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Maria's Meanderings: The Green Micron

Maria's Meanderings: The Green Micron

Sometimes our tangles have stories or tales behind the pen strokes and sometimes our pen strokes inspire stories or tales. When Maria posts a tile on the Zentangle Mosaic App she almost always shares with us some sort of creative narrative. Her words range from inspiring thoughts to fanciful tales. We thought we would share with you some of these parings in a blog series we are calling Maria’s Meanderings.

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Maria writes (August 2018) ...

I have a true dislike of the color orange. Never wear it, never have it in the house. This makes me feel just a tad bit guilty. As an artist, perhaps I should love all colors, to better interpret whatever needs interpreting. Green is just a whisper from orange in my color spectrum, where you might see a few bits sneak their way into my life, but only if they’re accompanying others, say in a tapestry or the like. So. . . when I sat to create this tile I grabbed for my brown Micron, only to have the first stroke on my tile be green. GREEN! I didn’t even know I had a green Micron! No, seriously! This was not going to be easy. Of course, I had to continue. This was not going to be easy. (I know I already said that. . . )

So onward I go into the great unknown: using tools not from my usual toolbox. The strokes appeared as if from another’s hand.

But something otherworldly made me rethink this journey. The lines themselves began to speak to me, daring me, (or were they encouraging me?) to trust them. And so it continued, lines moving together, like a slow dance, entranced in this meditation. Eventually, I introduced the brown, but soon returned to the newcomer.


As I held my tile out at arm’s length, turning it this way and that, it seduced me with its charm.

We could all stand to try something we know we will detest. Huh.

Ricky, take me for sushi!

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Thank you to everyone who shared which Zentangle Project Pack inspired them most on the blog post Anything Project Pack is Possible...One Stroke at a Time. We have randomly selected three commenters to receive a Zentangle surprise.

Sue Leslie
Vreni Murphy
Zipporah Rosenblatt

Please send your snail mail address to

Maria Thomas


  • Maria, your post made me examine my love of bright, bold colors (like orange) which I use liberally in my ZIA, as well as my love of pure B&W compositions. As a child with red hair in the 1950’s, with its rigid fashion color rules, my mother would only allow me to wear white blouses, or pastel shades of various blues; plus gray, or navy blue (solid or plaid skirts and dresses). Never pants, (girls could not wear pants to school)! Mom insisted all other colors would “clash” with my dark auburn hair (not carrot top). However, my two sisters, (one blonde, one brunette), were allowed to wear the entire spectrum of the rainbow! When I became old enough to babysit, I started buying my own clothes. Mostly black and white, due to Mom’s color taboos, which had been drilled into me since birth. But after a salesperson (and my boyfriend) told me I was too young for all that black, I tentatively began to buy some brightly colored tops here and there. My mother still said they clashed, but I found affirmative confirmation from my HS art teacher! When I walked into her classroom one morning in a bold, daring, hot pink knit shirt! Her eyes lit up, she clapped her hands and said, “You finally did it! You broke the rules! You’re wearing pink with your red hair! It looks marvelous!” After her reaction, and the many other compliments I got that day, I added more and more bold colors to my wardrobe. I found I looked best in pure jewel tones, and fall color palettes (plus my beloved B&W). To this day, I hate pale, watery, pastel colors! I rarely use them in my artwork, nor in my closet either.

    Thanks for this lovely meander, Maria! Autumn’s upon us…bring on the Orange!

    Jessica L Dykes on

  • Colors evoke so many feelings and emotions…. Maria, I love your story because you kept going “one stroke at a time” and discovered something beautiful. With my students (elementary age) this lesson of going on through the “oops” is one I have to reinforce and re-teach many times because their inner critics are so loud. Thank you for sharing and providing me with another example for my students.

    Melissa, CZT6

    Melissa W Cahn on

  • Maria, Love hearing about your color feelings and those of commenters. My favorite color changes but green remains my least favorite. I found I can tolerate it in tangles, maybe because no mistakes.

    Carol Sheridan on

  • Love reading your meanderings! Funny it was a green pen you chose. I’ve been trying to get more comfortable working with colour and recently bought a green pen. Still have not picked it up when tangling. Hopefully you have given me a nudge out of my comfort zone.

    Michele Couture on

  • My favorite color is blue and I love it on the gray or tan tiles but especially on the white ones. The classic black and white with graphite is always my ‘go to’ when I don’t know what to do. I avoid the oranges, yellows and reds because they’re so bold, but lately I’ve noticed some of my tiles have those colors! How that happens I’m not sure except I suspect those rascally pens and pencils just pop into my hand all on their own. I truly believe my pens have a mind of their own as what I intended isn’t always what appears and that’s okay (sometimes it’s better). Thanks for your inspiration to step outside my box and be open to what happens.

    Joyce Schieltz on

  • Maria, I too have some least favorite colors: yellow, orange & green. My favorites are: purple, silver, red, black & gray. It’s more than likely because I look awful in yellow, orange, green, oh, and beige & tan.
    I wore out my purple crayons as a child, before others were half gone. Although I look best dressed in reds, blues & black. Our wonderful world is filled with color, and as I read through the comments, I see others with the same likes and others like what I don’t. Sure keeps things interesting!
    I enjoyed your green & brown creation. Surprisingly so! Guess we all need to get out of our color box and explore.

    Sharon Lynn Polk on

  • Ahhh..colors~My oldest son 13 yrs ago gained his wings at age 22; he was colorblind (red-green) & he was an awesome artist & now I find myself favoring red-green..for years I hated colors secretly..only wore colors because I couldn’t afford a wardrobe of blacks; since I started on my art journey I followed tutorials that called for color & slowly colors crept up into my world again ~I do however favor my choice of my work uniform blouse (black).

    Forever more in color limbo,
    Laura O.
    P.S. Maria your tile is beautiful & the perfect colors💞

    Laura Ordogne on

  • Oh you made me laugh out loud! My favourite colour is orange, and the orange pen looks stunning on a renaissance tile with the luscious brown one! And the last tile I did was with all the three green shades, so doubly laughed to myself. Oh well I love sushi, so I’ll join you for that and celebrate all our differences! :-)

    ildica boyd on

  • I can’t think of a color I dislike – some I use more than others, but for me, each color has its place. With orange I think of the autumn trees in all their glory. Brown is not a fav, but I do love the brown of tree trunks and polished wood. There are certain colors I wear as they go better with my skin tones, but I love to have all the colors I can in my garden to blend in with the greens. As for purple, AH!, now you have hit on my fav since I was a child – especially to wear. All hues and shades of purple are in my wardrobe, but interestingly, not so much in my house decor. And for those not liking orange, in feng shui, orange is a color that attracts abundance!!

    Deborah Lee on

  • I love this post, I too have a color that I do not care for-Purple. My family teases me about it and it is never my 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice. Imagine my surprise when working on Project Pack 21 Day 5, that I reached for my purple chalk pencil to blend with a dark blue-inspired by hyacinths-who knew? I may even use this color again. Happy to hear, I am not the only one that has a color that sits in the pen box.

    Kathleen Wiktor on

  • In nature, I like orange in the fall. When October turns the green leaves to eventual brown, I enjoy the in between, oranges and reds “in nature”. It seems to brighten the days of winter coming. The orange pumpkins arrive and aid to the fall season. However, I only have a few items of clothing with orange shades & if I choose them, it is in Oct. – Nov. When Dec. comes it is full of green & red. Your meander made me reflect on my tangles. They seem to follow the same choices in pen colors. Maybe why I have had the same orange 05 and 10 microns for a few years. Lately, I find I’m getting back to my tangle beginnings and using mostly blacks again. But….fall is coming.

    Johnifer on

  • My favorite color is orange-red, or red-orange. It is an almost talismanic color for me that says “I am alive!” I think I must have gotten imprinted on it in my childhood. It was an accent color in the 70s, and the color of some flowers my mother grew and tiny mushrooms that would sometimes appear in our yard.

    Valerie Hayes, CZT on

  • My favorite color is orange-red, or red-orange. It is an almost talismanic color for me that says “I am alive!” I think I must have gotten imprinted on it in my childhood. It was an accent color in the 70s, and the color of some flowers my mother grew and tiny mushrooms that would sometimes appear in our yard.

    Valerie Hayes, CZT on

  • Great challenge and well persevered.
    I love these meanderings 😃

    ArjadLH - Elefantangle on

  • I love your title and your story! I have never been a fan of orange. Definitely not a choice to wear or use to decorate anything. The only time I use orange is pumpkins and other orange food. I must admit that as I have grown older, I have begun making acquaintances with some of those “distasteful “ colors, but only on paper. Not in clothes or decor. However, I have to admit that I have lived with orange in subtle ways. I live in Georgia – the Metro Atlanta area- where red clay is abundant. Red clay isn’t really red; it’s orange. My clothes and body, most often my bare feet, have been stained by that iron-rich rusty soil off and on throughout my whole life. My grandparents and my dad would always plant a summer garden. The plowing would always turn up a lot of red clay. Walking through the rows to pick the vegetables and watermelons gave ample opportunities to make contact with that Georgia red clay. The thing is, you can hardly get it out of clothes. It requires lots and lots of scrubbing to get the stains off of your feet. Somewhere along the way it is accepted as a part of life that blends into unconscious acceptance and sleeps quietly in the background until you slip and fall in the mud or decide to frolic in mud puddles after a rainstorm. Green on the other hand, is a completely different story. I have heard it said that Atlanta is one of the greenest cities in the United States. Trees and forests nurture my soul. I love visiting new places. One of the questions I ask myself while there is “ Could I live here?” The most important question is “Are there enough trees?” Green is a go to color for me. It brings encouragement and healing, peace and comfort. Nothing better than a walk in a forest. Lush leaves of flowers and plants of every kind. Grass and vines. The signs of life and living. Growing. That’s one of those things Zentangle does for me. Helps me live, heal and grow. So glad that you made this tile. It makes me so happy! Brings me a moment of comfort and peace. I want to hold it and snuggle it. Reminds me of being snuggled up in a warm blanket on a chilly day! Blessings!

    Kathy Wright-Starr/StarrSongTangler on

  • I pretty much love all colors, some more than others. If there is a color I find myself avoiding, I hear a little voice telling me not to discriminate against it and to please use it somewhere in my work. When I do that I usually find that i really like it. So, no colors are off limits to me. There is always some spot to put it in that will make my work sparkle even more.

    Leslee Feiwus on

  • I love orange.. thankfully so does my roommate/sister.. We have orange shutters and door.. My bedroom is full of orange..

    The orange Micron is lovely.. lol yes it is good to go out of our comfort zone…Enjoy! the sushi..

    Linda Rios CZT#27 on

  • I pretty much like all colors, with the exception of most browns. For many years I’ve said my favorite color was purple. More recently I prefer to say the Rainbow. So tangling on tan tiles with brown pens isn’t someplace I readily go. Yet I admire the awesome tiles others have created in shades of brown.
    I guess that’s what makes the World of Creativity so fascinating.
    Maria Thanks for sharing your stories with us.
    Blessings Christi Marie.

    Christine M. Guymon on

  • Ah, color! Funny how our heart will adhere to a prescribed palette, only to have it upset at the most unique opportunity. I never had a liking for orange, until life-saving surgery in 1999. Now, it sneaks into so many of my creative endeavors.

    Your mind’s eye will never lead you wrong.

    Ginger White CZT34 on

  • Lets just say my green & orange Microns will never run out of ink! 😂 Though I must add your tile is lovely. 💚

    Jan ~ SailAndBeJoyful ~ on

  • I don’t really like those colors either, but everything you do is magic!

    Susan Goodman on

  • Maria, I loved this musing. I too am not fond of orange but am now determined to try it out in my next tangle. World keep watching this space. Amazing things are about to happen. Orange could well be my new favorite color. Well that might be pushing it!!

    Kathy McMurtry on

  • Meander … I was trying to decide on a Word of the Day! It’s perfect for teaching my students about ‘string theory’ in the Zentangle Method. I have 30 eager new students, ages 8 to 15, that I will inspire this morning with the idea of meandering. Thank you!

    Ann Baum on

  • I understand disliking a color. My dislike is a medium. I dislike pastels. Have lots but never use them. My mum was a potter and I didn’t care for clay and pastels are basically the same to me. But I love pastel pencils….I don’t have to actually come in contact with that chalk! Colors. I love all of them. Green and Orange especially! Maria, whatever you draw with whatever color, it turns into visual poetry!

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • Maria, be forewarned: now someone is going to try to sneak an orange pen into your stash!

    Sushi often has orange “sprinkles” on top (no spoilers from readers, please 😁). You can conquer two detestables in one bite!

    The green with the brown looks minty, prettier than standalone green IMO.

    Fun post. Thanks for the meander.

    Kendra Page on

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