On Saturday I took a beginning class in Zentangle. It's loosely defined as a method of using patterns to focus the mind and make art. While it looks a lot like doodling, there are key differences:
1. It's purposeful. You don't just let your pen or pencil meander.
2. It's focused. Because the strokes are often repetitive, you get this "zen-like" thing going.
3. It develops a finished product, so it's productive.
Actually, I was introduced to Zentangle by my pal Ann Farnen, owner of Scrapbook Factory Super Store, O'Fallon, Illinois. I walked into her store and saw this display case with all sorts of cool art and said, "Wow, I want to do that." So Ann showed me the basics. You start with a tile, a 3.5" square piece of paper. Using a pencil, put four dots on it, one in each corner. Connect the dots to make a border or frame.
Now here's the tricky part...make a "string," or a design in the middle of the tile. For example, you could draw a tic-tac-toe board, or your initials, or divide the tile into quarters. The purpose of the "string" is to break the tile into sections. This, in turn, makes approaching the patterns (or "tangles") easier because you have a small, defined space to conquer.
After you finish creating a "string," switch to ink. Sakura's Micron Pens are perfect. Find a pattern you like and start filling in sections of your tile. A tile can take an hour to do, or less, so it's a great craft to carry around in your purse. You can find a neat-o guide to patterns at the TanglePatterns website. Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts are the originators of this art form. It was designed to do in black and white, but I've seen colored zentangles that are gorgeous.
I hope to get certified to teach this! Last night I did the turtle above. I still have a little work to do, but gee, I had a great time doing it! This morning I woke up totally focused and ready to get to work on my Work-In-Progress, and I think that my zentangle experience helped clear my head.
Need a great summer read? PAPER, SCISSORS, DEATH is now available for only 99 cents at Amazon. This last week, PSD climbed to #49 on the list of all Amazon Kindle books. Wow! I guess a lot of you are telling your friends. Kiki and I say, THANKS!