I haven’t abandoned Art Every Day month, but I’m futzing around with some Christmas gift ideas and don’t want to post spoilers.
I’ve also been working on organizing my Zentangle patterns/”tangles”. There are, thus far, 140 official Zentangle patterns . . . but when you add to that the tangles that are made up by folks other than the official Zentangle folks, well, that bumps up the number of tangles to at least 600 . . . although I suspect that is a very conservative estimate! (In only the month or two I’ve been doing Zentangle, I’ve seen anywhere from 8 – 12 new tangle designs pop up on the innerwebs each week.) There are A LOT of tangles to try to keep organized, and, for me, it’s an overwhelming amount of options from which to choose when working a design.
What I’ve decided to do for now is to stick with the current list of official Zentangle patterns — 140 patterns is more than enough, especially since many of them have variations. I want to get familiar enough with the official tangles that I’m able to work them without having to refer back to the “step-outs” (step-by-step instructions). That will be a particularly handy skill if I want to work on Zentangles away from home, since all I would need would be paper and something with which to draw — there’d be no need to have a reference book of any kind with me. Once I have the official Zentangle patterns down pat, then I’ll begin adding in other tangles bit by bit. I think this will allow me to build my repetoire without encountering information overload in the process!
I made up a chart in Word that is somewhat similar in format to the Tangle Patterns 2012 Tangle Guide (which I did purchase), but with slightly bigger squares. I’m drawing a thumbnail of each of the 140 Zentangle patterns — by drawing up a thumbnail myself (rather than copying them out of my copy of the Tangle Guide), I’m getting the opportunity to practice those tangles and to get familiar with them. It’s a time-consuming process, but also very much a “zen” one =). It’s not dissimilar to embroidering a free-form sampler to use as a reference, actually! It helps with muscle memory while also being relaxing.
For those of you looking for ideas of how to organize tangles, there’s a great discussion at Tangle Patterns. Lots of good tips for using electronic media, and lots of good tips if you prefer a paper-n-binder approach.
Unless I get a wild hair and draw something unrelated to either of the above two projects, it may be a bit quiet around this blog for a week or two. For those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I wish you Safe Travels if you’ll be traveling!!