When sketching ideas for my next rug (initially a paisley-only horse) the zentangle craze caught my eye. This form of drawing was far outside of my comfort zone, but I like a challenge. I purchased a zentangle how-to drawing book and gave it a whirl. But just drawing designs wasn’t for me.
HOWEVER, I began picturing zentangle elements adding visual impact, interest and allowing me to better express the awe & feeling of riding a dressage horse in extended trot. So the drawing began and this rug was borne from this dressage rider’s imagination.
- I began with the horse’s heart because a horse “with heart” means your 1500 lb dance partner learns and performs willingly and happily.
- Behind the heart, his stomach is filled with his favorite treats, given in appreciation…sugar cubes from the saddle and lots of carrots afterwards.
- The rib cage above the stomach is flanked with paisleys for the chest and rump.
- A series of wavy segments depict the feeling of the strong, trampoline of swinging back muscles that lift and spring each step.
- Rays of neck muscles sweep up the neck to meet a series of gears, the largest deliberately grey for grey matter because the horse’s brain is more important than his natural talent.
- The other gears represent the head’s moving pieces – ears, eyes, jaw, nose, mouth, nostril.
- His forelock and mane are braided traditionally with white tape.
- His tail is one giant braid.
- Legs: the two on the ground are strong metal structures with gears for joints with the hind attached to a red-hot coiled spring propelling the horse. The two legs in flight have lightning bolts, the resulting exploding energy created by other parts working together.
- Background: the lower arena segment is the same proportion as the regulation 20 x 60meter dressage arena. Mottled grey “footing” has typical geometric dressage patterns added – centerline, two 10meter circles, 3-loop serpentine, two full and half diagonals.
- The white line is the arena boundary. Faint grass transitions into sky, hooked in rays that all emanate from the same sugar cube.
- Binding is done in colors for each section including tiny segments that transition from green to blue sky. Since this is a hanging, I did not add binding tape.
(Sidenote: I began this rug in Florida. Never in a million years would I have guessed I’d complete it as a NH resident!)