A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of sitting with a cup of tea and Kass Hall's new book, Zentangle Untangled. It's lovely! Kass is a blogging friend and when she asked if I'd be part of her blog hop for promoting the book, of course I said YES! You can find out more about the blog hop with prize giveaways, here. It's great to see how other artists have used and incorporate zentangle into their work.
Now, back to the lovely book. It is well thought out and leads the reader through a Zentangle ( "an engaging art form that uses repetitive patterns to create striking works of art that anyone can achieve regardless of age or artistic ability." ) journey. Accessible and easy to read, I found I could read it all the way through (which I did) or jump around a bit and never feel lost wondering where I was.
From a design standpoint, I LOVE all the white space! So many of the mixed media books are so jammed with both artwork and dense type and then extra page decoration, I just tune out. But Kass's book has the great good sense to let the reader…breathe. Ah, just lovely. Kass's voice is friendly and I was drawn into her personal journey with Zentangle in way that made me, as the reader, excited to try out some of her designs and approaches. I see it's a very democratic art form and really is accessible to all – more established artists as well as those brand new to picking up a pen. Speaking of pens, Kass did an excellent job explaining her love of Japanese pens as well as the other art supplies involved in creating tangles in color. It's great to see some of the more complex tangles broken down and easy to duplicate.
If you are looking to get into zentangling, or want to add a book to your zentangle collection, this is the one!
And there are lots of ways to use and incorporate zentangle into your work:
This recent, last page in one of my journals features many of Kass's tangles (over there on the left side), filling in the spaces of my indigo design. The page on the right complements it perfectly, but is not from my pen, it is a piece of beautiful art paper from Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, which also carries the book!
My friends Mardie and Pam turned me onto the idea of a zentangle mandala, which I worked on at the PLAY retreat in Seattle. Kass has some beautiful "Zendalas" in her book as well.
Before I knew about zentangles, I had been using some of the ideas in my journal pages…
…just letting my pen guide me along. Anyone can zentangle and it's patterns and designs are endless. Grab a pen a piece of paper (and Kass's book) and get started!