This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Zentangle Workshop

Several weeks ago art teacher Kim Herman gave a Zentangle workshop at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Virginia Beach.  Zentangle was developed by Rick Roberts, a devotee of Eastern meditation and Maria Thomas, a letter artist.

The story of its beginning is basically as follows.  One day Maria was in her studio engrossed in drawing intricate patterns and the design of a single letter.  Rick entered the studio to speak with her.  She was so entirely focused on her piece Maria did not even realize he was there.  Later they discussed the incident.  Realizing her experience with concentration was much like his in the depths of meditation, they began to explore the idea of shaping the process for all, artists and non-artists.  They've broken the materials down to simple form:  small-sized, sturdy Italian paper that can be held in a person's non-dominant hand so a drawing surface is unnecessary, a small pencil, a black pen, a smudge stick and a little drawer string sack to carry everything.

The process brought me back to the ink flower-doodles found in my notebooks from grade school through college!  

Of course you can "Zentangle" without the little kit.  I appreciate the middle-ground Roberts & Thomas have found between being capitalists and generous.  As far as I understand they do not hold copyright on the Zentangle name.  In fact books have been published, You Tube videos and websites have been posted by many people to support the work.  It seems to be a community of people excited to share.  Roberts & Thomas hold a week-long training workshop in Rhode Island for those interested in teaching or simply wish to experience an in-depth period of drawing and collaborating.

Here is a link to the main website:

If you are interested please refer to You Tube and other website searches for more information.  For those who live in Hampton Roads/Tidewater, here is Kim Herman's contact information:  kim.herman@verizon.net   757-373-9735.

Below are snapshots of what I brought home from class.

It is suggested you date and sign the back of each piece when finished.
This is the first piece we worked on.  Patterns are named.  Kim introduced us to 4 with the first exercise.  Part of the fun is finding new patterns by studying repetitive forms found in nature and human-manufactured items and goods, translating them into a Zentangle, naming and sharing them. 
Here is an example of a start to a piece.
1) Make 4 dots in pencil, one in each corner of the paper. 
2) Create a frame, also in pencil, connecting the dots.
3)  Again in pencil draw a "string", a loopty loop if you will, within the frame.  Now you have sections inside the frame.
4) In pen begin your pattern within one space at a time


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