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I Can See Clearly Now

I Can See Clearly Now

Molly and Martha write:

I can Z clearly now … La Z en Rose

“Hi, I’m Molly, and I’m Martha! We are the daughters of the founders of the Zentangle Method.” This is how we start each one of our Zentangle retreat workshops.

For the past eight years, the two of us have been teaching deep-dive Zentangle workshops. Each workshop idea starts with a basic focus on some sort of tangling theme or technique. From there we build a dialogue around a specific Zentangle philosophy. Then the magic starts to happen, and we build creative and inspiring content based on the core theme. We journey through the days with a common goal of learning new Zentangle ideas and techniques, while opening our minds to the possibilities of taking what we learn from the tile into our everyday lives.

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of spending four glorious days on a mountaintop in Boone, NC, with a remarkable group of Zentangle enthusiasts. The Art of Living Retreat Center was the perfect venue to gather like-minded artists in a nurturing and beautiful environment. This workshop was titled, “Translucen-Z, Create Tangled Illusions Through Light and Perspective.” We worked primarily on our newest tile surface, TranslucenZ® Tiles. These tiles are created from a vellum-like paper with gossamer see-through qualities. The paper brings with it an exciting new process of tangling both sides of the surface and using light to enhance and support the creative process. Seeing through this surface we were able to see through obstacles to a path beyond. We learned to let our artistic light shine through not only in our work but to enhance our individual creative personalities. As the days unfolded, this new “tool” unleashed a new confidence in our students, and they were able to see things in a new light. Borrowing from our “No Mistakes” philosophy, we found that any miss-strokes were met with a new approach to seeing things in a positive light. Though we do not have control over what happens in our world, we do have control over how we choose to view it and how we want to navigate it. We, as artists, get to choose what lens we want to look through. This shift of perspective is exactly what we are working with when we talk about the Zentangle “No Mistakes” philosophy.

To empower ourselves through our artistic vision we decided to honor this concept with our students and crown off this amazing 4-day journey in style. Pushing ourselves to use our art to practice finding the beauty and good that lives along the way in all our journeys, on and off the tile. As a symbol of this approach, we gifted each of our students a pair of rose-colored glasses. A fun-filled reminder of this philosophy. Putting that energy together, we collaborated on our new rosy outlook and donned our rose-colored glasses to remind us that we can choose to see our world and all its beauty, no matter the circumstances. Not because everything is good but because you have the choice to see the good in everything. Some may know of the traditional French reference, “La Vie En Rose,” a well-known saying and song lyric that celebrates this same idea which we say in English as, “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses”.

Can you just picture it? A roomful of Zentangle artists tangling away on a mountain top, wearing rose-colored glasses and Edith Piaf singing our anthem in the background. We are forever grateful for these amazing artists and their willingness to spend their precious time with us.

Forever in our hearts, “La Z en Rose”.

We are excited to launch our new Instagram page @tanglingwithmollyandmartha. Follow us for up-to-date workshop plans and fun ideas and Zentangle sister-love. Next stop, Western Massachusetts in June. If there is a place you want us to teach, let us know!

Martha Huggins


  • Northeast Iowa offers gentle beauty in wooded rolling hills. Please come. Doris

    Doris Howard on

  • What a great experience and a beautiful venue!

    Delisa Rice on

  • I had such a wonderful experience attending this workshop in Boone, with my mother. We were really on the fence, as we were not yet hooked on the Translucen-Z medium – but it was so much more than just the Translucen-Z tiles! Molly and Martha, you are such incredible teachers – inspiring, thoughtful, creative and supportive. The fellow tanglers were equally inspiring and really helped to create such a special place for being in the “Zentangle Zone”! I hope I will have the opportunity to explore more at future workshops or classes. Thank you!

    Meredith Krimmer on

  • Yes! Please come to California!! I am in Marin County. Let me know if I can help 💕

    Wendy Need-Beak on

  • I thoroughly enjoyed every second at this retreat and love tangling along with Molly and Martha! I will be back every year! I have my rose colored glasses displayed in my art room where I spend 1 to 2 hours every night tangling.

    Carol LeBlanc on

  • The whole retreat was so enjoyable and I learned so much! I appreciate all the planning that went into each day and how it all tied together. You both did a great job and I look forward to next year!

    Lynn Starnes on

  • What a wonderful event. Days devoted to Zentangle, Spending time refining some of those tangles I haven’t used for a while and enjoying the new Translucen-Z tiles. Lots of beautiful mountain sights, fabulous food. Can’t wait until
    next year!! Thanks Martha and Molly for planning such a great 4 days.

    Kim Seastrom on

  • That’s just darling! And I agree, seeing the rosy side of things is a choice!

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • I recommend coming to beautiful Mt Shasta or it’s neighbor McCloud, CA

    Rimona on

  • Please come to the Northwest 🙂

    LouAnn Smith on

  • Do you give scholarships? I cannot afford the price of a workshop, but would love to participate

    Sue Bellefeuille on

  • It was an absolutely wonderful event. Every moment was exciting.

    Ann Florence on

  • It was an absolutely wonderful event. Every moment was exciting.

    Ann Florence on

  • The Zentangle family constantly astounds me with their creativity! I love the rose-coloured glasses you provided this group of talented tanglers! Please come to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area one of these years. Texas needs some serious tangling time with you two!

    Debbie Smith on

  • Please come to Tallahassee, Florida, our Capital City, and a beautiful place to hold a workshop

    Brenda Jowers on

  • ….come back to California!!!!!!

    Diane McCurdy on

  • Wow…. The best news was in the end .. catching you both in insta am the 21st follower…😁😍

    Maya on

  • Powerful ideas on your words, thank you much!!

    Pere Cobo on

  • I had a fantastic time and learned so much! Thank you both for a great adventure.


  • Love this idea 💫😎Thanks for sharing it & your ever present inspiration.!

    Penny on

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