Artist Focus: Carlos Cano

Welcome back to! This week I’m bringing another incredibly talented artist, Carlos Cano, from Spain! I’ve had plans to feature Carlos for weeks and I’m so glad I can now showcase his amazing art! Carlos’ story is a fascinating tale of artistic progression. Personally, I am a big fan of the first picture below! Let’s get to know Carlos Cano!

“Hi, I’m Carlos Cano, and  live in Madrid, Spain. Since I was young I liked art in general, and drawing in particular. My initial attempts were drawings with ballpoint pen, first only in black and white, and little by little I introduced some color. I have to say that I have always been a simple amateur, I have never received any kind of art (except zentangle, I will get to that). My drawings were always abstract, in somewhat twisted ways, so much so that some friend always said that what I drew was “guts.” Sometimes I relied on something from my surroundings, but I always experimented with it: I was looking for shapes to attract me.
One of the things I always tried to achieve was color gradients, which took me for hours with the ballpoint pen. I also started to test gradients with stippling, but with this technique I did less drawings
I have always enjoyed experimenting with shapes and techniques, and always tried to go to all the art exhibitions that I have been able to. After each exhibition, when I got home, I came back loaded with inspiration, and I turned in blocks of drawing trying to do something similar to what I had seen (which I never got, but that really amused me).


Let me show you some of my old drawings, with ball point pens, and one stippled: 

This is an amazing example of stipple (using tiny dots to shade or make pictures). I’ve done these and they are incredibly time consuming but the effect is very cool!


In 1988 I left up drawing and began to try many other unfinished activities (including learning Japanese, or play rock guitar)

Three years ago, I took again a pen thinking on try some idea. In this case I used fountain pens, also drawing with dots. I did four drawings. The next is the one I prefer:



But it’s not good idea stippling with fountain pens: the ink always dries, and it changes color. And the nibs, well, they oxidize and also change the ink color.

Then, I discovered zentangleand before I learned the technique, I made the next attempt, also with stippling and fountain pens:


This astounded me! All small dots! I can’t imagine the time this took! Stunning!  


Since 2005 I have been attending Zentangle classes with María Pérez-Tovar, and I have always tried to experiment with the different tangles, modifying them and trying different ways to use them. For example, these are some personal versions of three tangles. Tri-BeeInapodNiuroda



I’ve used also some sense of humor in my drawings (the first is a version of the tangle Drawings, the second was for Halloween:






Sometimes I’ve mixed different media in a drawing, as in this hand I’ve used micron, alcohol markers, color pencils and stippling:



Spend a minute looking at this. There is so much subtext and the attention to detail is to be appreciated! I think my favorite element is the single Printemps on the index finger. A perfect example of the line weighting we’ve been working on in in various groups! Perfection!


Recently I have recovered the desire to experiment with other techniques, and I have redrawn with colored ballpoint pens. This has been my first attempt for more than 30 years.


Ballpoint pens are what’s really amazing about this and all of them. With a pen like Pigma Micron or other technical pens there is a nib with ink flow like a felt tip pen. Stipple takes a light touch down for each dot. Ballpoint requires pressure with a circle movement each time. No big deal. Until you work on this scale. Incredible!


In this drawing I’ve used Copic markers as color background, and ballpoint pens:





One technique I discovered recently is that of shaving cream. With it you get backgrounds of random colors very interesting. I use it with liquid watercolor, although you can also use food coloring, even acrylic paint. My way of drawing on these backgrounds is not very orthodox: I try to draw shapes following the colors of the background and then modifying and adding figures as they occur to me. I must say that my way of drawing is formed by 90% of improvisation, and some previous idea that I quickly modify as I discover possibilities in what is coming out.

The following sequence shows more or less of what I’m talking about:


The next example correspond to a version of StaubKorn’s Pico:


With patience and imagination, you can transform any background in what you want. For example, I transformed a partial blue tile in a “tree of life”:

I’m still in awe of Carlos’ techniques both old and new! I’m going to try the shaving cream trick for sure! I’m so excited and blessed to have the opportunity to get to know these artists from across the world! You are a fascinating bunch and I cant wait to show you who is next!



Diva Challenge 317

Welcome back to the new weekly “I am the Diva” challenge #317! This week was something completely different that CZT Laura Harms hasn’t done before. We are to cut or print a picture from a magazine or newspaper, afix the picture to a tile and tangle around it. It is an interesting challenge and I’m sure the tiles will be fascinating to see. I loved the idea but it presented a challenge for me. I don’t do print as I am a clutter bug so it left me with a problem as to what picture to use. As I went through my coloring books I ran across one of my beginning Zentangle books by CZT Suzanne McNeill. Zentangle 11 workbook edition is the book and on the back there’s a word, “Tangle”, thats been colorfully tangled. It was the perfect size and I decided to use it. I started worrying about copyright infringement about the time I finished the tile, so I went to Suzanne McNeill’s blog and asked her permission to use it. I haven’t heard back but of course she’s a busy lady and I am ready to post. So here is my Diva challenge tile 317 and I hope Suzanne wont mind my using her image! If you are interested in Suzanne McNeill’s blog here is a link! In the USA her wonderful books are available on Amazon.


Diva Challenge #316

I’ve done a terrible job getting my challenge tiles finished this week! I seem to be stuck in a creative slump and tangling was really tough this week. It felt like work. Which, of course, means I’m doing something wrong. Instead of giving up on them, I slogged through and finished, though not pleased with my tiles (but when am I ever?!). So, here are my 2 tries, similar but different in small ways. Here’s hoping for Zen when tangling this week!

It’s a String Thing #195

It’s a String Thing challenge this week included a special treat for me! The challenge features my good friend and artist, Sarah Fowler’s “Strutz” pattern. I’ve played with it many times but never completed a tile featuring Strutz. Of course, being in a pretty big artistic slump made forcing the tiles uncomfortable. That said, I love her pattern and its hollibaugh effect. It’s funky bends and embellishment possibilities make it lots of fun to play with. Sarah is an amazing artist and such a positive person, it was a real pleasure to feature her art and story on my blog a few weeks back! 

Strutz was a perfect fit for this week’s string and it works great with Maria Thomas’ Printemps. I’m hopeful I can relax enough to get next week’s tile finished before Saturday night!

Artist Focus: Anja Meeter

 Hello and welcome to the! This week’s artist profile highlights South African artist Anja Meeter. I haven’t had the chance to get to know Anja on a personal basis as I have many of the other artists in profile, but I’ve been very excited by her work. Anja’s art is full of lines and Earth Tones and beautiful tangles. Little did I know when I started writing that Anja has 39 published patterns! I had to go and look them all up to see if I had some favorites! I found I hadn’t used any before but I certainly have tried many now and I think amoung my favorites are Flower Power, Bracelet, and Pod de Pois, but the 2 I enjoyed the most are Triline (good name Jess!), and Insomnia. All of Anja’s patterns can be found at

Here are some of my favorites from Anja’s gorgeous art. I couldn’t choose between them so this post is art heavy but I really like that!


I just love the way she uses stippling on her Tipple (Tipple is the name of the pattern of circles) instead on drawing lines!




The hints of browns and golds in her work draw the eye and give the pieces a very earthy appeal.


Let’s get to know the amazing artist behind this wonderful art!


The lovely Anja Meeter!

 A Tangle a Day Keeps the Doctor Away


My name is Anja Cathrin Meeter and I was born, to German parents, in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 16th June 1967 (yesssss…. I have the big 50 coming up next month).  For the last 17 years I live in the beautiful part of South Africa called Somerset West, Cape Town.  I am a single and proud mom of two children, my daughter Jessie who is 15 going on 21 and my son Nico who is 12 going on 18 :-).



I have done many things in my life from studying psychology and counselling to running a medical company with my ex husband, to selling steel plant equipment, fresh fish, hair straighteners and much more. Being a Gemini I constantly need new challenges and have had a variety of hobbies from designing crossword books, calligraphy, painting pottery, beaded T-shirts and many more that have quietly landed up shelved in boxes in my garage



Two years ago I hit, what I would consider, one of the lowest points in my life.  I was jobless, in deep depression and struggled to get through daily life.  It was in this time that I realised the importance of family and very good, loyal friends.  Slowly I picked up the pieces and basically restarted life again.  It was also in this time that I saw up a posting on Facebook from an old friend of mine, Tasmin Rootman.  It was a stunning drawing and I asked her if she had done it.  She replied yes and it was done through an art form called tangling.  


Well from that day my life changed. I was never an artist and couldn’t draw anything that looked like something. However, Tasmin taught me all the beginning things I needed to know and of course all the tangling language.  I mean a tile, a string, tangleation, monotangle, grids, auras….. these words were like a new language to me.  I slowly started all the adventures with her. Monotangle Adventure, Duotangle adventure and bit by bit I became confident enough to join more groups, in particular Pattern Collections with Ina Sonnenmoser and Zen n Zia with Shazzia.  


With Ina, I did a number of journeys and more and more I became completely passionate and obsessed about this beautiful form of art.  I amazed myself daily and slowly but surely became a tanglaholic.  I had to do at least 3 tangles a day :-).  In this time I submitted patterns to Pattern Collections and have had about 39 patterns published.  I made new friends and became part of this wonderful, caring and inspiring worldwide group of tanglaholics.  My self belief and self love grew in leaps and bounds – exactly what I needed to live life to the fullest again.



About 6 months ago I looked back on the last 2 years and realised what an affect tangling had had on my life and changed my eyes on the world in a way that was unimaginable.  I was determined that I wanted to share this therapy with more people and set a goal to start teaching and growing tangling as much as I can in South Africa (it is VERY unknown here). As well as my current job, I work in a British shop selling British goodies in South Africa, I now also do tangling guidance lessons every week from home and slowly but surely my path in this direction is widening.  I have classes for adults and kids and I am elated and inspired after every single session.  To see people in awe of their tiles and eyes sparkling in disbelief that they have created what is in front of them. I emphasise mindfulness, slowness and appreciation in all my lessons.  I also firmly believe in creativity and that tangling is abstract. It does not need to look like anything except a flow from your heart. It is awesome  to see my own children producing beautiful tiles and learning how to zen. Instilling a way of being through mindfulness to adults and kids is so important and I can see this happening after just 3 lessons.


Top are daughter Jessie’s tiles, age 15, below, Son Nico, age 12

Currently I am displaying my works of art in our local art gallery– Bright Street Gallery for their theme called landscapes of the mind – that is perfect for my art. They have also asked asked me now to become their in-house tangling teacher which will further spread the interests and benefits of tangling. I felt honored. 



I want to thank the group admins (you know who you are) for helping me to this point and to all the group members who have encouraged me every day and given me goosebumps and a huge smile on my face.  I am glowing at this point in my life and without you all I would definitely not be here.



Here is to Tangling South Africa and growing this worldwide family with students from here!

My words to you all out there…..

Enjoy tangling and live it through the ups and downs of every day life.  

Your tangling is your soul…… let the pen flow. Have fun with it and never be shy.  In our modern day hectic world tangling is mind yoga.  It brings calm and soul growth in a simple yet powerful way.


Lots of Zen hugs”


Everything is possible….

step by step….. 

day by day”



Every one of these I write seems to be perfectly timed to be encouraging in my own life! I’ve been trying to Tangle for days but one read through Anja’s profile has me reaching for my pen again! It is wonderful that South Africa has you there! I sincerely hope that you have the opportunity to attend CZT training someday, although as a single mom myself, I know what an undertaking that is!  Thank you, Anja, for sharing your art and your story! It inspired me to keep trying even though my creative spark seems to be missing!

The remainder of this post contains no words, just incredible art!









It’s a String Thing #194

This week’s “It’s a String Thing” challenge is something a bit different. Adele Bruno is premiering a new Tangle called “Trella” on her Blog, (click the It’s a String Thing button on the sidebar to quickly link to Adele’s Site) If you would like to see the Trella step out, here is the direct link to it. Adele has had some of her CZT group as well as her advanced tangling class trying the Tangle out and has tasked us with using it or a variation on a simple curved X string. The 2 patterns chosen to supplement Trella are both Zentangle originals and classics by Maria Thomas, N’Zeppel, and Florz.

Anytime I start a new Tangle, I get out the sketchpad and after practicing the steps I make a Tangle “play” page. Basically, this allows me to explore different variations or ways to draw it that would make the Tangle mine. So instead of posting the steps this week, I’m going to show my early tiles and play page because something interesting happened when I finished up my first tile. This is my first play page for Trella.


Next I started my tile (first tile), shown next, but I stopped after adding Florz and shading it. It looked good but as I was thinking about whether or not to add a fill in the blank florz squares, I began to wonder if Trella would work as a fragment in a reticulum (turning it into a grid form).

So, I took the sketchpad back out and began playing with Trella in a grid. Here’s the sample tile with a few variations I tried out.

I liked the heart shaped one best and that’s what I used on my final tile. I hope this post isn’t too technical but I thought some might want to see the process I used to arrive at the grid form. As always, your comments and questions are welcome either here in comments or by email (

I’m excited by how quickly this site is gaining interest! Thank you all for stopping here and please leave a like if you enjoy a post! Each one I get is very much appreciated!

Artist Focus: Alexandria Diaz

Welcome back! This week’s artist focus is on a terrific artist named Alexandria Diaz. You might have seen her YouTube videos or her gorgeous gemstones in Tangle It! Pattern Club on Facebook. Her art caught my eye immediately when I joined the group and I had no idea she was such a busy artist! I cant wait to go check out her Etsy store and YouTube channel for myself! Here is the lovely Alexandria in her own words!


“Hi there, I’m Alexandria (also known as Artzyfartzy on YouTube & Instagram). As long as I can recall, I’ve loved to be creative. I can remember as far back as 6 years old, I would hunt around outside looking for interesting finds that I could add to my little stash of craft supplies. I was very passionate about drawing as a child. Into my twenties I focused mostly on scrapbooking and as time went on I have tried just about every craft imaginable! I enjoy crocheting, sewing, making jewelry and bookbinding. During my early 30’s I started my own crafty consignment shop online called Fashion Compassion. This was way before Etsy even existed! 🙂

About seven years ago I stumbled upon the art of Zentangling and I was immediately hooked. During this past year I started my own Youtube channel to share my Zentangle art. On my channel I demonstrate how to draw different Tangles and Zen Gems. I also do some time lapse videos of my bigger pieces of work.


I recently started another YouTube channel on bookbinding. I enjoy journaling and I love making my own junk journals. I have an Etsy shop with some listings of my handmade journals as well.
Zentangling will always be my favorite form of art. I really love combining color with my Tangles. I love working with watercolor and distress ink to create vivid backgrounds to make my tangles really pop.
Pattern Collections is a fabulous website and I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of the Artist Focus section. And remember, don’t look for happiness – create it!



Where you can find me:

Artzyfartzy on Youtube:

My Etsy shop:

Alexandria Diaz Bookbinding Arts on Youtube:



Alexandria is so creative and talented! It has been a real pleasure getting to know her and finding out some behind the scenes information, as well as stalking her amazing Etsy store! I encourage you all to check out her work. Alexandria, thank you so much for sharing a bit of your life and art with us! I’m excited to see what you post next!😁

Diva Challenge #315

 Hello and welcome back to The Tireless Tangler! It’s time for the weekly Diva Challenge. This weeks challenge was to get to know the Tangle “Molygon” better. To make friends with it. Sigh! I love Molygon. It was my very first tangleation about a year ago. I love the tangle but I’m always displeased with my results. Shaking hands are not friendly with Molygon! Maria Thomas said to “keep the lines consistent”. Hmmm…after 6 starts (and fails) and yes I know this is not true to the Zentangle® Method, (but they didnt have to post online for all to see) so after some thinking, finally I reminded myself I was missing the point of the challenge. I took out the sketchpad and played with Molygon until I came up with my own version that would be easier for me to draw. It’s closer to a “flux” in a molygon fashion but I’m sticking with it!


Diva Challenge Tile 315




It’s A String Thing #193 (for Lily Moon)

This week’s, It’s a String Thing, #193 is chosen to support the artist Lily Moon. Lily recently posted on her blog about the deadly brain tumor plaguing her daughter, for which she was given no hope. Her granddaughter is 12 and Lily’s son is autistic and depends on her completely. She stated that she is dealing with this tragedy alone and therefore is struggling to create anything. Her grief is palpable and breaks my heart. Lily has been a mainstay in the Zentangle world for quite some time and her blog and Facebook groups are extremely popular. What happened last week was that almost every Zentangle challenge was dedicated to her and calls to use Lily’s wonderful Tangles, found here on her blog, were everywhere.  I was not at all surprised  by the thousands of artists from all over the world using her patterns in their art. The thing that gives me pause, again and again, is the clinging to tangling as a means to persevere through physical and emotional pain by hurting people everywhere. This isn’t just me, or Lily or even a dozen here or there. The more artist focus articles I write, the more it hits me that almost every person out there tangling has the same story of the Zentangle ® Method saving them in some way. I find this extraordinary! I know that it’s true for me and every Tangler I’ve talked to. With this thought in mind I would ask you non-tanglers out there to consider if this is something that could help you, or someone you know? You don’t need a lot of money to do this. You don’t need a lot of time the projects are small. You just need the will to begin. I don’t get paid for these statements. I just believe with my whole heart that this method can change us for the better and give us a great coping mechanism for pain, grief, loss, anxiety, depression and lots of other conditions. Food for thought!

Okay, sorry, back to IAST #193. Adele Bruno choose for string this week a modified version of Lily’s “chop” or her artist’s mark. It looks like this.
The tangles chosen for this week were:

Try doing a hashtag search for these tangles! The sheer number of tiles will astound you! 

My Iast#193 tile

Artist Focus:  Sarah Fowler 

I have a special treat for you today! Sarah Fowler, of the United Kingdom, is one of my  first and most supportive artist friends from the Zentangle® Mosaic App. She creates the most marvelous marbled tiles for tangling! They are so lovely, I struggle to put a pen to them.

Sarah also has created 5 unique patterns, one of which, Strutz, was chosen as the featured pattern recently at Whether it’s tangling, deconstructing patterns or creating beautiful marbled tiles, Sarah is truly an artistic soul. She was one of the first people to comment kindly on my work and I’ve recently realized just how big a deal this type of positive feedback is for an artist! I’m speaking for myself but I have seen plenty of evidence that most artists feel this way. We are hyper critical about our creations, afraid to let others see it for fear of rejection, yet desperate to share it and get feedback. Rejection of our work is like disrespecting our children! So, for the most part, we hide that vulnerability and our art! All of you artistic types probably experience something similar, so you know! Sarah Fowler helped me learn to be unafraid (at least within the safe environment of the Mosaic app) and as I began posting art, I discovered I’m just one of the group. We all feel inadequate or are too picky about showing our art, but we do it anyway. Thanks Sarah for your encouragement of me as well as all the support you give to the community at large!

Now it’s time to meet the lovely Sarah Fowler!

Sarah Fowler

Sarah writes:  “I graduated from Plymouth University back in the eighties (back then it was a lowly Polytechnic) in Environmental Science. I had wanted to go out and save the planet from the evils of the human race, but no one wanted to pay you back then, so ended up on a conservation scheme teaching primary school kids about their local wildlife, which I loved, until they cut the funding.

Big Dave and Albert! Read Albert’s story here!

Then got a job at London Zoo in the insect House! That was an adventure! Then finally settled into a job learning to be a fingerprint officer and scene examiner for the London Metroplitan Police.  I stuck with this for almost twenty years, met my beloved hubby and had two fantastic boys.

Then about eight years ago a toxic mix of undiagnosed glandular fever, work related stress and parental bereavements forced me to give up work and reassess what I was doing to myself.

I slowly got better and regained some of the old me and am now working as a relief manager for a local charity shop for Ageuk.

I discovered Zentangle in August 2015 through my sister in-law who lives in Texas. I was having a particularly difficult time coping with two rather challenging volunteers at the shop. As my self-confidence and ability to cope with stress weren’t what they used to be, they were starting to get to me, when my sister in law suggested I try Zentangle as a way to deal with how these people and how the situation was affecting me.

Well…. talk about a lightbulb moment!……..learning zentangle was like rewiring my brain…I could draw something beautiful without worrying how it would turn out. No decision making, no changing it halfway through, no mistakes! At the end of each tile I felt like a new person, more relaxed and able to tackle what life would throw at me. My mother was an artist and I grew up always frustrated with my attempts at ‘art’, as it would never turn out how I wanted it to!

Like so many other people, zentangle just swept me away into another world of discovery and I have loved every minute. I had hoped to attend CZT seminar 28 but had a bit of a blip so had to cancel. I hope to get there one day as I would love to teach zentangle. The Zentangle® Mosaic App has had an amazingly positive effect on my tangling and my confidence…the unparalleled supportiveness of the zentangle community has really made such a difference to my outlook on life!”

Wow! Sarah I know it doesn’t seem so to you, but you’ve had some amazingly interesting life experiences! Thanks  so much for sharing your story, your art, your compassion and your positive attitude. They’ve made a difference in my life!

Many of Sarah’s patterns are featured here in these pieces and if you are interested in her patterns, you can find her step-outs here. My personal favorite is c-snake. Well, and Strutz…Which will be yours?

Apparently, good friend CZT Terri Delaune had a hand in naming a couple of these! (She is quite handy to know!) If you try one of Sarah’s patterns be sure to # pattern name so Sarah can find and appreciate it!