Zentangles are a fun, easy to learn meditation type of drawing experience and I guarantee that anyone can do it! Zentangle drawings look complex and intricate, but when broken down, they are very easy to do and perfect for translating into quilting designs.
Zentangles are an art form that is created from small, simple to learn, repetitive structured patterns. As an abstract drawing technique that is done “one stroke at a time,” the deliberate strokes involved can be equated to the concept of now, being in the present moment, a Zen-type experience. As such, Zentangles can help you develop your artistic spirit, even if you thought you never had one.
Zentangles will help you to become more aware of pattern. Patterns are everywhere! Just look around you. Look at your clothes, architecture, nature and your daily living experiences. Zentangles make you more conscious of your own environment and the patterns that are right in front of you.
If you are a quilter I can assure you that Zentangles will enhance so much of the quilting design process and that you’ll love the gentle process of creating art. It will soothe your soul and help you to focus on the present moment. The whole process is portable, inexpensive, and truly life changing. It opens you up to a creative and more peaceful life. My 11 year old grandson who has ADD loves it and can’t believe what he can do! Simply awesome.
Many people have said that they wanted to create art but couldn’t because: there’s not enough time; it’s too expensive; there’s too much equipment; they don’t have the ability; they’re overcome with fear; there’s no place or space; they never finished what they started; they don’t have training; or it’s too intimidating; and the list goes on! But learning Zentangles dispels all of these obstacles. Zentangles offer many affirmative metaphors, as you can do anything one stroke at a time. People often start out thinking “I can’t do that” and then about a half-hour later they have done what they thought wasn’t possible. Because of that, Zentangles are an empowering experience. To get started the only things that you will need are an extra fine tip black pen, a #2 pencil and a small piece of good quality paper. That’s it! Transferring your designs to your quilt tops using a washable marker is easy too.
In what way could you use Zentangles to increase your confidence and refresh your artistic spirit? One lady “tangled” a piano, another a ski helmet, another boots, and me; I have applied my Zentangle designs to quilts, jewelry, masks, ornaments, cards, envelopes, pillows, notebook covers and just about everything else. This could become your new passion and change your life!
Written by Nancy Smith:
Nancy has been a full time quilter for the past 30 years and had a retail store called Great American Quilt Factory in Denver. Nancy wrote, with her partner Lynda Milligan, 74 quilting books through C & T Publishing as well as Possibilities, and together they designed well over 100 fabric lines. She has loved quilting for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother made quilts for her as a child, and so she came by it honestly.
After 30 years of running 3 full time businesses she literally stumbled upon Zentangles. She had always had a fascination with calligraphy but had never really sat down to do it. Upon seeing an article about Zentangles in a Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, she signed up for a workshop, made airline reservations, and had her hotel booked. She was ready. Little did she know how it would change her life, create a new passion, enhance all of her quilting knowledge and fit right in with what she was already doing. She is now a Certified Zentangle Instructor (CZT).