Saturday, June 30, 2012

What is a Zentangle?

Gosh, Ginny is off again on another path.
No...just a little interlude...
What happens when you do a little "special" kind of called a Zentangle.

If you go to the web site to learn about them you will discover that they are: "a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. Fun. Relaxing. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction and increases your sense of personal well-being." Sounds a little Zen-like wouldn't you say?

These are two of my first tries at this strangely addictive activity.
The "characteristics" of a Zentangle are that they are 3.5" square. And, in the same vein as walking a labyrinth, there is some "structure" to the patterns suggested for the creation. How you put the patterns together is completely up to you and I see on the website that people are always creating more and sending them in! Lots of sharing of ideas!

After a few practices you can pretty much work right on the paper with the pen without drawing anything first other than maybe a perimeter or frame and maybe a little bit of outline to where you might start and stop.

I think if you click on the image it will enlarge.

I am always the last one to find out about things, so probably all of my blogger friends have tried these out already and are laughing at me for suddenly discovering them.

There is an official website (of course) and you can click here to find out more specific details. There are "kits" you can buy for $50 but for most of us, we can browse the website and the blog and go to the archives and read and see what others are doing with these. In the kit special handmade paper is sold but I have found Canson cold pressed wc paper to work well and even Yupo paper has some interesting properties. One of my sketch books has 95# paper with a nice smooth surface. You can experiment. They suggest a black permanent marker fairly fine like about .01 and a soft pencil for shading. That is really all that you need to get started.
I have not had time to go farther that this but on their blog they list a ton of people who do Zentangles and post what they do. I signed up for the newsletter when my friend, Cynthia Vose suggested it is fun. It only comes once a month. And often includes a new tangle to try out. Soon you have a little folder where you keep the various patterns most of which have funky names.

Come to find out there are "certified" Zentangle instructors, workshops (of course) and get togethers. Zentangle parties even! Who knew! So when you are "between paintings" or just need a boost of creativity look into your Zentangle folder and see what might look fun to do. The activity is complicated enough to hold your attention but mindless enough to keep you from thinking about anything else. Thus, empty mind but focused creativity.

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