Almost every week since the beginning of the year I have experienced delight by enabling others to step into their Zentangle practice and to feel joy too. This meditative art form is a place of beauty, peace, and calm.
What brings you joy?
As I reflected upon my Zentangle practice and teaching, I realized that it truly brings me joy. I feel totally alive and engaged with my pen in hand.
Zentangle for me is…
a simple (though not always easy) way to bring beauty into my life every day with ease
a lens for viewing life, a reminder to see my life with fresh eyes and new perspective(s), understand that I will make mistakes—it’s part of living—because I try new things and I get them both right and wrong. I am sometimes tired, my best efforts are not always my best work, and working through my missteps—by fixing them or making peace, learning, and moving on, is what enables me to grow.
art & a science… I bring my own special flair to the guidelines for working with the method.
a reminder to step back and gain a new perspective… there’s always at least one more way to view a situation. I’m always thinking to myself and saying to participants, “Hold your tile at arm’s length and rotate it—90, 180, 270, and then 360 degrees. What do you find as you do so? Which view is most interesting or appealing to you?”
a way to recognize any struggles I’m having and choose a different path.
How often do I say to folks, ”If you’re having a challenge with a particular stroke, try rotating the tile for greater ease.”
about both comforting and challenging myself. I LOVE and work with about two dozen patterns regularly—they feel easy and comforting. The liveliness of Jetties, the wildness of Squid, the energy of Cadent, and the boldness of Knightsbridge delight me. And, I’m always on the lookout for changing up the way I do one of my “go-to” tangles and for new patterns and media, to keep me sharp and humble… aware of my growing edge.
“What if, instead of just shading the leafy part of Poke Leaf, I use my pen to color in the stem, shade the top of the stem and use the tortillon/smudger to move the pencil lead into the body of the leaf?”
“How might I create in a larger space/literally a canvas—how do I need to adapt to the new dimension? What tools will I use?”
a reminder, that there’s a time to put down the pen and walk away from my work… because I have done enough, and doing more may overwork the tile.
I caution myself at times, “There’s a time to pause and reflect. I can choose to pick up the pen or pencil again to continue or leave it for now.”
an opportunity to sink into the process, experience flow, and remain unattached to the result.
There are times that I enjoy the drawing, learn a lot about the patterns and how they fit together yet don’t love the final look of the work. I counsel myself to walk away and return to the piece the next morning, knowing that I may feel differently about the tile then… or I will have learned from it and take that knowledge forward.
just like so much of how I live my life.
What is your answer to my question, “What brings you joy?” I’d love to know!
If exploring Zentangle piques your interest, please look on my Calendar page to learn about the free class I offer each month and series that is a deep dive into this beautiful art form.