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.
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.
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!
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!
It is addictive. Sorry, no – that's a wrong word. It's food for the soul.
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!
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.
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:
- Zentangle Patterns
- Zentangle Flickr Images
- Zentangle Pins on Pinterest
- How to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher
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.