Tomorrow, April 1, 2014, tanglers from around the world are sending out tangled tiles in square envelopes with letters telling what the practice of Zentangle means to them. The recipients? The CBS Sunday Morning show. The idea is to have them do a segment about the art of Zentangle. Here is my contribution:
I decided to return to my community photos this week and got a bit excited about a new tangle that emerged for me last February from this bell tower at our local university branch campus. Here are the photos.
Here's the tangle on a tile. It seems to have some depth without shading.
Here is the step out:
For now, I am calling it Bell Tower. I'm open to suggestions.
Three hints for creating this tangle: First, think S curve when doing the bell shape. Second, mirroring is good to keep in mind in many tangles. It is simply making a stroke near another as if holding a mirror to the first stroke and drawing what is in the mirror. Keeping that in mind helps with the shaping and placement of the S curves. Also, turning your tile helps with the mirroring in this one. Third, when starting and ending the S curve, trace the line you are starting the stroke on as you begin and the one you are ending on as you finish the stroke. Rick Roberts explains this as thinking of a plane taking off and landing on an airstrip.
I love the challenge that comes in creating variations on a tangle. So, here are a few. I especially like what happens when the straight lines are made curvy.
In my introductory Zentangle classes, I always tell how I use tangling as a method of personal relaxation.
I tangle in bed to unwind from the day. I need to do it in bed because it is not uncommon for me to doze off tangling at that time of day.
I tangle on airplanes because flying stresses me out. Tangling helps me relax. I almost forget that I am on an airplane. The time goes by very quickly and tangling often leads to interesting unforced conversation with the person seated next to me.
I tangle in the doctor's waiting room. Sometimes it's a very long wait. Tangling helps keep my blood pressure down.
This week I took my Tangle a Day Calendar along to my doctor's appointment. Below is a combination of night time and waiting room tangling. By the way, I am 5mg short of being completely free of blood pressure medicine. I can't state it as a fact that tangling is the reason. Healthy lifestyle has a big part in that. But I believe that the doctor's office tangling at least helps with what is called "white coat syndrome" in which blood pressure tends to be higher at the doctor's office.
Tangles Used: Chainlea, Luv-a, Coil, Zinger
The wrapped fibers-like post and leaves on the right are something I've seen in some of Maria Thomas' (co-founder of Zentangle) work. I consider it more of an artistic technique than a tangle.
Are there Zentangle tiles that, when you view them, bring back memories as to what was happening in your life at the time you created them? I have some. One example is the tile I did in my introductory class. It brings me back to the 90 minute drive, finding dinner beforehand, the gallery where the class was held and the CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) presenting the class. So, I am curious as to what aspects of a
person's life can be integrated into the Zentangle practice both to bring back memories and enrich life.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that the practice of Zentangle is valuable in itself and needs no experimentation to change it or make it better. (Before you start branching out, take a class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher to find out the facts and the process. You can find the listing of CZT's here:CZT's Listing ). But once someone discovers their love for the Zentangle process, then no surface is safe and they may look for other reasons to tangle.
I'm one of those with "so much to do, so little time" and I'm pretty sure that is true of most people. So I'm working on integrating the important things in my life. I'm not talking multitasking, but integrating. In December, I integrated the practice of Zentangle with my meditation time. Many of you joined me as we went through our Advent Journey and created ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art). I don't want to replace the practice of Zentangle by the integration of tangling into other parts of my life.
The point is that I want to do more tangling and integration is a way of
This time of year, like a lot of other people, I am focusing on getting back on track with healthy eating and exercising. I'm finding ways to integrate Zentangle into healthy habits. One of the things I find difficult is to remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Below is my experimental tile. My theory is that if I tangle around a written goal I will better remember it and take steps to get it done. Also, it becomes a satisfying physical reminder of that goal.
The Advent Journey has led us to Christmas 2013. Thank you for joining me. If you have been using this project as part of your daily devotions, I hope that it has brought more meaning to your Christmas. Or, at least, it has encouraged you to take a bit of time from the business of the season to relax and enjoy the benefits of Zentangle inspired art.
For me, it has become a habit that I want to continue into the new year. So...I have Carole Ohl's 2014 Tangle A Day Calendar ready. I can use it for continued reflection, for journaling, or for simply enjoying the practice of Zentangle. If you're not familiar with Carole's calendar, you can find out more and order it here.