Making Something Beautiful for the World

I have always been a “maker.” I have a photo of myself knitting at about age 3. And I loved experimenting with gluing rocks together, or coloring, or drawing, or watching my father make things. My mother wrote in my baby book, “Monika loves to work with little things...” And so it continues to this day.

Zentangle is an art form of the miniature. Deliberate and slow, the method uses short strokes combined to create beautiful images. Early on the originators of Zentangle desired most of all to invite people to discover their creativity often hidden behind fear and a lot of “I can’t” attitude. “I can’t do that – I don’t have any artistic talent. I can’t do that I don’t have any time. I can’t do that I don’t have room in my house!” etc. So Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts designed a way of making very beautiful images that don’t require artistic talent, time, or studio space. It is a way of looking for the patterns of creation and putting those patterns down on paper.

Tanglers work with a 3.5 x 3.5 piece of stiff paper like card stock. They begin their work with a moment of gratitude and appreciation for the paper and for the other tools they use such as a fine-tipped felt pen and a graphite pencil. Then they go to work – without worrying about using a ruler or making mistakes. In Zentangle, all is drawn free hand and there are NO MISTAKES! How easy can it get?

Here are some examples:


This method of image making can turn into a daily practice. When I tangle I enter a special space where I listen to God and create from what I hear. The method requires focus and concentration, so it is like meditation and is helpful for pain management and calming anxiety. My handwriting has improved, too! There are so many benefits to making art.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Beauty is God’s handwriting; a wayside sacrament.” We NEED beauty in our lives. It is healing and soothing to the soul. It is my intention to make beauty so that others can see it and be inspired, uplifted, or bolstered. Many of my Zentangle students report their feelings of satisfaction, peace, and surprise as they create, stroke by stroke, something beautiful. You can learn about Zentangle at the web site: One of the first words you see on their home page is LEARN. Click on that word and you get a lesson for beginners. Let the method enchant you and beauty will come forth.



  • Comment posted by Jan Johnson on February 17, 2024 at 7:20AM (4 months ago)

    Thank you for teaching the classes. It was I think the most fun and peaceful time I've spent in an art class. it's nice to see your photo of an office that Also has arts and craft supplies. I'm always looking for how to fit more into my art area (bedroom). Love the hanging thread holder!

  • Comment posted by Janice Ariza on May 19, 2023 at 9:21AM (13 months ago)

    Sr. Monika, We do need beauty in our lives and to recognize it! I love your pictures as a little girl. It reminds God gave us gifts and how precious they are. Thank you for such a lovely sharing of yourself.
    You made my day:)

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