Monday, May 26, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #41 Tiles

Before posting the tiles from this week, I must mention that it is Memorial Day here in the United States - a day we remember and honor those who died while serving in our armed forces.   They gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy and we are eternally grateful.

This week's challenge featured Margaret Bremner's string that resembles a cursive letter "y".  We used tangle patterns that many of the contributing artists described as free flowing.  Quite often the tangles took the lead in the dance of pen and pattern much to the surprise and delight of the tangler.  Let's take a look ~

Dorothy Allison said, "This is my second effort for this week - when I'd completed the first one I then saw mountains in the peaks of the string, and decided to use Rixty as the trees."
Rixty trees - now that is a fabulous idea especially for those of us who enjoy tangling gardens.  She added wonderfully thick dark spaces to Riverstones.

Colette Horsburgh completed her challenge on blue paper ~

Perhaps the references to water in the names of the tangles inspired her.  Her work is also posted here on her blog.

Juul Van Zenden wrote ~
Bonjour Adèle
As usual I very much liked working on this string! I took the "liberty" to use "riki tiki" allso.
J'adore ces défis hebdomadaire. (I love these weekly challenges)

Her tangles have such fluid motion.  The dark spaces compliment the white space and her added sparkle and fine lines shine.

Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow treats us again to her work, tangled and written ~
Riverstones were used in creating the water fall wall
Ripples were used to create the train tracks
Mixture of Rixities were used to create the silver snowflakes
River were used to create the tops of the mountains
The little train went down the tracks
Bringing peace, love and joy to everyone it passed
And when it was time for the train to go home
The train went real fast, to Zentangle alone.
That is grand.  First we saw Rixty trees and now, Rixty snowflakes - how fun!

Lucy Banta said that "swirls certainly made this one busy, but they were all fun tangles!"

Many swirls make for a fun tile, for sure.  It is the shading that makes her tangles stand out though - beautiful shading.

Sherrill Herron wrote, "I had a time putting these tangles together, however I made it through. I love Rixty. It has so many possibilities."

Look at all of those variations Sherrill drew for Ripples and her love for Rixty really shines through.

Sue Jacobs CZT said, "Wow - I really liked this string. It seems so simple as it looks to me like a script Y. But the string moves so nicely. Thanks!"
Sue's River runs along the string line and above her other lovely tangles, thanks to her shading.  Her patterns are accented with fine detail lines and note that her Riverstones has a new look without the darkening around each stone - just beautiful!

Cathy Cusson said, "...I really meant to work in some ripples but never saw the right place to do so."

Cathy expressed some misgivings because of that but that is actually a very positive thing about tangling - letting the patterns lead the way.  The end result is wonderful!

Sal said, "River and river stones are new to me so it was fun incorporating them."
Sal used a very large Rixty and wove Riverstones through it.  Her shading is fabulous - so many great ideas in a beautifully tangled tile.

This was sent by Lily Moon ~
Is it the white space that draws the eye to the wonderful tangles, or the wonderful tangles that lead the eye to the white space?  It is a pleasant mix of both.  Lily's details are sublime.  She also posted her tile here on her blog.

From Joan Delony ~
Joan gave Rixty a very organic feel with her added lines.  Note how she tangled Riverstones.  She drew her stones up and into the lines of the river - a great idea!

Jocelyne Pigeon-Bernier said that she called this, "Waves on the sea (Vagues sur le bord de la mer)."

It is sensational sea at that - wonderful waves of line accentuated just so with shading.  Note her pretty details in Ripples.

Ken Zotter said, "I used River and River Stones, morphing them together."

It is a terrific tangleation - somewhat reminiscent of Diva Dance - dense, dark, and delightful.  Ken also posted his tile here on his blog.

A very warm welcome to Marni Schumacher.  She sent in two tiles for her first entries ~

It is interesting that she used a large Rixty similar to Sal's.  Marni varied the thickness of her lines and that makes her tile very striking.

And speaking of this tile Marni ran Riverstones along the entire string line with a very heavy center line.  By giving the stones and Ripple equal size, they create a uniform, very pretty background.

Ragged Ray described her entry ~

A delightful choice of tangles this week. I've been drawing Rixty in curvy form for a while now, so I stuck with that on my tile, and instinct said the string should be the Rixty centre line. It's such a versatile and addictive tangle! I went for aura-overload on Ripples, and loved the effect although some of my initial S shapes in the grid got confused! And Riverstones popped up from the page with a bit of shading - looking like beautiful dry stone walling. I know I'll use all of these tangles again!
"Rixty in curvy form" - what a wonderful look.  Jem's "aura-overload" on Ripples makes the tangle look alive.  And while tangles are not intended to be representational - I would love to stroll over that bed of river rock.  It is a lovely tile.

CZT Kate Ahrens said that she "had a great time with this week's string and tile" ~
Another blue beauty - such gorgeous shades of blue.  An idea for the rest of us - Kate morphed her river into Rixty!  She posted her tile here on her blog as well.

Jane Glotzer said ~
I had thought about combining River and River Stones somewhere, but then ended up using them separately...the wonder of the zen... And I wasn't familiar with Ripples, but playing around with it, I came up with a kind of "floral" variation that I liked because it had been hard to get Helen's stripey bands to work in the yin/yang circle for me.
Yes, the wonder of 'zen' is amazing and so are the details in Jane's tile - Rixty growing from a center point along a striped line, variations of detail on Rixty, her flora Ripples, and great shading.

Robin Grosland wrote about her journey creating her tile.  I include her note because it is insightful ~
I used Riverstones without the river part. I've done it before. Maybe it's because I'm from the desert. I don't know. It just didn't seem too fit. Sometimes just the stones are enough.

But what I learned from was when I tried to do Ripples. I penciled in lines parallel to the legs of the M shape in the original string. These created diamonds. I planned to do traditional Ripples in these diamonds, but erase the lines afterward so there was no visible grid (which I did). I started putting the S shape in the diamonds. Suddenly I noticed I had done one of the S shapes backwards. At first I got frustrated. I didn't want to start over, but I also hate mistakes. In order to fix it I ended up using S shapes both directions, overlapping, in each diamond. Then I added just a single loop off the center where the two S shapes crossed and filled it black (rather than the multiple loops of varying shades). It looks very different from the original Ripples, but it's kind of a fun design. Who knows? Maybe I'll use it again sometime.

So mostly I learned to be forgiving of my mistakes and look for new options when they happen. Very Zentangle.
Very Zentangle - with marvelous results both on and off the paper :)

Eden Hunt said, "... a tough string for these tangles, and I am not entirely comfortable with the lack of obvious structure in Rixty - it is kind of like Bridgen in that way... they can get out of comtrol fast."

They can - and if you are in not in the mood to go along for the ride, it can be a bit unsettling.  Nonetheless, note how she darkened the mid line of the tangle and then shaded in the center of the triangular shape.  Eden also tangled Riverstones from opposite directions of a midpoint.  Very nice tips.
She also posted her tile here on her blog.

Brenda Urbanik said that she found this one a challenge - "to put those tangles in that string."
Here is her first tile ~

She did a wonderful job of it.  Look at her Rixty coming in and out of the page.
This is her second tile~
For this one she said that she "gave up (trying to use the string) and "just used Rixty together with River."
What a remarkable result - and a much needed reminder that string lines are merely suggestions - the enjoyment is in the process of letting that go and tangling where the tangles lead.  Thank you, Brenda :)
She also posted her tiles here on her blog.

Ingrid Coventon was the next to send a tile and her sentiments echoed Brenda's.  She thought that her tile tile was a "complete mess" but had little time and even less energy to make another ~

And that calls for a gentle reminder - that to tangle, begin with the patterns in mind, but no preconceived notion of what the finished tile might look like.  That way you are pleasantly surprised by the outcome - and there is no room for error because there are no mistakes.  There are creative opportunities and the possibilities of what a tangle can change into one stroke at a time are limitless.
Again - treasured lessons here for the rest of us, so many thanks to Ingrid for sending both her tile and her note.

Annie Taylor wrote ~
What a lovely string and set of tangles you've given us again this week.
I enjoyed doing this in the calm after lunch today. I've had a busy week and wasn't sure I'd manage to find the time to do it, so I'm very pleased that I did...and found it so relaxing.
I particularly enjoyed Helen's tangle, Ripple and Riverstones which I haven't done before and they went well together.
Annie captured the feeling of relaxation in her tile - even the colors are calming.  They also work especially well with Ripples.  Her Rixty lines run from the page and back into it like Brenda's - a really nice touch.

Sharyn Penna's note arrived and I've come to expect some addition of lovely Mooka lines in her tangles - and sure enough, she used them here in Rixty ~

How very pretty - especially where she added aura around them near her river.  The darkened areas around Ripples make that tangle pop.  Sharyn said that she was happy with the tile's outcome.  We can certainly see why.

Sue Agnew said, "I tried to combine River and River Rocks, plus a little bit of Rixty (rounded). I was really happy with how the stones looked, which I'm usually not. This one flowed out and it was a lot of fun!"

This is simply beautiful - simple yet complex.  Sue's rounded Rixty with River flowing from it is very clever.  She's rounded her stones and added shading to make them look very dimensional - very well done.

Jackie Becker said that this was very different for her because she did not "stick with the string."
She went with the flow of Rixty and it took her to some wonderful places.  She added dots and shading, aura too!

Bobby Johnson wrote, "What a fun challenge! This one pushed me to be more light & fluid in keeping with the water theme of several of the tangle patterns.
This is delightful.  He features Ripples sans grid with thin and thick lines, light and dark spaces.  His scrolls are, as he said, "light and fluid" and contrast nicely with Riverstones.  You can also see this beautiful tile here on his blog.

Annemarie said that she enjoyed this challenge ~

Her tangles look layered as she drew them here in Hollibaugh fashion.  Shading in some of the aura-ed lines is an idea for the rest of us to use.  
Annemarie also posted her tile here on her blog.

Anna Houston sent along this detailed tile ~
There is so much to see here in her work - Rixty in a row and also tangles in a fractal manner with darkened space around it, River with rows and rows of aura, two variations of Ripples, and inviting Riverstones - it is a beautiful tile.

AND now, the tile for honors this week was submitted by - none other than the string's creator herself -
CZT Margaret Bremner  from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  (Don't ask me to spell that again!)

She wrote, "...I rather like this 'y' string and appreciate the chance to try some tangles I haven't used a lot. River and Riverstones go so nicely with the curviness of Ripples."

The entire tile is curvy - one pattern playing off the next.  Even the edges of Rixty are rounded.  Margaret also added sparkle to Ripples and River and created great depth with her shading.  She is a master teacher and there is much to soak up and learn from in her tile.  Her tile is also posted here on her beautiful blog.

Congratulations, Margaret, I have a little something coming in the mail for you.

Many thanks to the talented tanglers who sent in their artwork for the rest of us to learn from and enjoy.

Special thanks to the creative minds behind the challenge this week -

TanglePatterns String 026 by CZT Margaret Bremner via Linda Farmer
River  by Suzanne McNeill, CZT 
Riverstones  by Lori Howe
Rixty  an official Zentangle® pattern 
and Ripples by Helen Williams

Stop back tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #42!


  1. Wow, that's a lot of submissions! I like the oversized Rixtys, especially the one where 'a river runs through it'. ;). And Sue's shading is wonderful, and Ray's many-Aura'd Ripples, and... Lots to look at!

  2. Wow, these are all amazing. When I tried to do this tile, my brain went completely empty, and I don't even know why. Well done, everybody :)

  3. Wow, this site is fantastic! I very recently discovered Zentangle (when I "borrowed" a Zentangle book my teen daughter received from a friend as a birthday gift...), and I've been fascinated/addicted ever since. (Btw, her friends were all already familiar with it from art class at school - how wonderful.) I love all of the creative new ways to tangle that your weekly challenge inspires, and you are so thoughtful with your comments on each. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your site. I'm starting to see patterns everywhere I go now (yikes!), and not a day goes by that I don't find a way to feed my new addiction for at least a few minutes. Looking forward to seeing what your challenge inspires next - nice job!

    1. Thank you for your kind compliments and welcome to the wonderful world of all things Zentangle®! What fantastic news that your daughter and friends learned about it in art class.
      Your words about seeing patterns everywhere made me smile - don't be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night deconstructing patterns :)