What Are Zentangles®
According to the Zentangle® website:
The Zentangle Method® is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method® is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.
Zentangles® are artful images created from repetitive patterns. They are unplanned and abstract. While they are created by using a single structured pattern or a grouping of the patterns they should not involve the use of pencil guidelines, grids or dots or erased lines. They can be both fun and relaxing.
Some people would disagree with the relaxing part but they are probably stressing too much about the total outcome. The object is to focus on the stroke that is currently being worked. To enjoy the process someone should be relaxed and just develop the patterns as they go.
How Zentangles® Were Created
The method of creating tangled patterns was developed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts of Zentangle®. It was the result of Maria drawing repetitive patterns on a manuscript she was creating. When she mentioned to Rick the feelings of freedom, well-being and being able to focus on the drawing without worrying about anything else he stated that it was a like meditation. They then went on to develop a system called the Zentangle Method® where others could also enjoy these feelings.
Tangle patterns can be found all over the internet and in various published books on the subject. TanglePatterns.com is a good source to find numerous patterns and the details on how to create them. Not all tangles are posted online nor in books as some are reserved for Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZT).
You can visit Linda's List of Official Tangle Patterns for an extensive list of the patterns and links for instructions for the ones which are published online.