Art Club: Here Be Dragons!

Disclaimer: All Art included in this post is copyrighted by the artists who created them! Most are watermarked but even the ones that aren’t, are still protected under copyright laws. They may not be downloaded, pinned, used or replicated by anyone other than the submitting artist. All artists here retain all rights to their creations. ©️2017, thetirelesstangler.com

Dragons! Something most people would love to be able to draw and now you can! Eni Oken released a new lesson about 3 weeks ago and it was a huge, dragon-filled success! Everyone loved it and I’m so grateful to everyone in art club who offered their dragons for this post! From polished artist to beginner, you will see just how awesome and easy this lesson is to draw! Within an hour of watching the lesson, this was my partially completed dragon! Not bad!

All of Eni’s lessons are great and this was amazing! I couldn’t believe how easy this was. You might be thinking “it wouldn’t be that easy for me. I’m no artist!” This makes me smile because a year ago I would have said the same thing. If you are looking for a great lesson to try, this one is a winner! I will say that this lesson is intermediate level, so some tangling experience is helpful. Eni Oken has a great ebook/video lesson library centered around beginner’s needs, so that may be a better place to begin, however I highly recommend trying a video lesson, like TangledDragons, too. There are so many nuances to the videos, having Eni Oken explain the why and how to while watching her lessons, really brings it all together for me.

This is my first complete dragon! It was really simple and honestly, no one could have convinced me that try number 2 would go this great. In our Facebook group for Eni Oken’s Art Club, we have members who have posted more than 10 dragons already. Of course, I’ve been writing and haven’t had the time to draw more. You will all be amazed at what they’ve accomplished.

Some of the artists in art club wanted to share their thoughts about Eni Oken and Art Club. Each of these artists are at a different place in their journey but we travel the road together.

Jenna Black

Jenna’s dragon shoes

Jenna’s shoes side view

“Tangled Dragons was one of my favorites of Eni’s lessons (how many times have I said that?), and I’m addicted. But while the dragon drawing addiction was still upon me, I happened on a new addiction of tangling on white canvas sneakers. So I figured I’d combine my addictions for a pair of dragon-tangled sneakers. (Here’s hoping I do a decent job of matching on the second sneaker….!)” – Jenna Black, member of  Eni Oken’s Art Club 

Visit Jenna’s Etsy store here! Her hand painted pendants are stunning!

Night Magic, available now!
Descendant: the Complete Nikki Glass Series, available now!
Hand painted pendants: www.Etsy.com/shop/JennaBlackZen
www.JennaBlack.com

 

http://www.tandika.com/2017/08/daily-zen-2017080901/

 Visit Tandika.com and check out her terrific blog!

Sallie Binder

Sallie Binder

Sallie Binder

“Anyone interested in improving their interest and understanding of art and at the same time become a part of an incredibly loving & supportive group of people with all levels of artist expertise, from beginners like me to more accomplished artist like many in the group, then Eni Oken’s Art Club is the place you want to be. I joined this group about 6 months ago and it was the best decision I have ever made. I’ve not only improved my artistic skills considerably, the joy factor in my life has immensely increased. Now a day with art is like a day without sunshine. Do yourself a favor and look into this opportunity at enioken.com. You won’t regret it!!” -Sallie Binder, member of Eni Oken’s Art Club

 

Mabel Yap

 

Mabel Yap

 

Mabel Yap

“Eni’s classes have constantly challenged me beyond my comfort zone and brought my tangling to places I’ve never thought possible.” – Mabel Yap, member of Eni Oken’s Art Club 

 

Violette Kolly

“I always look forward to Eni Oken’s videos, every lesson gives you the opportunity to discover new techniques, and make new progress. And what a fun! I never thought I would ever draw dragons!!!” -Violette Kolly, member of art club 

 

Carrie James

“This was my third attempt at a dragon following Eni Oken’s wonderfully inspiring and step by step technique.  Really amazed myself, suspend your disbelief and give tangling a try.“ – Carrie James, member of Eni Oken’s Art Club 

 

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Carmen Clayton

 

Carmen Clayton

 “I have gone crazy over the dragon challenge Eni Oken threw out there to us! If there are any tanglers out there or someone who would like to learn how to tangle, I urge you to join Eni Oken’s Art Club! Not only do you learn how to draw and shade properly for a low monthly payment but you get at least two videos/lessons a month with a lot of interaction from your new found friends and Eni too (friend) helping, encouraging, and supporting you in you tangling or even personal encouragement if you want to share! It is a fun group and Eni has taught us, me at least, a lot of tiny details! Come and join the fun and learn!!” – Carmen Clayton, member of Eni Oken’s Art Club

 

Vivica Chenoweth

 

Vivica Chenoweth

“I love Eni’s Art Club.  I’ve learned so much from her and my art just keeps getting better.  The Tangled Dragons lesson was fantastic!  Eni’s videos are the perfect combination of Zentangle art and professional instruction.   Her detailed directions and tips are wonderful and easy to follow.  Most of all they are fun!” – Vivica R. Chenoweth, member of Eni Oken’s Art Club 

Follow Vivica on Instagram:  @vrchenoweth

 

Magda Wellens

 

Magda Wellens

 

Magda Wellens

 

Liz Brott

 

Liz Brott

Follow Liz on Instagram @tangledrebel

 

Sandra Mitchell

 

Sandra Mitchell

Sandra Mitchell

 

Sandra Mitchell

“I love the Art Club. Without it I would never have tried to draw dragons. I never would have tried them and I love drawing them. It has totally opened new doors for me. And the support I have received from everyone is worth the world to me.” – Sandra Mitchell, member of Eni Oken’s Art Club 

 

Philippa Napper

 

Philippa Napper

  

Debra Huff

 

Debra Huff

 

Debra Huff

 

Tracy Lucero

 

Tracy Lucero

Tracy Lucero

 

Annie Taylor

Follow Annie’s business here  http://www.merakistudioalcala.es/ Or here on her personal blog http://www.stillchocolateannie.blogspot.com/

Karen Stedman

 

Karen Stedman

Karen Stedman

Karen Stedman

 

 

Denise Dineen

Denise Dineen

 

Vicki Fassett

 

 

Mary Hicks

Jana Bauer

Tara Provost

Tara Provost

 

Tara Provost

 

Tara Provost

 

Ann Barbro

Ann Barbro

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Heidi Litzke

 

This post took on a life of it’s own. The more dragons that came in, the clearer it became how this lesson resonated with members. Click here to get Eni Oken’s TangledDragon Lesson! If you’d like to join Eni Okens Art Club click here.

Now, for one final disclaimer!

This blog is mine, the ideas for posts, words, and intent are all mine. Eni Oken has graciously allowed me to become her first affiliate marketer. Since I’m writing about art club anyway, and I’ve been searching for a way to defray the rising costs of running this blog, this seemed a perfect fit. What does this mean for you? If you should decide to join art club and decide to use the link on my site, I may earn a small commission. This is the only business arrangement Eni Oken and I have. She does not pay me for advertising or for promoting her site, or Art Club. Enioken.com is not responsible for any content on this site nor any mistakes that may be made by me. Eni Oken is an amazing teacher and person and it is with gratitude for her contributions to my life and art that I write so passionately about Art Club! – Cyndee Pelley, thetirelesstangler.com

Artist Focus: Philippa Napper

Welcome back to thetirelesstangler.com and also pattern-collections.com. I have another terrific Artist Focus post for you. Many months ago, I did my first artist focus on a friend from the UK, Sarah Fowler. This week’s artist in focus is Philippa Napper, who is my 2nd artist from England. Philippa is an artist for whom art seems instinctual. (This is my impression) She seems to know which direction to go while I’m floundering for understanding. It is true that she has some education in the arts, but she seems to follow her heart and the results are absolutely amazing! Here’s what Philippa shared about herself, her family and her art!

“I am 42 years old and live in Birmingham, England. I went to University in Liverpool to train to be a PE teacher, but I also had Art & Design as my second subject, although I didn’t actually teach it until my 14th year of teaching! I teach in an inner-city Church of England School in Walsall – just north of Birmingham, which is predominantly Muslim. This might sound odd, but the families really respect the Christian values, which are essentially the same for any faith, and so they send their children to us. It gives us all – pupils and staff – a really good lesson in respect, tolerance and understanding of the differences which make us who we are. We accommodate children from all around the world who, at the last count, speak 67 different languages! I absolutely love the kids at our school.

During school holidays my husband and I head off to a place called Snowdonia in Wales and we walk in the mountains with our dogs or spend time on the beach. On rest days we sit outside in the sun – reading, listening to music and tangling. This is when I am at my happiest..

I first heard the term Zentangle when I visited the art department of another school. One of the teachers was telling me how the children were making 3D sculptures of beetles, covering them with plastic and then decorating them with Zentangle designs. This was in 2014 when adult colouring books were becoming HUGE in the UK, so I was enjoying switching off by doing this, but found myself thinking that I wanted to draw the designs as well as colour them in. I never got round to Googling Zentangle though…

In the Spring of 2015 I discovered a Zentangle ‘bookazine’ by CZT Anya Lothrop. It was really influential because it had step-outs and examples so I now had some context.

It was this that started the Zentangle journey for me. In the beginning I drew in an A6 sketchbook that I took everywhere with me. Often while the kids were getting changed for PE I’d be hunched over this sketchbook grabbing 5min here and there. Staff meetings were great because I’d sit near the back and just tangle away. I’m sure I’m not the only one amongst us that will testify how tangling actually helps you listen and retain information too. I’d look to something I’d drawn and could remember exactly who was talking and what they were saying at that point. Shame it’s hard to convince people of this!!

This (Above) was my first ever proper composition. I hadn’t heard of strings at this point so I just drew instinctively. The second one is supposed to be my take on Umble. I did most of it during parents evening waiting for my appointments to turn up!!

Not long afterwards I found out that our inspiring headteacher was leaving the school. He was such a big part of my professional life I wanted to use my brand new Warm Grey Copics to create a piece for him incorporating the work ‘Magnificent’ which he always used to say to us in staff briefings. Despite this being my first big piece it’s still one of my favorites. Sadly I forgot to take a photo when it was complete so in this picture the orbs are white. Luckily you can’t really tell its incomplete!

After this I kept on tangling at every opportunity – Friday evenings became my ‘art night’ when I would shut myself away upstairs, put on an audiobook and draw for hours!

The next big ‘breakthrough’ was in the summer of 2016 when I started drawing lots of Marie Penzing’s tangle ‘Zing Zing’. I produced a tile using my new Polychromos and I just thought ‘this one is a bit special’. Thankfully I managed to churn out another two to make a Zing Zing triptych! This was also the first time I started doing Sandswirl in the way that I now call ‘Sandswirl 3D’ because it uses echo lines like Eni Oken’s ‘Mooka 3D’.

Since summer 2016, the last 12 months have been largely about colour, and distressed tiles in particular. I’m not a massive fan of graphite – I’d rather use grey Copics for shading, or go full on colour; either watercolour, pencil crayons, or coloured Copics.

This is Zing Zing, and the ribbon is To-To (my only tangle to date!) Done with Copic Original Markers on A4 special Copic suitable paper.

Couple of Tangle It! Facebook group #Go-To tiles from Summer 2017.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This is my absolute favorite colour piece: Drawn on A5 watercolour paper with Inktense Blocks that I just swirled around on their side to create some blocks of colours, and then just got the water brush and mixed them all together. Then used different coloured microns and polychromos.

It’s framed in my study!


And finally, my two most recent, and arguably best, tiles.

I have to say I am so thankful to have come across Eni Oken on Facebook. I have stated elsewhere that I believe the art we produce in the ‘Shading and Exploring Zentangle’ group has really taken Zentangle to another dimension, with regard to the 3-dimensional pieces that are being created. I absolutely adore it – it’s exactly the kind of art I love to produce. With the addition of Art Club Eni has helped me to add those tiny details that make all the difference – weighted lines, darker lines for outside edges, dramatic shading. It’s like the marginal gains maxim in sport. “His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.” ( https://jamesclear.com/marginal-gains) – talking about British Cycling coach Sir Dave Brailsford)

Zentangle has become a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As for the future, I would really like to attend the CZT training one year. I would like to go into Old People’s homes and teach Zentangle as a means of keeping their minds active and maybe with the patients with dementia, art may be as effective as music is for unlocking them, just for that moment. I don’t know but I feel it’s got to be beneficial. That would have to be voluntary as there would be no money in it, so for now it’ a future plan.

Just got to get a passport and start that ball rolling…….”

I think Philippa AND her art are extraordinary! The fact that she added the pictures of her kids (dogs) and said they were rescues, told me she is a kindred spirit. She is currently rehabbing her foot which means we get to enjoy her online a lot right now, so I am enjoying the interaction while we have her before she returns to work. Working with such a diverse group of children must be extremely rewarding! I feel quite blessed to have another friend from “across the pond”!

Enjoy Philippa Napper’s art and don’t forget to check out her new pattern “To-To” in my Tangle Step Outs in the above menu or here at Pattern-collections.com.

Artist Focus: Liz Brott

Happy Halloween! I’m so glad to finally bring you a new artist focus and this week I have something really special to share. You will have to read on to see what I mean! These artist focus articles have become my favorite part of blogging. To discover such richness of art and especially a bit of the person, is a true gift and blessing. Each time I learn something new and interesting about someone, it’s a new insight into what brings art and artist into singular focus. Merging the amazing art and incredible stories is a wonderful experience and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share with each of you!

This week is no different, as our artist in focus is an incredibly talented woman! This is Liz Brott, mom, professional architect, wonderful artist and incredible person! I met Liz in Eni Oken’s Art Club where we share a love of Eni’s art and teaching methods. Our current lesson is on fractalized tangles and I can imagine it is just perfect for Liz. If you are looking for an art exploration to enhance your drawing, you can join Art Club here!

 

  

“I am an architect, musician (flute and piano), and single mother of a wonderfully challenging 14 year old daughter.
 
 
 
 
 
I’ve been drawing all my life and have a passionate interest in art and science. Architecture became a natural path to follow as it falls at the intersection of the two. I specialize in healthcare architecture, designing hospitals and medical office buildings with the goal of creating healing environments for patients and healthy buildings for the families and staff who take care of them. I’ve traveled all over the world and always bring my sketch book. Little did I know that my favorite sketch pens, Microns, would become my go to pens for tangling!
 
 
 
 
 
 One of my friends and hairdresser, Romi Marks, is an artist and CZT, and introduced me to Zentangle over the past year. You can find out more about her at tangledyogi.com. The timing was perfect as I had been dealing with a lot of stress in my personal life in addition to chronic pain and needed a creative distraction. I started slowly by buying the Yoga for the Brain card deck. That’s it, I didn’t know anything more about Zentangle. I flipped through the card deck over the weekend, but didn’t know how to use it, what pens to use or even the term “tile”! It wasn’t until I took my first class from Romi, a Zendala class, that I learned there was a method behind the patterns. My Instagram name, TangledRebel refers to the fact that when I started posting some of my tiles to the Facebook tangling sites, I received messages that I wasn’t following the rules. I didn’t know there were rules! I must admit to being confused and frustrated at first because I didn’t understand why there would be rules around art. However, I’ve since learned the guidelines for each site and respect each facilitator’s desire to define the types of tangling they wish to feature.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As an architect, I am most comfortable with the basics of ink and graphite. Romi introduced me to COLOR. I put that in bold, because Romi really pushed me into the deep end of the pool kicking and screaming, initially. And, with her encouragement and support as well as a reminder that there are no mistakes, only opportunities. Moreover, I think the best thing she ever told me was to “be curious” and that was all it took to launch me into the world of color. I now own probably 10 different brands and types of colored pencils from chalk pastels to watercolors. I’ve taken classes in all types of tangling including black and tan tiles. Romi also teaches “found poetry” by tangling in books. This made me curious about tangling over mathematical equations and formulae. I basically explore putting patterns on everything, e.g. my bull kelp obsession. I also have fun by pushing the boundaries of tangling by seeing how I can still follow the rules, but create a piece that is really on the fringe, e.g. my creepy “FLUX” or rotating Aquafleur.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When exploring all the Square One sites on Facebook, I discovered Eni Oken’s and really was intrigued by her work and her way of taking the two-dimensional patterns and making them into seemingly three dimensional art. Since Eni was also trained as an architect, I really appreciate her approach to Zentangle, her rigorous explorations and complex compositions.
 
 
 
 

Now, back to the card deck. Since I now bring a little tangling kit with me wherever I go, I usually use the Tangle Patterns app on my phone. However, when my daughter needed an MRI (3 hours long!) I wanted to draw in the magnet room. Since I couldn’t bring my phone inside the magnetic field, my card deck came in handy as they are non-ferrous. 😉











I try to draw every night. Inktober added the additional challenge of doing a tile every day. You can see my Inktober work on Instagram at Tangledrebel.”


I’m a huge fan of Liz’s now. She won me over when she chose one of my favorite classical pieces to match her ad. Rachmaninoff, Prelude Opus 3, no. 2, in c# minor.  Check it out on my Facebook page and Instagram.  

Next week, I have another focus you will all appreciate! But you’ll have to check back and see who’s next! Thank you Liz for opening your life and art up and sharing it with the world!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Journey into Art

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When I began this post, I had a completely different direction in mind, but the more I wrote, the more it morphed into what it is.  I want to share with you something encouraging to me. In the Facebook groups centering around the Zentangle® Art form, there is always a pivotal moment when new artists finally start to post their art publicly that requires a courageous first step to overcome the fear of artistic rejection. Art is intensely personal and this type of rejection can hurt the soul. This is a much discussed topic and comes up over and over in these groups. I’ve been in Eni Oken’s Art Club about 5 months. I’ve been posting about Art Club here on thetirelesstangler.com for awhile and this weekend, when I posted my latest lesson art on Facebook in the Art Club dedicated group, it occurred to me to compare my first published tiles and the ones A.E. (After Eni) 😁 The next few images are my art from a year ago right after I started blogging. This was about 3 months after I began drawing in hopes of doing something productive to break depression. 

  

 

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I was a beginner. It’s not awful, but as if I were in middle school! Though the kids could probably outdraw me! Move forward about 7 months March – May, 2017 still just before I added Art Club. At this time, I purchased the Zentangle ® Primer, volume 1. Everything changed for me with that book. I finally understood the point of Zentangle isn’t the art but the meditative state you reach with pattern practice of each unhurried stroke. Beautiful art is simply a wonderful by-product  I started this blog a year ago after being fundamentally changed by The Zentangle ® Method, created and nurtured by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Find the answers you are seeking at Zentangle.com! (I sound like I drank the kool-aid…and perhaps I have!) My point is, I began posting my art in a public blog, not in our caring, safe online groups! This is why my tagline is “Creativity takes Courage” by Henri Matisse. It took so much courage for me to take that step and post my very crude beginning art. It will be a year and a half since I picked up my yellowed sketch book from 1976. Then I did what many of us did, used TanglePatterns.com and Pinterest.com and pattern-collections.com shamelessly for their wonderful free resources and practiced (and practiced and…), finally discovering the peace and mental and physical Zen in the drawing of these “tangles”.

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I LOVE Jody Genovese’s lovely Patience Tangle! Find the step-out in the menu above. I bought Eni’s ebook Shading Fearlessly just before doing the above. Big difference! 

 

 

 

 

 

I see great improvement! I’m pretty happy with my progress. Honestly, I should have done this comparison long ago because I’m really encouraged! Here are some of my better tries since joining Art Club and here’s where I am learning be brave and say “I’m an artist!” The picture captions tell which of Eni’s lessons I was working on while drawing each piece of art (I can’t believe I just called them art!).

Shading Tiny Details/crazy detail aqua fleur

Let me just say Eni Oken has no idea I’m doing this post, I am simply passionate about Art Club and it’s my blog! I’m allowed to gush if I want! I think her lessons have greatly changed my artistic understanding and growth!

Tangled Letters

 

 

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Tangled Words and Shading Fearlessly (this was Adele’s best of show at It’s a String Thing the week her blog hit 1 million views! I was beyond honored! When I look at this though, I am worrying about how the word is scrunched and doesn’t have enough contrast to be clearly read. Self doubt is a sickness! 😗)

 

Tangled Words, Dream Big (this is my favorite made for my son)

My message to myself and to all who read this is not to worry about being perfect, best or comparing your work! Trust the process! Stop worrying about perfection and the level of others’s art. This is impossible but we are works in progress as well! Adele Bruno says she’s a reformed perfectionist and I love that description! I’m attending perfectionists’ anonymous right now in an attempt to get help! Thanks Adele! I frequently get meaningful bits of personal growth from your blog Tickledtotangle.com! The Zentangle ® Primer volume 1 changed the game for me. It’s described as CZT training in a beautiful book! I agree completely (but my dream is still to be a CZT myself. Physical barriers and financial obligations may not allow that dream but this book is a great substitute!) Honestly, I wish I’d bought the primer first but when the pennies count we do what we must. There are hundreds of amazing books out there, but if I did it again the primer would be my first purchase (after the new sketchpad and Pigma Micron of course!). Look at what practice, a few basic supplies, and some zen can do in a year and a half!  I wonder how relaxed and satisfied I’ll be in another year? To quote little Bijou, “breathe, slow down, gratitude and appreciation!” Smart Snail! (Bijou’s fan-page is found at Zentangle.com!)

 

If anyone is interested in sharing your art progressions please email me  at Thetirelesstangler@gmail.com. I’d love to post them here. I’m proof you can be an artist, even when you don’t believe it yourself! Thank you for your visit and check back soon for the new Artist Focus!

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!

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)

 

Eni Oken’s Art Club

Recently I wrote briefly about artist and CZT, Eni Oken and her new Art Club. In this post I want to highlight Art Club, show the amazing lessons offered and share the art I’ve produced since practicing Eni’s wonderful techniques. Eni is a talented artist with a real gift for teaching. My favorite part of this post, however, is the opportunity to learn more about Eni and what brought her to Zentangle. Thanks Eni, for sharing some of your personal history as well as your teaching methods. I’m just an amateur artist but I’m quite pleased with how my art has progressed since starting Art Club. My journey started with Eni’s ebook 3D Tangles: Shading Fearlessly.

 Then I went through her ebook 3D Tangle:  Overlapping Zentangle®

Upon finishing these books, I drew this tangled flower inspired by CZT Helen Williams’ Ribbon Petals. With shading and Overlapping techniques from Eni’s books, I felt I was finally making some progress artistically with these techniques. There is always room for improvement of course! 

I was dying to try more of Eni’s lessons but to purchase them all separately would be expensive and take time. Eni’s art has fascinated me since I started tangling and I think I was just waiting for her to start Art Club. The Art Club experience starts with her most recent book or video then everything new she publishes thereafter. I started with her video on Mooka 3D and Dingbatz. 


I loved it! Since then, her Mooka 3D has shown up in my art over and over becoming one of my “go-to” patterns to draw. Here’s an example of Mooka 3D in a Dingbatz.

 

Next I did Twisted Ropes which I loved as well! It’s not a big secret that I love them all! I was absolutely addicted to Twisted Ropes, and drew it over and over until the next lesson was released! This twisted rope mess is so busy it loses the eye but I had such fun embellishing the ropes I just enjoyed the process and didn’t worry about the composition. I love tangling on cardboard! Recycling at it’s best!

 

 

Ribbon Showgirl is one of my favorites! I’m using the ribbon techniques everywhere! Plus there’s a companion ebook that goes with the video lesson!



 The next lesson was a different way to tackle the very difficult pattern, Peanuckle (by Molly Hollibaugh). At least, it was tough for me! After the Peanuckle video lesson, it’s another go-to pattern for me. 

 

 

It took a lot of practice but now I can do Peanuckle all day! There are more lessons but these were the most successful for me. Even more important, these lessons got me drawing again and that was the biggest job of all! 

The most recent to video to date is on Tangled words. It’s my favorite, of course!


This was a great lesson and though I struggled to draw the letters small enough to fit on a standard tile, I loved how this project turned out! These will make great gifts for the holidays!

 

I’m always interested to know how such talented people come to the Zentangle ®  Method.  Eni was kind enough to share some of her personal history with me for this article. It constantly amazes me how so many people come to the Zentangle ® Method through illness, tragedy or trauma. Let me share a bit about Eni Oken in her own words.

I was born in Brazil, but came for the first time to the US at only 6 weeks of age while my parents attended school in Berkeley. After returning to Brazil, my mother and my grandmother were incredibly encouraging of my inclination to arts and crafts. My first memory of being thinking of myself as an artist was at the early age of 8 years old. My grandmother was especially dedicated in teaching me all types of arts and crafts, knitting, drawing, lace-making, embroidery, you name it. 
 
For some bizarre twist, I ended up getting a degree in Architecture, but that was never my first desire. I continued to work with anything and everything that was related to the design and arts, illustration, window dressing, model making, computer graphics, video game design, jewelry design, costume design, dollmaking, fashion, sculpting, so many I can’t even remember. 
 
About 22 years ago, I came back to the US to live and was one of the early adopters of using online environment to work as a self employed artist. I worked creating fantasy environments for video games, and won a number of awards during that time.
 
Teaching art always came naturally to me, it was almost as if creating art wasn’t complete without the teaching component. I explore art and then have this incredible need to teach what I learned to others. I started teaching art very soon after college and have continued to teach in one way or another throughout my entire career. 
 
Eventually I switched from the grueling schedule of computer graphics to jewelry design, and I developed a very successful educational website called jewelrylessons.com. My path was suddenly interrupted by discovering stage 4 cancer in 2010. During the years of treatment, I could hardly work, could not teach or even produce art. 
 
At the recommendation of my oncologist, I started to draw again while in bed — a collection of works called “muddyglasses”, depicting aspects of the treatment. These were gruesome and weird, my oncologist then encouraged me to find some happier themes 🙂 and that’s when I found Zentangle.”

I got to the end of this post and realized I sound like an advertisement for Eni! This post was my idea as I intend to share more of my art using Eni’s techniques as I move forward. The truth is that I am thriving artistically on these lessons and I just can’t say enough about them. Eni has a dedicated Facebook group just for Art Club members where we can share our trials and finished projects, ask for help in the group, and best get feedback from Eni Oken real-time! I’m looking forward to seeing what is coming up next. I know there is a tangled letter lesson and one on making distressed tiles. 😊 I can’t wait!