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Maria's Mysaic

Maria's Mysaic

Maria writes:
Hi everyone.  Today’s blog is about “mysaics.”
We are all familiar with the word mosaic (in the world of Zentangle). It is a collection of tiles, created by a group of individuals, assembled into a grid for presentation purposes: to admire, to appreciate, to learn from.  But, what would you call a mosaic all made up of only one artist’s tiles?  Mysaic, of course!   
It occurred to me that I had never gathered up all (!) my tangles and appreciated the interplay and glow that only a mysaic can deliver.  
Well, for me, it was quite an effort to actually find all my tangles. They are sprinkled all over the house, stuck to walls, windows, cabinets, frames, clocks, knobs, book covers, floors, moldings, mirrors, desk blotters, lampshades, clothing, lightbulbs, furniture, shoes,  and well, you get the idea.   

Eventually, I decided to just use tiles.  So what you see here is a sampling of some of the tiles, and I think there may be a few of Rick's, Martha's and Molly’s here and there.  But certainly not even close to all my tiles.  And yet, it makes quite a mysaic, don’t you think?

Here's a flyover in a balloon that the gnomes use to get around our house. (Can you find two of them in the background?) They borrowed Rick's camera so you could see it from their perspective.

I can’t wait for you to see yours!   You might decide to have a grand gallery opening, invite your closest friends and family for wine and hors d’oeuvres and to show them what you have been doing for the last XX nights, weeks, months, years!  Or, maybe you decide to make it a permanent installation, once you have been exposed to your masterpiece.  

My favorite way to exhibit my tiles is to cover a large piece of 1/2 inch foam board with a beautiful, subtle colored fabric, and gently affix the tiles by sliding straight pins around them at an angle (do not pierce the tile paper).  This way you can rearrange or add to the mysaic at any time, as your collection morphs.  I have quite a few of these boards in frames, scattered about the house and studio.  I never tire of seeing the progression of years tangling, and the tiles that were the beginnings of this art form. 
Please feel free to take inspiration from any or any portion of a tile you see here. Always add your own wonderfulness to it.  

Have fun.

Be grateful.

Admire your own work.

Maria Thomas


  • Maria, how those tiles must bring back memories to you. Place where you did them, or the company of fellow tanglers with you, or even the weather! What a journal, a diary of your progress through life. And as you said, just a part of it! Thank you for sharing with your tribe here.

    Ginger White CZT34 on

  • I just love this!!


  • What a fantastic idea! I adore the concept of the “Mysaic”! I’m excited to gather all of mine! Thanks Maria!

    Brenda Campbell, CZT on

  • Maria…my grandmother made so many quilts in her lifetime, I immediately saw a beautiful quilt! She would have tried to figure out how to make these into fabric and quilt them, I’m sure! Thanks for sharing the “mysiac mysterium tremendum”.

    Susan on

  • Beautiful Idea. Recently my daughter had collected a pile of my tiles from around the house and it showed them to her I was going through them I I found tiles from 2010. So like you my tangles are all over the house and once in a while it’s nice to see a group of them together. Thanks for the new word. I am honored to be around your dick creati I apologize for any AutoCorrect‘s that are wrong in this message. I cannot see the message. The comment is black. vity

    Lisa Hoesing on

  • Oh my gosh! What a beautiful display. Maria Thomas, you have to be the most creative and inspirational person I have ever met! This makes me want to go find all my Zentangle art and create my very own Mysaic. Love seeing all your beautiful work! Thank you for being you!

    Brenda Shaver on

  • Thank you Maria! As always you continue to inspire and amaze! I am always trying to find new ways to display my tiles…..what a clever idea! Thanks also to those adorable gnomes for their contribution! I guess I’ll have to find some gnomes of my own 😊☺️. This post came at just the right time…a wonderful distraction from the daily news feeds! Sending hugs and fist bumps to our wonderful Zentangle community.

    Harriet Meltzer on

  • Love this Thankyou for sharing. Could you send a picture of one of your foam boards and how you did the pins ?? Thankyou.

    Cynthia Rosiek on

  • What a fun term you’ve coined! I look forward to seeing and creating many mini mysaics. I’m still trying to calculate the surface area for a whole one. Great fun.

    Sandy Kelley-Jones CZT on

  • Ahhh – so dreamy! I hope tonight when I drift off to sleep, the gnomes take me for a ride in their balloon over vast pastures of gorgeous tiles such as these!

    Leslie Barr on

  • so amazing to see all together – which is of course why we do that in classes

    Deb Prewitt on

  • I would certainly like to borrow those gnomes and their camera! Last year I excepted the challenge of 100 days of art and did 100 tiles to celebrate. I don’t think I have anyway to take a picture of all of them. However I am inspired to see if I can’t figure out away. Your artwork displayed in such a lovely setting is an inspiration to all of us Tangler’s throughout the world. Thank all for giving us the gift of Zentangle💕💕

    LIse on

  • I’ve given up saying words like “wow, marvelous, super” now. I meet so many awe-inspiring people (and artists) that this longer has any meaning. Besides hitting “like” on Face Book there must be a way to tell people that what they have said or shown has changed our lives in some small way…which is a big thing! Sometimes things bring tears to my eyes. Sometimes I just sit with my mouth open in a huge O. Sometimes I smile. Maria’s collection has given me joy and changed my life just a little toward happiness and comfort and beauty. In this difficult world that is quite a gift. Thanks.

    Ginny on

  • Oh! Beautiful!

    Chum-Ae on

  • I’m new to zentangle and love it. I’ve been toying with the idea of making either coasters or trivets for Christmas. What kind of tiles and inks would work best? Where would I find them? Any other suggestions for materials? Thanks for your help.

    Rosanne Toman on

  • Dear Maria, I will look at your mysaic again and again! It’s like stepping out into the world, your world, on a Spring morning! So life affirming and refreshing! Thank you for all you do to enhance lives around the world! Mary D’Angelo

    Mary D'Angelo, CZT on

  • Do the fly-over gnomes come free of charge? I must think how I can do this. My table is not that long. Love it all, Maria. Alan.

    Alan Quincey on

  • Looking at your last photo, I translated it to fabric and said, “What a wonderful quilt this would make!” Spectacular! Love your idea of collecting all of them and putting them together. Thank you!

    Paulette Kirschensteiner on

  • What inspirational fun and I love the name! I made a first mysaic in December 2015 with 30 tiles, my next was early February 2016 with 100+…close to all my kitchen island would hold. I return to their photos periodically to see progress and change to my style, and sometimes pine for the greater simplicity but love the challenges that help me grow. You have reminded me to do this more often, to pause, take stock and enjoy the beauty and reminisce about where I was when ‘gee, I did that’. Thank you, Maria, I think I will create a new mysaic this afternoon of more recent tiles. Oh, and love your gnome placements!

    With gratitude, Pam

    PamS on

  • What a stunning collection for a mosaic! I love your pin board idea!

    Most of my tiles live in archival plastic sleeves organized by project pack, book, or tangle group.

    I have a box of frames waiting for me to find time and energy to mat and frame many of my Project Pack 05 pieces for the wall.

    A few small framed pieces decorate my office at work and a work friend gifted me with a frame for my office because she said I needed to display my Zentangle passion at work. How is that for support!?!

    I may have to make two boards – one for work and one for home!

    Debbie 'onna' Smith on

  • Ah to step back and view the wonder of us. A great idea to say “I did this!” This is an inspirational post. Thank you!

    Cleo Thompson on

  • Love this overview!! <3

    ArjadL on

  • I’m so pleased that you have shown us the beauty of just some of your tiles. 😍

    Joanna Quincey CZT29 on

  • My! My! My! What a wonderful Mysaic! What a clever name! What a fun thing to do!!. Easy to spot your own tiles in a Mysaic! Thanks for sharing with us! My goodness! My gratitude!

    KatrinaThiebautCZT 22 and 32 on

  • What a lovely view to wake up to this morning. I love the idea of a mysaic! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with the world.

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

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