A few tangles around a picture, glued on a black card, can  give a nice and personal touch. I have used Catkin and O.

At the moment,  there is still a lot of snow in the southern part of Belgium. It is quite cold but also sunny  and the landscape  is soooo beautiful, the skies are soooo blue, the evenings soooo colorful … Already a few weeks, there are  possibilties to “langlauf” and to ski. In the Ardennes we love the snow.  Every day I make a walk, together with my husband and dogs. I enjoy every moment and so do Miles and Jools.  While Rob and I carefully struggle  through this white world, the dogs skipp and dance around us. All of a sudden  they “fly”  upon the hill. I don’t see anything but after a few seconds, I know why that happens. Abough, on the top  some timid deers are passing. For some people, this means  maybe nothing, but I think it’s great. My day can’t be broken, it is gorgeous,  seeing those  beautiful wild animals, running away, just a few metres abough me.

Is there also a little fox? No, no,  that is our Norwich terrier Miles. He is  always excited, afraid of nothing. It is a  brave big dog, packaged in a compact, small body.

Once again, we take the camera  with us, during a walk and hope to find special winter pictures. Tomorrow all of these beauties can be gone.  You never know in Belgium. Nothing is more inconsistent than the weather, but still, every season has its beautiful days (and its lesser too but  I quickly forget those ones)

At the moment, it is very tempting to  relax in the warmth and to stay inside, just like a bear in his hole, who is coming out only in springtime

Nevertheless, the message is to move, the best remedy for the “winter blues”. Especially now it is very important  to go outside regulary and have some UV light. I have to admit that I don’t really like sports but I can’t miss my daily walk.  Recently  I do that with 2 sticks. This way of walking is original from Finland when cross-country skiers wanted to remain in shape during the summer by a similar sport. There are many advantages to Nordic walking and it’s been many years quite popular in our area.

Nordic walking respect your lower limbs, it improves your posture, strengthens your muscles and very important: you consume more calories than during a regular walk. It is the ideal sport to practice  outdoors, on yourself or in group …


Last Friday, again a 3-part workshop was completed.  After a first trial lesson,  some more theory during the second lesson, the students had to draw and colour on black and tan tiles in this third workshop.. It’s great to see all  students,  focused on their work and show nice results. Different people let me see works they had made at home; legends with  tangles, drawings in sketch books, different tiles, bookmarks, cards, napkin rings … Quite fascinating to see how  anyone can grow if the motivation is there. I wish to thank everyone who took part at the course and even more thanks for the commitment, enthusiasm and fine atmosphere in the classroom. Despite this pleasant experience I have decided to stop a while to give workshops  My back is a lot better but arthrosis is unpredictable and I don’t want to make appointments I might counsel. I  prefer to wait and see for a while…

The colourful results on the tan tiles: a combination of Sez, Oke, N’Zeppel and some favorite tangles…

And the black tiles, on which they have used for the first time gellypens and chalkpencils. The challenge was to fill straight or curly stripes with the new learned tangles:

Sometimes, students tell me that they are not always satisfied about their work and that they distroy their tiles regulary. I admit that I  also did that occasionally in the past, but that is wrong. Everything doesn’t has to be perfect. I don’t like the word perfect. Each drawing should be made with love, attention and it gives a unique result that is worth it.

A beautiful saying goes: be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone constantly is mean to you.

You can better put these tiles  in a box  and after a while take a look again. You see them in a whole different perspective. Occasionally I take a black brushpen to cover ‘the mistakes” ,  new tangles can be drawn on that black space with a white gellypen. The final result can give nice contrasts … What I also regularly do is, using the same string but  create a new tile, possibly with other tangles…you will see  a total different drawing …

On the two black spaces, I have drawn tangles  I didn’t like. So I used the black brushpen. When the covering was dry, I have drawn Rick’s Paradox, and on the other plane, just 3 smaller triangles. This tile was my entry for I.A.S. T, challenge number 180. You can see all the results of this challenge by pushing on the buttom on my front page. I’m learning a lot by joining challenges.


Above and below you can see two drawings, assuming the same strings (on pre-printed original tiles) but with very different results.


To end, I would like to tell something more about the 14 shades of grey. No it has nothing to do with those other shades of grey… This special technique is created by Sonya Yencer from the United States. I  like that “misty” atmospfere  around the already-drawn tangles.  Therefore, I have followed the example of Sonya and made a drawing in my sketchbook with Jetties in the leading role. In fact you can apply this technique on all tangles. In the next example, I have chosen for the beautiful pattern Stella and finished the tile, according to the rules of the 14 shades of grey.


And here is one more example of a drawing with Stella from my sketchbook. The great thing about Zentangle is that you can make so many beautiful and different works with your trusted tangles. You can make so much variation, both in black and white and in color. But when you want to try out something new:  put on your computer,  surf a little and always you will find a new pattern, a nice string, an unknown technique, a different background … It remains fascinating and never bores me, on the contrary, I never get enough of it!!!

I don’t like to make long trips anymore  but during virtual tours you can also discover very much. I have found a nice movie of an Ukrainian guy (Estas Tonne).  Wonderful sounds comes out of  his guitar  and he shows us  very special spots. I have enjoyed it and hope you  too!

Take good care, keep on tangling, and until next time.

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  1. 3
    Annette P. says:

    A wonderful and very inspiring post! So many to see here!
    Especially I love your last pieces with Sonya´s shading technique … they are all beautiful!
    And I´m glad that you have used “Eca-Lin” in the last one!
    Hugs, Annette

    • 4
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Jetzt sitze ich an meinem Lap top und sehe gleich ihre comments ankommen. Es freut mich sehr, Kommentar von dich zu bekommen.
      Ich bin froh dass meine erste Resultate von 14 Shades of grey dich gefällen. Mit Jetties, so wie Sonya gemacht hat, ist ganz einfach aber mit andere Muster finde ich es schwieriger. Diese Technik gefällt mich auch und ich will gerne dafür etwas mehr üben.
      Eca-Lin ist eine von meine Favoriten, so schön und passt überall.
      Herzliche Grüsse aus Belgien!!!

  2. 1
    chantal says:

    Article très intéressant Ria ! j’adore vos photos d’hiver, elles sont magnifiques.
    Cela doit être intéressant de faire des cours de zentangle, et les résultats sont exceptionnels, j’adore les couleurs.

    • 2
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Merci Chantal, je suis très heureuse avec votre réaction et c’est vrai, à ce moment les Ardennes sont magnifiques…
      Je vous remercie pour le compliment concernant des résultats de mes lessons. On s’amuse tous dans ces cours parceque les gens sont très motivés d’apprendre la style de dessiner et moi, je suis très contente de leurs tuiles.

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