Learning New Patterns

Earlier today, while the power went out for the second time this hot Caribbean Auguat afternoon, I pulled up my iPad mini to see if my portable Internet hotspot was working. Whew! It was! It’s quite a bit slower than our household internet access, but it can get the job done so long as the relay station didn’t get zapped by a local outage. 

About a month or so ago, Apple (which clearly knows too much about me!) sent me an email announcing a new app I might want to check out. The app is called Zentangle Mosaic, and it is from the originators of the art form known as Zentangle. I checked out the free app, and found loads of beautiful tangles, some even by regular people; that is, not Certifird Zentangle Teachers. The problem with the free app is that it has certain limitations–ones that may not matter to people with a passing interest in the art form. Everyone can get lots of inspiration from the free app, but I wanted to be able to comment, ask questions, and maybe learn more than what perusal of the tangles could give me. So I did something I rarely do. I bought a membership in the app. I was disappointed that the app was good for only one year, but I have been disappointed by certain aspects of the originators’ policies on other things. So I bit down on my bottom lip and signed up for a year–only because, if I remember correctly, it was less expensive to do so than to keep renewing monthly. 

The main reason for my subscription was because I wanted to continue learning new patterns that do not show up in books about Zentangling. As I study the tangles that have been uploaded to the app (something you can only do as a member, by the way), I want to identify ones that I am interested in learning and applying. Unfortunately, I need to look elsewhere if I need help with learning a new pattern, but even at an outrageous fee (even for the Apple apps store), “how-to” is not part of the membership*. For that, I need to go to YouTube and hope someone has been kind enough to post a demonstration. 

Today, while searching for some inspiration for a new tangle, I came across a pattern that intrigued me–not because it was beautiful or unique, but because it appeared to be a melding of two patterns I already know. After doing a search on a few of the pattern names, I figured out the name of this new pattern. It is called Indyrella, and obviously was named for the pattern of cars coming and zipping past an onlooker. Here is a sketch I made of this pattern in my sketchbook. 


In the background is the actual pattern. In the foreground is a what used to be my “signature flower” from about sixth grade to well into my fifties when I simply stopped using it. It was a simple line sketch. Inspired by member emmacrew‘s simple but beautiful work, I tried my flower as a Zentangle pattern. 

Of course, while looking through the displayed tiles, I found another pattern or two I wanted to learn about, such as Philcaps in the lower part of the photo, but that’s for a different day.

Still inspired by emmacrew, I wanted to play around with Indyrella. I wondered what my flower would look like if I used a V pattern instead of curves. And that led to something not quite what I wanted, but not bad. I simply drew the Vs going the wrong way. I would have drawn another, reversing the Vs, but I lost the light. And the power was still off. 

In all, I guess what I created is a “tangleation” of the original pattern. Now that I have played, I will try to create a tangle using either Indyrella or the modification–or both!–tomorrow when I have more light.

For today, I am done with drawing, waiting around for power to come on or go off, letting people wiring our community for fiber optic Internet service in and out of the house, and just being grateful that I actually cooked dinner this morning–had to use my electric pressure cooker since I ran out of propane a few days ago and haven’t gone for more–and now trying to figure out if the power will be on long enough for me to reheat the meal in the microwave this evening, or if it’s going to be another evening of local take-out, and… 

Too much information…

Happy tangling!

* I was wrong when I wrote this. In fact, deconstruction of the patterns is in an area I discovered (after posting) called Step-outs. Not sure if this is part of the free app. I am liking the Zentangle Mosaics app more and more. Worth the investment. 

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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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6 Responses to Learning New Patterns

  1. I feel so pleased by the postscript – that it was worth the purchase! Looking forward to seeing the evolution of your play.

    • DrEMiller says:

      Thank you for your response. For some time, I was on the fence about Zentangle. I don’t adhere to the “no erasures” and “there are no mistakes,” mostly because of my hand tremor. However, I do find it a relaxing occupation overall. There are reasons for its popularity!

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