Saturday, February 12, 2011

Zentangles and Zippy Pups

Woke up today to sun and mist as the temps finally rose and the snows started to settle. It was none too soon either as I've been in a climb-the-clock-tower kind of mood all week.

I am amazed at how well Ben is healing. Sorry for the p*rno-esque shot but I wanted to show how the bruising is all but gone and the wound is pretty much sealed.  He woke up this morning 'Mr Zippy'.  He's been sore and sick to his stomach all week, but seems to have turned the corner. It's going to be a difficult few weeks of trying to keep his body down and calm when his 'inner Bentley' is a wild child careening around and ricocheting off things!
This week I discovered Zentangles.  I try to meditate at least 15 minutes every day.  I call it 'being still' though as meditation always brings forth visions of pretzel legs and 'ohms'.  It's not in my nature to not be doing 75 things at once, usually at warp speed, so since the first of the year, I've tried to set aside a little time each day to clear the old brain pan and try to calm-ta-hell-down (see 'clocktower' above).
Zentangling is essentially the art of controlled doodling for stress management.  I've always doodled; in school, meetings, when I'm on the phone, so when I read about this technique, I thought I'd try it. OMGosh! It SO works!  I spent the entire evening working on the one above (which kind of reminds me of a circus elephant).  For whatever reason, the repetitive shapes that you 'doodle' focus your mind so you don't think about anything else, but it doesn't require much 'concentration' so you just kind of relax and 'zen out'.  It's awesome and I can totally see using this technique during particularly stressful times when I obsess about things and those little movies play over and over in my head.
Actual 'Zentangles' are made on 3.5 and 3.5 inch squares of really nice paper with micron pigment pens. I just dug out an old sketch book and went to work,

Here's the one I'm working on now...
So there you have it, I've been searching for years for a hobby that is totally 100% useless and produces nothing in the end that can be eaten, worn or valued in any way and I've finally found it!  Monet, I am not, but it's the process not the end result that's the thing, and I'm really grooving on it that's for sure.  Google 'zentangles' to see work from artists that are actually good at it and see what YOU think!

8 comments:

MadCityMike said...

Actually, Ms. Molly Bee, as a retired high school art teacher, I find them quite nice. As you do "Zentangle" more, you may find yourself moving to formats/designs that are more pleasing to you and that you would consider matting, framing, hanging, giving as gifts, etc. Do not underestimate the "power of the pen"! ;)

Barb said...

Yay for Ben!!! You must be an outstanding nurse.

Your art is fantastic! They should all be framed and matted. I may have to settle down long enough to try this as well. But like you....
75 things at once is the norm here too.

Enjoy the warmth and the sounds of melting.

Cindy G said...

Wow! Those are really neat. Now I've got to go Google for more info.

Metallic Flame Studios East said...

We started a group on Facebook called doodle yoga, come find us and share in the meditation!

Elizabeth said...

I'm glad to hear Ben is doing well.

I love doodling with good ink on nice paper, but it's been a long time. I love the ones you've done!

terri browne said...

Wow, those are some impressive doodles! I've never heard of zentangles before, but I'm curious to check it out.

So glad Ben is doing well!

Carole Meisenhelter said...

.....enjoy your zentangling too; isn't it the best for winding back?! Thanks for your comment my blog; Zentangling is new to me too. I'm forever amazed at what creeps up on you when you least expect it. I'm loving Zentangling.

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Um, I don't think that Zentangling would help me calm my thoughts. I'd get upset about the many hours I'd get entranced by it. But what kind of pen do you use?