Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zentangle - nourishment for the brain!

Three black and white Zentangle wooden pendantsThere is something very meditative about the art of Zentangle. I'm not much into doodling - never really have been but every time I put my pen to paper to Zentangle, I find myself totally engrossed in the repetitive nature of this art form. Maybe there is a doodler inside me after all!

It is such an inexpensive and very portable hobby: I have Zentangled at the doctor's surgery, whilst waiting in the car to pick up DD from work and in planes (yippee! something to do other than watch movies and read magazines). In fact anywhere I find myself waiting for some one or some thing. All you need is a smooth white surface to work on, black permanent markers and a graphite pencil. So far, I've been skipping the pencil, preferring the cleaner, hard lines of the markers. I use Sakura's Microperm 01 for the detailed work and the IDenti Pen where I want the coverage to be heavier.

I usually work on very small pieces like these disks from DIY Bangles that the patterns will fill quickly. They make a nice alternative to paper because even though they have a curved surface, the wood is so smooth that the pens just glide across the surface.

But before any Zentangling can happen, you need to give the disks a coat of white paint and let them dry completely. Then you section off areas into smaller, manageable areas.

And then comes the fun part: Let the doodler within you start to explore pattern!

Begin with simple base patterns: dots with tails; squares; grids. Then keep building on the patterns so that they look really intricate. And that's the beauty of Zentangle: even simple shapes take on a complex look when combined with the other elements of the pattern. And what could be more striking than black on white?

And even though the patterns are quite detailed, they come together very quickly because of the small surface you're working on.

These disks will become jewellery pieces eventually and I can't wait to see how they turn out, but for the moment, I'm just going to let them remind me of how relaxed I was whilst I was working on them this morning. But you know, I think there may be more to it than just a sense of relaxtion: I have been thinking with such clarity all day long. Could it be that Zentangling is good for your brain?!! Perhaps every day should start with a Zentangle!

'Til next time.....

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