"When we all think alike, then no one is thinking."
— Walter Lippman

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fun With Zentangles

The recent edition of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine had an article on "Zentangles" an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. I thought it looked like fun and it reminded me of an exercise I have included in my art classes for years. I just called it "Expressive Line." Upon further investigation I found that the creators of Zentangles have a web site, certified teachers, and quite a following. I decided that as an art instructor for 34 years, I did not need the $49 kit, but for someone who wants the instruction and does not have access to materials of their own, it might be very helpful. It comes with heavy paper 'tiles', Micron pens, and instructional materials.
I did read the archive of newsletters on the website and looked at the extensive gallery of examples. With that and the magazine article I mentioned, I learned some of the basic patterns and format used in making these intricate designs. I got out my Micron Pens (had 'em already) and some heavy illustration stock (had that too) and started to play. Within a short time I had created my first Zentangle. Then another, and another, and boy am I hooked! It's like doodling on steroids.
There is indeed a meditative (zen) effect in making these repeated patterns within the form (tangle). It is an exercise in focus and is very calming. So, if you haven't heard of this before, you might want to check it out. I think you'll enjoy it.


My Mane in the Wind said...

Oh! This is great -- I'll have to give this a try. I joined the Art Everyday for a Month Challenge and for me I want to explore different techniques (since I never had an ounce of art training!) and see where it leads me. So thanks for posting about this!

Ann Renee Lighter said...

It's lots of fun, and art you can carry in your pocket since the squares are only 3 1/2 inches. Of course the designs are now appearing on my journal pages as well. Great for borders and filling in areas in an interesting way.

andrea creates said...

Hi -thanks for stopping by~
I haven't seen that hawk in a few days now -he certianly was a big one.I agree he was beautiful- I love birds but he scared off all of my squirrels ;)
Take care,

andrea creates said...

Oh, and forgot to mention-those zentagnles look like lots of fun to do!

Sharon P said...

I like your Zentangles, Ann. My friend Carrie also likes to do those, you might enjoy seeing her latest ones on her blog: http://findingjimmy.blogspot.com/

I can understand how they could become habit forming, it's like giving a little bit of structure to doodling, but not too much.

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