First Zentangles! (On Gourds - Of Course!)


My friend TeriC introduced me to zentangles years ago and it was love at first sight - especially the colored ones!

You will better understand why if you go to her Zentangle Flickr site and see for yourself just what magic she weaves with her zentangles.

Smitten and determined to try my hand at making zentangle designs on gourds, I invited both TeriC and a new friend who is into zentangles, Genevieve, to join me in a little mini "craftalong" if you will - all three of us making Zentangles on gourds and posting the same day. Check out TeriC's Zentangl gourds here and Genevieve's Zentangle gourds here.

TeriC and Genevieve both call our adventure a "play date"!  I LIKE that! Got to remember that!  Play Date!



It is pretty gutsy of me - posting along side of these two amazing zentangle artists! Especially since I have no real clue about what I am doing!

But, there are not supposed to be any rules or mistakes so - hey - what can I do wrong?

Wanting whatever ended up on my gourds to be pretty much from my own muse, I totally avoided looking at their zentangles for the past several months.

I felt so awkward when I first put pen to "practice" gourd. Nothing came to mind. I was lost and alone - cast adrift - on that vast gourd surface wanting for inspiration or direction.


Then I got this really brilliant idea - to move my crafty space out into my garden and set up a work station right in the middle of the part I call Rebecca's Garden (after Rebecca at Roots and Wings). The ideas began flowing almost at once!


Echinacea, Bleeding Hearts, African Daisies, Silver Dollars, Coreopsis, Fuchsia, Cape Fuchsia, Blue Chicory - all begging for attention - all begging to have a place on my beautiful canteen gourd which I had been saving for something very special!


Too much fun once I got started!

After testing both colored pencils and colored felt tip pens, I settled on the pencils as they delivered the brightest color and I was off and running! I didn't look up for hours - my Sweetie finally had to come out and inform me that the day was nearly ended. It was getting dusky.  I hadn't even noticed I was drawing in the dark!


But wait! I had to give "traditional" zentangles some attention too!

And I had exactly the perfect gourds for that! These three beauties from Meg. (Remember the huge box of crafty goodness giveaway on MegaCrafty I won earlier this year)?

I don't have a clue if anything above actually qualifies as a zentangle or not - but it looks like zentangles! There was many a time, as I sat staring at an empty space that I was tempted to just take a quick peak at Genevieve's site Tangle Harmony. After all, she is a certified Zentangle instructor and draws Zentangles almost every single day!

But I remained determined not to be influenced by anything other than what was within. And actually, once I got past the first faultering steps and some not so great looking zentangles, I found that the overall result was actually working!

My advice to newbies - just start and keep going.  It will work out!


The "naked" gourd? I can't wait to get started. It will look a lot like this only waaaaay better! I got this wild idea to splash some water color paints over the surface and when they dried, to go back and Zentangle.

This one above is my test gourd and to be honest, it didn't look like much with that water color wash on it. I almost gave up the whole idea. But once I made a few quick test zentangles on top of the colors, I was totally sold! Great potential here! And I love how the colors are as random as the design.

Funny thing, I was just catching up with TeriC's posts earlier today and look what I found! Her own version of water color wash and Zentangles! She was ahead of me all along!  Great minds - right?


As many of your know I met TeriC at the very beginning of my blogging journey and we have been friends ever since. I was drawn to her sense of humor and her delight in even the simplest things and how she could bring them to life in her sketches and water colors.

She shares her art on two blogs, Teri's Painted Daisies and Teri's Mandala Poetry. Here are a couple of my favorite Mandalas "Love Mandala" and "Manifest Mandala". But my favorite place to visit is her Zentangle Flickr page. The gekko - my absolute favorite! Go see!


I met Genevieve in one of Diane's Blog Tune-up classes. At the time she was mostly only posting on Amaryllis Creations but she soon discovered and fell head over heals for Zentangles and now, only a few months later is a Certified Zentangle Instructor and regularly shares her zentangles on Tangle Harmony.

She offers some great resource links for students and Zendala Templates, and a Bookstore for those of you who want to really delve into Zentangles. Be sure to take the time to visit her Gallery and see her own Tangles and if you are lucky enough to live in or near her in Ontario, Canada, you can take a class!

Genevieve also has a Flickr site you will want to visit - Zendala Magic!

And now that I have allowed my eyes to gaze at Teri's and Genevieve's Zentangles, I can see even more Zentangling in my future!


Are you curious about my little Zentangle Gourd Vases?

Every once and a while when I am cleaning gourds, the top breaks off of this particularly fragile shape. I saved several to use as vases for dried flowers. The openings could be cut nice and smooth, but you know me - I like them this way!

Recently, it occurred to me that if I glue three together, they will be much more stable and make a very pretty cluster.

When I want to use them for fresh flowers, I place one of those little glass or plastic tubie things you can occasionally get on single flower stems. I have also seen them for sale at craft shops. You just want to be sure they are long enough to be held upright by the opening in the neck.

But the vases are absolutely perfect for dried fall flowers.


And yes - I am making ornaments - Zentangle ornaments! This little 3 1/2" gourd is currently enjoying a special place on my "Fiesta Tree", which is decorated with ornaments from Santa Fe artists and tin ornaments from both Mexico and my own hand! It fits in perfectly, don't you think?

I hope between TeriC, and Genevieve and myself, you are inspired to try your hand at making Zentangles.

Here is a little more about them - What Are Zentangles and Zentangle Theory.

Added after posting. Genevieve has just informed me: "Just one small note on terminology. Zentangles are the abstract black & white pieces we create on the 3-1/2-inch paper tiles. Everything else should be referred to as "Zentangle-Inspired Art". (It's a trademark thing.)"

I hope it is OK if I don't go back and change everything I have written - I used the word Zentangles a lot in this post.

Let me know how you like playing with Zentangles! And don't forget there is a gourd giveaway going on here on Gingerbread Snowflakes.  Enter before August 26th  on the post linked above - you can always use the gourds you win for Zentangles!

Note:  All gourds in this post were photographed before an acrylic sealer was applied for protection.  I have learned the hard way that trying to photograph a sealed gourd is asking for frustration.  Lighting them is tough enough without the reflective surface.

Wow, these are just amazing!

Wow, these are just amazing! I stopped in via Teri's blog/post today. What a great gift you sent her and what a talented woman you are.

happy week, G

These are gorgeous! I

These are gorgeous! I normally find zentangles rather cold and anonymous, but the colour gives them so much more personality. They also seem to be better displayed on a gourd than on bits of paper. What a lovely transformation!

I have been surfing tonight

I have been surfing tonight and found your wonderful site. It is also FUN to see that you are friends with Teri C.
She and I have not met but we found each other through the internet.
I was surfing tonight...looking for people that use colored pencils on gourds and found you and more.
I would love to stay in touch with you. Sounds like we have a lot in common.

Totally gorgeous! You are so

Totally gorgeous! You are so talented!

Your gourds are absolutely

Your gourds are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Well done! I LOVE them! And, oh... for that crafty space in the garden....! :)

Hi Pam, I've been thinking

Hi Pam, I've been thinking about your gourds (BTW I love your art work), and well this craft is new to me and I'm a bit embarrassed to ask, but ask I will. Do you use real gourds or are the Papier-mâché? If they're real gourds, do you remove the pulp?

Beautiful work, Pam!

Beautiful work, Pam! Absolutely in love with the bright colors and fun patterns of your garden-inspired gourd! I'd only seen Zentangles done in black and white, but now I can't wait to try to add some color! So glad your "play date" worked out well! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing with us!
Big hugs,

Do you know that I started

Do you know that I started reading this post at work TWICE? and got interrupted and never got to comment.
Thank you so much for your comment.
You are a true friend and I miss you!

Saying all that, I must admit that I'm jealous of your gourds.


p.s. I'm out of my gourd about them!!

I must live under a rock or

I must live under a rock or something because I have never heard the term Zentangles (or Zentangle-inspired art for that matter) before today. I visited the Flickr sites you linked to and good Gord, there is some cool stuff on there! I can see why you'd want to try your hand at this art. You absolutely have quite a knack for it too. Your gourds (all of them) are fantabulous Pam. Funny how black and white works so famously in your fiesta tree! (Side note: Fiesta tree?! Genius idea especially for us chronic crafters.)

Very, very unique. I've been

Very, very unique. I've been having fun collecting Zentangle patterns (tangles) but haven't done many squares or anything with them yet. Still trying to get my bearings after a vacation and was glad to come here and see your usual enthusiasm. I especially like the color splash first - kind of like art journaling where pages are created first, then the words or content go on top afterwards.

Love Zentangles! I've done

Love Zentangles! I've done these with patients before- it is so relaxing. Wonder how it would look to get retro and burn the design into the gourds? I swear Pam, I think if you dropped a bag of art supplies in the parking lot something gorgeous would result.

These are so lovely. I've

These are so lovely. I've experimented with black and white but now I see how amazing color can look in these "Zentangle Inspired" pieces.

Pam these designs are so

Pam these designs are so spectacular! I can definitely see how your garden could instantly inspire you, it's gorgeous. Wonderful project and so fun that you shared it with friends for a grown-up play date. Jx

Those are gorgeous!! I love

Those are gorgeous!! I love them. And I love that you did a Christmas one, too. I'm not sure what I like better, the black, or colorful. :)

All of them are so beautiful.

All of them are so beautiful.

Those came out so amazing! I

Those came out so amazing! I can't believe they are your first zentagles- wow. I love that you used that gorgeous garden of yours for inspiration.

I love Zentangles. I think I

I love Zentangles. I think I like the broken gourds the best. You could also store paintbrushes or knitting needles in them.

Your gourds are beautiful. A

Your gourds are beautiful. A great way to decorate them so you can use them. My zentangle-like work always looks the same so I have been told.

Pam, consider yourself a

Pam, consider yourself a master now after all these GORGEOUS zentangles!!! I LOVE them all. The broken tops are perfect and I need to break a few also. Putting the flowers in there is genius!!

You are so creative! Thanks for inviting me to have a 'gourd play dat'e with you and Genevieve. I had such a fun time and now that I am hooked I need to get some more gourds. I want a three gourd vase like yours.

Oh Teri!  Thank you so much

Oh Teri!  Thank you so much for our play date!  And for creating and sharing your beautiful gourd brush holder! 

I have written it into my schedule to make you a "three gourd vase"!  I happen to have three perfect gourds sitting here waiting!  And now i know what they were waiting for!

Wow, Pam! Your gourds are

Wow, Pam! Your gourds are exquisite. I love all the colour!

Thank you, thank you, thank

Thank you, thank you, thank you Genevieve!  I am thrilled to get such a great compliment from a Zentangle instructor! 

I was so concerned I wasn't "doing it right" even though supposedly there are no rights or wrongs!

I did have even more fun than I ever imagined I would!