Monday, June 20, 2016

You, Too, Can Zentangle

The public library offered a free class on "Zentangle" drawing, and because all education is good, I attended, having not the slightest idea of what it was, nor any drawing talent, nor much interest in Zen. But that evening I made a work of art and thought it was pretty cool.
The lively woman who taught our class is a public-school art teacher named Megan, who explained that "Zentangle" is "meditative drawing," or the creation of patterns and images in a relaxed fashion, with no pressure and with no such thing as errors. She taught us to create, step by step, the most common Zentangle patterns, plus flowers, and there are more patterns we didn't get to.

"Zentangle" is as fully established as adult coloring, except the Zentangler creates the image rather than filling in somebody else's pre-made image. There are "Zentangle" (registered trademark) starter kits. Megan got us started with Pigma 01 extremely fine-point ink pens, a fine-point Sharpie, and pencils. That and a drawing surface is all a Zentangler needs. We drew on 4 x 4-inch artist's tiles, thick paper rather like the coasters taverns put beneath your beers. Megan showed us a pair of white sneakers she'd decorated with fabric ink, and a photo of a backpack; she's also done a mural on the St. Louis public flood wall; and Pinterest is rife with Zentangler wallpaper, tee shirts, gift boxes, Zentangles in colored ink and watercolored.

Megan told us Zentangle began with a monk who tried to call to lunch an artist who was busy illuminating a sacred manuscript. He called and called and she didn't hear him. She explained, "Oh, I was so into what I was doing I didn't hear you," and I suppose it takes a monk to trademark and monetize that. It was fun and I'm glad I went to get some continuing education and learned something new that anyone can learn to do. I bought my own supplies and intend to Zentangle my way across the Atlantic toward my upcoming overseas adventure.

No comments: