trippy Tripoli and Fantastic Interns

This week's challenge to use the new tangle, "Tripoli" was a great opportunity to stretch  and take a trip to someplace new. As I made multiple tiles, mostly white or gold and turquoise on black, I struggled quite a bit with wiggly lines, and attempting to fit variations within the small triangle spaces.  So, it began:

Why isn't my hand steadier?  
Why doesn't this triangle fit in the circle the way it is supposed to?  
Why do all the other people posting on this challenge have such amazing results from this tangle? 

BUT, I kept going, and then I recalled the Zentangle blog post  reminding us that "With Zentangle, there's no need to allow "better" (or even worse, "perfection") to hold you back from the "good" of enjoying putting pen to paper . . . one stroke at a time."  How great that Rick and Maria, Zentangle's founders, continually provide the right context for this amazing artform. 


In addition, this week, I had the great pleasure of teaching Zentangle to a vibrant group of summer theatre interns.  We started with an introductory tile:

After the break they created a second tile, but with a twist.  This time, after they made their strings they passed the tile to the person on their left.  They tangled the first section and passed the tile to the left, and so on, until the tiles were complete and a wonderful mosaic was created.  It was a great exercise in teamwork.

I was blown away by their willingness to try something new, their focus, and the great questions. Their curiosity and creativity were really apparent.  They are spending the summer learning and working hard at Ocean State Theatre Company which produces Broadway quality theatre at Theatre By The Sea in Matunuck, RI.  I've seen both shows so far this season and  thoroughly enjoyed them!

This was my first time teaching this age group--college--and the comments made my day.  Here is a sampling:

"Thanks so much for this experience.  Its so nice to take part in something that has such a deep respect for each individual's artistic process and contribution"  

"Zentangle is replenishing and enchanting.  Thank you so much."

"Thank you for introducing us to such a new and unique art form! It really is fascinating to discover how the same tangle can take on so many forms!"

"This really helped me unwind and think clearly about things I haven't been able to think about.  Slightly emotional experience...but great"

 "I have been searching for a good stress relief for a long time now.  I think I've just found it."


  1. I like the movement. Looks like a welcoming dance!

  2. Love you completely different approach and the rounded openness of your tangle. XOXO Zoe

  3. What a great design! So glad you persevered. I see a ferris-wheel whirling...... Love it!!

  4. .... and it sounds like your TBTS intern class was lots of fun and a huge success! Congrats!!

  5. Karen, your Tripoli tile reminds me not only of a ferris wheel, as Tricia posted, but of many different amusement park rides that spin in various ways. The bright-on-dark materials also gave it that festive carnival-at-night feel. There's something musical about it, too; I can can practically hear the calliope! Fun!
    Amy in TN