Valentangle – Diva Challenge #154

Love hearts……can’t resist’em! Can’t go wrong, so much you can do with’em, here are a couple of Valentangle examples 🙂



GAÏT – New Pattern……?

I found a photo on the internet of a pattern on a wrought-iron gate.
And came up with this grid-based deconstruction for your enjoyment.
Please feed-back to me? Is there another pattern like this anywhere???
I am also undecided about how to spell the name for this new pattern – HELP!! I’m thinking “Gaït” but tell me what you think.

A New Flow

The other day I drew a crown of loops as a string – my starting point for a new drawing. It was how I felt: kinda flowy, cosy, and whole.
This is the sort of thing I started off with:


I then filled in the loops with drop-like shapes of all sizes – and drew a grid in the middle bit:


When I finally finished tangling inside the drops – and shading the final thing, this was what I got:


Rather pleased with that…..!

Some other curvy drawings I’ve been working on:




Can you tell I’m obsessed with curves?!

Latest Experiments

I know: I’ve been MIA for a little while – I know.

Other stuff (good stuff) has taken over my life these past few weeks and, although I have still been drawing, it has been much more of a release valve for stress and surplus adrenaline than anything else… So I wouldn’t be all that keen to display what I’ve been doing over that time, as it’s not hugely exciting or inspiring – or beautiful for that matter.

I know the point of Zentangle is as much to be a vehicle for inner peace and well being, as it is to create beautiful art which will
inspire and touch others. Still – sometimes there is a need for an introvert to protect her private space….and for a while, it has been such a time as that.

However – more recently my creative juices have been flowing way more freely, inspired by two completely different muses – and I now really feel the need to show on here what I’ve been experimenting with.

First, a friend of mine encouraged me to buy a canvas and get painting.
Well – WOW….!!
I’d never really painted properly before – and so the thought of it both scared me and thrilled me beyond words.

Anyway, here it is, my first painted canvas:


I absolutely loved every second of working on this; needless to say I’ll be painting more!!

Experimenting with paint then led me to get more creative with my use of colour when I am drawing ZIA. Like painting a watercolour background on paper before then drawing onto that:


Finally, another source of inspiration has been Helen and her new stringy drawings…. Totally in love with this!!! It’s messy, random, and does me so much good…


Addicted, much.
If you want to instructions on how to get started with strings, Helen’s step-out is perfect.

Commission #2 – For Elaine.

So soon after the first one, another friend commissioned me to do a special piece for her sister’s birthday.

“She loves cats, feeds the birds in the garden a lot, loves flowers and going out for coffee; her name is Elaine and she loves jewel colours, particularly pinks, purples and blues. I don’t know whether you can build some of these in somehow.”

I spent so long thinking about this drawing, and for a good few days I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together. Because I wanted to draw something really beautiful and incorporate a cat but really REALLY do not know how to draw them – and so (do NOT laugh) I had to google “draw simple cute cat”, sift the internet for hours and copy various cat drawings, before finally finding something simple that I could draw credibly and with integrity, and that fit my style.

This was my original idea:

…I was pretty sure I didn’t like it enough to do a bigger version as the finished thing. I was disappointed and lost my interest in the drawing.

Then a few nights ago I was listening to an amazing talk by Francis Chan and started doodling while I listened – I always do this, as it helps me concentrate.
This was what I drew that night.

And finally about three days ago, genius struck: maybe I could use those doodled flowers as the starting point for Elaine’s picture!? And so I drew a bird. And then another. Then some more flowers – and then I drew a freakin’ cat…..!

Anyway this is it. I have to say I am totally in love with it and totally want to keep it!!!

So now I hope Elaine gets as much pleasure looking at it as I had drawing it.

Diva Challenge #133 – Tipple Love

Oooooh I’ve so enjoyed this….!!

It’s not the first time I’ve confessed my love of bubbles on this blog.
Bubbles, marbles, balls, curves, orbs, call’em what you want to….. They delight me. But mostly bubbles, I have to say.
Not quite sure what the “thing” is in the top right hand corner of the drawing – I was really just experimenting with round shapes. A benevolent sun, maybe – or some kind of weird flower.

Don’t ask.


First Commission :)

A friend asked me to draw something for her friend’s wedding.
My only brief was A4, with colour and a verse.
It ended up being a brayded heart with a tree of life growing out from the middle.
I’m pleased to report that she loves it…
And that I love it too!


Diva Challenge #132 – Wonky, Lefty Bales

Oh dear.

Back from our summer travels for this year and this is what is thrown my way:

do a monotangle of Bales with your non-dominant hand. Remember the challenge is to practice using your left if you’re a righty, and your right if you’re a lefty, and the be gentle and self-accepting

I had to do this, I knew I had to – but I hated it and I hate the result; my left arm hurts like hell, and my brain feels like mush.

Still, I just couldn’t pass up the challenge and I’m a bit of a stickler for punishment…

And actually, I know it’s done me good.
Something inside me feels like my horizon has shifted a little, and my perspective on my own abilities has broadened. Not much, it’s very subtle; but yes, this challenge did exactly what it said on the tin: stretched me and gave my brain a workout.

So in a way, I feel good – now it’s finished.
I don’t like what I drew at all. Not one single bit.

But that wasn’t the point, really, was it……


Diva Challenge #128 – Two-Pencil String

It’s been a while since I’ve felt in the right frame of mind to do one of Laura’s challenges.
But this one appealed to me, I’ve never tried drawing a string with a “double pencil”! So that was fun.
I am forever practicing Tripoli and trying to get it right….
One day, one day.
Meanwhile, the narrow ribbon effect you get from drawing a double line would apparently lend itself nicely to border-type tangles. Except I defaulted to bubbles and stripes – cos I’m not in a very brave frame of mind – and right now, bubbles and stripes comfort me.
Don’t ask.
I then decided to add plenty of Opus plants, to make up for missing last week’s challenge which I nearly did, then just….didn’t.

Quite a satisfying result, if I say so myself – if a little heavy on the black.

What do you think…??


Diva Challenge #124 – Calgary Floods

I didn’t know this as it hadn’t made the news in the UK – but apparently there have been some devastating floods in the Calgary region of Canada.
For Laura, the Diva, this is a part of the world which is close to her heart as it is where she spent the first years of her married life. Which prompted this week’s challenge.

The brief was to draw something, anything, that would reflect something, anything, of the difficulties and challenges people in disaster-struck areas might be going through. The struggles, the heartbreak, the loss, but also the increased sense of solidarity knitting communities together when such tragedies and events occur.

I can only imagine what it must be like to face something like the loss of one’s home, and worse, loved ones, when floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters hit. The thought of their plight makes my heart weep. This was what I wanted to reflect in my drawing, hence the teardrops.

However there is also a deep undercurrent of hope going on in the picture, reflected in the hearts and curly plants rising up from the floodwaters. This happened almost in spite of me – I guess my personal experience of knowing deep hope and joy even in the midst of incredible suffering and grief wanted to make its way out here! i have a real conviction that good can and DOES always end up coming out of difficult, tragic situations, and I wanted to express that – I hope it comes through.


Diva Challenge #123 – Look – No Tangles!

At first I was totally daunted by this week’s challenge.

But then I thought about it a little.
Then thought a little more.
And started to feel excited.

Let me explain: the brief was to draw a tile without using any existing tangles or any variations of any known patterns (AKA tanglelations…if I got that right…??! I am still learning Zentangle jargon – bear with me).

Impossible!” was my initial reaction… “I can never do that, I’ve got no tangles of my own”…. *panic*

But after I had drawn my string, it gradually dawned on me that being ‘banned’ from using anything ‘known’ might actually open up a whole new realm of possibilities, but ones that could only be explored once the door to anything familiar was firmly closed.

There’s a quote that goes something like this:
“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

I do believe leaving the shore did me good today.

The ocean looked scary at first – but once I was on it, it turned out to be a rather pleasant, fun day out!

At least a couple of new tangles were born in the process too. And my pesky little Dandy seeds are back. I’d call that a win-win situation, wouldn’t you?