Zentangle your way to happiness

Cover of Joy of ZentangleI first came across zentangles when I was searching through the library new titles lists. I was fascinated. Could there really be an art form I had never come across before?

Well, yes there is. Zentangling is new, it’s fun and (truly) anyone can do it.  It’s a simple process. You take a pencil, draw a frame, add a string then fill in the spaces with ‘tangles’ or patterns using a black ink pen. There’s no rubbing out. You have to trust your intuition and let the design evolve in its own way – very Zen. The results are striking and it’s easy to produce a good looking piece of artwork in a short time.  I guess you could call it doodling with purpose.

Zentangles have been developed by calligrapher, Maria Thomas, and her Buddhist partner, Rick Roberts. One day Rick observed Maria drawing background patterns on a manuscript and noticed she was in a calm state of well-being similar to that achieved through meditation. The couple decided to develop a system that would bring this good feeling to others and zentangles were born.

You do need to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher to teach the system correctly. There are beautifully textured cards to tangle on, micron pens and pencils to buy through the Zentangle website but if you’d like to give zentangling a go without investing more than a couple of dollars – grab a notebook, a black pen and one of the titles available at Christchurch City Libraries. These books will teach you the basics and set you on the path.

I’m Zentanglethoroughly enjoying the process. I’ve heard of many creative types who’ve struggled to produce any work recently. If you’re like me and are finding it hard to concentrate, this may just be the way back to the creative zone. Limiting colour and size simplifies your choices and you never feel the need to produce something impressive or ‘worthy’. Time disappears and each line takes on its own dimension and purpose.

A zentangle is a puzzle of your own creation and only you know how to solve it. Highly recommended creative escapism.

8 thoughts on “Zentangle your way to happiness

  1. robertafsmith 24 October 2013 / 1:28 pm

    I’ve had these books on hold for a while now, can’t wait to incorporate them into my drawing day!

  2. linda blackwell 24 October 2013 / 7:25 pm

    I need to do that,it sounds like a lot of fun and good for the mind

  3. ValerieL 25 October 2013 / 9:26 am

    My brother and I used to do something similar to this when we were at school. It was called doodling. My brother’s doodls took about 45minutes to do and filled up entire margins of the text books. Mine we less artistic and much smaller, I filled in the gaps in the text book that my brother handed on to me. However I’m keen to have a go at Zentangling.

  4. omgitsgrantccl 25 October 2013 / 4:49 pm

    Love it! I just wish someone would resurrect Spirograph…

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