One of Zentangle's charms is its simplicity. Draw a string, fill it with a tangle, and voilà!
Another of Zentangle's charms is its availability. You can do it just about anywhere with just about anything. We often say that all you need is a stick at low tide (assuming it's a sandy beach, that is).
But, there's more to discover about Zentangle.
One of those discoveries is the different experience you have when you use the tiles and pens we chose for our Zentangle Kit. It's become a familiar story to get an email along the lines of, "I thought it was so silly to buy squares of paper and pens from you but, after a few years of tangling, I finally bought your kit. Now I get it! Thank you so much for putting this together, etc."
Another important Zentangle discovery occurs when a person takes a class with a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Because of Zentangle's simplicity, it's easy to miss its depth and its potential.
This next example is a familiar theme that occurs after someone takes a Zentangle class with a CZT. Here are some edited and emphasized excerpts from BethB's blog post, Botanical Bliss and my CZT:
"I had the good fortune to meet Brenda Shaver-Shahin, CZT, who had just relocated to within about an hour's drive of me. I was so excited, and booked a lesson with her. She is warm and welcoming, and an excellent teacher. We made the decision to start from the beginning, and we did. We didn't stay there long, however, as it seems I had managed to come quite a long way with Zentangle, on my own. After that first lesson, I was totally inspired and created the first big ZIA that made me say "Wow, I did that?"
"One of the most important changes for me, after only two lessons, is that I'm becoming ok with my own art. I can be very hard on myself, and we have so many incredibly talented artists in the Zentangle community. I was actually getting discouraged, and feeling like I should be able to make my art look like theirs. I'm finally learning to be patient with myself. I am only 7 months in, and I don't have much art background (more a crafter). I am beginning to just enjoy the process, which is the root of Zentangle, and not to worry so much about the outcome. It's funny how the result improves, when it stops mattering so much!
"I know that not everyone has access to a CZT, and I know all CZT's are not the same. No two human beings are. I would truly encourage you, however, if you do have a CZT in your area, to take some lessons. I find I have learned so much, in only two lessons, but it's more than that. It's the fun of talking about something about which you are both passionate . . . sharing sources of supplies and equipment . . . such as paper and framing . . . ooo'ing and ahh'ing over each other's work. It's about learning, and it's about laughing. I come away so inspired and encouraged. I can hardly wait 'til Friday . . . my next lesson!
"Here is the piece I will always love, because it represents a real milestone for me. My first botanical ZIA... YAY! It won't be the last."
You touch on so many important thoughts, Beth:
- Zentangle is about enjoying the process and result of putting pen to paper, not worrying about the outcome
- The value of taking a class with a CZT, even for someone who has been tangling for a while
- Approaching Zentangle as an ongoing practice – much like people who "practice" activities such as yoga or a martial art, they will do it on their own and regularly participate in ongoing classes
"The most wonderful surprise in all of this, has been finding such a warm and wonderful community built around this art form. Without exception those I have encountered are encouraging, friendly, generous of spirit, and great fun! Thank you, everyone, for the warm welcome. I hope you will enjoy this blog as much as I enjoy yours."
We invite you all to visit and enjoy BethB's blog!
Thanks Beth. And thanks, Brenda!
Please visit this link for a list of Certified Zentangle Teachers around the world.
Click image for larger view and links for more enjoyment and insight.
Congrats to Lorelei for winning the French Ivory shoe horn!