Tuesday, 14 March 2017

More iPad Zentangles and Some Thoughts on Art

I’ve drawn a couple more Zentangles on the iPad over the past few days.

I have been thinking quite a lot about how to fill a Zentangle string with pattern. So often you see people just choosing tangle patterns at random and slapping them into the sections created by the string, and the results can be a bit flat and chaotic, but most of the Zentangles I’ve seen online that I liked the best also included some white space, and the patterns were obviously carefully chosen to produce a cohesive and beautiful design. Contrast is important too, and variation in the size and density of the patterns. I hope these features are beginning to emerge in my non-ZIA Zentangles. Probably one thinks about these things more when creating ZIA (Zentangle-Inspired Art) but to me, a single small Zentangle tile should be something beautiful, too. OK, the originators of Zentangle say it should be purely abstract and random; that there should be no “up” or “down” and it’s the process that matters, not the end result. There’s certainly a place for that, especially in a stress-relieving session where one just loses oneself in the doing of it and isn’t worried about the result.

Perhaps I am not a true tangler, voicing these rebellious views!!! What I have discovered recently is that whatever anybody else says, I have to be true to myself and express my art in my own way. It’s all too easy to feel pressured into comparing yourself with others and measuring yourself up against what you think are their higher standards, and trying to conform, and it’s absolutely liberating to follow your own heart and just do what feels right for you.

Anyway, here are my latest efforts. First of all, “Paradise Garden,” in black and white and in colour. For the latter I chose very delicate pastel shades.

Paradise Garden B&W

Paradise Garden Colour

This one is called “Boxes.” The three main areas contain tangles based on grids and squares. The pointed section (“Meander”) could be seen as a random collection of tiny boxes. The border pattern bottom right is called “Inapod” which I suppose is a sort of box to contain seeds! It was fun trying to incorporate a word theme throughout the design. Something to explore further, perhaps.


I’m enjoying exploring different ways of putting patterns together and trying to think about how the end result will look but there is still plenty of room for each tile to grow and emerge as if with a mind of its own – I add different patterns and embellishments as I go until I think it looks right, so there is an element of randomness.

Art reflects life? Life is full of tensions between randomness, predictability, order and the unexpected. That’s what makes it so exciting.

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