Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zentangles... so there's a name for that?

Recently, I started hearing about a "new" drawing phenomenon called Zentangles. The term started popping up in various blogs I read, so I began to investigate. The word "new" appears in quotes because doodling in this way isn't really new - it surely wasn't new to me... I've been doing it for years - as have many others (like Zoe Nelson and Catherine Witherell). The part that's new, is the phenomenon of lots of people drawing and doodling who weren't in the habit of doodling or making art. It's pretty much gone viral, with workshops, websites, books and related materials - including kits - appearing practically everywhere. There's even Zentangle Flicker Group.

Isn't it great that so many people have discovered this? It's always been a meditative form of drawing for me. Many of my jewelry designs were inspired by these patterned doodles, some of which I've been repeating for over 30 years - which I always just called "doodles." But now, I guess there's another name for it...

Another form of Zentangle that appeared on the scene is the Zendala. Zentangle + Mandala = Zendala (you may have read how much I like Mandalas and creating them in many ways). The images to the left aren't quite the style of the Zentangles drawn in a circle, but they are Mandalas made from some of my favorite doodles with an iPod Touch kaleidoscope program. They were later used as designs under transparent enamel... the possibilities are infinite.

Maybe I'm only helping to fuel the Zentangle "craze" by blogging about it. But this definitely a craze I can support. I love this kind of drawing and have filled pages with similar looking doodles over the years. And I found that many of the patterns I've used are commonly used by other doodlers. No doubt many posted are offshoots of things seen on the internet or in Zentangle instructions, but still, it's kinda fun to see that somebody thought of the same pattern I did - I might see a pattern I started doing 20 or 30 years ago. I hadn't seen theirs - and they hadn't seen mine... I actually think that's pretty cool.

Learning about the Zentangle phenomenon has been useful because for the last several years my doodles have been drawn with only one weight of pen - a fine line marker - mostly because I carry only one such marker with me. And mine look more "sketched" because of it - filling in the larger areas with a fine marker. Vickie Hallmark was inspired to make Zentangles - and hers are far from sketched, they have a cut paper or woodcut print quality. Seeing the various markers people are using for these has reminded me to go back and use different size markers to get more varied line width. I used to use Koh-I-Noor Rapiograph pens for doodles in the days when I did a lot of technical illustration. They aren't so practical for doodles now, but back then I always had them handy.

So grab a pen and start to doodle. You'll get lost. Everything old is new again... I'd be curious to hear how many others have been making "Zentangles" and didn't even know it...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You too can be a winner...

Lucky me! This past week, I won a drawing at Tonya Davidson's blog. Tonya is the driving force behind Whole Lotta Whimsy, one of my favorite places to shop for metal clay stuff... the prize was an Ice Resin Kit and some bezels! And all because I made a comment or two about some of the fantastic projects presented by the Master Muses.

Earlier this year, Tonya, a creative business woman and talented jewelry artist, started a program with 8 other talented artists to creatively meet various project challenges. The Master Muses have come up with some amazing projects which will eventually be available as tutorials so you can see in detail how each project was made. You'll be a winner if you just check out these cool projects - but if you comment on the blog, you'll be entered (just as I was) in the next drawing. Can't win if you don't play... (yes, the link goes where you think it does... how long can I keep mentioning this?).

Tonya's blog is also full of great information on everything from marketing to artistic growth, fashion trends, artist interviews, and more. She's provided the metal clay jewelry community with another great resource. Thanks Tonya, for the Ice Resin Kit, but especially for sharing the Master Muse program and all the other ways you support us as artists... your generosity is appreciated!