Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Do You Zentangle?

I'd never heard of it. I doodle, I draw, I sketch, I journal, but a zentangle? How severely OUT OF IT can one person be. Frankly, I'm probably a bit myopic at times and it's not like I live in a trend arena here but you'd of thought I might have had a clue. Nope, not one! This is a Zentangle: In fact, it's four of them.

I used to sit in meetings at work and doodle things like this. I don't think mine were nearly as elaborate and it wasn't as if I could float off into a zen like state - the meetings kind of required some verbal participation so I was stuck with kind of aimless doodling that ususally hit the garbage shortly after the meeting. These Zentangles though are kind of cool. Here is an explanation of them from Bev Gee at EZineAricles:

There is a buzzword in the world of paper arts at the moment - Zentangle. So, what is a Zentangle exactly? It is a simply a doodle contained within a predefined framework. A pattern created from repetitive lines and squiggles, which becomes more than the sum of its parts.

The term 'Zentangle' was coined by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. Maria is a graphic artist who doodled a lot and one day realised that her doodles were putting her into a state of meditation. The couple decided to explore the concept in more detail and Zentangles were born. Today, although they have not trademarked their name, they have built a thriving business based on a website, a Zentangle Kit and training classes for certified Zentangle teachers. The art is used in many ways - for children, for non-artists and in many therapeutic applications too. It has spawned blogs and websites dedicated to solely to the art of doodling.

There are videos on YouTube demonstrating Zentangles, Zendoodles and Zendalas (using a round form like mandalas). People are decorating everything from mugs to shoes, from cars to bathrooms in this distinctive style.
Zentangles are most often created by using black ink on white paper but are certainly not restricted to this form. Color Zentangles are becoming more and more prevalent, as people discover unique ways to incorporate them into other art forms such as figure and landscape drawing.

Creating a Zentangle can take anything from a few minutes to hours and hours. There is something very satisfying about producing a beautiful piece of art with nothing more than doodles... it seems to lull your mind into peacefulness while your hands are kept busy. It has been suggested that this is connected to left brain/right brain functions - giving the job of controlling the marks to the left brain while the right brain is allowed to free-associate. Indeed, it has also been suggested that it can increase creativity and idea generating in other areas of life.

Why not give it a try? Grab yourself some drawing paper and a fine-tipped black pen, put on some relaxing music and lose yourself in a Zentangle. I have to warn you, though - it is very addictive. Once you start, you won't be able to stop yourself creating them in every spare moment.

Everyone loves to doodle so turn yours into works of art! To see many examples of Zentangles and a step-by-step guide to creating your first one click here: How To Zentangle.

There are even several books around on this topic - art shows - and seminars. I wonder if I can sneak a few of these into the Sketchbook Project.


rosebud101 said...

Sharon, you find the most interesting things for your blog. I had never heard of zentangles either, but I think I will zentangle for a bit and see what happens. Thanks for sharing!

Right Turn ArtWerks said...

Oh yes Mallory, to me it looks like it could be fun - It's so small in format that it wouldn't take a year to do and who knows what creative energy it might open up.

Thanks for the comments - I am always on the lookout for fun things to blog about.

Patty said...

Those are some mighty fine zentangles, Miss Sharon! I used to do squiggly line doodles as a sprout but none as fine as these. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Janel said...

I have been thinking about taking a Zentangle class in Midland. I've never been an artist, but this looks like something I might be able to do. :)

Terry said...

Anyone interested in taking a Zentangle class in Midland, MI? I'm a Certified Zentangle Teacher in Midland teaching at Creative 360, Smith's Florist, Scrapbook Galore and More, or I do in home parties. To learn more go to my website: