September 2014: Zentangle

While I was at a new craft store (well, old, but revisited called Art ‘N Soul in Lacey, Washington) the lady (Dianne Johnson) showed me some work she loved to do.  My introduction to this was at a Rubber Stamp Convention and wasn’t really appealing to me.

A vendor sold stamps that had Zentangle on it.  To me it looked really busy and to even think about trying to color all that made my head spin!  So many small spots to try to stick a pen in.  Not good thoughts.  I didn’t realize Zentangle is a process and not necessarily pre-stamped images (in the case above they were all animals done in Zentangle).

This store lady introduced me to her love.  She started by drawing dots on a page. Just like the children’s game we used to do – along with tic-tac-toe – where you draw rows and rows of dots and play against other people by drawing one line and then they draw one line until you draw the fourth line on the box and put your initials in the center – did you ever play that one?  The one with the most boxes wins.  But I digress…

Anyway, she drew rows of dots on the page.  She then said you just draw a wavy line like an S from one dot to the other in a straight line.  She then turned the page and did the same in the other direction until all the dots were connected as squares with wavy lines.  THAT was one form of Zentangle (called Cadent).  There are lots and lots of different forms that she had in her own personal book as well as in books in the store, YouTube videos, and on-line tutorials.

Basically, in a nut shell, something we ALL (or almost all) do when we are on hold on the phone – DOODLING!  I was told it is NOT Doodling but it’s very similar.  She brings stamped images on the plane, in doctor’s offices, anywhere where she has to wait – even on hold on the phone.  Here is a link for some of the Zentangle patterns or forms:

You will need to type in a computer generated code so it will know you are human at that last link.

Nancie Waterman over at supplied a link to her free eArticle called Doodling, Hand Lettering and Stamps which has examples, links, and what supplies you would use:

Here’s a YouTube done by Suzanne McNeill showing you how to do Zentangle as well.

How to Zentangle with Suzanne McNeill – YouTube

In that YouTube above, she shows Zentangle on a Kimono in her book (along with other items) so it definitely works with Asian images as well as other images.

Dianne (the lady who introduced me to Zentangle) has a blog with some of her Zentangle work on it.  Her son had her Zentangle his chain guard on his bike he liked his mother’s work so much!  Here is her blog:

Where you can see some of her Zentangle work in her older posts (at the bottom just click on older posts until you see them).  They will inspire you to give this a try.

And another link supplied by Lindsay Wierich from The Frugal Crafter and a member of OSA:

Lindsay made a second link for us as well:
Shelly S. from OSA shared this wonderful dictionary of Zentangle patterns:

So our September Technique Challenge is to make a card using Zentangle.  It can be a small or large image but be sure to have something stamped and something Asian on your card.

And since it sounds like new and different forms of Zentangle are made on a regular basis, your “doodling” might just be something new to inspire others to copy on a card.

You can color the images or you can pat ink pads on an acrylic block and spritz it with water before stamping your image (naturally after the water dries) to have some color behind the Zentangle.


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