Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spiral crazy!

This is a long post. Get comfy!

This week's zentangle challenge is to use a spiral as a string. I found this particularly challenging because a spiral on the page only makes one section to draw in! (Some creativity required.)

I've always liked spirals. They're related to mandalas and labyrinths. In many cultures they are a symbol of rebirth, reawakening, insight, and so on. You start from where you are (the outside) travel inwards to the center (insight) and back out again, bringing your new awareness with you into the world.

I did a tile using Marasu. I've really liked the feathery kind of highlights I've seen some people use - much better than what I've been doing - so I tried that, adding tiny dots in some of the white stripes. Some of the dots spun out off the spiral.

Tangles: black Pearlz, Striping

One of the later ones I did began with four pencil spirals. I started outlining them and trying to overlap/underlap them and wondered what would happen because all the spirals were empty. Then it struck me: there's going to be a whole lotta Hollibaugh here!

Tangles: Hollibaugh. Yep, that's about it.

Previous to the four spirals I had tried one with two.

Tangles: Parabola and variations, Sanibelle, Striping, Unyun and dots

I liked the effect of the arches (the beginning of Parabola) going around the spiral so I used it again. This one also began with a blind string. They're always interesting. I think I'm finally getting the hang of using white on black as part of the art rather than as a fixit method!

Tangles: Caviar, Parabola and variations.

I thought using a double pencil for the string would give me some predetermined sections. Here's a very simple spiral with a 2-pencil string.

Tangles: Caviar, Chartz (sort of), Coaster, Krliqs (my own) black Pearlz,
Purslane (or Flux 'tongues'!), Tipple

Here's one I did a while ago where two spirals coil together. I like that effect and hoped to do it again during this challenge, but it didn't happen.

Tangles: Coaster, Zander, dots

I like the tangle Xyp and used it here. This reminded me that it works best on a straight or slightly curved line. As the spiral tightens the pattern deteriorates and eventually disintegrates. Here it became a wobbly square, then circles and the spiral almost disappears. Still interesting.

Tangles: Caviar, Dutch Hourglass, Munchin, Xyp

Most of the tiles I did used random spirals, but I wanted to try one with a nautilus spiral, sacred geometry spiral, golden mean spiral, whatever you want to call it. The challenge (I almost typed 'problem'!) I always have with this spiral is that is expands so quickly outward that I'm soon left with just empty space. I used two of these spirals just to give me a little more to work with. Also, I had thought from the beginning that Printemps would be a perfect tangle to use, so it's here too.

Tangles: Caviar, Printemps, Rain and variations, Tipple

Finally, here's a piece of Zentangle inspired art that I did some time ago, using a nautilus spiral (it's called that because nautilus shells grow using this pattern). It sort of includes the divisions of the outer shell, and two large circles overlapping the center of the spiral (I wanted more sections to work with!).

Tangles: oh my gosh... !


  1. *blink blink* WOW. You did a lot with these spirals!! Picking a single one as a favorite is impossible! Beautiful :D

  2. You are right! "Tangles: oh my gosh"! These are all so great and I enjoy hearing your process/decisions for each! Thanks!

  3. Love all of your spirals and the large multi patterned spiral is phenomenal!

  4. wowza! you have been busy. Love them all!

  5. what a treat to see these!! gorgeeeeuuuussss. I'm always inspired by your work!

  6. A whole celebration of stunning spirals! Margaret it looks like you have been in a wonderous whirl!

  7. Thanks for sharing your process. I also found this a very challenging challenge. It's so interesting to see how you played with the spirals and came up with such fabulous results.

  8. All are fabulous... love the explanations and details of the more involved ones.

  9. What a feast for the eyes! I love all of your spirals especially the 1st.

  10. Ooh Ooh, breakfast treats!!!!!!

  11. These are all wonderful and a little daunting... Heck, I hope I can create one puny tangle this week. Lovely work, thanks for sharing them.

  12. I love how the first one shines!!!

  13. oooh, and WOW, and awe, These are spectacular! LOVE LOVE!

  14. Looks like you got caught-up in your spirals! What variety!! Great work, Margaret.

  15. So many of them!


    Wish I had to time to do more tangles! I love your style!

  16. What a feast for the eyes! I love all your spirals.

  17. This is so Amazing....Love every one of them !

  18. Hi Margaret,
    I have just been browsing around your blog and I find your artwork very amazing and inspiring. I plan to come back often!!

    Just a note about mandalas - I don't like to call them zendalas either. The idea of "zentangle" is to create a meditative state while tangling. A mendala is already designed for that purpose, (to enhance the meditative process I guess) and adding a "zen" to it seems unnecessary. Just my thoughts :)

    Anyhoo, thanks for a wonderful visit. I especially enjoyed the nautillus (sp) post and following links from that. I have learned some interesting facts today.

    Keep up the great inspiration!!

    Sydney, Australia

  19. Just great....I loved the first, then came the second..I loved even more...and then.....well, each one got even more fabulous! Thanks for such beauty!

  20. Aloha Margaret ~ your work spirals ~ above and beyond ~ Mahalo for sharing it with us

  21. WOW...You have been busy! I am always so inspired by your work and it is always a feast for my eyes!!! I also love learning new things from your blog and appreciate the link and info about nautilus shells. Your ZIA piece is breathtaking-love it!

  22. Wow and woweee! I would love to take a class from you, or at the very least, look over your shoulder as you create these incredible visions of fabulousness! Thanks for sharing!

  23. This is quite a stunning gallery of artwork, Margaret! Really beautiful work here, REALLY*lost in awe*....