Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Saturday, December 14, 2013


My friend gave me a book on Zentangles.  I’m slowly going through it and the one I had previously purchased, and have made a small foray into some of the Zentangle blogs.

I enjoy the process, just not sure I’m understanding the “string” concept. 

Last year we had a program at our watercolor society and the demonstrator showed us a book about Gustav Klimt that she uses as an inspiration.  Lo and behold, I believe I saw some Zentangle-like designs in his work. Guess there really is nothing new under the sun!
The Kiss - this one also makes me think of the Gee's Bend quilts

An assortment of Zentangle patterns combines both of these Klimt paintings
Tree of Life

This clearly resembles the Klimt painting above
As artists, I think we all "discover" something, only to find that it has already been done before.  But it is exciting to discover that certain thing on our own, even if we do find out later we aren't quite as smart as we thought we were!

Now, excuse me while I return to my chair, book, pens and thought process!!!!!!!!!!

Images from the internet - Google image search, Zentangle patterns


Ginny Stiles said...

Okay my you are catching on! Go to to find out more about the history and founders. Then go to (Linda Farmer) and you can find any pattern you wish and the "step outs" on how to draw it.

This summer in June I am flying to Rhode Island (June 22-26 to get CZT training (Certified Zentangle Teacher). Although I have taught more than 100 people how to tangle...I hear this is the ultimate Zentangle experience! Wanna go?

Katherine Harra said...

I think I've had a bit of a problem with the fact that "Zentangles" is trademarked. Because as you say, nothing new under the sun. I've had linear or color patterns incorporated into paintings or in my sketchbooks for decades, and never thought to trademark them, and neither did Klimt. I do like your example on toned or manipulated paper: much richer than the zentangles I see around here that seem to remain pure black line on white paper. I'd prefer if we all could just be inspired to make our art without having to label its components as someone else's process.
Please forgive me if I start to sound like I'm on a soapbox. I respect your art, Deb, so much, that I felt your blog was a valid location for this discussion. Feel free to blow away this comment if it's inappropriate!

debwardart said...

Ginny, you have really embraced Zentangles - I know you really enjoy them and will have fun in RI.
Katherine, I also don't understand the trademark of the Zentangles, unless, because the patterns are so precise, they can be copyrighted. BTW - the example I added to this post is from the internet, not mine.
I think many artists are inspired from the same images or designs - I know I'll see many same or similar images in paintings as I browse the 'net, but I've also "discovered" lots of the same things all on my own. I've had lots of ideas that I thought were mine uniquely, only to discover the same thing in another painting. But I try to put my own spin on things. I get on that soapbox from time to time too, so don't mind sharing it!

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Deb - I just recently discovered zentangles. Like you I see that these patterns really are not something new but boy are they fun!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

debwardart said...

Hi Debbie, Zentangles can be fun, I don't know that much about them, tho, even with a couple of books. Always something new to try in the "art world". Quiet Christmas, hoping for a good New Year.

Katherine Thomas said...

I never made that connection between Klimt and the zentangles! But I see it so clearly now! Those zentangles are really evolving. I've seen some very intricate, creative artwork using the concept.

debwardart said...

Katherine - I was intrigued by the connection during a GCWS presentation; the more photos of his paintings that she showed us, the more Zentangle shapes I saw! Guess he was ahead of his time, or we are very behind the times! I'm sure you would enjoy them, due to the intricate nature of some of your designs.

Diana said...

I was just studying the Klimt Woman in Gold painting tonight on a post card I'd gotten during a recent visit to the Neue Gallery. I was thinking that it really looked a lot like zentangles. Then I thought I can't be the only one who thinks this. So I googled Klimt and zentangles, lo and behold, your blog came up . Glad I'm not the only one who thought this!