Zentangle 101

April 23, 2013 @ 9:20 pm
posted by PATA

On Saturday, April 20, PATA hosted a workshop led by Chelsea Kennedy, MA ATR-BC, a certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT).  More than 30 art therapists and art therapy students came eager to learn and practice the Zentangle method.  The following are some questions and answers that were addressed during the workshop:

What is Zentangle?

Zentangle is the marriage of “zen” (meditative relaxation) and “tangle” (beautifully drawn patterned artwork).  Zentangle is a drawing method in which the person drawing maintains a high level of focus and concentration while he/she draws repetitive marks according to specific structured patterns.  Through practicing Zentangle, the person drawing enters a state of flow and relaxation.  Zentangle promotes mindfulness, as there is no judgment and one’s attention is focused on their marks at the moment and not on the end-product.

What materials are involved?

Participants received personal canvas Zentangle bags with the following materials: special fine-quality paper produced in Italy, an eraser-free Zentangle pencil, and a micron archival pigment ink .25mm line pen.

How is it different from doodling?

According to Chelsea, doodling is something you may naturally do without paying much attention and while simultaneously doing other things.  Drawing according to the Zentangle method, however, involves creating marks according to structured patterns and requires a high level of focus and concentration.

How many patterns are there?

There are approximately 116 official Zentangle patterns, and zentanglers are always welcome to create their own designs.  At the workshop we learned how to create five designs: hollibaugh, printemps, bales, rick’s paradox, and crescent moon.

What are the applications to art therapy practice?

There are several metaphors that can be made between the art of Zentangle and that of life which can be brought into art therapy practice.  For example, the pencils have no erasers, like there are no erasers in life.  Chelsea articulated the parallel by explaining how we do things deliberately, and we make the best with what we have.  Workshop participants discussed how the Zentangle approach would work well with a variety of populations, from children with ADHD and autism to adult mental health patients.

Want to further look into the art of Zentangle?

Check out www.zentangle.com, The Book of Zentangle, and experience zentangle with the Zentangle Kit.

Thank you Chelsea for sharing your knowledge and experience with Zentangle with us!  Even though students are especially busy right now with the end of the semester approaching, many made it out to the workshop, excited to engage in the meditative art of Zentangle!

Blog post by Jackie Biggs

One Response to “Zentangle 101”

  1. [...] completed tiles in a mosaic. Below is a picture of the result! Read more about the workshop on the Potomac Art Therapy Association’s blog or on their Facebook page. PATA Workshop April 2013 Share [...]


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