What is a Zentangle?
A Zentangle is an unplanned, abstract form of art that is created by simply drawing undefined patterns like symbols, strokes and shapes. It’s an art that doesn’t require any former training in painting or drawing. You don’t need expensive art supplies either, a pencil and a piece of paper is all you need to begin this amazing adventure of discovering the artist in you. You create your art as you go along and each pattern, each design is unique because you are the only force behind it!
And now, a bit of the story behind Zentangles! This method is trademarked by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. Maria Thomas is an American artist who designs traditional invitations cards with hand painted flowers, expressive letters. One day, while working on a background for a manuscript she described her feelings of complete focus, timelessness and being worry-free. Rick Roberts told her she was describing meditation! And so they began this journey together more than 10 years ago in Massachusetts. Today , Zentangle classes are held all over the world and have become increasingly popular due to the amazing benefits of it!
What are the benefits of Zentangle?
There are many benefits to Zentangles because this is a meditative art. All you need is paper and pen and can be practiced anytime, anywhere. In fact, I carry a pad a a few color pens in my bag ALL the time! I’ll list a few of the vast number of benefits of practicing this art below:
All you need is paper and a pen or pencil and you are ready to go! You can practice anytime, anywhere. While waiting for someone at a coffee shop, at the airport (we all know too well those endless waiting hours at that location!), or at home as a ‘me’ time! And no previous experience required!!
Since a Zentangle is your own creation and it’s not supposed to look symmetrical it allows you to relax and create a repetitive work that encourages relaxation.
Today more than ever our society pushes us to achieve perfection and competitive, outstanding work. Zentangle offers you the opposite of that. There are NO ‘mistakes’ while creating a Zentangle! Each stroke, each line and each design is so reflective of you that can’t be other than original and unique! As you create a pattern you learn to love it and see it as ‘your art.’
Zentangles are an incredible way to learn and master coordination between your eyes and hands. By focusing on creating intricate details you are training your mind to see beyond that first stroke as you imagine the next detail! Your first strokes may be shaky, the grip on your pen may feel a bit tight but overtime Zentangles teach you to relax and be more confident as you go along. It sharpens concentration as well as you become engaged in this flowing process!
The main aim of creating Zentangkes is to relax. After a long day allow yourself to sit in silence, light a candle and let your creativity blossom! You’ll find this moment not only to be relaxing but satisfactory as well as you have created something special in the process.
ZENTANGLE AND YOGA
Many Zentangle practitioners compare it to Yoga because both practices require high focus and concentration. Over time activities like Zentangle and Yoga can be used as tools not only to achieve high levels of concentration but mindfulness in every activity your participate and a sense of calmness.
The next time you step into the mat become aware of each pose and how you ‘fold’ into it as a Zentangle does! From the rhythm of the breath, to the simplest of all poses you will find a pattern of going within and opening and closing, softening and grounding.
“So, are you ready to begin this journey? I AM!!! I discovered the joy of Zentangle quite by accident! During the Summer of 2014 while visiting my oldest son in the United States I spent long hours at my favorite art store. I love every single craft I can get my hands on from cross stitching to deco patch to Zentangles, to Mandalas!!! I bought myself a set of pens and a sketch notebook and throw myself into the world of Zentangles. My first strokes were shaky and forceful but over time I learned to relax and after drawing with pencil I added some color! Back in Kuwait, I decided to move on into more sophisticated patterns and supplies. I began painting my work using acrylic paint. From paper I moved into stones and then… I painted a Mandala on fabric that’s displayed at the Yoga Center!!!! See? There are no limits once you let your creativity blossom! As with Yoga, my aim in this workshop is to pass on my passion and all the amazing benefits I’ve experienced in this journey!”
With love and gratitude,