Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lack of Precision

One thing that I really admire about the ZIA other Zentanglers produce is how precisely they draw the patterns. The lines are crisp and clean. Each tangle looks almost identical, as if it had been stamped out rather than drawn freehand. I obviously lack the same precision. Last night, as I was practicing in my sketchbook, I realized why my ZIA looks so sloppy--if I hold my pen tightly I can manage more uniformity in my strokes--the problem is that holding the pen so tightly makes me tense and ultimately defeats my purpose if doing Zentangle in the first place.

I was drawn to this art form not only by the beauty of the work Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts produce, but also by the philosophy behind it.  I can get lost in my doodling. Rick and Maria describe Zentangling as a type of meditative practice. The concept is really simple--draw, "one stroke at a time," in a repetitive manner to create patterns. As you repeat the patterns the mind is allowed to rest--similar to resting the mind through meditation. Don't just take my word for it, check out some of the testimonials on the Zentangle site. Over and over this art form is described as "relaxing," "brings focus," "peaceful," etc. these are the qualities that I find most beneficial in Zentangle.

So please pardon my sloppy lines. As I continue the practice I hope my strokes lose the jerkiness and acquire some flow.

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