Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Healing Patterns

When creating I strive to go into a meditative like state, where nothing can disturb me and the work just flows from my brush. When that happens I can finish 3 or 4 paintings a day but it doesn't happen very often. What is more likely to happen is the exact opposite and I struggle with every brush stroke, over thinking and over stressing about my art work, taking days or weeks to get close to finishing a painting and then leaving it unsigned in the corner of my studio somewhere until I finally decide if it is actually done.

That didn't happen when I was learning Zentangle this summer. It was so easy to do the 2 or 3 stroke patterns. If I didn't do it exactly like the instructions all I had to do was cover the mistake over with a thicker line or a different pattern. It was repeated often by some of the CZT (Certified Zentangle Teachers) that there are no mistakes only happy accidents. I found that doing this type of drawing not only relaxed me but energized me as well. I felt motivated to try more things that I didn't think I would be very good at. I learned to clear my mind of everything that was bothering me while I focused on the drawing.

Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts are the founders of Zentangle and have a web site www.zentangle.com where they show their latest zentangle patterns, sell their Zentangle learning kits as well as advertise their up coming seminars. They mentioned in the last newsletter that a local college had sent a PhD to learn Zentangle and become a CZT. This college is setting up a clinical trial that will be focusing on the health benefits of the Zentangle drawing method. I have also read that it has been used by some doctors as a therapy for Autism patients.


There is a weekly Zentangle challenge posted by "I am the Diva - CZT" on her blog and this week she wanted us to do a tangle with the pattern called punzel. I attempted it in the long braid down the left of my drawing. I also added fifolia, the flowers, floating away. I will think of the fifolia's as all my stresses and worries.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Life is full of challenges but the ones that " I am the Diva CZT " puts on her blog every monday are great fun. I have secretly been doing them for a few weeks now but never posted them. Today I think I will attempt to add the Sunflower Challenge to her list of entries.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Zentangles in the woods

Since the middle of August when I first heard of the word Zen Tangle I think there have been only one or two days when I have not taken pen to paper and let the world melt away while I doodled, drew and even painted my way through learning as many new patterns as I could.

This week I will be doing my drawing at a picnic table in the yard beside our cabin in the woods.  One ear will be listening for the bear that has been sniffing around camp and the other ear will be enjoying the chickadees, poplar leaves and motor boats that I can hear down the hill on the Saskatchewan River.  The rest of me will be lost on the page.

A couple weekends ago I was able to talk my friend Karen into showing me how she makes her Garden Spirit sculptures.  I have been intrigued by her sculptures since she posted her first pictures on Facebook and talked about the class she took at Red Roof Studio in Alberta.  I had heard that she was going back for another class and had brought back enough supplies to show a few people how to make them.   We enjoyed another beautiful fall day in the gazebo in her back yard while I learned how to build a sculpture out of wire, tinfoil and masking tape.  Then we cut up some old white t-shirts into strips and soaked them in the special GSM, looks like white glue that we added color to.  We wrapped the soaked material around the tinfoil form.  It looked like a mummy when we were done.  If you don't mind messes and having glue stuck all the way up to your elbows then you may enjoy this!  Once the mummy was wrapped we got to dress it.  Again material cut and dipped in the GSM and draped over the form.  Everything had to dry for a couple days and then it was painted to look like aged bronze and sealed so it can live out in the garden with out being bothered by the rain or snow.  I think my sculpture looks pretty good, for the first attempt.  Maybe I will make her a friend to share her rock with, wouldn't want her to be lonely in my garden.