Monday, June 18, 2012


While I was drawing Crescent Moon for the Diva's weekly challenge #72 I happened upon the idea of fractal tangles.

Fractals are absolutely gorgeous geometric images composed of exactly the same configuration of shapes repeated over and over and over, either smaller or larger than the one beside it. You can zoom in or out infinitely and the basic shape simply keeps repeating. I just love them! Here's one image of a fractal:
From Carlson's Fractal Gallery at

A fractal tangle, then, would be when you choose a tangle and use the same tangle inside, or beside, the larger one, then smaller again inside or beside the second, and then again... You can see a few examples using Crescent Moon in my post for challenge 72.

I tried the idea with some other tangles. I found I had to begin with a very large version of the tangle I chose, even using only part of it. Of course, this is art not physics, so I didn't feel compelled to do exactly the same image over and over, just keep the same idea going. :)

Using Strircles:

Using Cubine, St. John's Cross, and Jalousie:
To my eye, I think the square grid tangles may not be the best choice for Fractangals.

Using Carole Ohl's Coaster:
... and also one Black Pearl, and some droplet shapes.

Using Hollibaugh:
Something like this might have happened anyway with Hollibaugh,
but I was
thinking about fractangals!

Using Shattuck:

All of these examples are what are called monotangles, a Zentangle using only one tangle in various configurations. Monotangles and fractangals are a good way to investigate a pattern; you have to be a little creative and think up other ways to do something familiar. Remember this idea when doing other tiles, or zentangle-inspired artwork (*note to self*).

Try a Fractangal or two. Have fun!


  1. This reminds me of when we "biggified" a tangle, but takes it a step (or 6 ) further. I really like how shattuck in particular, came out. Great idea!

  2. Amazing! Jalousie is my favorite.

  3. Wow! Indeed this is brilliance! Thank you for sharing this - I am definitely going to try one or two or three.... Have a great week!

  4. what a great exercise! I love self-imposed challenges.... These are fabulous. Maria