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Zentangle: Uncover the Artist Within You and Your Child

zentangle indian goddess durga

Last year, I'd resolved to create time for my art, craft and DIY but am hardly content with my commitment towards it .

Art – as I dream of – I've not been able to do much – except some occasional art journaling. Most of my time goes into facilitating artful projects for Pari. Any remaining that I get – after home and hearth – I spend reading, browsing, writing/blogging and  – doing decor for my house! (winks) Don't mean to say this kind of "me time" does not give me joy. And yet, I do want to fuel the artist within me. Amen!

The start to this year has been very satisfying so far. I've come to discover an art form that really resonates with me and brings me much peace.

The bonus is – it's appealed to Pari in an amazing way.

zentangle durga goddess art india

My Art Journal Entry: "Zentangle Goddess Durga"

It's called Zentangle!

And, to tell you briefly about it – upfront – Zentangle is all about about drawing or doodling patterns – in a repetitive manner and then expanding it to put together a piece of art. The repetition of patterns – in an imaginative, neat and clutter-free way – makes this art form very soothing and zen-like – for the artist as well as the viewer. And, is so beautiful and exotic to look at.

Check out this official zentangle website – with meaning and philosophy, how-to, patterns and more.

zentangle leaves

Art Journal Entry: "Zen Leaves"

Ever since I've taken up this art, I've been 'hooked'. Really – I couldn't believe I would be so engrossed and feel so much peace when doing it.  It's almost like meditation. Well, not 'almost'. It IS meditation to me. 

The best part is – it doesn't need me to start with an elaborate plan or art material. All I need is a paper, a blank journal pad and a black gel pen. This is the aspect that works for a mother like me who's juggling a dozen things at any given point in time. Even when I'm doing a lesson/project with Pari, I can simultaneously be zentangling on a piece of paper. It's so stress-relieving!

zentangle my city

Art Journal Entry : "Zentangle My City"

I've been reading about it for more than an year now. Have done it once in a while in a passing sort of way. But, the 'awakening' happened after I saw some brilliant pieces of zentangle art done by my blogger friend Himadri. You must check out her work on her new blog – My Zen Mode. Since then, I've been doodling, learning, devouring the different ways to do zentangle patterns.

Not just me, even Pari has been totally engrossed. These days, she starts doodling on any and every piece of paper, pad or even newspaper!

zentangle for kids

It is addictive. Sorry, no – that's a wrong word. It's food for the soul.

zentangle stones

Zentangled River Stones – from 2011

I can vouch – we're going to take it up in bigger and better ways and adapt it on many other mediums besides paper. That is – on river stones, on leaves, fabric, our dresses! I can visualize a dozen things on which we can zentangle!

zentangle art journal

Art Journal Entry: "Feather-light Heart"

And, keep an art journal too! Really – the combination of zentangle and words – be it poetry, prose or mere scribbling – is a powerful way to express your self.

zentangle projects for children

For kids, zentangle is a magical form of self-expression.

It's the most open-ended form of art. There are no rules to follow; no fuss about making it look like 'real-life' objects. It's not even bound by how to begin or end. 

The benefits are multi-fold.

  • Makes them feel like real artists – thus increasing their self-esteem
  • Can fire their imagination
  • Enables them to concentrate
  • Increases attention span
  • Improves their hand-eye coordination
  • Enhances fine motor skills
  • Relaxes and calms them
  • Appeals to both the genders
  • Helps them appreciate art
  • Does not need hand-holding by any means – it's purely open-ended

It just evolves – from a circle, a spiral, a dot, a triangle, a curly or a wavy pattern. The kid can zentangle an abstract pattern; she/he can zentangle a real-life scene, shape, scenery – whatever!

I am in love with it and so glad that Pari is loving it, too.

Here are some resources to get yourself and your child initiated:

Finally – the biggest point in favour of zentangle is that – it lets you experience the joy of doing art even though you think/believe you are NOT an artist. No kidding. It appeals to everyone – no matter what age, gender, aptitude or level of skill. 

So, Zentangle your way to a stress-free New Year!

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Tharini January 6, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Just simply reading through everything that moves you and the way you express it from your own heart, by itself, is meditative. Thanks for the pause this morning. This is just beautiful, and I realise I used to do a lot of zentangling when I was a child. Only it didn’t have such a pretty name in my mind then. I was never much of an artist, but I loved this kind of quiet doodling. Lovely!

  • Ann January 6, 2012, 7:34 pm

    So awesome!!!  I think I have been doing something like that all my life when on the phone, etc.  Your images are so beautiful and inspiring, the question is not whether to pin but rather which image to pin!!!

  • Angelique Felix January 6, 2012, 10:26 pm

    Oh Rashmie, wonderful! What a lovely contribution you are to the creative world! Please link yr post up Tuesday on our Link Up ‘Made with Love’…and even better, when the moment comes join me and rainyday mum..
    Love to you

  • Life, for instance January 6, 2012, 11:12 pm

    This is really cool Rashmie! I think I’ve done a version of this – sort of building a crystal with triangles – in the past. But I’m going to try this when I have time to play with it!
    Happy 2012 my friend!
    Lori

  • Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam January 10, 2012, 8:38 pm

    Beautiful, Rashmie!! You are so talented!

  • Roopa@putti prapancha January 11, 2012, 3:02 pm

    This IS beautiful !! Love both your doodlings:))

  • Aleacia January 11, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Beautiful doodles! I love how neat they are. So much more appealing than scribbles yet offers the same meditating effect.

  • Zafaran January 13, 2012, 4:20 am

    Its very imaginative and I can imagine how happy it must make you feel judging by how great I felt seeing it. I love doodling too and use it constantly when I teach. I never thought it could have a validity beyond just pure fun. Thank you.

  • Archana June 6, 2012, 12:42 pm

    Truly, profoundly inspirational!!! I desperately needed a creative push to get me out of a strange shell ive found myself in, lately… :)
    Thanks!!

  • Sandy Bartholomew June 29, 2012, 6:58 am

    I’m so glad you found Zentangle. It is such a great way to build creative confidence and kids take to it right away. I love how you have integrated it with your own style to make such unique art! Keep tangling. :-)

  • Rewati August 10, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Wow! Never knew it had a name… I have been doing this especially spirally doodles for ages. Though, I think, if u set out to make it make sense, it won’t be as free and flowing. Its later that u look at your doodles and then see how u can create something from the forms…is it?

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