Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekly Challenge #231 Guest Post by Sharla Hicks, CZT

Weekly Challenge #231: "The Undulating Tangles in C and S minor"

What senses are activated when you read the word undulating. What do you hear, see and feel when using the word undulating? Does it evoke images of soft swaying movement dancing to music, does it evoke a sense of rolling hills, or gentle waves on your favorite lake? For me undulating evokes positive warm emotions that help me feel relaxed and peaceful and I actually feel myself begin to sway.

Definition found at
  • verb: undulated, undulating.
    •  to move with a sinuous or wavelike motion; display a smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternation of movement
    •  to have a wavy form or surface; bend with successive curves in alternate directions.
  • adjective
    • Also, undulated. having a wavelike or rippled form, surface, edge, etc.; wavy.
My Zentangle Journey began in 2010 and includes tangling almost daily. I love repetitive undulating tangles that use S and C curves. They are my go-to comfort patterns that evoke positive emotions, mindful relaxation and peace. As I watch Zentangle fill Social Media’s space on forums, blogs, Facebook, Flickr and Pinterest I find that more often than not each tangler brings their own unique variation to the repetitive S and C form. Many have posted their discovery and insights on the Internet. I have gathered together a Pinterest board for some of the inspiring S and C curve tangles. Each links back to the artist / designer of the pattern, some have step outs and each is well worth the visit.

My undulating favorite discovery came when I learned the tangle Indyrella at CZT training in 2011. I named my new undulating tangle SharlaRella after it’s mother Indyrella because it is an off spring that evolved immediately as I drew my first Indyrella tile. I found I liked my repetitive undulating curves to touch and not stand alone. Another related Tangle is Isochor; I find it is quite rewarding to fill a string with repetitive C and S curves.

When I begin an undulating S and C tangle my response is:
  • Confident.
  • My hand glides effortlessly across the tile.
  • I have no worries about doing it correctly.
  • I move quickly into mindful focus, which quite frankly, is a favorite place of mine, thus my fascination with the C and S curves.

My challenge to you this week is to use an old favorite undulating C or S curve tangle and work in a series OR find a new one and begin a new series.
  • I encourage you to work in a series by returning to an undulating Tangle you have not visited in a while as a revisit often opens new channels of mindful creative thinking.
  • My question is did your tangle take on a life of its own beyond that of the original tangle as an expression of your style?
Additional Inspiration
  • Below find my steps to Indyrella, SharlaRella and Isochor and examples of how I have used them in my SharlaRella Series. Take note how working in a series has influenced my personal style and growth.
    • If you do not have a favorite undulating tangle, try SharlaRella, Isochor and Indyrella. Put them in one piece as they are sister tangles that work well together
    • Add some shading, checks, perfs, dots, striping or whatever comes up for added spice.
  • Looking for the back story of my journey that started in 2010, checkout exploring The Undulating C and S Curve on my blog Tangled Expressions at

  • Use my Pinterest Board, Undulating C & S Curves where I have pinned multiple examples, many that include step-outs. Here you can observe the similarities and the difference that are unique to each person. I am hoping to add your tangle to my board after I get back from Europe next month.

Below find several examples of my SharlaRella Series 2011 to 2015. Each one took on a life of its own. With each piece in the series, my style grows and evolves. SharlaRella has been very instrumental in my journey and is included in the class series I teach The Basics of Zentangle to The Dance of the Petals and Leaves and The Dance of Petals and Leaves and Mixed Media inOctober 2015 Big Bear Lake Zentangle Retreat in Southern California.

My SharlaRella and Indyrella Series began in early 2011 and continues on today.Take note that with each exploration below my tangling techniques, design and shading skills grew.The daily practise of Zentangle and exploring the same Tangle in a Series produces a creative explosion of new and exciting variations.

My SharlaRella Series began in early 2011

A year later, 2012, I was still exploring SharlaRella and shading

Early 2012, I Added Shading with Color to the SharlaRella Series.

Want to know more about shading, I have 2 shading tutorials over on my Tangled Expressions Blog.  
One is using Gelly Roll Pens in a watercolor shading technique. The other outlines using Watercolor Pencils for shading as shown in the below example.

As 2012 Progressed my SharlaRella Series moved to Toned Papers 

How far did I push SharlaRella in 2012? See below.

In 2013, one form often presented itself in my personal Zentangle Botanicals. The S and C organic forms emerged from the SharlaRella Series.
My journal pages below were published in:
The Beauty of Zentangle
Inspirational Examples from 137 Artist Worldwide
by Suzanne McNeill, CZT and Cindy Shepard, CZT

Swirls and Waves by Sharla R. Hicks, CZT

In 2015, my Zentangle Inspired Botanical Style continues to be Influenced by SharlaRella

Have fun exploring your favorite undulating C and S curve tangle and look carefully for your own unique style that is developing with each Zentangle tile or Zentangle Inspired Art piece. Working in an ongoing series benefits creative thinking and exploration.

I am looking forward to seeing your works and exploring your blogs. I am off on vacation in 2 days so I will not be able to reply to your comments and posts in a timely manner, but I l look forward to exploring them when I get back and adding them to my Pinterest Board for the challenge.

In October, 2015, I am offering a Zentangle Retreat for those interested in finding their own style of botanicals. The retreat will be in Southern California near Big Bear Lake and will feature the Zentangle Dance of Petal and Leaves and Mixed Media. Check out the details for an inspiring weekend. There are a few spaces left if you want to join us.


Introducing Sharla Hicks, Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT 5 & 11)

Sharla trained under Zentangle® Founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher aka CZT in 2011 & 2013. CZT training and the daily practice of Zentangle has had a profound effect on her discipline as an artist, her creative abilities, given back her love of teaching and most profoundly has guided her toward her own Artistic Voice. Sharla crosses the boundaries of expressive artist, writer, painter, quilter, fiber, textile, mixed media, watercolor, collage, printmaking and more. Her current focus is offering the gift of Zentangle to others through lectures, workshops, and retreats.
Sharla brings 40 years of expertise in using the sewing machine, pen, pencil, brush, paints, pastels, and watercolor, acrylics, alcohol inks bundled into a mixed media package to teach design, color, and Zentangle. From 1980 to present Sharla has taught Zentangle, free motion embroidery, exotic threads embellishment by machine, traditional and innovative quilting from the basics of piecing, applique, free motion machine quilting to innovative quilt design and how to use color as a design element to produce innovative works.
Today as a Certified Zentangle Teacher, Sharla infuses art background and training with her expertise in design fundamentals and color with the Zentangle basics and beyond as she facilitates the journey her students are on in their search for their personal Zentangle voice to create exciting new mixed media Zentangle Inspired Art pieces. Sharla's Zentangle speciality is Zenspirational Botanical Art
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)


  1. Love your examples, Sharla, beautiful work.

  2. Gorgeous work and so inspiring. I love organic curvy tangles. Thank you for such a great challenge.

  3. A wonderful challenge! I am used to work in series when i do my painting in the studio. Because I love it! I haven´t done it with zentangles before so I look forward to se what´ll come out this week. I will chose one till for my entry, but all of them will be posted here: And I look forward to see what everybody else come up with! :)

  4. Beautiful pieces and great inspiration, Sharla

  5. ... and I find your examples above and those you have picked out on Pinterest most inspiring! You also picked one of my absolute favorites! It is one of Little Lime´s examples!

  6. Sharla, i loved your challenge but didn't follow directions very well (I am good at that). I loved your Pinterest page. Very inspiring. Thanks!

  7. Beautiful examples and a fun challenge.

  8. Beautiful examples and a fun challenge.

  9. Lovely work, and inspiring challenge. Thank you!

  10. Great challenge! I learned quite a bit on this one. I didn't know SharlaRella before but it is going to be a favorite that I will experiment with often. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  11. It's the first time I am participating in a challenge. I didn't know it was so much fun! I'll be back for more :-)

  12. Thanks so much for your insights, awesome stuff! I kind of combined this with last week's so I get caught up. Have a brilliant day! c

  13. Now there are S and C:s whereever I go! It really was a great challenge and I belive I´ve learned a lot. And I have enjoyed every bit of it! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and all those wonderful examples. I will take this experience with me!

  14. Like all your examples. I have played with the "S" stroke a little, but has been in more structured or grid tangles. Like the flowing ones but not as successful at them.

  15. Sharla, your work is magnificent!! I would love to take a class from you sometime. I will continue to keep an eye out for a date that might work. Thank you so much of sharing your talents with us! And thank you for this awesome challenge! :0) Annette

  16. Wow Sharla, what a challenge. Your art is beautiful and I'm also watching your blog for classes you might be offering. I learned a lot - about humility, over planning, over confidence, over thinking and expectations (Gheesh). What ever happened to the journey, I wondered as I stumbled along? And I loved using SharlaRella and IndyRella for the first time and will, no doubt be using Isochor.

  17. Thanks for a great challenge. I often do a lot of alternative ideas for a challenge or tile. I just never thought of it as a series before. I'll look at my work differently now.

  18. By the way, your series is terrific; very inspirational.

  19. All your art work is so wonderful and inspiring. No way to get close to your expertise without a lot more practice. I did like the way the S's and C's filled in between the making lines on my paper. Hope I come up the snuff for this challenge.

  20. I did like this challenge, however when I first saw it, I wondered if I could participate because I never heard the word 'undulating' and found it hard to understand what we were to do. Luckily we have Google translate :-) Thanks for this challenge.

  21. Your examples are beautiful! I like the idea of a series. This challenge could definitely become an entire series!


tangle me some zen, baby!!