Thursday, March 24, 2011

Metaphors Galore! And the winner is...

Wowee! Many thanks to everyone who participated in my contest and gave me more to share with my zentangle students. You have my permission to scoot to the bottom and find out the winner. Just scoot back up and read all the other wonderful contributions! In some cases I have done some minor editing; I do hope you don't mind.

There were over 60 submissions from 28 people. Approximately two thirds were deemed really to be metaphors. Those that weren't nonetheless conveyed some really wonderful thoughts. 

Jill wrote that "The inability to draw a perfectly straight line is not a barrier to amazing art" - Zentangle is certainly proof of that. "Every Zentangle is perfectly imperfect." said 'Ajvanart', and it's probably just as true to say "imperfectly perfect.' :-)  Carol in Wales suggests that "Zentangle is focused freedom." Martha finds that "Zentangle illuminates the path of life - shining light onto, and exposing the surprises that emerge from the shadows." 

Sandra expressed what I think we all felt upon learning some of those tangles: "Zentangle is the complex made simple." Another contributor said that "Zentangles illuminate individuality." We see that every time we have a class put their finished tiles together on the table. Byrd advises, "Get lost in the tangle - a blissful moment of creator and creation being one."

Kit in Australia wrote that "Tangling is truly 'living in the present moment'.  Your world is reduced to a 3.5" square, to a section of that 3.5" square, to a tangle in a section of the 3.5" square, to a line in the tangle in the section of that 3.5" square. There's really no way to worry about the future or grieve the past when you achieve that level of concentration and focus." (It makes me want to sing: There's a line in the tangle in the section of the string in the tile on the table!)

A number of themes came up regularly:

Music and dance
Zentangle is singing silently. 
Zentangle is a visual song. 
Zentangle is a symphony on paper.
Zentangle is the instrument that lets you play the music in your soul.
Zentangle is fire and music.
Zentangle is dancing while sitting down. 
Zentangle is a ballet with ink.
Zentangle is ballet with a pen.

The brain and thinking
Zentangle is a massage for your mind.
Zentangle is a massage for your brain.
Zentangle is water cascading over my right brain.
Zentangle is a light in the dark, cluttered corners of my brain.
Zentangle is a step off the hamster wheel of the left brain.
Zentangle is a tune up for your think tank.

Food and nourishment
Zentangle is the dessert of the food that feeds my soul!
Zentangle is a smorgasbord on paper.
Zentangle is wine in an art form.
Zentangle is manna for the mind in the boring desert of the media-dictated world.  
Zentangle is the apple of the art world, because a zentangle a day keeps the doctor away!

Travel and movement
Zentangle is tai chi on paper.
Zentangle is an escape from reality.
Zentangle is my escape into silence.
Zentangle - a journey of intimate detail to exquisite beauty.
Zentangle is a space shuttle en route to the moon of creativity.

And others that defied categorization:
Zentangle is a captured moment.
Zentangle is my morning delight!
Zentangle is an addiction without drugs.
 Zentangle is the explosion of my inner artist onto paper!
Zentangle is a game you can't lose.

On March 20 I had a dozen favorites. 
I narrowed it down to seven. 
I decided I'd have to award some Runner-Up prizes too. Woohoo! So-o-o-o...

The Runners-Up are:
5. A zentangle is a commentary on change.  -from Kit Murdoch

4. A zentangle is the fingerprint of the Artist's soul.  -from Joni Feddersen

3. Zentangle is a bridge to my inner self.  -from Stephanie Kukla ("Phine")

2. Zentangle is a road with no wrong turns.  -from Shelly Beauch

1. Tangling is a ticket for an artistic journey.  -from Susan Stewart ("arts-4-all")

(Each of you, please send me your mailing address and your first three choices of artwork. I really hope I can send you at least your second choice, but we'll see.) 

Whenever this contest popped into my head over the past month, one submission frequently came to mind. I like the relationship it makes between the process of creating art and meditation. It may have something to do with my long connection to mandalas. I like the combination of auditory and visual. I like its simplicity. As it happens, the person who submitted it also submitted another favorite:

Zentangle is an art retreat on a paper tile.

May I have the envelope please?

*Dr-r-rummm  R-r-rol-l-l-l*






Sarah Garrity!  
Which mandala do you want?  
Send me your address and it's on its way!

Thanks again everybody! 


  1. Oh my dear – I´m named to be a runners-up. Gosh! Can´t believe to see my name written there in the post…
    I´m soooo pleased to be part of the tangling community.
    And now I am to choose a tile from one of my inspiring example (I hope I translated in a correct way).
    I´m so overwhelmed.
    Thank you very, very much, dear Margaret :-* .

  2. Yippee! Zippity do da! Thank you Margaret, what a difficult job you gave yourself, I loved reading them all and your #1 choice is exactly right!

  3. congratulations to all. what a fun contest! it must have been fun to read all these and very difficult to choose a winner. thanks Margaret! M

  4. Wow, these are all wonderful How fun to read them and know what the process feels like to so many different people. Thanks, Margaret!

  5. Oh, Margaret! I only just read your post (it's 5am and I can't sleep). Now how will I ever get to sleep?! =)

    I love all of the submissions. And was 'pleased as punch' just to see my contribution included in the line-up. I hadn't skipped to the end, so I was gob-smacked to be in the runners up too!!

    But the winning metaphor rocked me back on my metaphorical heels. It's perfect!