Does this look familiar?  Here are the famous four seasons of Alphonse Mucha, the wonderful  Czech Art Nouveau artist

When I think about Art Nouveau (or Jugendstil)  I always see Prague in front of me. In this beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, located on the Moldau River, you can discover a lot of beautiful art.  In the evening, you can enjoy   performances of classical ballet and concerts. It is delicious to finish  the evening in one of the cozy Jugendstil coffee houses. Personally, I  prefer a visit in the winter, the city  looks just like a fairy tale.

Charles Bridge

The astronomical clock

The cultural house

Art Nouveau became popular at the end of the nineteenth century in different places of Europe. The inspiration was found in nature and we saw popping up graceful organic patterns and wavy lines everywhere. (ceramics, glass, paintings, architecture…) The flow had a short but intense flowering time and then went over to the Art Deko, more stylized, with tighter lines and mainly geometric patterns.

On the picture beneath, you can see clearly  the difference between these two styles:


Also  in our small Belgium, there is a lot of Art Nouveau and Art Deco to discover. I am thinking, for example, on the stately mansions on the Cogels Osylei in Antwerp, the numerous façades decorated with ironwork in Liège but especially  the Horta House in Brussels  is beautiful and worth to visit..

Cogels Osylei in Antwerp


Forgings in Liège

Entrance hall of the Horta House in Brussels


Horti, my new pattern, is based on the strongly simplified pattern in this Art Nouveau tile and is an easy tangle that offers many possibilities:


On this tile I started with a spiral (R-H1 found in the book the Primer). The spiral was not filled with fragments but I chose to draw a  mirrored Horti, combined with a variation of Mooka, Curly Q, Abeko, Tipple and the beautiful recent. pattern Clamz. The tile was completed with colourpencils and a white gellypen for the “highlights”.


On the second example, I started with  a very simple Horti in circleform, then another version around it with 2 different auras, followed by L ‘ Eaura, again a variation of Horti with aura and TIpple. Finally I decided to draw Umble and filled a few pieces  with colourpencils. To finish, I have put  Printemps in a few areas.

On the other hand, Nouvart is a pattern that I have composed after seeing several pictures from the Art Deco period. You’ll find similar motives  in the architecture,  in the glass art and in paintings …



Above and below Nouvart was drawn in combination with other tangles and fragments, including Rick’s Paradox, Tipple, Sails, Fassett Hibred, Zenith, Stircles and the Fragment K1. On the tile below, I started with  Gneiss, a beautiful and easy pattern and very nice to tangle around.  I have used gelly pens and only a little bit of chalk pencil.

And a Zendalatile with Horti and Nouvart, together with Zander, Petal Panes, Tipple, Joki and Scrawlz. I have used braun, turkoois and black pens, ordinary colourpencials, white chalkpencil and a white gellypen.

Christmas, New year, Valentine’s day and Carnival are already behind us but that does not mean that it is already spring. Personally, I find this period the least attractive of the year. But it is allright when you accept to have a lesser period. The winter is over its peak but there is not yet a real spring feeling.  Heavy rain, coldness and wind  are regular in March and April. But now and then  the sun comes through and you can already feel her stronger power. Very slowly, nature will awaken after a long period of rest.

Around this time, in Canada, the Maple juice is tapped from the trees: it’s  delicious on pancakes or  in a cup of rosehip tea .. In the Ardennes, Birch juice is harvested. It is a powerful drink that will clean and revitalise your body  and excellent to drink in this period of the year to give your body a real boost!

Once again I have chosen to end  with a template of Ben Kwok. The  Dragonfly is seen so many times  in the Art Nouveau and that is why I show you this drawing . The patterns I have used are: Nouvart, Horti, Knightsbridge, Hibred, Printemps, Jetties, Flux, Shattuck, Sandswirl, the fragment F7 and a very special tangle: Vo (just below Horti into the middle). This beautiful and easy pattern is designed by the six-year-old Vincent Roller, son of the German CZT Nadine Roller who created already several beautiful patterns. Her most recent pattern Elloso appeared a few days ago on

Again, you see, the Zentanglemethod is achievable for everyone!!!

Vielen Dank Vincent für dieses schönes neues Muster. Ich werde es bestimmt  brauchen in meine Zeichnungen.

The morning symbolizes the spring, the  afternoon the summer, the evening the autumn and the  night the winter. At the moment, we long so hard for springtime, my choice fell on” Morgendstimmung” by Edward Grieg. The song was mounted on beautiful pictures of the idyllic Norway, the homeland of the composer.

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  1. 13

    Dear Ria, I just finished my IAST 190 tile and thought I will visit your page and tell you how much I love Nouvart (many do!). On first glance, all your tiles look like beautiful little artworks, but when I looked closer I noticed so much more. Many out of the box ideas and little details, such as the thin rings around a ring in your zendala; joki is not the same at the edge; a spiral with/of hortis; the interesting texture-like flower; Nouvart in your zendala that look like bows; and the insect animal incorporated in the tile not just looking in. I wouldn’t even dare to do any of that in fear the rings would be thin and fat and slide all over the ring, the horti in the spiral would look the wrong way after a while, my texture flower would be boring, and an animal in my tile would need heavy shading to be recognized as such. You are amazing!

    • 14
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you Susie for this wonderful comment. You know, I do appreciate that very much and I adore also your beautiful tiles you shared with us. Maybe you learn a bit from my work, but I also learn from you…I’m very curious to see your IAST 190 but I know already it will be awesome!

  2. 11
    Terri Delaune says:

    Dear Ria,
    I just read you bio on the and got the link to your site.

    What fabulous information, pictures, stories and art. Nouvart is being used in the IAST this week and I’m excited to try it. Your zendalas are amazing, thank you so much for sharing.


    • 12
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Wow Terri, what a nice compliment you gave me, thank you very much. I’m glad you like my blog. Once a month, I try to write something that could be useful for everyone… I’m fond of Zentangleart and I hope to share a bit of the happiness that I became, thanks to this wonderful art.

  3. 9
    Suse says:

    Love your new tangles Ria, especially the second one.

    • 10
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you Sue, that is really kind of you and I’m glad you like Nouvart and I hope you will enjoy, drawing this pattern.

  4. 7

    Hi Ria, I never stumbled upon this part of your blog before. This is such an informative and visually stunning blog post. Given the relative youth of our country, much of our preservation worthy architecture is art nouveau and art deco. I did an art deco walking tour in South Beach (part of Miami Beach) and it was one of my favorite experiences from that trip. You have done such a wonderful job interpreting these styles in the tangles you shared.

    • 8
      Ria Matheussen says:

      That is really kind of you to give such a nice comment Suzanne, thank you very much.
      When you look to pictures of Art Nouveau, you will recognize so many patterns we are using in the Zentangleworld, so I thought it would be interesting to write a bit about this beautiful style of Art. In Europe there is a lot to explore of the original Art Nouveau and Art Deco, especially in Prague. I’m sure there is also a lot of this wonderful architecture in the States too, but I am not so familiar with it. I’m glad you had a nice experience in Miami and also that you like my post. At the end of the month, I will write another post about the way how I make watercoloured backgrounds.

  5. 5
    Jan Brandt says:

    Ria, this post is one of my favorites of yours so far!!! Having just now listened to Peer Gynt and smiled through the photos of spectacular Norway, I am thrilled with all the beauty in your post. I always love the pictures you offer of your lovely Belgium and feel so compelled to see those places for myself! I appreciate all I learn from your writing. And then there’s your amazing art!!! Horti and Nouvart are exciting new tangles I am eager to draw. Your stepouts are clear and your examples absolutely gorgeous. All the variations you’ve shared for both tangles are urging me to go sit in my studio and draw for the rest of the morning! It’s 8:30am on a Sunday morning here in the mountains near Lake Tahoe and the snow has been falling gently all night. Perhaps I’ll find some Greig to play while I tangle!

    Thank you for this beauty-filled start to my day. I am sending a hug across land and sea from my heart to yours ~ Jan

    • 6
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment.
      I have visited the North cape and the South cape but I like the Northern part more. Norway is so unspoiled and beautiful but unfortunately it is very expensive, much more than South Africa and the weather can be bad.
      Now I am retired, I don’t want to make large trips anymore but it is pleasant to write a bit. I like to make the connection between Zentangle and my own experiences. I discovered that many tangles are based on Art Nouveau and Art Deco patterns, so it was worth to write a blogpost and tell a bit about Prague. I know there are already many beautiful tangles but I think, there are still possibilities to create new ones. Horti and Nouvart are very easy to draw and many variations are possible… I’m glad you like them and I hope you will enjoy drawing them. I surfed to lake Tahoe and it looks beautiful, everthing looks so big. In Belgium, everything is small, we even don’t have skyscrapers, not one.
      Warm regards, lots of fun and a hug too.

  6. 3
    Anja says:

    Dear Ria, WOW! I am flashed! So many amazing tiles and Zendala!
    Many thanks for sharing your “Horti, Nouvart, Zimba”… As soon as possible I’ ll try them out.
    You are so creative!!!
    I also enjoyed the wonderful photos. It is always a pleasure reading your posts.
    I wish you a very Happy Sunday & Great springtime!
    Big hug! Anja

    • 4
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you Anja for this nice compliment, I do appreciate it very much.
      A while ago, I was looking for a new tangle and created Zimba but it is not so easy to draw this pattern in the right way. I don’t think the tanglers will use it often but it can be nice as a monotangle with different colors and directions…
      Horti and Nouvart are a lot easier and I like them more. I have discovered that a lot of tangles are based on patterns of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco.This period is really a source of inspiration and I think there is still more, worthwhile to explore…
      It is almost a year since we have met and I’m very proud to be a CZT, it was a heavy but wonderful experience and I am glad to have met you.
      Wish you all the best in everything you do,
      Warm regards and big hug

  7. 1
    chantal says:

    J’adore également cette période. L’année dernière je suis allée à Nancy et je m’étais régalée en visitant la ville.
    Et bravo pour les motifs que tu as créés, ils sont magnifiques, tu en as fait une belle source d’inspiration.

    • 2
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Malheureusement je ne connais pas Nancy mais je sais, on trouve l’Art Nouveau et l”Art Deco dans plusieurs pays en Europe. Concernant la France, je pense surtout à Paris (Toulouse-Lautrec). Les deux styles forment vraiment une grande source d’inspiration et je vois maintenant que déjà beaucoup de motifs de Zentangle ont trouvé leur origine dans ce période. J’écris un peu de Prague parce que j’ai visité cette ville il ya quelques années et l’architecture est vraiment magnifique.
      Horti et Nouvart sont très simples mais beaucoup de variations sont possibles. Merçi pour le compliment Chantal!
      Salutations aimables d’Izier.

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