#DC357: Paradox


This week’s Diva Challenge had me practicing for a few days:


I wondered why paradox is often done in triangular shapes. I’ve had success with using it in a square. Why not other shapes? Pentagons, hexagons, octogons, irregular shapes?

Here’s what I found out (at least in my limited experience):

  • Paradox, made from narrow wedges, looks best when the lines are straight and the points end up where they’re supposed to. Here is where being mindful comes in. Whenever my mind wandered, I was likely to make a skinny rectangle rather than a wedge.
  • I took Laura’s suggestion and turned my tile after every stroke so that I was pulling the pen toward me for better control. I focused on where the vanishing point should be.
  • The larger the shape you’re filling in with paradox, the harder it is to make your lines straight.
  • Paradox also looks better if you can keep the wide part of your wedge consistent.
  • I always make mistakes and think they’re fatal. If I continued to fill in the area instead of quitting, I could barely notice the mess-ups when I was done.

I don’t know how other people plan their monotangles (share in the comments, below, please). At first, I thought I’d just make one large shape:


But that was really too simple. And, because it was large enough to fill the whole tile, my lines were kind of wobbly.

Next, I thought I’d make three shapes. And then I realized I could fill in areas between them and around them. Here’s what I ended up with:


I started out with a square in the lower right corner, a pentagon above that, and a hexagon on the left (you can see its swirling voretx). When I filled in around them, the original shapes disappeared, and I was left with chaos!


About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

8 responses »

  1. Once I mastered the Paradox basics, I became intrigued by the chameleon properties of this tangle. Depending on the underlying matrix, it can look so different, and if you use a random matrix as you did in your second tile, it can be quite mesmerizing to look at. I think I might be the only tangler in the world who finds it easier to control my pen pulling away from me. I wonder why that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m right-handed and my husband is left-handed. We often do things opposite of each other. I like the TP to hang over the top, he likes it to hang behind, etc. I’ve always attributed it to his left-handedness. Are you left-handed?
      Always do what works best for you.


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