Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Zentangles: Spinning Beautiful, Tangled Webs

Our project today is to create a web sampler filled with tangles.

Art class at Bear Paw Studio this week is an introduction to the art of creating Zentangles (or ZT for short)-those fun, elegant designs that have the benefit of helping us develop focus and confidence in our drawing.  

I've always loved filling empty paper spaces with squiggles and patterns of radiating design, you know, along the margins of lists and phone notes, otherwise known as doodling.  Zentangles are different in that they are created with deliberate intent, and though the final result may be unplanned, there is an effort to make patterns.  Some patterns are simple and loose, but many are intricate and tight, and some have color, shading, or 3-D illusions.  There are many benefits of tangling, such as de-stressing, increasing focus, attention span, and confidence in drawing.  However,  Zentangles are addicting, and may be hard to stop once you start, since one good stroke often leads to another!

Our class on tangling started with a slide presentation covering the basics of tangling and showing many examples of different styles of Zentangles.  My friend and a more experienced tangler, Sue Zache, was kind enough to lend me many of her excellent books and journals filled with wonderful tangles she has created over the years. 

Zentangle examples on display included how-to books, journals, and fabric.

After the introduction and slide show, we learned a few basic tangles and tried them out on a practice sheet.  One of the nice things about ZT is that you can improvise and create your very own patterns if you like, or follow stroke by stroke directions to learn designs created by others.

Melody adding some new tangles to the practice sheet.

Gretchen works on details of her own design.

There are endless ways to tangle, and there is no wrong way.

Sue helps Melody and Gretchen with their designs.

Focus and planning keep patterns consistent.
Tangling focuses the mind on the task at hand, creating a "zen" or meditative state of mind that is calming and stress-relieving.

Our ZT project today is to create a "web sampler" filled with tangles we create ourselves or ones we learn from others.  We use a compass to draw three concentric circles of our paper, then add web lines to create interior sections which we fill with different tangles.  We finish by gluing the completed web to a mat board backing and adding a title.

Gretchen knows what she likes, and fills her web spaces with many intricate  tangles of her own design.

Gretchen's web is almost done.

Jillian has her web filled with creative patterns.

Jillian's is filled with fabulous texture and pattern, including the spider.

Melody has a web of creative designs that is still growing.

Melody's web is a nice mix of simple and complex patterns that create a lovely design.

We will continue with patterning in the next lesson, when we will mix sugar skulls, Day of the Dead, colorful painting, and Zentangles all together to create some amazing art!  Please join us again in the next post to see what we do!

Till next time,

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