Get Your Zen On with Zentangle!

Greetings on this lovely Friday the 13th!  I’m sending some good vibes your way with some very relaxing artwork that I just made in a new art class– Intro to Zentangle.

Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe you’ve even seen it printed on t-shirts or bags.  It’s taking the world by storm, so of course I decided I needed to see what all the buzz was about.

It’s the art form described as being for the non-artist.  Why?  Is it because it isn’t artistic or doesn’t require skill?  Well I guess it depends on how you define art and skill.  It was founded by a couple named Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.  They wanted to practice art that was both creative and meditative but without all the rules and tools required of most other types of art.

Everything you need comes in a little drawstring pouch.  And here’s something to keep in mind.  One of the tools is NOT an eraser, because there are no mistakes, only opportunities.  Don’t you love it already?  The basic concepts involve focus, framing, creating a string, filling, shading, and signing your work at the end.  We learned just a few tangles, but there are many more and you can even come up with some of your own.

But the best part about zentangle is getting into the zone!  This goes along with coloring mandalas, which I mentioned in a previous post, so you can see why I like it 🙂  It will be interesting to see how I can factor this into my own art.

Even if you aren’t an artist, you might want to give this a try.  It was designed for you 😉  It’s a great way to practice mindfulness–focusing on the present moment.  Imagine what you can create if you put your mind to it and just relax…

Consider their motto: “Anything is possible…one stroke at a time!”

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Learn to Monitor Your Heart with Mindfulness

If you need to run, I’ll run with you.

I’m sharing my latest card creation in celebration of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is the meditation practice of becoming more aware of your thoughts and learning to stay in the present moment.  You focus on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations but without judgement, as if you’re observing them rather than experiencing them.

One particular technique involves body awareness where you notice the physical sensations you’re experiencing throughout your body, like muscle tension or heart palpitations.  Instead of freaking out or trying to force yourself to stop experiencing these sensations, you simply allow them to happen while observing them in great detail.  You may find that the less you fight them or beat yourself up for having them, the quicker they go away.

If you are prone to panic attacks, this exercise can be particularly useful.

So the next time you notice your heart racing, just let it.  Better yet, get out your running shoes and follow it along.  Pretty soon, you’ll both be too tired to continue.  If you let it calm down on its own, so will you!

 

Picture This! PiBoIdMo

It’s Picture Book Idea Month again 🙂  Enjoy!

Inktense Pencils and Ink

Inktense Pencils and Ink

MicroMOVEments

Does this scene look familiar?  It should 😉  This landscape art is based on the famous painting by Georges Seurat entitled A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  James T. Mason is the sculptor and creator of this garden.  I recently visited The Topiary Park in Columbus, OH.  Talk about walking into a painting!

While here, I could have just enjoyed the scenery and posed for photos.  But I also decided to begin my practice of microMOVEments.  What exactly are those?  Think of them as baby steps towards your ultimate goal.  A way of building your dream brick by brick.  The concept was coined by SARK, author of Make Your Creative Dreams Real, which I mentioned in a previous post.  She describes such movements as small bursts of energy or tiny actions that can be completed in as little as 5 minutes.  If you’re one of the millions of busy people in the world or if you have problems with procrastination, you should try this out.

Here I am completing a microMOVEment by sketching at the park while on vacation.

And here is the result of my efforts 🙂

pen and ink

pen and ink

pen and ink

Just remember, Seurat’s painting wasn’t created in a day.  But step by step, your dream will manifest.  Starting now!  What microMOVEment will you complete today?

Sketching at the Beach

Testing out my new Staedtlers 😉

Check out Elisha Cooper’s picture book titled Beach for more inspiration.