North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 2015 NORBAG workshop - Zentangle

Judy Rishel lead us in the exploration of Zentangle. Judy's first exposure to Zentangle was at a 2013 NORBAG Zentangle workshop by Peggy Marrs. Later, Judy saw a Zentangle event at a conference she attended and was so interested that she took several classes. She feels it is "an art form that has exploded because you don't have to be an artist to do it! And there are no mistakes when doing Zentangle." No erasers, no rulers. Just a pen, a small 3.5-inch square of paper and and a pencil for shading.

Zentangle is different from doodling. Doodling is random. It can be almost anything. Zentangle is abstract and uses repetitive patterns made up of one or more of the following strokes: a circle, a curved line (like a C), a reversed curse (like an S) a straight line or a dot. A pattern is formed and then repeated. The object is to lose yourself in the drawing (Zen) without concern for the outcome.

Judy provided us with a delightful materials kit. We had an instruction sheet with patterns to use, white and black tiles to draw on, pre-drawn shapes to fill in with Zentangle patterns and even a template for a box that we could decorate and use to store our tiles.

For reference, Judy brought commercial instruction books, and a number of her own notebooks demonstrating ways to keep your own finished pieces, works in progress and pattern samples and practice.

Judy started the day with a white board. She drew three wavy lines (called a string) that we used to divide the Zentangle tile. Then she suggested four different patterns to use within those lines.

 And look at the variety of tiles that resulted.

Color, black and white and pencil. And each one is unique. 

 Judy's last words to us: "Remember, there are no mistakes, and don't forget to breathe." And then we did what we always do. We laughed and played and made tiles.

Black paper using white jelly roll pen

Using a pre-drawn shape

Using one of the commercial Zentangle books as inspiration
Using a gold metallic gel pen on both white and black surfaces

Creating letters with one of the commercial books as inspiration

Our October Book Exchange theme was "Falling Leaves" or "Autumn Colors." You can tap the Flickr Photos button on the left to see them in color.

Watch for the next workshop that will be shown here around the beginning of the month.

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