Author Focus – Jane Nichols

After following some of Jane’s posts, I felt the need to add an author focus on this wonderful artist. Jane’s work stands out – I particularly like the progress pictures she posts. As Barb Masinton said: “Viewing this photo series is like watching a video of metamorphosis!” I believe that many tanglers will find inspiration looking at her work.

We created a whole new section dedicated to WIP pictures: Follow Work in Progress

Read on to find out more about Jane Nichols:

Art has always been a part of my life. My mum was an artist and it just seemed natural that I would be as well. I took oil painting classes as a teenager but too soon work, marriage and three children came along and I had “no more time” for art. My brother, though, is an extremely talented watercolourist and mixed media artist, and I was able to enjoy his success over the years. Fast forward 42 years to 2015. I was retired and one of my artistic friends mentioned the magic word “Zentangle” to me….one intriguing word led me to an internet search which produced an Ottawa CZT who was offering a beginner’s class! And the rest, as they say, is history. I have been prolifically tangling ever since! I finally found the art form that spoke to me, was easy to pick up and go…and could be done almost anywhere! If there is one piece of advice I would offer newcomers to this art form, is: find a CZT and take at least a beginner’s class. Meeting and tangling with other tanglers in person is a fabulous experience and you will learn the basics very quickly.

I began tangling using Sakura Pygma Microns…great pens and many colours and nib sizes…but I am the type who is always on the lookout for new and different products… JetPens offers a wonderful “sampler pack” of drawing pens…great way to test out and compare most of the pens on the market. UniPen has since become one of my favourite pens…and for colour I LOVE all the Gelly Roll pens. And the only white pen I now use is Uniball Signo. Paper is another very important part of the Zentangle puzzle. I have never really liked the official Zentangle tiles…I don’t like them as well for shading and as well, I have switched to using 4″ x 6″ tiles and occasionally 5″ x 7″ tiles, mainly because it is easy to find affordable ready made frames for them. I usually use a good quality Bristol smooth or a good mixed media paper, depending if I am adding water colour or other media. I almost always get my paper from Michael’s because they almost always have a 40% off coupon available!

I spent the first year of my Zentangle journey immersed in all those thousands of patterns out there, and now there are many patterns that I know by heart… I am still in awe of the many wonderful pattern authors such as Damy Teng, Helen Williams, Beth Snodderly, Genevieve Crabe, Lynn Mead, Adele Bruno, Lily Moon, Carol Ohl, Margaret Bremner, Maria Thomas (of course!), Cheryl Wilson, Vicki Basset, Ina Sonnenmoser, and Eni Oken, just to name a few….some of my favourite patterns (and I have SO many!) are:
Fassett by Lyn is the one pattern which I find the most magical as it transforms from triangles to stars….
Waterstals by Damy Teng….so versatile, easy to do yet impactful…
LG by Adele Bruno…repetetive line drawing, plus many opportunities for overlap and shape…
Kandy Ribnz by Cheryl Wilson…great to fill in odd spaces
Voga by Carol Ohl….I go to this one all the time, great for mandalas, ribbons, etc.

My process for creating a piece of Zentangle Inspired Art is pretty basic. Generally I just start with a fresh clean tile…add string….start tangling (though when I am incorporating a gemstone in a piece, I have to think about the design a little more in order to prevent the stone from “floating” off the page) . But that is the true beauty of this art: no stress, just start drawing….I am often amazed at where things end up…these ZIA pieces take on a mind of their own at times. I use, Pinterest, and for pattern inspiration as well as the many pattern collection books I have purchased, both hard copy and e-Books…

I have not yet published any books devoted to tangling, though that may come. At present I can be found at


Jane has published 2 patterns on this site:

Dragon Eggz by Jane Nichols Moxie by Jane Nichols

And here are some more Work in Progress images:






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