I have been following a blog for a while – Clouds of Colour. Bec does lovely art works that are Zentangles. I had no idea what a Zentangle was, so yesterday, while recuperating from the flu I sat down and did some research on the net.
The first place I visited (via Google search) was Zentangle, home of the creators of this artform, Rick and Maria Thomas. Then whilst browsing and reading I discovered another great blog, Tangle Patterns, where the very generous Linda Farmer, a qualified Zentangle instructor, has posted many of the patterns than have been designed as part of the Zentangle process.
Zentangle “is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns.” That is the first information I read about Zentangles on Zentangle.com. I have always enjoyed patterns. I used to create something like Zentangles when I was in high school, doodling on pages, creating puzzle-like images, one shape at a time.
What I think I like most about this is that anyone could do it. If you have ever doodled, you can create Zentangles.
These are my drawings of some of the patterns I found on the Tangle Patterns website. They give you step by step instructions on how to make the patterns. It was quite meditative, sitting and drawing these, which is something the creators of Zentangles found when they started.
Zentangles remind me of why I love to sit and do cross stitch. I do one stitch at a time and end up with a beautiful picture at the end of it, only with Zentangles, it is one line at a time. I have always found cross stitch very relaxing, the repetition of the stitches leaving my mind to wander wherever it pleases. Knitting can also be a bit like that, unless you are working on an intricate pattern that requires your whole attention.
Last night, whilst watching Amazing Race Australia, I noticed a building in India that made me want to draw. It had a wall of doors. In the end I stopped watching the TV and just drew, using Zentangle patterns to fill in the spaces. I wouldn’t say what I ended up with was a work of art, but I had a lot of fun creating it and just playing.
It looks like a bit of a mess to me, but it was fun to attempt some of the patterns in ways other than small sample squares. If you want to see what a good Zentangle looks like, go to one of the web sites I mentioned before and see what the very talented artists are creating. The Zentangle blog has a great list of artists who create zentangles as part of their art practice – please go take a look.
I have a feeling this will be a great way to free up my mind before painting, to just let go and see where the pen and line take me, and lose some of my detail orientation which is part of my control-freak nature 🙂 .
I look forward to see where this may take me.