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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Email Excerpt

Maria wrote this reply to an email she received and I wanted to post it because a lot of questions we get are probably shared by many. This person's question was about why aspects of their Zentangles didn't look as "good" as Maria's.
Hi, I am just getting around to answering my emails . . . so many!!

You have to cut yourself some slack. I saw your work . . . it's all beautiful. If I were to make any comment . . . I would say to draw your tangles more deliberately. Zentangle is not like any other art form. You want to draw every LINE deliberately, enjoying watching your pen create each line. The patterns fill the spaces created by the string. The string is just a suggestion and not a demand to where you put your tangles. You may start to place your tangle in one area, but maybe you want to finish that space with another tangle or leave it blank.

I tell my students that if you are doing the tangle "Tipple" - the one that looks like a sink full of bubbles - you want to draw each bubble slowly and not so much round as beautiful.

These pens are somewhat pressure sensitive so if you press a little harder on one side of the bubble and let up on the other . . . you create a rhythm of sorts . . . like music. If you played piano pressing every note the same, the result would be less than pleasant. If the weight of your penstroke was on the same side of each bubble, it creates a "shade" and adds to the pattern. You can do this to every pattern. Static . . . when doing the zig zag lines . . . the first zig is a light line, the next is heavier . . . consistently all the way down . . . then repeating the same pattern on each consecutive line. So simple, but very dynamic.

Practice, enjoy, hold it at arm's length OFTEN and admire your own work and never compare it to ANYONE'S. Just enjoy the process. Good Night, best, Maria


revbyrd said...

Thank you. I find this very helpful. I tend to get wrapped up on the 'look' of the work, rather than remembering the 'Zen'.

i am the diva said...

when i've shared Zentangling with others, i've had to remind them over and over again that "It's the process, not the Product".

Tinkered Art said...

Very helpful information - especially about using the different pressure on the strokes - can't wait to "intentionally" try that out. I completely agree about stepping back and have found from some of my other art endeavors I have to give it some time - I find that viewing it immediately after it has been completed my eye is still too focused on the individual strokes/sections. When I look at it again after several days or more I'm better able to see and appreciate it as a whole.

Donna Hornsby said...

I have been 'Zentangling' for a little over a month now. I am just now reading, no, devouring your blog and this post in particular is exactly how I try to explain to my friends what Zentangle is.

crotnem said...

I just started Zentangling about 4 months now. I love it. I too, like my art better the day or two later!!
Like SJ was saying.