Welcome to BLOG Zentangle. To learn about Zentangle, visit our website, read our free newsletters, take a class with a local Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), and best of all . . . create your own!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tangling Outside the Box



Molly writes: 

 Some of you may have heard of the phrase, “thinking outside the box”. This metaphor speaks of a creative thought process that perhaps explores an unknown territory, looks at something from a new perspective, offers a unique approach and steps outside of the otherwise expected way. Encouraging this perspective on brainstorming and problem solving often leads to new and exciting exploration and discovery.

I was raised in an “outside the box” house. Every day, every meal, every holiday, every hairdo, even every prom dress was a new adventure. Sometimes I would ask to get back in the box. Not an option. Looking back I realize how lucky I was. I now know to not just look at things for what they are or what they have always been but rather what they could be. Life is full of change, growth and opportunity and aren’t we lucky to be able to take advantage of that.

To me the Zentangle Method is a beautiful collision of structure and chaos. While it nurtures specific steps and illuminates borders it also encourages us to take our practice into uncharted territories. It pushes us to not fear so called mistakes, but rather see them as seeds for new opportunities. It invites us to “color outside the lines,” and to be lead only by those strokes that we put down ourselves. It teaches us that our unique marks are not only beautiful, but also important because of their uniqueness. 



We often say to our Zentangle artists to learn the rules so that you can break them. I love the structure and beauty of the method as it written, and I find it so inspiring to explore and try things a little bit differently once in a while. In the world of Zentangle art we time and time again see tanglers taking that artistic license and going “outside the box”. We continue to learn and be inspired by the all the ways you are doing this. This type of thinking is different for everyone. It might be that tangling a little lower the string line is a big deal for you, or you might be someone who likes adventure like perhaps tangling underwater like mermaids do.

When the time is right take a leap in your practice. Jump at that opportunity. Allow yourself to look at something for what it could be.

Whether it was a so called mistake or flash of brilliance that led you there, it took that bit of confidence to take a chance to see what could happen when you not only "think outside the box" … but actually “tangle outside the box". 

Join us with your "outside the box adventure" … Tell us your story here and post your work on the Zentangle Mosaic App using #outsidethebox. You can also download the Zentangle Mosaic app for free and search #outstidethebox to see the Zentangle art from across the globe!

We welcome both literal and metaphorical interpretations here … we do like to have fun after all.
 
We will pick a commenter at random to send a box of Zentangle goodies to in our next blog!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tiny Tutorial...Take Two!


Rick writes:
In 2007, we started BLOG Zentangle and began our enjoyable series of conversations within our Zentangle community.

In reading through these blog posts with their insightful comments, we decided to bring a few of them to your attention from time to time. It is easy, for me anyway, to sometimes think of old information as stale information. But these insights and conversations are anything BUT stale!

We invite you to enjoy this tiny tutorial from 2011...

                     Begin previous post . . .                  

Maria and I were talking about what to do for a blog yesterday. She started writing some notes for a tiny tutorial.


When you concentrate on every stroke of your pen, not worrying about what your tile will look like, and not hurrying through a tile because you have something else on your mind, you can focus on the different types of lines your pen can make. As you pay attention to these different lines, you may realize you have more "control" than you thought.


. . . let's explore what we can discover through control of our pens. I'm talking about good control, not obsessive control

Did you know that Rick and I spent countless hours trying out different pens on all types of wonderful papers? We unanimously agreed on the Sakura® Pigma® Micron 01 pen and Fabriano's Tiepolo paper. We love the subtle things you can do with this combination of pen and paper.

As an exercise, experiment with different pressures:


#1 - just tickle the tile
#2 - average pressure
#3 - pressing firmly (but not so heavy as to damage your pen)

Getting the look you want often involves slooooooowing down. Try making your strokes very slowly and see if it makes a difference in your deliberate lines . . .


Check out what bubbles look like the next time you are doing dishes or washing your hands . . . how beautiful!

Using this same deliberate approach . . .


. . . as compared with:


In this exercise with purk (one of my favorite tangles) by making your lines a bit lighter and your orbs a bit darker and slightly larger than what fits between your lines, it gives an illusion that this tangle is almost alive and moving. These orbs are busting out, creating perspective, contrast, depth and interest.

This tiny tutorial is not meant to get you to do something in some sort of so-called "correct" manner. It is also not meant to imply that there is a preferred outcome for your Zentangle creations. Our intention is to expand your range of choices and options. Sometimes, in looking for another pen or another color or another tangle, we overlook unexplored options that we already have. In this tiny tutorial, we're exploring the options of speed (of stroke) and pressure (of stroke) . . . an opportunity for a new focus, seeing things with new eyes.

Next time you open your Zentangle Kit and begin to tangle, you may discover more tools and options than you thought were in your kit (or in yourself)!



Click images for larger view.