Monday, October 1, 2012

Elementary, my dear Watson...

Though I've tried off and on over the years, I've yet to get the hang of "drawing what you see, not what you THINK you see" when trying to create representational art. According to the art instructor, that's the key. You have to get out of your head and just draw what you actually see. You know what I'm talking about, right? That realistic-looking, well-proportioned, correct-perspective, looks-so-real-it-could-jump-off-the-page lovely drawing style? It's very cool, and I do aspire to get it right some day (I think I can, I think I can...). However, the last time I took a drawing class, my results were SO not at all what I hoped for that I hung up my drawing tools.

Even with those unsatisfying results, I've always still had a hankering to put pen (or pencil) to paper and do something creative with it. That is one of the reasons the Zentangle® method is so exciting to me. It appeals to me that Zentangle tangling is not meant to be representational at all. Neither the individual tangles nor the completed shapes on the tile are meant to look like anything "real". There's freedom in that lack of expectation which I find refreshing, and which in turn allows me to relax about the results. Quelle diffĂ©rence! I, too, can be an artiste!

I'm jazzed that Zentangle tangles are built on simplicity. There are only 5, count 'em, 5, elemental strokes that are combined to make the amazing and beautiful tangles. Hey, only FIVE! I can do them. You can do them. Even little kids and "mature adults" can do them! Zentangle is an equal opportunity drawing experience, and I love that about it.  

Here's a list of the five basic elements. Wish you could draw? How's your confidence level? Bet you can do it, too! How would this conversation play out in your head?
  • Are you able to draw a (mostly) straight line? Check!
  • How about a dot? Check!
  • Surely you can draw an "S" shape? Check (learned that one back in elementary school)!
  • How about a simple curved line? Check!
  • The last element of the five is an orb. How about it? Ooooooooooh. Scary! I can't draw a round circle. No wait! It's only an orb, not a perfect circle. That would be too stressful. Oh. Well, then, check, check. I'm good to go.
See. Knew you could do it! That's all I need, or you need, to create an exciting piece of art. Five elemental strokes. How simple is that? Let's tangle!

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