Artist Focus: Tracy Lucero, CZT

This week’s artist focus features CZT, Tracy Lucero. She’s a bit of a mystery and  tends to stay in the background! But when she does post, WOW! It’s something spectacular! I had no idea she was a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT)! I first became aware of Tracy’s art in Eni Oken’s Art Club. Tracy’s art had a polish to it that you don’t usually see in beginners like myself. I began to watch for her posts. When she joined the Facebook group Tangle It! Pattern Club, I started planning this article! I love merging the art with the artist!

 

Here is what Tracy shared about her art, life and the Zentangle ® Method.

“Hi everyone!  I’m Tracy Lucero and I live in Overland Park Kansas, USA. I have a wonderful husband, 3 boys, a lovely daughter-in-law, 2 Great Danes and a cat.  I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember.  Drawing, painting, crocheting, mosaic, etc.  The list is long and I love trying new things.  Probably the one thing I’ve always done though, is doodling.  Drawing on pretty much anything I could get my hands on – even things I shouldn’t be drawing on.  🙂  

I don’t quite remember how, but I found a book online called, “One Zentangle A Day” by Beckah Krahula, CZT.  The introductory pages talked about the creators Rick and Maria, the history of Zentangle and most importantly, the  Zen that comes from tangling.  I was hooked.  I worked on the lessons each day until I finished the book.  It was so much fun and I loved the “structure” of learning each tangle and creating little pieces of art combining different tangles together.   I joined the Zentangle blog and when the Seminar dates were announced in 2016 to become a CZT,  I knew I had to go.  I have an extremely stressful job, so when I got done with Seminar, I couldn’t believe something in this world could be so uplifting and people could be so kind.  I hadn’t felt that happy and at peace in a long time I realized.  It was quite literally, one of the best experiences of my life.   The positive, creative energy from CZT Seminar #23 was so wonderful.  I’m pretty sure I drove my husband crazy when I got home and went on and on about it.     

One of my favorite things about Zentangle isn’t just the art, it’s the sense of community, love, friendship, and positive support from people I don’t even know.  It doesn’t matter if you’re from Kansas City, Canada, Switzerland or anywhere across the globe, everyone is just there to be encouraging and helpful.  I went to ZenAgain in Nov 2016 and it too, was such a great experience.  I joined Eni Oken’s Art Club this year and I find I really enjoy the structure of learning a specific lesson and working on that challenge until the next one comes out.  The positive feedback and “caring critiques” have really helped me to grow as an artist. Seeing all the stunning artwork posted is so much fun.  It’s not always easy to post my artwork online, but it’s getting easier and more fun as I become more confident in my ability.   I look forward to more learning, meeting new people and growing as an artist.”

Tracy is another member of this great, compassionate community, that continues to awe me with it’s creativity and warmth for others. If you would like to follow Tracy’s Facebook page, you can find her here! There are many, many stories like Tracy’s, and each one is full of encouragement and hope! Take a moment and visit Zentangle.com. Find out for yourself why this Method has changed so many lives!

Amanda Rose Rambo: Faceted Gem Masterclass

Faceted gem done in watercolor by Amanda Rose Rambo

This week I am honored to focus again on the Gem Queen, and my friend, Amanda Rose Rambo! This artist never stops producing quality products for teaching gem art. The above gem was done with watercolor! It’s one of the loveliest gem renderings I’ve seen done free hand.

In the artist focus I did on her a few months ago, I learned she had a Facebook group dedicated to those passionate about gem drawing. I immediately joined because well, her art is amazing. She frequently adds video tutorials and exclusive content just for her “Gem Ho’s”, and I am happy to be one. Amanda’s new Gem Coloring Book is getting ready for publication, and we’re currently having an exclusive coloring contest, the winner of which will have their art published on the cover, runner-up may be featured on the back cover. I’m totally focusing on gems for the next week!

In this post, I wanted to highlight her Faceted Gems, Master Class. It’s on etsy.com here. Amanda graciously allowed me participate in the master class and it is terrific! Below, find the art, both before the class and after, of several of Amanda’s “gem ho’s”, including myself!

Amanda’s Faceted Gems Master Class is a 3 part series of videos accompanied by a short ebook that includes links to the videos and material lists, as well as some really great coloring pages for practice. Amanda takes you through 3 different gems types using her technique for faceted gems.

I found the first video the most important as to the techniques used. I’ll admit, my first try was disappointing but, practice makes everything better and after the 3rd try they started to improve. The 2nd and 3rd parts talk about shading and highlighting incorporating different shapes, colors and facet configurations. These are my weakest areas for sure and I feel it’s intimidating to most people. Amanda and I have agreed to disagree about which pencils rule! I am a Prismacolor Premier Soft-core pencil lover (but I own both) and she swears by Faber-Castell’s Polychromos oil-based colored pencils. Amanda recently borrowed a full set of Prismacolors and used them exclusively for a month, so i can’t truly complain about her preference. For me, my Prismacolors are soft and smooth on like silk. Using odorless mineral spirits helps to dissolve the binding agents (here it would be wax or oil) and unlock the pigments on both but the Prismacolors seem much richer pigmented to me. This is an ongoing disagreement among colored pencil artists and one that wont be solved today! Here’s an example of both pencils in similar colors blended with odorless mineral spirits.

 

Here is my practice page for the gems covered in class. By the time I did the last green, I felt I was getting the hang of it. It’s not very good but given it’s copy paper (the cheap kind) which limits the amount of layering it would accept from the pencils, maybe you can understand.

Once I finished the videos and practice sheet I was ready for something more challenging.  Here’s my work in progress on one of the contest pages.  There is a huge difference in my confidence and understanding of how faceted gems are drawn. They attracted me but intimidated as well. I have put off learning this for some time and now wish I’d done it much sooner! Of course, now I want to learn the watercolor gem at the top!

I love Amanda’s tutorials because her presence is so relaxed it reminds me to have fun and take my time. I’m pretty pleased with this one, though the white lines are a true challenge for my shaky hands.

This next art is by colorist Sonya Griffin, also in Amanda’s Facebook group.

 

 

 

 

 

This last one will be stunning when finished! I love the ice blue gem!

Next is colorist Kim Henderson. She is really good at these!

Lastly, we have colorist Mara Lula, who definitely has a talent for these gems!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to all the artists in the Gem Ho’s Facebook group who allowed me to share their art with you!  Amanda’s Faceted Gems Master Class is a perfect course for the gem enthusiast!

Being in Amanda’s Facebook group is a great way to get advice, see exclusive content and videos and even receive discounts on her merchandise. I was also was given a sneak peek at some of the coloring pages from Amanda Rose Rambo’s newest book, Color a Creation, Gemstones Volume 5 being released soon at Amazon.com. These pages have an elegant look and lots of creative room to explore.

Here is a preview of some of the pages.

 

You can find Amanda Rose Rambo on facebook at facebook.com/vitruvianart

On Youtube at http://youtube.com/c/vitruvianart

On Etsy at etsy.com/shop/vitruvianart

Now newly on Patreon/vitruvianart

And on Instagram @vitruvianart

 

Dont forget to come back to see the contest entries! 

Artist Focus: Debra Huff

 

 

Welcome to thetirelesstangler.com! Home to some of the greatest abstract art you’ll see anywhere! (Oh and some of my art too! 😀) This week’s artist does not disapoint with her incredibly beautiful work! I think besides her art, what I love about Debra is that she struggles with the same insecurity as I about displaying her art. Once you’ve seen it, you will be amazed at this but it’s how most of us feel. Now imagine this blogger is bugging you for art and a bio and you’re really stressed! Thank you Debra, for sharing your beautiful art and story with us all. You inspire me. 

 

I’ve been a fan of Debra’s art for some time. She seems to hide in the background but when she posts, its always stunning. She has an innate ability that brings out the grace in patterns and finds organic ways to combine them that is, well, inspiring.

 

 

Debra Huff

 Here’s what Debra shared about herself, her art and the Zentangle ® Method.

“Hi, my name is Debra Huff. I can overcome my fear and call myself an artist. 

I stumbled on Zentangle about two years ago. I have an auto-immune disease that affects my lungs, heart and other systems. I had a sudden decline with my heart and felt a driving need to find something new I could learn and grow with as well as reduce stress while living with very limited activity. 

 

I came across an article in Psychology Today about meditative drawing called Zentangle. I googled the word and saw images that reminded me of childhood squiggle drawings that I would fill in with shapes and patterns. I read everything I could find online about Zentangle, bought a multi media journal and began drawing. 

 

I found Zentangle Facebook groups and challenges. I lurked trying the challenges and filling pages. It took a lot of courage for the first posting, but there was such a positive response I continued. 

 

 

The lessons, feedback and suggestions on Eni Oken’s Shading group spurred my growth and ignited my passion to learn more and more. 

 

 

 

The community/world connection was started with Stephanie Jennifer‘s Traveling Tangle Project. I couldn’t get enough of holding this beautiful start from someone halfway across the world, that was made just for me. 

 

Each group I am part of holds that special community. There is compassion, connection and love that fosters hope in the craziness of today’s world through the Zentangle meditative art.”

 

 

 

 

 

You can find and follow Debra on her Facebook page here.

 

I chose Debra this week for a couple of reasons. First, of course, her artwork is incredible. To know she’s been drawing for just 2 years means there may still be hope for myself and others who struggle with calling ourselves artists. The second reason is that she mirrors the struggle that I, and so many other new artists, have in trying to appreciate and share their own art and ideas. She is as supportive and compassionate to others as they are to her. After all, we all share this journey. Some are more successful than others, that’s true, but the real lessons and values found in the Zentangle® Method aren’t really about art at all. They’re different for each person, as we each gain something intensely personal from Zentangle®. As different as we all are, this shared journey is cherished by all of us. It’s what makes this community so special.

A few of the Zentangle groups Debra and I share are:

Eni Oken’s Art Club on Facebook (Art Club members) (enioken.com)

Tangle it! Pattern Club, Pattern-collections.com on Facebook 

Shading Zentangle and Beyond (Eni Oken) (those who follow Eni’s ebooks and lessons) enioken.com

Square One:  Purely Zentangle 

Zen and Zin Facebook group (DrShazia Azmi)

The Traveling Tangles Project (Stephanie Jennifer)

 

Artist Focus: Ching Weng

我備感榮幸可以為這位禪繞畫認證教師同時也是藝術家的Ching Weng(白雪老師)寫一個專題。她來自台灣,我覺得在不同語言中要一起努力合作是很有趣也富挑戰性的。我們都是用Google翻譯來溝通,雖然常常翻譯不精準,我們還是試圖用這個方法一起合作完成這篇文章。
以下是這位亞裔藝術家Ching Weng(白雪)用她的語言-中文,翻譯給使用中文的人們閱讀的,包含他的家人、朋友與粉絲們。在中文文章的下方,是我用英文撰寫的文章給所有Ching Weng(白雪)在英語世界的粉絲與朋友們閱讀。(希望也有一點我的粉絲)
我當一位翻譯者已經許多年。當然,其中不包括中文 ! 對我來說能夠用這種方式跨越文化跟語言的隔閡真的十分有趣。
這裡有翻譯的按鈕可以給讀者直接點擊,但是基於我想要能妥當的傳達在這次合作中的文化多元性,我希望讓白雪老師親自用他的母語來撰寫翻譯中文版本。再者,儘管距離很遠,但是在心靈上和冥想作畫以及畫禪繞圖樣的方式也會是大家所能共享的一個經驗。也許這些文化與地區的不同就是所有禪繞畫愛好者最大的共通點。

I am incredibly honored to focus this week on Certified Zentangle Teacher, and artist Ching Weng (Snow).  She is in Taiwan and it has been especially fun and challenging working between languages! We are using Google Translate to communicate and while it isn’t perfect, we’ve still managed to come up with a post by working together. Below is Asian Artist Ching Weng(snow)’s translation in her language for her friends, family and fans! Following the Chinese post, is my English translation for her English speaking friends and fans (and hopefully a few of mine)! I’ve been a translator/interpreter for many years! Not in Chinese of course! This is so fun for me to cross language and cultural borders in this way! I have a translation button here for people to use but I felt to adequately convey the vast cultural diversity in this case, I wanted Ching Weng to have the chance to have this in her language first! More telling, perhaps, than the differences are the similarities between tanglers, despite the vast distances, in spirit as well as in the shared experience of meditative drawing and the Zentangle ® Method.

CZT, Ching Weng in Taiwan

白雪的禪繞寶石作品是我看到過最可愛的寶石設置!她精確的線條和細膩的優雅帶給了大家一場視覺盛宴!她是一個不可思議的藝術家,我愛她表達的言語和想法。這是藝術家和禪繞認證教師 Ching Weng(白雪)談到禪繞畫,藝術和她的生活!

These are some of the loveliest gem settings I’ve seen drawn! Her precise lines and delicate, graceful figures attract the eye to a visual feast! She is an incredible artist and I love how expressive are her words and thoughts. Here’s what artist Ching Weng (Snow) says about Zentangle, art, and her life!

我非常高興和榮幸能成為你藝術家專輯的焦點人物。

我一年前開始學習禪繞畫,禪繞畫改變了我的思想和生活,也使我更有自信,我在去年年底成為禪繞認證教師(CZT Asia#1),現在致力於禪繞畫延伸藝術(ZIA )的創作與教學,特別是畫禪繞寶石,這是我想專研的藝術領域,希望你們能喜歡我的作品。

“I am very happy and honored to be your artist focus.

I started learning Zentangle over a year ago. Zentangle painted my mind and life, and made me more confident. At the end of last year, I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT Asia #1). I am now committed to creating Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) and teaching. I especially like creating Zengems, which is the art field I want to study. I hope that you will like my work.

嗨!我是Ching Weng(白雪),住在台灣,是一位高中老師和禪繞認證教師(CZT),熱愛文學與藝術,從小就很喜歡塗鴉,但是從來沒有接受過美術的訓練,後來因為升學考試的壓力,讓我放下了畫筆,也停止了藝術創作,甚至遺忘了畫畫時的平靜與美好。

I am living in Taiwan, and I am a high school teacher and a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). I love literature and art. In childhood I liked free hand drawing but never received formal art training. Because of the pressure of an entrance exam, I put down the pens and pencils, but also stopped creating art completely, even forgetting that art can be calming and beautiful.

直到2016年的5月,我任教的學校舉辦了一場Zentangle初階研習,當時的我對Zentangle 不了解也沒有興趣,但是因為我14歲的女兒想參加這個研習,我就陪她一起上課了,經過了四個小時,我對Zentangle深深著迷,愛上了畫畫時專注而放鬆的感覺。之後我每天都會抽空畫畫,我的女兒也不斷給予我鼓勵,還建議我設立FB的粉絲專頁,讓我透過分享作品而得到更多成就感和創作的動力。


In May 2016, I taught at a school that held a beginning Zentangle class. At that time, I did not understand Zentangle and was not interested, but because my 14-year-old daughter wanted to participate in this course, I accompanied her to the class. After four hours, I was deeply fascinated by Zentangle, and fell in love with drawing and focusing on the feeling of relaxation. After that, I took the time to draw every day. My daughter also continued to encourage me, but suggested that I set up a Facebook fan page that lets me share my work and gives me more of a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

 

      從此我的創作能量又被重新啟動,並源源不絕,因為創作和分享讓我變得更有自信,生活也更豐富充實。

Since then my creative energy has been restored, and is endless. Creating and sharing my art allows me to be more confident, as well as enriching my life.

Shih Misha是我在禪繞延伸藝術(ZIA)上的啟蒙老師,她的作品和為人都很有個人風格,她曾經跟我說:「如果你想成為一位傑出的禪繞藝術家,就要保有自己的風格和特色,不要盲從,也不要隨波逐流。」這番話對我影響很深,也讓我更清楚自己的路要怎麼去走。

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1645269925730856

And instgram: shihmisha

CZT, Shih Misha is the teacher who inspired me to start creating Zentangle Inspired Art. She focuses on ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) creation as well. Her art and demeanor have a bold personal style.  She told me, “If you want to be an outstanding artist, focus on your own style and characteristics, do not follow blindly like sheep, do not follow the crowd.” These words affected me deeply, let me know how to go my own way.

在我的創作歷程中,我最喜歡畫禪陀羅(Zendala)和禪繞寶石(Zengem)。我喜歡禪陀羅的均衡美,而寶石和禪繞圖樣結合之後,會顯得更有生命力,因此我的作品中,大部分都會出現寶石。許多人稱讚我的寶石畫得很逼真,其實這是不斷練習而成的,我至今已經畫了超過300顆寶石,只要你有熱情並且能堅持下去,一定能畫得跟我一樣好,甚至更好。 

In my art career, I like Zendalas and Zengems. I am obsessed with the balanced beauty of the zendala. After combining Zendalas and Zengems, the combination is even more beautiful. So in most of my work, gems will appear. Many people have praised my gems as being very vivid. In fact, this is from constantly practicing. I have already painted more than 300 gems! As long as you have the enthusiasm and can stick to it, you will be able to draw as well as me, and maybe even better! It is good.

不為自己設限,就能創造無限的可能,將心動化為行動,就能看到人生的另一片風景。


Without placing restrictions upon yourself, you have the potential to do anything. Actions speak louder than words, and if you put what’s in your mind into practice, you can know this world from a totally different perspective.





感謝Cyndee Pelley的賞識,讓我可以在這裡和大家分享我的故事,如果你們喜歡我的作品,歡迎到我的粉專和IG看看。 ”

Thanks to Cyndee Pelley’s appreciation so that I can share my story here with you. If you like my work, you’re welcome to visit my Facebook and Instagram to see.”

Facebook Fan Page: https://m.facebook.com/Snow.creationpack/

or my Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/zendala.snow/

Author’s Note:

Author: Ching Weng (Snow)

Author : Cyndee Pelley (Thetirelesstangler.com)

Translator extraordinaire: Simon Hsieh

這個專題是從一篇小文章開始的。我原本完全沒料想到要完成這項任務是那麼的艱鉅且耗時,然而Google翻譯軟體於中文翻譯上的謬誤與文意不通使我們的合作更加困難。不過我有幸得到Ching Weng(白雪)的兒子的貼心相助,協助我們在語言的溝通上更為順暢,這意味著我們可以對文章加上一些細微的修改而讓文意更通順、也更貼近中文表達的美感。

This article began as a simple profile. I had NO idea how difficult and time consuming it would be. Google translation and the Chinese language do not work well together! I was very lucky to have Ching Weng (Snow)’s son, Simon Hsieh, volunteer to help with the translation. This meant that we could add subtle nuances and stay closer to the beauty and meaning of the Chinese language and culture.

Thank you to Ching Weng and her son Simon Hsieh for making this a wonderful project!

Artist Focus: Carlos Cano

Welcome back to thetirelesstangler.com! 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!

 

 

Artist Focus: Anja Meeter

 Hello and welcome to the tirelesstangler.com! 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 Pattern-collections.com.

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!

Anja_Meeter_image_17.jpg

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

Anja_Meeter_image_2.jpg

 

Anja_Meeter_image_19.jpg

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

Anja_Meeter_image_18.jpg

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 :-).


Anja_Meeter_image_14.jpg

 

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


Anja_Meeter_image_15.jpg

 

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.  


Anja_Meeter_image_16.jpg


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.  


Anja_Meeter_image_13.jpg


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.


 

 Anja_Meeter_image_17.jpg


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. 


Anja_Meeter_image_12.jpg

 

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.

 

Anja_Meeter_image_10.jpg


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”


Anja_Meeter_image_1.jpg

 

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!


Anja_Meeter_image_9.jpg


 


 


Anja_Meeter_image_6.jpg


Anja_Meeter_image_5.jpg


 


Anja_Meeter_image_11.jpg


Anja_Meeter_image_3.jpg

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!

Adc7.jpg

“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.

ADC_6.jpg


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!

 

Adc8.jpg

Where you can find me:

Artzyfartzy on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/eeknmeek

My Etsy shop: http://www.fashioncompassion.etsy.com

Alexandria Diaz Bookbinding Arts on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIc-bHACD3Mep5SEl6DmEw

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexandriaiscrafty

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/artzyfartzy”

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!😁

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 TanglePatterns.com. 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!