Tuesday, 29 July 2014

ABC of Zentangle..., C for Creativity

As I See It..

A little Zen, and some Tangles..
( To understand, and learn Zentangle®)

Linked to ABC Wednesday

What would be your response to a straight forward question, 'Are you a creative person?'

My experience is, about 10% respondents are confidant that they are. Majority of the rest are not very sure, and only a small segment confirms that they are not!

Why this polarisation?

 I have my own explanation. In my case the culprit was my art teacher at the school. Probably it was 7th, or 8th grade when the art teacher proclaimed only few in the class as who 'could draw'.  The rest were classified as 'can not draw' category. I was in the larger group. Over period, this 'can not draw' belief got transformed in to 'not being creative'. Period.

This belief grows and becomes a life sentence for most of us. But believe me, the sentence can be revoked. Because, each one of us has creativity within us. And Zentangle® method precisely goes on to establish it. You will know it when you indulge in it!

However, since the word I have chosen is CREATIVITY, let me present here, through a zentangle  illustration, principles of creativity. This presentation is inspired by 'Keys to drawing with imagination', by Bert Dodson. On the pages of introduction, he describes 8 principles for creativity...

Principles for Creativity
tangles used are: Chard, Cayke, Cadent, Chainlea, CO2, 'Cockles and Mussels', Casella and Ciceron
The first principle says, 'Creativity occurs in action'. I had a few ideas for presenting these principles in this post, but the zentangle tree started emerging only when I put pencil and the pen on paper. And the idea of making a tree was not a very jazzy one. So the second principle that 'Creativity begins with simple ideas' got established.

The third one says, ' Creativity lives in the present', Try creating anything while your mind is either stuck in the past, or roaming in to the future! When I was creating the above illustration, I was absolutely in the present moment.

Can anybody deny the fourth principle that 'Creativity increases with practice'? I began creating zentangles nearly three years ago, and I see a distinct improvement in my work over these three years. I must have created more than 250 tiles so far.

We were also taught during the Certified Zentangle Teacher's seminar at Providence, RI, that 'there is no post judgement' in zentangle. And we were also subtly inspired to give positive comments to other tanglers' work, and both these conditions only helped one to grow in zentangle. That, precisely is the fifth principle-'Creativity increases as judgement and criticism decrease'.

If I had to make 'any' illustration, on 'any' subject, I don't think I would have thought of creating the above illustration on the principles for creativity. Specific diktat that this post is on 'C', and my own self created constrain that I will write in these posts only about zentangle, helped me to come out with this piece of art. Further, the another constrain that I will use the tangles beginning with 'C' only, got better out of me in making the illustration interesting. That establishes the sixth principle, 'Creativity likes constraints and specifics'

The 7th principle is self evident - 'Creativity emerges in experimentation, manipulation and explorations'.Most of the tangles created for zentangle are the result of this principle. And the 8th principle takes the cake. 'Creativity is about having a plan, and a willingness to depart from it'  In fact, one of the most important rules of Zentangle is, 'NO PLANNING'. Down the line, while creating a zentangle, some loose, vague plans may emerge, and quickly it may get altered. In the above illustration, at some stage I thought I would create a border, and what came out was partial border being balanced out by the narration of 8th principle!

Bert Dodson represents the Western, absolutely logical body of principles for creativity. I would also want you to have a look at an Eastern Mystic's(Philosophical) way of looking at creativity. The short video presents few slides inspired by Osho's book, ' Creativity- Unleashing the power within' . When East meets West, magic could happen!

Zentangle and Creativity

And finally, ABC of Zentangle...C Video:

ABC of Zentangle...C Video

Enjoy, and do return next week for zen, tangles and demo.

Will appreciate your comments, suggestions..


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Teacher and the Taught..

Should there be any age wise distinction between the teacher and the taught?

My answer is NO.

Age is only a chronology. Ability is important to be able to pass on your knowledge, skills, wisdom etc, etc
Most of the 'grown ups' today are 'learning' all about gadgets, and gizmos, and computers, and software etc from their children and grand children!

But why have I picked up this topic? Because, I understand that Diva's challenge no. 177 is designed by Caroline Broady, the World's Youngest CZT! Truffle is the name of the tangle she has designed.

So, here is my response to this challenge.

A different format for the same tile:

I have used my ANTZ effectively here.



PS: May I also invite you to visit my recently initiated series called 'ABC of Zentangle.." which caters a bit of zen, some (randomly selected)tangles and sometimes tangle demonstration on videos to understand, and learn Zentangle method, one post at a time...

Monday, 21 July 2014

ABC of Zentangle...B

As I See It..

A little Zen, and some Tangles..
( To understand, and learn Zentangle®)

Welcome back to the second post in the new series of ABC Wednesday, and the letter is B. So, let us look at some of the words beginning with B, and have some connection with either zen, or tangle! And, again do not miss a new video at the end. 

I have chosen B for Beating Stress, and Being in the present as the Zen part of the post, and 'Bulbul (Red whiskered bulbul)' as the tangle part of the post. 

The Zentangle art of the post:

ABC of Zentangle..B - Bulbul.Tangles used are, Baton, Bunzo, Bales, Blank-it, Birds on the wire, Barney and Borbz

This is a lovely bird, called Red whiskered Bulbul , and is  commonly found in Panchgani, a small town nestling in the Western Ghats in Maharastra , India.  I have used the outline of this bird and filled it up with variety of tangles, all starting with B. Such an art where a known object is chosen as an outline, and filled up with tangles is called ZIA - Zentangle Inspired Art. This is, perhaps, a next logical step after one has gained reasonable proficiency in creating pure (abstract) zentangle arts. So, enjoy the ZIA

I have a fascinating story to tell behind creating this ZIA. 

While at the campus of Initiatives of Change, Panchgani during the months of May-June this year I witnessed the birth of a new baby bulbul. This occupied a considerable amount of my mind and time as I kept watching, and clicking pictures of, the bulbul couple right from the time they were busy building their nest in the adjoining utility room. 

Here are the pictures in sequence:

The whole drama unfolded over about 10 days period, from 18th May to 28th May, 2014.

I left Panchgani on 29th of May, only to return on 13th of June. My first visit was to the pantry room. The nest was empty. It wore a deserted look. The little bulbul had developed wings and had flown away..! It was there that I decided to make a ZIA of the bulbul.

And now some zen...

How does practicing zentangle help in beating stress? Stress is the dissipation of energy while doing nothing. I used to get stressed out waiting for being called in by the senior Govt officers. Punctuality was never maintained. I had learnt to carry a book which helped. But after I was exposed to zentangle, I have found a great solace in it.

Once an officer took an hour and a half to come out and meet me as against a promised 10 minutes. I pulled out my pocket diary and created a beautiful zentangle vase. I was as fresh for the discussion, as I should have been. Only the officer was feeling a bit guilty!

Zentangle practice also keeps you in the very present moment while creating the zentangle art.  Zentangle rules say, 'no pre-planning, and no post judgement' when you stick to this rule, you get locked in to the present moment. You are focusing on those small repetitive strokes which makes 'no sense' to your mind at that moment, and hence offers no triggers to the mind to ramble either in the past, or in the future.

Most of the senior citizens, or bored house wives would benefit tremendously if they learnt and practiced zentangle, as they have the tendency, and plenty of time to slip away into unpleasant past or unclear future.   

Finally, the video- ABC of Zentangle...B.

It demonstrates using three tangles I have used in the ZIA of the bulbul. Can you identify?

Have fun, and come back next week for some more zen, tangles and demo videos..

You may also access the previous posts under the series 'ABC of Zentangle.." by cicking it HERE.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

ABC of Zentangle...A

As I See It..

A little Zen, and some Tangles..
( To understand, and learn Zentangle®)

This is the first post in the new series of ABC Wednesday, and the letter is A. So, let us look at some of the words beginning with A, and have some connection with either zen, or tangle! And do not miss the video at the end.

I have chosen A for Anxiety, Anger. And before we look at some zen about these words, let us have a variety of tangles, their names beginning with A

ABC of Zentangle...A. Tangles used are Aquafleur, Axlexa, Antidots, Arc flower, Archer and Antz
If you have been following my series, ABC of Zentangle, I am sure you would have realised that my efforts are to create resources for  learning  Zentangle. Get on to the band wagon, look for a CZT- Certified Zentangle  Teacher in your area, zone or country ( Refer zentangle.com for the list). If in India, write to me at dilip(dot)patel(at)gmail(dot)com. I have a solution for you.

Video - ABC of Zentangle...A: In the meanwhile, here is our first video resource giving demo of three of the tangles I have used in the above illustration. Enjoy.

 And a little zen...? 

As I began A with Anxiety, and Anger, all I have to say is, these are the inner functions of our nature, they both can be impacted by regular practice of Zentangle, as the practice works as meditation, and the research has confirmed that regular habit of meditation impacts one's life very positively.

It was my personal experience when my father was on death bed. Anxiety was at its peak. The head nurse had declared that it was just a matter of time. It could be from a couple of hours to a couple of days..

I recall, I pulled out my pocket diary at 2.30 am in the waiting lounge of the hospital and started creating a zentangle. I had never felt deeper peace of my mind than during those tense moments.

If you liked this post, please return here every week for some more zen, tangles and perhaps new demo videos.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

ABC Of Zentangle... Z

As I see it (My insights).

                  Article to understand and learn Zentangle® Practice

                                        Linked to ABC Wednesday, and to
                                      Diva's challenge no. 175(UMT Crux)

I realise that over the last 4 posts I have been developing my own insights about the practice of Zentangle which I try to present here. So, there is as much of learning for me here as it may be for the viewers. In fact I am tempted to slightly reformat my posts under the title of 'ABC of Zentangle' starting next week as we enter into another series of ABC Wednesday starting with A again. It will have some zen, some tangles and perhaps some learning tips.

But let me come to this week's letter. It is Z, and Z is for... (you have guessed it!)..ZENTANGLE.

So, first some tangles, all starting with z in my this week's zentangle -

ABC of Zentangle..Z. The tangles used are Zonked, Zinger, Zin and Zedbra

And here is a tile with CRUX., though Z remains the subject matter.

I think I have already explained what is Zentangle in my post 'ABC of Zentangle...W'
But I must say, Z is the last letter in the alphabet, and Zentangle is the last word in the fun filled learning of a new art form! :)) I am just kidding, but take my word seriously. Get hooked on to Zentangle. You will love it.



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