Zen and Zentangles

Zen
Image Source: http://www.insidesocal.com

The last few weeks I haven’t blogged very much.

I’m fighting a bad case of the blahs (bad even for me).

When I was younger, one of my favorite things to do for relaxation was to color.

Seriously.

I find it very therapeutic.

Somewhere around my 15th birthday, my parents got me a set of colored pencils.

A really nice set – 120 artist-quality pencils.

I loved them.

Then life got busy and I stopped coloring.

I never lost the pencils, though.

They’ve made it through 9 moves, a marriage, a divorce, 2 kids, 5 dogs, 4 jobs, and another marriage.

Some of them have never even been sharpened.

Some of them have been used down to almost nothing.

Whenever my kids had an art project for school, out they came.

My daughter borrows them all the time (she’s the family’s resident artiste).

My amazing husband recently bought me a spirograph and I wanted to use the pencils with it.

(Side note – only pens work well with spirographs.  Pencils and crayons, not so much.)

After that failed attempt, I went looking for something to color with my amazing pencils.

Searching through the interwebs, I found zentangles.

Yes!

Exactly what I wanted.

Zentangle1
My first attempt

My daughter and I spent the next few evenings huddled at the dining room table, sharing pencils and sharpies. 😀

It’s hard to explain how relaxing and calming I find coloring.

My mother understood it; my father thought I was crazy. 😛

I love the symmetry, the geometric shapes, the repetition.

I love the smell of the pencils, listening to the hum of my electric pencil sharpener.

The pencil set has some amazing colors – neons, soft hues, metallics.

Sigh.

Did I mention that I love them?

My daughter discovered she liked them so much that she is working on making her own.

Zentangle 2
My 2nd Zentangle

For the second one, I decided to use my daughter’s set of colored sharpies.

(One of the constants in my budget is art supplies for her – sharpies, pencils, sketch pads, etc.)

My carpal tunnel did NOT thank me for choosing this pattern with its infinite number of circles.

But I finished it anyway. 🙂

I was, however, unhappy with the limited color selection of the sharpies.

So, for the next one, I went back to my beloved pencils.

As I said, I find working on things like this to be almost ‘zen’ for me.

I printed so many of them that my printer is now out of ink.

I am a huge fan of organization, order, clean lines, etc.

(Confession time:  I love organizing so much that I sometimes log into my husband’s account and secretly organize his inventory when he isn’t paying attention. 😀 )

Zentangle 3
A Mandala Zentangle

I found several ‘mandala’ zentangles – I like the abstract ones with the sharp geometric shapes, but I also like curves and waves.

I am really loving the variety of neon colors in my pencil set (although some of them do not scan well, as some of the colors are missing from the first zentangle above).

I went to buy my daughter her own set once.

I found them – $120 for the box.

Finding out how much they were just made them all the more precious, because 1) I had no idea they were that expensive and 2) my parents didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up.

I am currently working on a fairly intricate elephant zentangle, and I have about 4 others lined up after that.

So now I’m working to find a balance between working, writing, blogging, and coloring.

Wish me luck! 😀

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4 thoughts on “Zen and Zentangles

  1. These are gorgeous!! I am so much like you, I love drawing! I have pencils of the regular sort (different hardnesses) and a smaller than yours set of really nice color pencils and even a set of black pens I used to use when I was taking architectural drawing in college. lol I even have a spirograph I just bought in December. I haven’t used it very much but I do love to sketch when I have a moment to set a spell. 😀 Have a happy weekend!

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