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Living in a Museum

Living in a Museum

Rick writes:

Maria and I recently had guests visit. After tea and some great conversations, we walked around our home, telling them about all the art that covered the walls (and the woodwork and the furniture and the windows and the . . . you get the idea).





 As they were getting ready to leave, one of our guests asked, “What’s it like to live in a museum?”

My first thought was to say, “Create some art, hang it up, and you will find out for yourself!” 

But I second-guessed myself. Would that come across as too blunt and harsh? So, I answered with something generic like, “It’s wonderful.”

After she left, I thought, “What a missed opportunity!” 

So, with the benefit of hindsight and more time, here is what I could have said. 

“It’s wonderful. But it’s wonderful because Maria and I and our family made most of the art you see. A few were gifts. A few were family heirlooms. A few we bought.  
“The main point is, you can make any place you live into your very own museum. One way to do that is to display your own artwork. In our home, our creations are mixed in with pieces we collected over the years . . . it all adds up to the feeling of a museum. 

"So, this is my challenge to you. 

"First, create something yourself. This is the beauty of the Zentangle Method . . . you discover that it feels great to surround yourself with your creations – like a gardener would feel walking in his garden.

"Second, figure out a way to present it with respect and gratitude. Perhaps you find a beautiful old frame for it. If the frame is damaged, well, you can make that beautiful as well! 

"Third, find a place of honor in your home and hang it up. 

"Repeat. One beautiful creation at a time. 

"Soon enough, you will have the answer to your question, 'What’s it like to live in a museum?'”

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I heard that George Weiss, CZT, displayed his Zentangle art in his home. I asked if he'd share some images from his "museum." I know I had high expectations, but what he sent blew those away. Thank you so much, George!

George writes:

"The value of framing and hanging your Zentangle artwork at home is in its presence as a decorative reminder that you can bring beauty and soul into your daily life – no admission ticket or fee required. You’re the curator and only you can add, remove, and replace each creation ("no mistakes"). Each of them is helping you refurbish your Zentangle house – one picture at a time."




Maria adds:

It was always a dream for me to live in a museum.  I mean . . . really live in one.  Maybe I should have been a docent, visiting the artists as I pleased, guarding the art like it was my job.But now, here I be, living and loving the dream.  Who knew it was so easy? You just need to dream it and create it, one piece (peace) at a time. (And . . . be willing to have lots of holes in the old walls!)I find moving them around, from room to room, sometimes turning them 90 or 180 degrees makes me see them in a different light, changing my own perceptions of each piece.And it’s a great way to entertain visitors.I highly recommend this way of life. 


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So, dear reader, please tell us in the comments below what it's like to live in your museum! 

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Thank you to everyone who shared your heartfelt stories with us on our last blog, Pulling at My Hearstrings. We have randomly selected commenter Molly Siddoway King to receive a Zentangle surprise. Please send your snail mail address to

Rick Roberts


  • Love the idea of a museum. For some time, I’ve enjoyed adding my Zentangles as illustrations to stories and poetry from my daily reading plan. I rarely start with a particular end in sight. I think it’s especially cool when an abstract tangle or tile describes an idea like hope or joy in concrete terms. The last step of The Zentangle Method, (Appreciate), is so important to finding a match. Sometimes, I queue up some tunes and match tiles to descriptive song lyrics. Scripture – music – tangling — all my favorite pastimes wrapped up together. All that to say my journal is my “museum.”

    Linda Dochter on

  • Thanks to you both for sharing a glimpse of your museum! And also thanks for reminding me of the museum I live in! There are drawings, tiles and paintings on our walls, made by my husband and myself, there are artworks we brought back from our travels, there‘s one of my quilts and some fibre art too. We do the curating, framing and hanging together and love showing it to visitors. What a great way of living!

    Ulrike on

  • Tricia, I am with you. I have wonderful memories of visiting Rick and Maria’s house when I took part in CZT seminar #3 in ’10. Seeing all the pieces that were already familiar to us by pictures in the very early newsletters. If you did not yet – read those newsletters from ’09 and ’10 and get a glimpse of the museum Rick and Maria are talking about.

    Meanwhile I created my own museum in my studio where I tangle and teach. Love it myself as do visitors and students.

    Maria Vennekens on

  • I have always been intrigued by the photos and videos you share in this blog, as well as glimpses of your “museum” we often see in your Kitchen Table tangles. However, I didn’t realize, until I read this post, that I too have a museum of sorts. I don’t have a lot on my walls (need to remedy that), but I have a lot of artwork around my home. A Zentangle mobile of wooden leaves hanging behind the storm door can be seen from the street. Hand thrown pottery by friends and family is seen upon entering. Handwoven baskets (my own, and gifts from fellow weavers) sit on the floor, on tables, atop cabinets in the kitchen, even in the bathrooms. Handmade quilts are on my bed, and folded atop a dresser. My own paintings lean against bookcases, cabinets, etc. Several framed Zentangle tiles are tucked into nooks and crannies, or sit on windowsills, while many more are tucked into albums, or stored in drawers and cabinets. And hopefully, the ones I give as gifts (quite a few) are now hanging in the “museums” of friends and family! Wow! Thanks, Rick, for making me take inventory, and giving me a new perspective on my own living museum!

    JessicaDykesCZT39 on

  • Hello administrator, Keep up the good work!

    Chantal Locklear on

  • Wonderful blog. I have my quilts and fiber out AND my Zentangles up in my house. Each week, or day, or whatever moves me, I choose one tile to put on a little stand at my work desk to enjoy. Thanks, Maria and Rick, for figuring out Zentangle and sharing it with all of us. Love.

    elizabeth sofish on

  • Many people tell me that my home looks like a museum . They don’t know where to look first with all my glass, paintings from other artists, sculptures and my own Zentangle art. They get just as excited for my Zentangle art as they do the other art around my house and even ask me to hang more of my own Zentangle art up. It gives me great joy, happiness and a sense of accomplishment to walk around my house and admire all of my own creations. I give people gifts of my Zentangle art which they love and treasure and frame and hang in their own homes. Thank you for bringing Zentangle art into my life, it has completed my art dream for myself and makes me want to do more.

    Leslee Feiwus on

  • Hello Friends – Your wonderful post filled my heart with lovely nostalgia ~ and soft loving memories of my time at Zentangle CZT Seminar #3 in Whitinsville, MA. My most treasured reflections are of the ‘little’ gathering where you, Maria & Rick, invited the class to visit your home! Indeed, an unforgettable recollection of time spent in your wondrous museum. And your little studios upstairs where so much beautiful art was born! And the Zentangle tile that was a permanent appurtenance on the floor ~ yes, I did try to pick it up! And, do you really cook on that stove??? LOL Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Tricia, CZT 3 on

  • I love this post. And I love all the photos that you shared of the “home museum” as I like to call it. When people come to my home, especially other artists, they often comment that our home looks like a “home museum.” And it gives artists friends ideas to put up their own art in their own home. I call it my free gallery and we even designed our new home so the foyer is a gallery of my Zentangle Inspired art work. It makes me think of the HQ family and my CZT peers/friends and students I’ve met along the way since 2015. Grateful.

    Miriam Zimms on

  • How wonderful and inspiring your museum must be! I love it when I do frame a bigger piece of artwork I am very proud of and then it adorns my walls. My current piece is framed and going into a local Art Award and I love it. If it does not sell, then it will gladly be added to my museum of artworks that I love on my walls with pride. I have much gratitude for all that the Zentangle Family has given me, the addition of an extension of my skillset, now teaching, sharing and connecting with others both locally, nationally and internationally is just mind blowing for our global museum as much as our “home museum”. Thank you to all the Zentangle Family.

    Veronica Hodges CZT #37 Australia on

  • I am slowly building my museum as I build my confidence in making the Zentangles. When I go to my children’s homes, I see their museum growing with the Zentangles that I have sent them. What a thrill it is for me to see ‘my artwork’ displayed in their homes. Thank you for this wonderful way to relax and, at the same time, share my joy.

    Zipporah Rosenblatt on

  • Maybe you could do a video about framing and “showing” your zentangles. 🤗

    Dawn on

  • My “museum” consists of album pages. Small house, lots of windows=little wall space. Not a problem though, as I wander the “walls” in the albums, wondering “who” created all these tangled works. I know I did, but they seem so fresh and new that I get lost in them. My one concern is that with no family or like-minded friends to pass my works on to when I join “the Choir of the Invisible”, what will become of them? Have you ever considered a Museum that you would curate that might house such tangled efforts? Just think, a central, impressive edifice, housing such a wealth of Zentangle from around the world. It would attract visitors world-wide who would spend hours, even days, lost in the halls of Zentangle.

    Just a thought. Meanwhile, I’m back to a fresh tile and my trusty Micron!

    Viv on

  • yes, so much fun to live amongst your artwork (or anyone else’s) as an art student I did a lot of ‘swaps’ of art for art and have continued that as I got older with others. Now I love the Zentangle swaps you can do, great to display a real mix on your walls. Museum – a great word to explain to my hubby what our house looks like!

    Ildica on

  • I never thought of it that way, but yes, I too live in a museum.

    It’s my home with lots of remenbrances all around. Love it.

    Linda Ziegler on

  • My studio is covered with pieces completed when I first started as well as current ones. I love looking at my progress as a Zentangalist. I wish I had more from others. I do have some of sweet, departed Roxann Dyes’s work. She was and always will be an inspiration. I would love a virtual tour of your museum. What a treasure chest you must have!

    Clara Brunk on

  • I currently have a few of my completed tangled pieces framed and on walls of our apartment along with my other artwork (and my mask collection).

    I also have the artichoke art and the piece we all worked on at CZT38 hanging in my office cube! In the corner is the cartouche frame I made with our picture I gave to my mother for Mother’s Day. When she left to join the Choir Invisible in 2022 it became a cherished office picture.

    When all the work on my mother’s house is completed and we unjunk it enough to have room to move into it, I already have plans to have most of the walls covered with my works, some of my small jointed doll collection, and gifted works. I have a box of frames waiting for the cartouche Project Pack pieces but I have no energy to frame them right now. Work fries my energy by the end of each workday and I must sleep all weekend to recover.

    We believe books and artwork make a house a home and we have both ready to unpack and place.

    bakayaro onna (Debbie Smith) CZT38 on

  • What a lovely idea, so fresh and so SPRING.

    Jennifer on

  • I have some tiles I created as well as birthday tiles from a dear friend displayed on a marquee board laying flat. The tiles fit perfectly in the slats and new tiles can be added easily. The first piece that I will frame and display is the tangle wheel jigsaw puzzle currently under construction 💜
    Thank you, as always, for the inspiration and joy you send to all of us!

    Beth Lovelle on

  • I can relate! My mom and dad were both amazing artists, my hubby is an artist and I have so many Entangle tiles displayed around the house. Our house is filled with all of our art, I am so blessed to have all this beautiful and varied art from loved ones and myself, and a place to display and enjoy it!

    Jan Albright on

  • After years of being a ‘closeted’ artist and by that I mean I never hung my art anywhere, never showed it to anyone and didn’t think of myself as an artist. Then, about 4 years ago I discovered Zentangle through a class at our local senior center. Now I can refer to myself as an artist and have hung my art thought the house. My very early paintings, pen and ink drawings and most recent Zentangle art all hang together and/or slip into unsuspecting places to make me smile every time I pass. I tease my friends that if they sit still too long I may tangle them! Haha It’s all to the love and support from my teachers here and fellow artists and all of you at ZHQ. My heart is full with gratitude to Maria and Rick and their team for bringing this to all of us. Thank you.

    Joyce Schieltz on

  • Subject: Tangle


    When I completed a 60” long piece of botanical tangles on silk, which I hand dyed, my husband loved it so much he had it framed and hired an electrician to install an art light for it. It hangs in our front hallway among works from other artists. I’m now a part of my home museum. It’s a great feeling.

    Christine Gott Dickemper on

  • What a lovely idea! Thank you!

    Barb Bradley on

  • What are your museum hours and fees? I would love a real time tour!! If not available, then maybe a virtual tour! Thank you for sharing the inspiring photos!! Have you ever had a gallery showing of all your artworks? Love to you both and thanks for this post. On my way to frame shopping! Katrina

    Katrina Thiebaut on

  • I love displaying art, whether it is my families beautiful embroidery, diamond paintings , nieces primitive art , handmade crochet .. and of course my loved tangle pieces . There is nothing like being enveloped in the love of the handmade.

    Linda Rios CZT 27 on

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