Three motifs were introduced on Day 27 in One Zentangle a Day. They are Meer, Enyshou, and an original pattern called Reef. The first two have strong resemblances to earlier patterns, Finery and Squid, respectively. 

This time, I remembered to add in the strings, and the resulting tile reminded me of the northern end of the New Jersey Turnpike, so I called the tangle “NJTpk.” Yeah, really original, I know. It made me realize I am homesick.

featured patterns: Meer, Enyshou, and (unofficial) Reef

The rest of today’s lesson talked about using Inktense color pencils, the core of which is water-soluble vibrant ink. As I was reading over this section, it reminded me strongly of a passage I read in a book on drawing with color pencils. My assumption is that a lot of books on color pencil art describe a technique using core shavings from this type of pencil to create inks and strong “watercolors” for those times where less vibrant color just won’t do. But I have no Inktense pencils, and so will keep this method in mind for another time. 

Yes, I still consider myself a Jersey Girl, even though it has been more than 25 years since I have lived in the area. Even my mother hadn’t lived there for almost 20 years before her recent death. But once a Jersey Girl, always a Jersey Girl, regardless of age or current location. 

Looking at the tile called to mind my stringless tangle for Day 26, and how it was difficult to make sense of it. By way of contrast, this tangle used a string which turned into a memory. I began to wonder how many tangles are drawn with intentional strings. That is, do tangle artists sometimes come to their tiles with an idea of what they want to draw and how they plan to draw it? Sometimes, especially if I am stuck for an idea, I draw a picture and tangle it in or tangle around it. Is that acceptable? Or is the intent of Zentangles to come in with a blank mind, scribble in a bunch of lines, and let inspiration wash over the pen wielded? If so, then the whole idea of tiles that come “pre-strung” seems to violate this principle. Yet, there are ample online markets that sell tiles that have an assortment of strings on them. 

A comment made by the author about a sample tangle probably triggered my question about strings. The illustrator who drew the sample had said that the string reminded her of a bow. That got her tangle started. And the result was a very pretty bow wrapped around a rose created from a single use of the pattern Vitruvius (squares within circles within squares etc.). For my tangle, I really didn’t know what the outcome would be until I finished. I was so intrigued by the reminder of home that I didn’t even touch up a few spots I had meant to clean up. I know that clean-up is a no-no, but when your hand shakes, you find new uses for that opaque white Gelly Roll pen. 

So now I have two dilemmas to ponder: 1) Conscious string versus non-intentional random string?” and 2) To erase/correct or let shakes lines be?  Being a Jersey Girl, I want to follow directions that are important, but I also want to correct errors before anyone sees my work.  

What would you do? Would you stick to the rules, or would you–at least sometimes–do what you feel better about? 

Ah, decisions, decisions. 

Happy tangling!



About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
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2 Responses to NJTpk

  1. philr06 says:

    Hello, DrEMiller!

    I am, Heather Rodriguez, a Zentangle enthusiast.

    I suggest copying a string from Linda Farmer’s blog site, http://tanglepatterns.com/category/tanglepatterns-strings, because from my experience making my own through free-flow drawing I ended up with a shape of a bug-tick. I still drew many tangles inside the tick-string. Perhaps that means by unconscious drawing mind was buggy that day.

    Another suggestion, erase/correct…
    Neither, consider a different perspective, in which, is the art piece balanced: does the piece keep your eyes moving all around, are the weight of colors appealing to the artist’s eye i.e. -your eye. The heaviness of black well distributed and enough white open areas to keep the viewer from feeling sick, like trapped, in the business of too much weight of black.

    You my agree or disagree…all is well, for I am not a trained artist or anything, but I love art and especially abstract art like Wassily Kandinsky and Joan Miró.

    Please accept all physicality of your human body…shaky hand and all because what is not perfect that you bring is apart of your art. Just make it all look balanced.

    In my opinion, thinking of home and being a Jersey Girl, when that thought pattern reoccurs then go back to your basics because at that present moment you might be wondering off the path a bit…reevaluate. The best advice I was ever given was, “…in life, stay flexible and keep moving forward.”

    DrEMiller, take great care of your whole wonderful self and thank you for sharing from your blog.

    ~ Heather

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