Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Zentangle is an abstract art form known for helping artists relax.  Akin to doodling, it's simple enough to be fun for even small children. 
My dear grandma, a professional artist known as the Iowa Train Lady, introduced my family and I to zentangle-inspired art this morning.  
Start with a small piece of paper, and draw a square boundary with a pen or marker.  Next draw something small--a crescent moon, music note, or star.  Let your imagination take you from there, and draw whatever you think of, attaching it to your original sketch.  Fill areas of the page with patterns, repeating the patterns throughout the drawing for conformity.  Be sure to make sure there is plenty of contrast.
Grandma brought one of her zentangle practice sheets (above) to give us an example. 

Unfortunately, my art skills often seem to be at about this level:
(Yes! this is an original...I specialize in hairstyles!)

Consequently, I was a bit incredulous about learning to zentangle...

Getting started was anything but relaxing as I struggled with what to draw...first came a music note, then flowers, a corn stalk, drumsticks, part of the alphabet, a chessboard, squiggly lines, and still I wasn't making much progress.  Grandma gave encouragement and suggestions, and I peaked over at Charity's artwork and other example zentangles for ideas.  Several checkerboards, plaid tablecloths, fish scales, flowers, and railroad tracks later, I realized this indeed was a lot of fun! 
My finished work!

Zentangling is a great way for would-be artists to relax; and I assure you that you will be surprised by whatever you create!  Zentangles can be used as impressive home-made greeting cards.  You can't go wrong, so start drawing!