Because I am not busy enough, I decided to try something new. Zentangle was something interesting that I noticed other people posting on Pinterest and Instagram, so I checked it out.
Basically it is doodling…but more. Why more? Because it is mindful. Doodles happen anywhere at any time, and usually while doing other things. A Zentangle is something that you purposefully sit down to do. There is a ceremony to it. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and produces a beautiful, one of a kind, tiny, piece of art. I am not very good at explaining it. I’m not a CZT, or Certified Zentangle Teacher, so I will leave that up to the experts.
Like knitting, Zentangle does not require any fancy supplies to get started. I bought a set of pens (mainly because I love pens, not because what I already had would not work), grabbed a sketchbook and pencil, and got started.
My tangles tend to be organic. They grow out of their initial string boundaries and I like that. I am not fond of hard boundaries, so this makes sense. I am especially drawn to the natural shapes like leaves and flowers. Flowing and soft.
Here is one I tried with circles. I had this great vision, but after laying them all down, it was too much work to fill them all in. I had limited myself too much although, I think it still looks nice.
Many friends commented on how nice this would look as a fabric. However, I am not sure how well these would scale. Each of my first tangles is only about 3″ wide. The circle piece is in a 3.5″ x 5.5″ (9x14cm) notebook.
The hardest aspect of the process is letting go, and that is the zen. These are drawn in pen. The pencil is used only as a starting string and as final shading. That means for the most part there is no erasing, no second guessing, no going back. There are no mistakes. If you make a “mistake”, it simply becomes part of the piece. Each pattern is made out of easy and repetitive strokes. Like meditation, it is calming and relaxing; you feel centered and at ease.
As shapes and forms grow out of your fingers and into the ink, magic happens. Anyone can create these little pieces of magic, no artistic ability is needed.