Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flower of Life

The traditional Flower of Life pattern is lovely, and can just keep on growing in any direction. All you need to do the circles is a compass, but it can also be accomplished using a lid. I tried this on a zendala tile and it developed into something quite lovely.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, Lacing, Pearlz, Tripoli, Wud and more

I wondered how it would look if I started with an off-center circle. I had a tile with some gold wash so I used that, and various 'brown' inks. I wanted the one full circle to stand out a bit.
Tangles: Beadlines, Black Pearlz, Cruffle, Knase,
Paisley Boa, Pearlz and more

I really liked that one, so I pulled out a zendala tile with an all-over purple wash and tried the same thing. The purple acrylic paint I used is a bit dusky, and gave the whole thing too much grayness for my liking, so I got out a white pen and white pencil and added highlights.
Tangles: Betweed, Black Pearlz, Cruffle, Fleurette/Florez hybrid,
Knase, Pearlz, Printemps

I was finding the size of the sections somewhat restrictive - I wanted more space to tangle! I'm going to try a flower of life design on a larger square paper. Stay tuned. 

A little aside: Molly Hollibaugh designed a tangle called Fife which is inspired by, or reminiscent of, the Flower of Life pattern. You can see the drawing instructions in the Zentangle newsletter here.


  1. Beautiful pieces. Your work is so delicate. Although I love all three the middle ones colors really catch my eye.

  2. As always, an absolute delight to both look at and study your tiles. Not only are the black and white tiles preternaturally perfect but your colouring technique is unique and utterly captivating! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and tiles with us - they are a joy to come back to time after time. Jakki

    1. Oh my Jakki, thank you! I'll get a swelled head. :P

    2. There's always ice. You mandalas are outstanding.

  3. Margaret, have you ever considered doing some video lessons on the various ways you colour your tiles?

    I have never taken art lessons, other than the non-examinable art classes I had 40+ years ago in High School. My art teacher, whose name has eluded me, was a kind, patient man; he taught me how to draw people based on potato sack shapes, and encouraged the tiny spark of creativity by kindly helping me and giving gentle but necessary criticism, and praise when deserved. I was never going to be one of his students who would submit their work as a subject, equivalent to science, math, english etc, as keys to college entrance, but he nurtured my minuscule talent in my once-a-week, greatly enjoyed classes.
    Fast forward over the ensuing years, I lost my faith in my little spark; did some quilting but never felt able to burst out of the shackles wound by patterns and leap into the creative universe of free-form, art quilting. I had no one to keep the spark alive, but I did become quite a proficient quilter.
    Then, about two years ago I found Zentangle and, to my amazement, was able to produce tile after tile I could be proud of (there were some duds too!). That enabled me to undertake a project thrust upon me - 9 memorial quilts made from VERY unpromising clothes, tee shirts and a few other cloth bits and pieces, for a friend of my daughter's who had died in a car crash. I was pulling my hair thinking I'd never be able to make traditional quilts, then one day, I said to myself, they don't have to be traditional. I can just get started and see what happens. Wow - you have no idea how freeing it was to just sew those fabrics together and see some thing very pleasing come out of my sewing machine! They have, to all accounts, brought peace and healing to his family, his two youngest children were able to talk about their dad for the first time in a year once they were sitting on his quilt.
    Well, Zentangle has done the same for me while my daughter has been going through cancer this last year. I would have gone mad if I hadn't had the hours I peacefully tangled, believing in my ability to do something lovely in a time of darkness.
    I think I've lost my thread here - but what I think I am asking is, could you think of making some teaching videos, very simple, for those of us who have never had lessons on the basics of colouring. I know it would enhance my work. In the meantime, I will start trolling the deep, deep depths of YouTube to see if I can find some helpful lessons - Colouring for Dummies, Colouring 101 - they must be out there. But to be honest, I admire your techniques and would love to learn from you.

    1. Thank you so much Jakki, and I hope your daughter is improving. My best wishes to your family.

      I've been asked about videos before, but not regarding color. It's something I'll have to look into but I'm not set up to do that at the moment. (In fact, my camera is currently in China!)

      One tip I can offer right now is that hardly any color is a pure 'whatever'. A purple will be slightly reddish or slightly bluish; a yellow will be slightly orangish or slightly greenish. Have a good, hard look at the color you want to use, just so you know what it really is. Knowing that, you can then make better choices about what you use with it. Are you aiming for a warm feeling or a cool one? This is especially important if you're going to be mixing or overlapping colors.

  4. Hello Margaret. I would like to use the first picture in this post as a logo for a line of food products. Please let me know if this is possible. Beautiful work too by the way!

  5. Hello Margaret, I'm in Thailand now and wanna get a bamboo tattoo. Just googled for the flower of life and saw your incredible drawings!! You're inspiring me for having a tattoo like that and start to draw myself one. Thanks for being my inspiration.

  6. Hi, may I use one of your flowers on my blog as a coverpage?

    1. Thanks for your interest, and glad you like the art! I'm not set up to license any of my artwork, so I'm afraid I'll have to say no to your request. Good luck with your blog.