Zen-ing out in 15

Yes, you’ve landed here at Wolfhowlings. Looks different? Thank you for noticing. I’m changing my site, giving it a snazzy shakeup, updating it as I define Who Am I? in the process. Stay tuned for all the excitement, all the thrill, all this and a great parking space, too.

Part of the change is Zen inspired. My CZT-6 workshop is just a month away and I can hardly imagine what it will be like. I am honored to be among the last group at the Whitinsville location in May.

I find I am incorporating Zens into more and more of my life. I decorate envelopes with them. They become inspiration for birthday gifts. I’m thinking fundraising for Penn State’s THON a few years from now. The variety of it all, the creativity, the freedom, all inspired from my editor asking her writers “Does anyone know about Zentangle? Is anyone interested in doing an article?”


Like any thorough writer, I researched. I played around with the techniques. I interviewed a CZT. And then I fell in love with the art. I bought the kit. Since then, I’ve often worked in fine detail, perfecting patterns and meticulously finishing my art. Concentrating way too hard, way too long; guess it’s the writer in me, or the editor, perfecting that final draft. A Zentangle can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. That makes it relaxing while giving you instant gratification. Since I’ve been in a Grease mood lately, this line comes to mind: “So what do you do with them for the other 23 hours and 45 minutes?”

This week’s Diva challenge is to get back to those roots and complete a Zentangle in 15 minutes. Funny, I almost feel pressured by this. Yet this is how I got back into regular writing: journal 15 minutes a day. Everyone’s got 15 minutes somewhere. It disciplined me and showed me I could. And this challenge, I know I can. So I pulled out a tile, set the timer, and off I drew.

I was tempted to put in a “one minute remaining” alarm, like the warning you got in school with those standardized tests. After all, what if I didn’t finish?

I didn’t finish, but I completed.

Here it is at a random angle. You can still see some of the pencil string. The solid sections are not fully colored in. Lines aren’t exact or evenly-spaced. So many things I *might* do differently given just 5 more minutes.

Interesting my choices. I love the dark contrast, so I chose some knowing they would be time-consuming to fill in. I made circles (Orbs – Challenge #5 and Love Your Curves #15), I left open space (The Space Between #10), I danced with Mooka (#16) and I even breathed a little bit (#7). It’s interesting that I now approach any Zentangle that I draw keeping in mind these artistic techniques. I know about them from photography, scrapbooking and even writing (breathe…), but I see and feel that particular attention to them.

After the timer roared (the Penn State Nittany Lion roar is my timer; love that ringtone!), I wanted more time to play with non-Zentangle patterns, just made-up stuff. I only got a little bit of that in. I would have liked polka dots. I was planning polka dots.

I didn’t shade because I always approach shading as optional. Oh, when it’s done, the piece looks fabulous. Shading adds such richness and depth, but like an Alfred Hitchcock classic, just black-n-white should carry the piece.

I wonder how I’ll feel about this after my CZT seminar? What techniques do I bring to the table now? What will I take away from it?

Inspiration awaits.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruth
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 07:56:28

    your writing is great and your Zentangle is precious. your Mooka reminds me or music notes….really nice.


  2. Christina Vandervlist
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 19:16:18

    Wow, what a surprise! Your new site has an entirely different vibe, but I still like it. You’ll enjoy your training – three days to play!


  3. Rosemary
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 08:07:59

    I think your tangle is great, I love all the inspiration going around to the partcipant’s blogs I’m new to zentangling and I’m becoming very enraptured by it. I stuck to the smaller size for this and enjoyed it. I love the curves you’ve used here.


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