Zentangle Untangled


A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of sitting with a cup of tea and Kass Hall's new book, Zentangle Untangled. It's lovely! Kass is a blogging friend and when she asked if I'd be part of her blog hop for promoting the book, of course I said YES! You can find out more about the blog hop with prize giveaways, here. It's great to see how other artists have used and incorporate zentangle into their work.

Now, back to the lovely book. It is well thought out and leads the reader through a Zentangle ( "an engaging art form that uses repetitive patterns to create striking works of art that anyone can achieve regardless of age or artistic ability." ) journey. Accessible and easy to read, I found I could read it all the way through (which I did) or jump around a bit and never feel lost wondering where I was.

From a design standpoint, I LOVE all the white space! So many of the mixed media books are so jammed with both artwork and dense type and then extra page decoration, I just tune out. But Kass's book has the great good sense to let the reader…breathe. Ah, just lovely. Kass's voice is friendly and I was drawn into her personal journey with Zentangle in way that made me, as the reader, excited to try out some of her designs and approaches. I see it's a very democratic art form and really is accessible to all – more established artists as well as those brand new to picking up a pen. Speaking of pens, Kass did an excellent job explaining her love of Japanese pens as well as the other art supplies involved in creating tangles in color. It's great to see some of the more complex tangles broken down and easy to duplicate.

If you are looking to get into zentangling, or want to add a book to your zentangle collection, this is the one!

And there are lots of ways to use and incorporate zentangle into your work:


 This recent, last page in one of my journals features many of Kass's tangles (over there on the left side), filling in the spaces of my indigo design. The page on the right complements it perfectly, but is not from my pen, it is a piece of beautiful art paper from Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, which also carries the book!


My friends Mardie and Pam turned me onto the idea of a zentangle mandala, which I worked on at the PLAY retreat in Seattle. Kass has some beautiful "Zendalas" in her book as well. 


Before I knew about zentangles, I had been using some of the ideas in my journal pages…


…just letting my pen guide me along. Anyone can zentangle and it's patterns and designs are endless. Grab a pen a piece of paper (and Kass's book) and get started! 

10 Responses to Zentangle Untangled

  1. Stephanie Tercyak says:

    Thank you for this particular review, Fran. You gave words to the very ideas I have felt reading/experiencing Kass’ book!

    As an added bonus, this blog hop has allowed me to meet you, and others, I might never have met in the great blogshere, and from my little space here in central Connecticut. Thank you.

  2. Carol Lawecki says:

    Thank you for your take on Zentangle Untangled. It was great to see your journals that incorporate ideas from this book. It has given me a few ideas some of my drawings. Have a great day!

  3. Sue Brailey says:

    This is a great review. I am so with you on the open space in mixed media books! So many of them are sensory overload…you can’t distinguish what you are looking at. I’m anxious to get my hands on this book and you all have given very different perspectives, which is wonderful!
    Love your site and your work. Thanks for sharing.
    Sue Brailey

  4. Deb Prewitt says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book and also some of your own journaling pages.

  5. Kathy says:

    Thank you once again for the inspiration to go forward and push the envelope of ideas! Just what I needed for the beginning of a new school year. Your journal pages are nothing short of breathtaking! I LOVE knowing your out there sharing and creating from the heart!!! MANY bleesings your way dear friend. Have a blissful week exploring and creating art!!! Much aloha always, Kathy

  6. Virginia T says:

    I am loving this blog hop! The inspiration and ideas and color is just much more than I imagined. Thanks for the Zentangle Untangled review, Amazon here I come.

  7. Robin Kowalski says:

    This blog hop is great and I’m enjoying meeting all the artists. you all are so talented and inspirational. My art has literally saved my life since I became disabled a year ago. After finding out about zentangle, I started to intermingle Zentangle with my “Doodles Unleashed” art and the mixture is fun and beautiful. This fun way of creating has been so therapeutic for me. I look forward to opening up my Sketchbook every day to create and love life! Thank you all of the artists that created this blog hop. What great inspiration and fun you have given me.

  8. Sue J says:

    I’m enjoying the blog hop as well. I love your work.

  9. Lisa Hoffman says:

    It’s true, you’ve had this kind of vibe in your sketchbooks for YEARS. I suspected that it was the amazing “Bead Crafter” in your Soul. I don’t know WHAT it is, but I DO know that you do it SO well. I fully expect to see your work in an upcoming Zen Tangle book by an artist/author who has the good sense to include your unique work. Yeah, I said it.
    Well done, you!

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