Guest blogger: Jane Glodoski
I discovered Zentangle at the Wisconsin Quilt EXPO several years ago. As a quilter I was always looking for new ideas and unique applications for my craft. Little did I realize that what I thought was an interesting idea for free motion quilting would change my perspective on so many things.
Zentangle originated as a meditative art form developed by the of team of Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas to provide focus and calm in a world inundated with screens and bells and chimes that remind us to do things. In its pure form, which has remained my favorite, a black pen is used to draw onto a 3.5-inch square white paper tile and based on five simple strokes, endless original patterns are created.
Although a relatively young art technique, many artists have embraced Zentangle and others have integrated the pure form into many art mediums, including different sizes and materials, colors, texture and layering. This eventually made it very popular with mixed media artists.
Zentangle is success-laden and inspiring. In my daily practice I use the pure form to enhance my concentration and creativity. I have always been focused on products and perfection but Zentangle has instilled in me the belief that art is the process rather than the product. While fiber arts and specifically quilting remains my passion, I have branched out to explore other mediums and have discovered joy in other places. I’ve begun to experiment with mixed media, painting and paper-crafting.
Where Zentangle has impacted my life the most is with children. I routinely volunteer to teach Zentangle to students in the Milwaukee Public Schools (my career-long employer). The impact of teaching an art form that creates a sense of calm and peace in children is rewarding and affirming. One student last school year stated that after tangling for 45 minutes he felt as though he were on a cloud in the rainforest. When asked, he admitted that he had never been in a rainforest but that’s what it must feel like.
For more on Zentangle you can go to Zentangle.com to read about the process and find learning options. Although you can visit online sites and buy books developed by other teachers like myself, I would always recommend taking at least one class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). On the Zentangle.com site you will find teachers in all 50 states as well as in 32 countries beside the United States.
I live in Southeastern Wisconsin and will be teaching several classes this fall at the Whitefish Bay Recreation Department in Whitefish Bay and At Frank’s Sewing Center in Waukesha. For more information I can be reached via email at email@example.com or you can visit my Facebook page Tangle on.
Visit the Craft Attitude super store for a variety of Zentangle books and products to get started or improve your craft.