Jun 05

Operation “Rescue Studio” is finally underway….

I’m posting this to keep myself in check. I am not going to let this summer pass away without getting my studio done. We’ve been in this house for almost two years – it is WAY past time to get it organized, so I can actually WORK IN IT. So – here are some before pictures:

I know. What a mess.I know. What a mess.

There are many people I know that can relate to this I’m sure!!

Another view. Yup - still a mess. Another view. Yup – still a mess.
A view of the closet. NOT a mess, because I cleaned it out to paint it. A view of the closet. NOT a mess, because I cleaned it out to paint it.

 I am hoping to document my progress start to finish, and all of the products I intend to use for the studio – names of paint, brands, techniques, etc. Because I like to know the stuff that people use when they do those beautiful things on Pinterest. And maybe, just maybe, someone will be inspired buy this project and pin it!! I also intend to fully document it with photographs. And maybe a few posts of frustration along the way. The ugly dark brown shelf is going to get a chalk paint treatment (just bought it today – I’m a chalk paint virgin), the walls of the studio are now 3/4 done (more on that in my next post) and I’m adding two shelves to the closet, and painting that a darker gray. I went with a neutral color because I have all kinds of crazy art that I want to hang on the walls.



Plus I pay for this dang blog and it’s about time that I use it!!


Mar 19

NAEA Rocked….

23 tiles from the "ATCs to Zendalas" hands-on workshop at the National Art Education Association Convention.

23 tiles from the “ATCs to Zendalas” hands-on workshop at the National Art Education Association Convention.

Every year, the National Art Education Association holds its annual convention, and it is all kinds of fun. This year, a fellow CZT #4 training fellow graduate, Amy, submitted two proposals for Zentangle based sessions – a 50 minute lecture on best practices, and a two hour hands-on workshop. Much to our delight (trepidation?) both were accepted. Planning these classes with her were a challenge because she is in Knoxville, and I am in Albuquerque, approximately 1400 miles apart – but we persevered! Personally, I love to introduce the technique to people who have never heard of it.  Our lecture was packed (and included my art teacher from high school, Br. Marty!), so I was shaking in my boots. Good thing Amy knew what she was doing! Check out tanglefish.blogspot.com to see her work.

Our hands-on had twenty-three people, a few of whom had some experience, but many were new to technique. I am an art educator myself, and it is part of my day job to provide PD for other art educators, so I love a room full of art educators!!  I especially love watching them complete a piece of work, and go through a process for the first time. Art teachers take to ideas so fast, and then change them up – you can’t help but watch and let them fly.

We also got to hang out with some fellow CZTs from the Ft. Worth area, and we got to see a lot of the “First Family of Zentangle” – Maria, Rick and Molly. They are all very inspiring. Two of the ladies are putting together a book, and asked me to participate – I’m very psyched about that, and will be journaling the progress of my pieces here (hopefully – in case you can’t tell, I’m bad at posting). The first one is tree-themed, since I couldn’t help but notice that they are starting to pop their leaves here in NM. Little bursts of green here and there, which is the feeling I want to convey through the piece. I think I’ll use color with this one too….I don’t think I can help myself!

I was seeing patterns everywhere. Here was an example of the tangle Cubine in our hotel hallway:

CubineAnd this one looks familiar, but I can’t find the name of it. This was from the front door of a FABULOUS restaurant in Near Southside in Ft. Worth called “The Flying Carpet”. It was was all wood, from the floors to the ceiling, and covered in plush hand-woven Turkish rugs – just the place for four hungry art teachers wandering around in the Texas drizzle. The food was amazing, and the staff was fun (shout out to Parker who was so happy for us when we got our entrees). This was on the front door:


Oh – I have a new tangle to post as well – “Sraith”. More on that later.


May 20


I’ve been working on a piece for a Zentangle-inspired art show (ZIA, for short) at the Printmaker’s Studio here in Albuquerque. The opening is in early June, and with school ending next week, having to finish up  a class, life, etc. etc., I’ve been feeling the pressure to finish it. I had thought about the design back in March, and have really enjoyed working with the Fibonacci Spiral, in fact, I’m working on another possibility for the show. I also have a box that I want to submit as well, but that’s another story. I took a few pictures as the piece progressed – not exactly what I had in mind, but I like it. I’m usually a “purist” when it comes to my work in Zentangle – black and white with grey shading. The addition of the rust made it look more earthy, I think. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the progression from start to finish:

Final Piece

Forgive that second picture – no amount of editing could remove that glare!

Apr 11

Here is my Wordle!!

Wordle.net is lots of fun – a great way for teachers to display vocabulary, and a way to kill 5 minutes at lunch time! I had Wordle take words from my blog, and here is what was created:

I like it!! There needs to be a wordle with images site…. picturdle.com maybe?

Apr 02

Evolution of a Tangle

The Zentangle community has such creative people – I sometimes get intimidated. There are fabulous books by talented illustrators and artists, everybody seems to be coming up with wonderful ideas for new products, projects, and books. I set a rather lofty goal for myself: to come up with an original tangle. I’ve had this goal for a while – and have reached it a few times (or so I thought) only to find that those creative people I spoke of earlier had already come up with what I did, or something reallllly similar! My heart always sinks about a millimeter when it happens, but my resolve grew stronger. Now, some may say a tangleation (a variation of a tangle) would count, but I wanted to build one from the ground up. I actually had a little waking dream about this one – It was about when I was a kid, and how I had such a hard time drawing five-pointed stars. As a perfectionist, even at the tender age of 11, this really bothered me. But I discovered a way…and I think I have my original tangle. If I don’t, please don’t tell me, o.k.? :-)

I call it FÜNF, which is German for five. I even have a hard time with the names! Anyway, here it goes…

Start with a "Y", then add two arms, then add an aura around it.

Add lines, additional stars...whatever you like.

And don't forget to shade!

A variation (or tangleation!)

Mar 21


The nice lady that I occasionally team up with for classes at The Printmaker’s Studio here in Albuquerque is having a show in June called “All Tangled Up” – a show featuring Zentangle Inspired Art (affectionately called ZIA). I’ve been having a hard time finding some inspiration because I’m a little intimidated by the thought of an exhibit. It’s been a few years since I’ve displayed work, and I generally work small, but I want to do a larger piece for the show. (One lady is taking up an entire wall with a ZIA collage – I can’t wait to see that!) While researching for a lesson sharing session on crop circles for work, I came across one of my very favorite shapes: The nautilus. This is the Google image I stumbled upon….

Talk about working on a large scale! I thought this was a great photo too:

The thought of using the Fibonacci Spiral in relation to Zentangle isn’t a new one, but it intrigues me. There are a few CZT geeks like me who work within this realm, I’m wondering if I should seek their advice, or just experiment. The CZT community is very supportive, and extremely giving with advice, ideas, and suggestions. I love being part of the Facebook group especially.

This can be found in MANY places in nature – pine cones, succulents, the arrangement of strawberry seeds, flowers, seeds, etc. I’ve never been the mathematical sort, but the tendency of objects in nature toward the the Fibonacci sequence is really fascinating – almost a marriage of math and nature.  Is it coincidence?  Who knows, but it’s certainly beautiful. So I want to work with this concept – and I hope to blog my progress on the piece. OK, now that I know that the composition is going to be based on the nautilus, what medium should I use? Should I work in color, or just black and white? But wait, a Mandala could be cool too…Decisions, decisions.

If there is anyone in New Mexico that is interested in participating in this show – just let me know and I can forward the information to you.


Mar 11

Reversal of Thinking

I’m a mom to a newly minted toddler – the smiling, cooing, baby on the floor mat has been replaced by an active, hilarious, and often strong-willed 13-month old. She is just amazing, and it is truly inspiring to watch her learn to do new things. I’ve always been a black-on-white worker – pen and ink, drawing pencils, etc. So Like my daughter I’ve been trying to learn new things too, so I broke out some black ZT tiles a, a Sakura gel pen, and a white Derwent colored pencil (LOVE their art materials) and have started a floral series using white-on-black. This is what I have so far:

      I’m lukewarm on both pieces – the gel pens are kind of hard to work with, but I do kind of enjoy going back into the white with a black Micron. Maybe they’ll grow on me, I don’t know. I’m trying to get inspired for an upcoming show in June at The Printmaker’s Studio here in Albuquerque called “All Tangled Up”, focusing on zentangle-inspired art. But with an active toddler, full-time job, husband, housework -  it really is hard to find the time for art – how do working moms/artists find the time? Because by the time she goes to bed, I’m exhausted!!

A blog all my own.


I’ve been blogging for my “day job” for a while now, and have been admiring lots of others, so I’ve decided to take the plunge and create my own! My name is Denise Rudd, and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico – the Land of Enchantment (or Entrapment, depending on who you ask). I am an art resource teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools, and have been an art teacher in one form or another for the past 13 years. My latest venture is into the world of Zentangle, an art form that uses complex patterns that can be found in art, design, and built and natural environments and deconstructs them into simple steps so they can be recreated by artists and non-artists alike. I offer classes in Albuquerque, but I’m willing to travel, and also willing to come to your house if you have five friends that are interested in having a soiree. Here are some photos from my latest classes:

My largest class so far for Zentangle 101...we had a great time!

I had a wonderful group of four tanglers for the White on Black - Zentangle 102 class.


If you’re interested in Zentangle and you live within 40 miles of Albuquerque, let me know and I will add you to my contact list! I will be posting a class schedule on this blog as soon as I figure out how to do it!