I’ve been experimenting with Zentangle, an artistic technique that is meditative, relaxing, and not dependent on skill. Some might call it advanced doodling. There might be more to it than that. But I think the results speak for themselves. Bare in mind that I can hardly draw a straight line.

I have been very impressed with my results. But the final artwork isn’t really the intention of Zentangle. The state of mind it facilitates is. I wouldn’t say I have reached any kind of pure meditative state while zentangling but it does focus me for extended periods of time. I don’t reach for my phone for excuses to abandon a session. When I seem to make a mistake (there are no mistakes in Zentangle), I find ways to alter my patterns and absorb that mistake. Something new emerges from it.

First I got comfortable just making patterns.

For many of these pieces I used just a few inexpensive sketching tools. A pencil, a couple black felt tip markers, and occasionally some colored pencils. There are countless books to help get you started. Joy of Zentangle has a nice collection of patterns (tangles) that helped immensely. Also, check out YouTube to see Zentangle in action and follow along. And of course the official zentangle.com. Their language may seem a bit cultish at times, but as long as they’re not passing out the kool-aid or waiting for the alien mothership to arrive, it’s cool. 

What do you think?