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Zentangle Doppelgänger

Maria writes...

If we were to humanize our tangles. . .  which one would you be?  

When we first started speaking​ about Zentangle, one person spoke out and said Rick was surely Zen and I, of course was tangle. I kind of liked that.  You know. . . "Sonny and Cher,” "Burns and Allen,”  "John and Yoko,” "Mickey and Minnie,” "Fred and Wilma.”   I could go on and on.  (but Rick thought maybe it was enough. . .)  I love being "Rick and Maria". 

Lately, I started thinking about the personification of tangles, giving them character, images, and a history.  I soon realized my Zentangle Doppelgänger is, of course (duuuuuuh!) Mooka. I gave it a capital letter, just like me and my chop.

 I feel if someone were to describe me and Mooka, there would be lots of overlaps:  like being fairly curvy, exuberant, short (but wanting to be taller), we both have a history of art in our lives, we're both move quickly and in unexpected directions, and, we are most definitely a bit loopy. It is my "go-to" tangle, my "mac 'n cheese" tangle, the one that seems to just pour out of my pen, and one I cannot control. 

Rick, on the other hand, is without a doubt, Paradox.  I was going to write why here, but I asked him to do it instead. (mine would have been funnier). His version is nowhere near what I was going to write, but, Hey! That's cool.  Here it is:

I love that by drawing a simple series of straight lines in a particular way, a beautiful curve results. I love that I thought I had come up with this tangle only to discover that it is a generations old quilting pattern. I love how when you put paradox sections side by side a meta-shapes reveals itself; and if you do adjoining sections in different directions different meta-shapes reveal themselves. I love that you can take almost any familiar repeating shape and "paradox" it and discover fresh meta-shapes. I love that paradox's meta-shapes all result in tessellations or repeating shapes that neither overlap nor leave any gaps. I love that you can't predict what those tessellated shapes will look like until you draw them.


And, I guess that says a bit about how I approach the world.

I asked Indy (who is now 8) and she said Pokeroot, because a few people commented on Zentangle Mosaic that she was the pokeroot queen. Mazzy (6) said she would be pokeleaf, because, after all, they are sisters.  

Molly, immediately said Tripoli, Martha, Mooka. . .she is my first born and all, and she's just recently got the mooka bug and cannot stop drawing this voluptuous tangle. And Nick, well let's just say Hollibaugh and leave it at that.

Soooooo, my dear Zentangle family, what tangle would you be, if you could be a tangle and why?  I cannot wait to hear the stories and reasons for your choices.

We will choose a name at random from the comments and send goodies your way.  So please give me a way to identify you somehow in your comment.

Give this some thought.   It might surprise you what you come up with!


Julie Willand


  • My favorite go-to tangle is the beautiful Nzeppel. It always adds a sparkle, makes a pleasing background or stands out as a highlight. I think that is what the practice of drawing tangles does in my life adding sparkle around my house, connecting me to family on cards sent and highlighting my sense of creativity. Doris

    Doris Howard on

  • My 2 most recent doppelgangers are CC and Fluxecho. I love to do CC in color because I am a very colorful person. I like the fact that I can do simple things to change it (just like me because I am very flexible). Fluxecho is like me in many ways. It is easy to fit in to just about any space and it just kind of floats around and is very graceful (which I wish I was).

    Barbara Burgess on

  • My favorite go-to zentangle is Cadent with Huggins, Paradox, Flux, Mooka, and Fengle right on its heels! I use tons of Tipple and Printemps to finish off my pieces. It is sooooooooo difficult to name just one…..

    Ruth S

    Ruth Sands on

  • Mine is definitely flux, it is organic or regimented, can take orbs or printemps. I love it because It is all the lambs ears in garden, my favorite plant, fairy blankets.

    Lin L on

  • My doppelgänger is Purk. It is organic, curvy, pearly – I love everything on it.
    Lily Moon.

    Lily Moon on

  • I really like paradox. It always surprises me, just like Rick’s paradox in this newsletter. Would you like to tell me how you made that beautiful tile? Thank you for your inspiration! Bertie

    Bertie on

  • I would say Printempts is mostblike me. I am very centered and sometimes wound up. I have a spring in my step and am happy most of the time. Printemps is the perfect tangle for for adding a litt zest where you need it or letting it be a surprise in the shadows. It can be large or small depending on the situation. Just like me, I can lead but also follow and hopefully I compliment the other tangles around me.

    Nancy Loomis CZT19

    Nancy loomis on

  • My doppelgänger, rather to my surprise, is Shattuck. It turns up all the time. I love the way it weaves its way across a tile (or a book spine, or a box, or…) it’s fun to draw and even more fun to shade. Shattuck takes me to my happy place. Yup.

    Mary Bartrop on

  • My doppelgänger would be Well-Variation. I love that I can get it to flow, but if I get distracted – it gets squirrely….
    just like me!!!

    Dona Stallworth on

  • Mine would have to be gneiss. It appears in many tiles that I have created.

    Harley King on

  • My doppelgänger is Pokeleaf, I just love how the drawing of it feels completely natural to me. I like to draw them because they are all little hearts… Zentangle to me is all about the heart and when looking back at the first time I drew Pokeleaf. I didn’t click at all. Somewhere along the way they became fuller and not so skinny as I drew at first. Now I love combining them with pokeroot and use them a lot. Looking at my own life: I’ve been on a diet for well over 10 years. Skinny was ok, but I gave up and decided to just not diet for a while. The scales found a few extra pounds, not even as much as I thought they would and I feel so much more me… alife and free. This is how Pokeleaf is my doppelgänger :D

    Annelies Hoornik on

  • Interesting concept. I would have to say Bales. It is structured and organized in its making but looks organic when finished. I could say that about myself as well.

    Linda D CZT10 on

  • My go-to tangle is “Crescent Moon” — it was one of the first tangles I learned and it is in everything I do — in one form or another. My second go-to tangle is Paradox because it is magical to me. So many ways you can do it and every piece turns out different. N’zepple is probably me — going every which way, being on the edge but still having form and meaning. Thanks, Maria, for the opportunity for me to open up a little.

    Estelle Goodnight on

  • Paradox is my alter ego. As an introvert, synesthete, and highly sensitive person, my thoughts are always swirling inwards… leading to surprise connections… blending onward. One thought leads straight to another, and another, and though they are all connected, it is impossible to tell where it starts and ends. The tangle Paradox is a beautiful visual representation of what lies beneath.

    Kelly Houlton on

  • I have so many favs, but mine has got to be Paradox! I love to introduce Zentangle to people! They admire what I’ve done and say that they are not artistic and couldn’t imagine being able to do something like that. I ask them if they can draw a straight line and show them a simple Rick’s Paradox telling them that there are ONLY straight lines on the tile! They don’t believe me until I give them a straight edge to prove it. I then give them a tile because it has the word Zentangle on the back, so they’ll remember, and introduce them to your web-site and You-Tube videos.

    Cynthia Douglas on

  • That’s a very exciting discussion. And as so often in my life, I can not decide right away. One method I keep on coming up with is the exclusion method, and so I went through my favorite patterns in centhology – all blasted the frame. I was amazed myself by what came out of it. On my list were still to choose from Tipple, Echoism, Mooka, Onamato, Bumper and Phicops. It was so hard to decide, because each of these tangles is one aspect of my life and work.
    Then I drew a tile with these patterns and in the end Tipple stayed and made me smile.
    I do not know how many times I have drawn Tipple but I know when I always draw it. Whenever I want to rest, need a break, have pain, feel sad or despair. Whenever I want to make another sad face laugh. Tipple is my smile pattern. It is “mostly” round, can be small or large, but still fits in everywhere. Is an emergency pattern and extremely beautiful, very multi-layered and three-dimensional and sometimes falls out of the frame without much notice. Often it is almost inconspicuous and hides in the crowd and then again very present. It’s funny and yet it seriously fills in gaps that are hard to find another solution. Somehow, it is always on the move and bring peace into confusion. I would be, I think a round, wobbly Tipple always waiting for his appearance, and then disappear unnoticed back in the background.

    Ela Rieger on

  • My name is Quwatha (Mooka) Valentine. Mooka is my go-to tangle. It flows so nicely and isn’t complicated. It adjusts to its surroundings, becomes big or small as needed, and brings a smile to the world. It can have complicated tangles inside it but I prefer to keep it simple, bringing all the troubles one has down to a manageable size or eliminating them all together.

    I love Mooka. Occasionally I go to Betweed first. That’s when I can’t decide which way to go in the tangle or in my life. By the time I finish, I know where I am and where I’m going.

    Quwatha Valentine on

  • I am moocha because I am round, curvy and smooth. LOL! Love it all.

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

  • This is an interesting post and nice to read the many comments which are different from every one. That shows again how many faces the Zentangleart can have. At het moment I’m fond of Crescent Moon but that wasn’t always so and after reading this post, I took a look on all my tiles and saw appearing Tipple and Printemps on many tiles but also I like more and more Huggins, Toodles and Fassett. Which one will I prefer next year? Zentangleart is always moving and that is wonderfull. Thank you Rick and Maria for giving so many people a wonderfull new way of drawing.

    ria matheussen on

  • Printemps reminds me of my early love of pirouettes as a ballet dancer. Mooka feels like the infurling and unfurling of my moods. But doppelgänger … “a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person” … I think Ansu (by Lori Manoogian). When I draw Ansu – which grows organically into curves, u-turns, sudden stops then starts in another direction – it resonates with me. What a lovely suggestion, Maria, to ponder the relationship between tangle and self! Thank you.

    Jan Brandt, CZT 12 on

  • I would have to say, without question, my Zentangle Doppelgänger is Crazy Huggins. I have loved this tangle since first setting eyes on it and it took me what seemed liked HOURS of frustration with many attempts and failures before the lightbulb finally clicked on and i “got” how to do it. I was also blessed to get several tips and tricks from fellow Mosaic members that helped as well. I LOVE that it is so easy to tangle-within-a-tangle with it as well. The embellishments you can add are limitless….. my reasons just go on and on. But bottom line is: it’s just ME. Crazy, a bit whacky and askew, and oh so beautiful!

    Rita Miller on

  • Depends upon the day, but my go to tangles are Well, because you can use it in a grid or let it wonderfully escape from the grid, Rick’s flux because I can meander along with is anywhere, diva dance, cause dancing! Who doesn’t need a little dancing in their life! Finally, Printemps because it just seems to fit in anywhere, and I love how varied it can be.

    1 Art Lady Kate (Ahrens) on

  • Three tangles that you’ll find in almost anything I do are Printemps, Tipple, and Black Pearlz. But those are go-to tangles, not doppelgangers. Naming my favorite tangle is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. My favorite tangles are constantly changing, and they aren’t doppelgangers either.
    What tangle is LIKE ME… hmmm…
    My mind is Fengle, way too much going on and constantly taking off in another direction. (I was just now able to see some beauty in that, rather than a frustrating annoyance.)
    My heart is like Zentangle itself, interested in other points of view.
    My eyesight, without my glasses, is OoF (Out of Focus).
    My drawing hand is Paradox; very controlled gets the best results.
    My house is Dust Bunny.

    Margaret Bremner on

  • so many choices..throwing a metaphorical dart…this time it lands on Paradox. It’s the magic that appears when drawing this one…can’t get any better than straight lines morphing into curves. Love ❤ it and it’s many variations, such as ginko leaves, footballs, spades, twisted columns. AND all those straight lines play together so nicely (or well)

    Judith Shamp on

  • Mine would be WellWellWell or Spoken interchangeably. The asymmetrical flow of curves, grace and elegance speaks to my creative sensibilities!

    Debbie Huntington CZT on

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