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Beauty in All Things

Beauty in All Things

"Beauty in all things."

That’s what Maria said this morning when she saw the patterns of light and dark in the foam of the coffee I brought to her.

When we teach a Zentangle class we remind students to relax and sit comfortably. We encourage them to notice their posture and their breathing. We suggest that they do not need to hold their pen with a tight grip.

When you are comfortable and relaxed, when you have a nice posture and your breath flows easily, when the grip on your pen is gentle; then, your strokes flow more easily. It makes sense that your strokes flow more easily if you are relaxed. But your creative response-ability also flows more easily.

We also encourage our students every now and then to hold their tile at arm’s length and turn it this way and that. It shifts your perspective when you look at your tile further away because your eyes realign themselves in a different angle of view. I find it interesting that the Hindi word for perspective, दृष्टिकोण (drshtikon), translates literally as “vision angle.”

Of course, we always encourage our students to regularly “turn your tile.” When you turn your tile, it is more comfortable to draw the same stroke in different directions. Also, when you turn your tile, you see patterns and shapes differently and you get new inspirations for your next strokes.

You can apply these suggestions for tangling patterns on your tile to creating and expressing the patterns in your life:  

  • Sit comfortably
  • Notice your posture and breathing
  • Relax the grip on your pen
  • Shift your perspective now and then
  • Turn your tile

And most importantly . . . Beauty in all things.


Thank you to everyone who commented on our last blog post. We have randomly selected Melissa Grudin to receive a Project Pack No. 09! Please send your snail mail address to


Rick Roberts


  • April 16 and I’ve been an”Artist In Residence” for 35 days… I have created over 75 tangle ‘tiles’ and sewed over 25 masks and it’s all been possible knowing I have all these CZTs at my back and especially the ‘family’ at Zentangle! One day at a time, one line at a time… and I find my ease. Thank you!! (Many times over…) Annie


  • Hindi word for perspective, दृष्टिकोण (drshtikon), translates literally as “vision angle.” This line really resonates with me. Thank you for your lovely perspective this morning.

    Sandy Nee on

  • Thanks so much for that comment. It made me smile as I noted the patterns on my quilt and dress. In the bathroom I appreciated tiles and water drops on the shower screen. But the thing that surprised me the most was the tangle in my hairbrush… there it was, a beautiful Hollibaugh made with my brown and grey hair, truly beauty in all things. Can I bear to throw that tangle away?

    Flis on

  • Thank you for reminding me of the simplicity of our everyday world. With everything around us in turmoil, changing, and isolation from our family, friends, and work-life I need some reminder of normalcy to help me stay grounded. Thank you for being here for us!

    Betsey Youngs on

  • One of the [many] things I love about Zentangle is that I do not set out to draw a “thing” when I start to tangle but after a tile nears completion and is turned every which-a-way, a “thing” often suggests itself to me. Then I may add a few final touches before fixing these revelations as illustrations to my favorite stories, poems, quotes or sometimes just a single “ponder word.”

    Linda Dochter, CZT 16 on

  • I love the way you look at a cup of coffee. I thought I’d try looking at my laundry that way……Beauty in all things!

    Jeanne on

  • The smoky furnace of our Aussie bushfires has finally given way to glorious sunny autumn days, with cool nights and soft rains, but I cannot enjoy the change in seasons as I am anxious about CoVID and its impacts on my US family.

    I feel numb, almost punch-drunk as the events of 2020 wash over me. Daily life has become a fuzzy blur as I go about normal tasks of life on autopilot.

    When I sit down to tangle, though, everything comes back into focus, just for a short time. Appreciation and gratitude return, fears subside, it is like filling up at the gas station and my pen flows.

    Thank you not only for the gift of the Zentangle method, but for all the little extra things, especially right now. The reassurance, the reminders, the insights, the experiences – somehow it all grounds and normalises these tragic times.

    Love and appreciation to you all, Yvette xx

    Yvette Campbell CZT28 on

  • I love how your art and your words always make me smile. Thank you Rick and Maria for being so gentle, kind and loving. You both are such a major influence to the tangling world, something we all need, during these difficult times. Sending virtual hugs ❤️

    Brenda Shaver CZT 8 Ontario Canada

    Brenda Shaver on

  • I need to remember this list. I’m horrible about trying to maintain a good posture while tangling. This isn’t helped because I love to tangle in bed! Which is sometimes a positive as the more I get in to the zen and rhythm, the more I can relax and hopefully get my brain to turn off (one of my big sleep issues). On the other hand, sometimes tangling in bed leads to me finy 6ally checking the clock and discovering that I’ve tangled the night away and it is 5am…C’est la vie…that’s what naps are for. Right?

    Tamra B on

  • Excellent reminders. I’m going to print that list, so I can check in with myself and make sure I loosen my grip.

    Theresa Caillouette on

  • You remind us in a lovely gentle way to see the “Beauty in all things” Thank you,

    Bette Abdu, CZT on

  • I am so grateful for everything I’ve been learning since opening the gates to this wonderful world you two have created and so graciously share with everyone who enters. I t

    Lindarae LUSK on

  • What great reminders for life in this unprecedented time: loosen your grip (let go of what you have no control over anyway), turn your tile/view it at arm’s length (turn off the TV and the news and focus on something else…tangling), sit up straight and breathe (release all that built up tension.) Thanks so much for your inspiration and ability to calm my mind. 🌷

    Ginny Sones on

  • Thank you for continuing to inspire positive thoughts and a creative approach to life. I LOVE your coffee cup tangle – too fun!

    Danielle DeRome on

  • There is beauty every where ! Thank you for reminding us to stay aware and look and find beauty in everything!

    Julie Crosby on

  • Finding beauty in all things is such a wonderful way to enjoy everyday life…especially in this unusual world-wide stay-home situation. I hope I’ll find some beauty in something today myself too. Thanks for inspiration;-)
    That mooka Maria tangled reminded me of Hokusai’s big waves and I just loved it!

    Hiroko Matsuo CZT32 on

  • Love how beauty can be found everywhere and when using all our senses – seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, tasting.

    Thank you for reminding us.

    Lianne on

  • Love the coffee tangle reminds me when I found diva dance sand swirl and tipple in the frozen ice on top of our pasture grass last winter

    Christine Czt 29 on

  • That is one beautiful cup of coffee and a wonderful reminder for us to look for the beauty in all things! 😍

    Sue Clark on

  • Love the image of a tangle in the coffee cup placed on the grained grid of the table. Great combination. Thank you!

    Amy Gill on

  • Love the image that emerged ❣️

    Sue McDonald on

  • It’s great that the size of the tile allows it to be twisted as conveniently. at the end of my work, I always look at a picture from a distance or through the phone’s camera – then it’s noticeable that you can add more. And in general, I agree with Maria that beauty is in everything that surrounds us! you should pay attention to it 😉

    Elena on

  • I love the clouds in your coffee and the reminder to enjoy the moment. <3 Thank you for the blogs and the KTT’s!

    Barbara Langston on

  • Thank you, Rick and Maria, for the gift of Zentangle. It is a blessing in these uncertain times. I feel a deep serenity whenever I read one of your blogs or watch you tangle and I am truly grateful for you.

    Joan Mailloux on

  • Beautiful tile! Your ‘work’ is consistently beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing this stunning art form so freely.

    Carly Blankevoort on

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