I’ve discovered zentangle recently and it has captured me, engulfed me, I could do nothing else all day and never be bored. It is described as yoga for the mind, meditation, relaxation and it is all those things. I find it very relaxing and it takes my mind off whatever I’m worrying about; which lately is alot. When you are working on a tangle you can’t think about anything else. It is so intense, you have to concentrate and pay attention to the detail. But at the same time it is so repetitive that it is simple and not at all stressful or frustrating. There is no right or wrong with zentangle you just do what comes to your mind. You can find out more about it at www.zentangle.com and there are tons of patterns to get you started with step by step instructions at www.tanglepatterns.com. The latter is my new favorite site to visit. I like to learn a new tangle almost every day. Part of the joy of this art form is that it is done on small pieces of paper (3.5 inches square) using a felt tip pen and pencil. Since I am not able to sit up much I can work on zentangle while laying in bed or on the couch and the felt tip pen works perfectly even if its upside-down. Its perfect for me and I enjoy it more than I can explain. Here are a few of my favorites but there are tons more… many just practice but I love them all.
It’s May 24th, 2011, I’m Lidawma and this is what I’m thinking….
Today was a horrible day. I’m not coping well with being in pain all day every day, being on disability with lots of time on my hands and trying to work with my doctor and disability worker to get my benefits flowing. It’s all very stressful, no one seems particularly helpful and it feels like there is nothing I can do to change this situation. I have no money and don’t see when more will come in – a situation I have not had to deal with in many many years. So I came home from the doctor today, cried and spent the whole day in bed depressed like crazy and feeling so hopeless. To top it off its pouring rain.
So this evening I finally got out of bed and decided to do something. I had a couple canvases with paintings started on them. I had no idea what I was going to paint or how I was going to finish them but I just picked one up and started. I tend to do a lot of what I call ‘contrast’ art. I’ll do one drawing that’s happy and one similar but sad. One bright and one dark or a painting that depicts two extremes. At least I’m not painting/drawing all doom and gloom. I do see the bright side, the hope, the light. I’m happy with the one painting I finished tonight, or at least I think I’m finished with it. The other is just a beginning but I’m happy with it too. And surprise, surprise I’m feeling a little less depressed. Or maybe its just that I’m thinking less about my situation and just getting absorbed in the painting; whatever works. I’ve heard about art being used as therapy and now I understand why. I must try to remember to use this more often, even if its just sketching in my sketch book. It doesn’t cost much and I have lots of supplies already, just have to get out of bed and take that first step… pick up the pencil or paintbrush and create a better mood for myself.