My thoughts were wandering recently (actually they wander quite often, without my consent or direction).
I was trying to figure out just why Zentangle immediately gets me into that mindfulness state, when other art forms I practice do not.
What's different about the Zentangle Method?
I was thinking about the abstract-ness of it all, and that when I'm actually tangling on a Zentangle tile, I do not distract myself by looking away from my artwork for reference, confirmation or even inspiration.
Earlier I may have been looking . . . here and there . . . this way and that . . . for inspiration. I frequently add to my Zentangle "field notes" journal as I explore new tangle and deconstruction possibilities. But while I'm tangling, I just look at my tile.
I'm not looking back and forth between my art and model, or at a photograph I'm trying to imitate, or admiring and trying to capture the momentary magnificence of a changing landscape or seascape.
When I sit down with a blank tile, I like to have an idea of the tangles I might use. I usually start out with one of my "mac 'n cheese" tangles, you know . . . "comfort tangles."
Some of mine are mooka, purk, tripoli, poke leaf and maybe a bit of bales . . . old standbys. When I get a rhythm going I might throw in something different, maybe a new one I have seen in passing or a tangleation of one of Rick's (making his straight lines a bit curvier! :-) or just some auras around to elaborate existing tangles.
But while I'm tangling, I just look at my tile . . . I rarely ever look up.
Perhaps this uninterrupted concentration/focus on one place is one of the ways Zentangle works its magic for me.
Last week we were talking with visitors about when Maria and I had our a-ha moment that became Zentangle. Our motivation to develop and share the Zentangle Method was not that it enabled her to create beautiful art - that was expected.
It also wasn't the idea that it might enable almost anyone to create beautiful art. Although important, I don't think that would have been enough to convince us to begin a whole new adventure while maintaining our regular work.
No, what convinced us was the significance of how Maria felt. We thought that if others could feel that good and just as easily create beautiful art . . . that would be a worthwhile adventure!
While Zentangle art is usually abstract (nonrepresentational), it is not an abstraction (something that exists only as an idea). Its results are beautiful to see; its experience, beautiful to feel.
So, what about you?
How do you think Zentangle draws you into that Zen-Zone of mindfulness?
Share with us and we'll send one of these tiles to one of you.
I use a random number generator to choose a winner, just so you know.
And please! Give us a way to contact you. We love sending surprises out.
Life is good.
Winner from "When's the last time?" is Lara Williams, CZT.
Winner from "Frame of mine(d)" is Anneke in Netherlands.
Congrats . . . they're on their way!
Click images for larger views.