Sally, an internet quilty friend of mine was in Bathurst recently for the SCQuilters 2010 retreat. She bought some of her projects with her for ‘Chantelle’ (a huuuuuuge suitcase, - - - - the tide went waaaaaay out in Tasmania when Sally left the island) Amongst these were some of her Zentangle drawings. I was very impressed with these. I was very impressed with everything she did – such a talented textile artist, - go check out her blog, http://sallydunn.blogspot.com/ but those zentangles had kind of haunted me ever since I saw them, until recently, when I decided to check out what they are all about.
Now this was a life changing decision as I CAN’T DRAW!
Never have been able too!
Couldn’t draw to save myself!
Stick figures are beyond me!
No joking! - - - - - - - I CANNOT draw.
So keep this in mind when I tell you all, off I went to the Zentangle site http://www.zentangle.com and blog http://zentangle.blogspot.com/ and I decide maybe I would give them a go.
Now basically, they are doodles, but doodles with intent.
You can read heaps and heaps about how Zentangles as such got started and by whom at the web site http://www.zentangle.com I printed of quite a bit of the information there and took it to work the next afternoon. It was interesting reading. – nothing new really, - we’ve all done squiggle patterns and coloured them in when we were kids, but this is sort of going a step further by not using colours but instead using patterns to ‘colour’ in the sections, and some very canny people have cleverly ‘named’ and marketed the idea. Lots of therapeutic benefits naturally, especially for those stressed out and unable to relax etc (moi).
You really need to read at the web site or the blog as I’m not doing a very good job of describing it all here.
Aaaanywaaaay, before long, (2 + hours) I had done my very first zentangle, on a blank cell-card with a pencil as I had no decent pen available at work that evening. And I haven’t got a photo of it either as I gave it to the Fiona, the Therapeutic Manager/Psychologist at work, along with everything I had printed out as I could see the potential this could have as art therapy for the inmates in the Acute Crisis Management Unit where we both work. Between us, we have since developed it into a program for the inmates and have already had three or four sessions with them. They want to Zentangle and all bar one has taken to it like ducks to water, love it, and want to do more all the time. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to have pencils (sharp objects) in their cells so they can only ZT while they are in the day-room under officer (me) supervision. Maybe I will be able to show you some of their zentangles one day. There’s all sorts of restrictions on taking photographs inside a gaol (jail to you Americans) and I sure as hell ain’t bringing their drawings home with me. That is even more no-no.
Here’s a photo of four of my first five ZTs though. I put a thimble in the photo so you can compare the size. They don’t have to be big. The little one is on the back of a business card, the big one (my second) is on a cell card which is about 6 inches square. I date them as I finish them.
The circles in the corners which you see repeated in three of them was inspired by the old strap-iron work of the brackets that are holding up the landings inside the wings in the main gaol which was built in the late 1880’s.
So folks, I’m thrilled to say, I can draw after all!
Give it a go mate, - - - - you can too.
BTW, there was a king-tide on Tasmania when Sally landed on her return home as she had twice as much loaded into that huge suitcase.
How she lifted it onto the scales at the local airport I don’t know!
The little SAAB jet that connects us to Sydney took off with one wing lower and circled twice before it got on course!