At the beginning of the year I started to play with Zentangle. While I was writing my book there wasn’t a lot of time left to get into artwork outside of what was being created for the book. This brought me to doing little drawings in any moments I had. Then somewhere I saw something about Zentangle—started learning about it and I was hooked. If you don’t know anything about Zentangle go to the originators of Zentangle at this link. (Zentangle is a registered trademark). I don’t want to lead anyone since as artists and creative people we are all different and even though the zentangle method has rules, all the artists that do this have a flair for their own path. Be sure to check it out in your own way to find what you want to do with it.
I will tell you that after working with this for awhile and buying many books on the subject the following four books stand out for me.
For my iPad and iPhone I bought the Kindle version of “One Zentangle a Day” by Beckah Krahula. Since I was new to the process this gave me a way I could be guided as I worked on the go—on little pieces of paper I kept in my purse. (The original idea for Zentangle is to work on small pieces of paper around 3.5″ x 3.5″ give or take a quarter inch)”One Zentangle a Day” is a great book and took me places with the skill of drawing —something else I was looking for. It’s been way more then the six weeks the course will take if you work at it, but I am still enjoying the book. Beckah’s work is beautiful and inspiring.
Another book on Zentangle is “joy of zentangle” and is by contributing artists—Suzanne McNeill, CZT—Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT— and Maria Browning, CZT. This book will give you the basics and before you start to make up your own pentangle patterns it’s fun to work with the over 100 samples of patterns in the book. It’s one of the best ones I found that had ideas for both art and learning the process.
So now I come to my other favorite book and that is The Art of Zentangle”—this book is a workbook type where they show you ideas and designs and you can work on the pages. This is just pure fun for me. I love the pages that have shapes and designs drawn and they you fill them in with your own tangles. I like it when you can’t tell if my designs are in the book or added by me. There are four artists involved in “The Art of Zentangle” Margaret Bremner, Norma J. Burnell—CZT, Penny Raile—CZT and Lara Williams—CZT
The last of the books I will mention is “The Beauty of Zentangle— Inspirational Examples from 137 Tangle Artists Worldwide” Suzanne McNeill, CZT and Cindy Shepard, CZT. This book was just released and contains some amazing zentangle art. It’s fun to find designs and then copy to learn new things.
Now we come to what I have been doing with this interesting meditative (don’t say doodle) type art.
When starting out I kept to the little white border around the squares, but really didn’t like the white around the edge so after a bit borders were abandoned. These are my first 42 tangles.
From here I started to practice and make larger tangles from tangle designs and my inspiration and play.
Sometimes my drawing skills —when trying to learn an actual design— don’t serve me. Then my choice is to wing it. I started branching out and doing a mix of me and the zentangle patterns more and more.
My favorite time to tangle is when feeling a little overwhelmed or when mulling over an idea I have. Also before my Hot Yoga class—tangling helps to settle me down. Always leaves me in a zen moment. Try it!!