Tangle U 2019 Recap

TangleU is an event which happens in the spring every year, geared towards bringing together CZTs from all over the world to learn, share and fraternize. I just came back from this year's event in Asheville, NC, and it was even more fun and informative than last year!

This year, I taught a 4 hours class on how to adapt and experiment with new media. We played with the trendy Posca paint markers, also the Sakura Gelly Roll pens and Sakura Permapaque black pens (so generously sponsored by Sakura #SakuraofAmerica), adapting Zentangle to that media, with gel pens. With 150 participants, look at that OCEAN OF BEAUTIFUL tiles which produced one of the most mosaics I have ever seen. This lesson later became an online lesson which you can find here.

Look at those colors!!!! Sooooo fantastic. And you can see the amazing Chris Titus, the force behind Square One Facebook forums, always with that twinkle in her eye.

Teaching is all fine, but the highlight of the event is getting together again with friends, (and making new ones). We connect in ways that are impossible to describe. What a JOY it is to connect in person with people you know only through online environment, it brings the whole together, as if you were coming HOME from a long journey to meet long lost loved ones. What a pleasure to meet (and re-meet) some of my favorites!


My favorite part of Tangle U is, without a doubt, studio time. After watching classes all day in a structured environment, this is the time — for those with the strength to stay awake — to get together and do what we want, work on unfinished projects, play with new ideas. This year I challenged some of the Art Club Subscribers who were present (over 50 participants of the event were Clubbers) to play “Prompts game”, “Musical Tiles” and “Art and Tangle card game”. All of these are speed games which attempt to drown the inner critic, not giving enough time to think about what you're doing!

At studio time, it's not all fun and games, look how intense we all are while we analyze some of the pieces produced during the prompts. The cool Art Club Squad logo was not my idea, the picture was posted by a friend!

Additionally, there was plenty of time to tour the city. Asheville's highlight is the Biltmore, a glorious estate with a home that looks more like a castle than a house. I spotted an actual cartouche (an oval element which is drawn or carved to simulate a scroll). I found tons of inspiration in the patterns and ornaments in the estate.

After the conference was over, we stayed a few more days and had time to explore the fabulous restaurants of Asheville, labyrinthine fun bookstores, the galleries and the super cool River Arts district, where artists open their studios so that you can see them actually working on their creations. Look at this cool fence down the road:

And of course, I couldn't help myself and had to hit the nearest art supply store, Cheap Joe's, which is not available near me. Found some REALLY nice hand made paper.

And last, but not least, a sight we would never see on the streets of Los Angeles. As we were driving away from a lovely meal at the Grove Inn, who do we see in the middle of the road: mama bear and her two baby cubs. They couldn't have been more than 20 feet away from us, and totally chill, calm, probably used to people. By the time I got over fumbling with my camera in the car, she was already in the grassy side of the area. A great end to a fabulous trip! I can't wait for next year's event in Scottsdale, AZ — in our backyard. I already registered!


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