Bijou's thoughts about the Zentangle Method (and life).
Breathing is very important to me. I breathe through my skin and through something similar to a human nose. If I get anxious, I remind myself to slow down my breath. I pay attention to inhaling and exhaling. It may sound simple, but it really helps me relax and focus.
Before I started to tangle, I never looked at the patterns I made as I moved through life. Now I always take a moment to appreciate the beautiful art I create whenever I take time to tangle. I appreciate everything, even what Hervé (my pen pal in Paris) might think is a mistake. I've become my own best fan! Whenever he can, Rick will take a picture of my Zentangle art so I can enjoy it later . . . even after a rain storm!
Wow, this is such a big word! But it's a big idea, too. It seems like the more I appreciate something, the more things I get to appreciate! I used to take a lot of stuff for granted, like the warm springtime in Paris. But ever since I hitched that ride in Rick and Maria's luggage (it was COLD on that trip), I've treasured everything on this wonderful adventure. Now, when I'm tangling, I really focus on and appreciate each and every "stroke" I make.
Ever since I heard Rick and Maria talking about all the patterns they'd see in their surroundings, I started to notice patterns more. Now that I tangle I REALLY notice them. I see how they deconstructed patterns and made them into tangles. It seems like magic because I never thought that I could recreate some of these tangles when I first saw them. Now I'm excited to find a pattern to deconstruct and turn into a tangle. After all, I do have a unique perspective down here amidst the ferns, flowers and grasses!
I really have to focus. My eyeballs are on the ends of long stalks that I can point in all directions. My favorite tangles are spirally ones . . . maybe because I have a spiral shell. But, if I don't focus on what I'm doing, my eye stalks wrap around each other . . . and that is NOT fun. But when I just focus on the tangle I'm "drawing" it's so much more fun . . . and beautiful.
You'd think that would be easy for a snail, right? But, as they say, "It's all relative." Even I can get ahead of myself in my head. When I'm learning a new tangle or when I make little dots (that's not easy for a snail!), I remind myself to slow down. Then I can focus and everything is much more fun. Snails like fun. Our life is a dance.
When humans watch snails, it must look like every movement we make is deliberate. But when I'm tangling I move much more deliberately than, say, when I am foraging for food. Doing a tangle, particularly one that I know well, allows me to focus on each individual stroke. That's because I know that when the next stroke comes, I'll know just what to do then because I've learned that tangle's "recipe." Plus, a snail always leaves a trail . . . why not make it a deliberate one?
While I tangle, I often pause and look around at where I've been . . . in other words, I look at the tangle I've drawn. That's easy for me . . . I just twist around my eye stalks! I've seen humans do the same sorta thing when they hold their tile at arms' length and rotate it this way and that (every now and then) while they are tangling.
Beautiful and Beyond!
That's what it's all about, isn't it? There's so many beautiful patterns to inspire tangles. And when you tangle, you not only create something beautiful . . . "beyond" that, I feel great . . . and that's beyond beautiful!
Relish the embellish! That's my slogan. I love putting an aura or two (or three) around a tangle. It's one of my favorite things to do because I always know just what to do without thinking about it and I'm always happy with the result.
I love how my tangles look when I'm relaxed. I can tell by looking at my tangles when it's time to curl up in my shell and take a nap.
Enjoy the shade!
For a snail that's a double entendre (I love using my French now and then). I love hanging out in the shade beneath the ferns. I also love shading my tangles. How do I do it? That's a secret and a snail needs some secrets.
At least not in creating Zentangle Art there aren't. I read that a mistake is "an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong." When I make a deliberate mark, how can it be wrong? How can it be misguided? It might reveal a new pattern or a new discovery, but I would never call it a "mistake."
Imagine the thought that I could inspire someone else to draw, when they absolutely knew they could not, no way, never, no how . . . even draw a straight line. Of course, you may never have to draw a straight line in the Zentangle Method, but I suppose you could if you wanted to. Sometimes, what I think is just a "so so" Zentangle creation, may awaken the artistry in another simply by just being there, at the right time. Imagine . . . me, Bijou, being (or should that be snailing?) an inspiration to someone else. C'est magnifique!
I find the very idea of "everything Zentangle" is . . . is a comfort to me, to my art and to my life in general. I am comforted in the fact that I no longer put myself down. Je suis un artiste, non? This has made me happy. And I use my Zentangle creations to make others happy: as gifts, surprises or RAZ's (Random Acts of Zentangle) . . . so I guess you could say I comfort myself and I can also comfort others, without effort, time or anxiety. Ahh . . . Comfort and joy.
Come out of your shell
Well, I never come ALL the way out of my shell. But if I didn't come most of the way out and really "stick my neck out" I'd never get anywhere. I'd certainly not be able to create my beautiful Zentangle art.
Savor . . . every . . . moment. That's another motto of mine. Most of the journey is (duh) the journey. May as well find something to savor along the way. Wherever I go I create beautiful tangles getting there . . . and I really bask in the warmth that creates in me!
I discover a lot by making what humans call "mistakes." I bet a lot of snails back in Paris thought I made a mistake hitching a ride in Maria's suitcase!
This is big for me. Since learning the Zentangle method of drawing, I never worry about needing to know what I'm going to draw (or do) next. I've realized that once I'm in a new place, I can trust that I'll know what to do, where to go, what to draw once I get there. No worries. I love it!
Wherever I go, I leave a line. I can't NOT create. Why not create something beautiful with my every movement?
The string’s the thing
I LOVE everything a string stands for. I love that I can make a string whatever shape I want. I love that the string "disappears" as I tangle. I love the focus it brings to my art. I used to ramble all over everywhere, not focusing on any one place or pattern. With a string I have this small and comfortable area to tangle in. I love the intimacy and security of that space, but it's not confining because I know I can slide right over it (or out of it) whenever I want.
Choose your tangles
Pick a section, choose your tangle. That's what I do every time I tangle. Sometimes I choose a familiar tangle. Sometimes I try out a new one. I choose. Sometimes I even leave a section blank; which is occasionally my best choice!
I enjoy creating Zentangle art. I enjoy looking at and sharing what I create. I enjoy looking forward to what comes next, finding pleasure in everything.