Tuesday, July 2, 2013

One Zentangle A Day by Beckah Krahula : Recycled Puzzle Project and Book Review

 "One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun (One A Day) by Beckah Krahula (certfied Zentangle instructor) is a helpful and fun zentangle book for those seeking to be introduced to zentangle.  My daughter made the recycled puzzle piece wall decoration below using the concepts from this book.
Recycled Puzzle Zentangle Wall Decoration

    A few months ago,  I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by Beckah Krahula at the "Craft & Hobby Association 2013" show in Anaheim, California.  She was demonstrating some of the various patterns that she teaches in her new book
One Zentangle A Day by Beckah Krahula

      Beckah Krahula, CZT, is a mixed media artist, published writer, product designer, and so much

more.  She has taught students both nationally and internationally.  In 2008, She began doing Zentangle and was certified as a Zentangle teacher in 2011.

She has a relaxed style of teaching and encourages her students to think outside of the box.  In her class session at the Winter CHA 2013 show, we learned to do a few of the Zentangle patterns from her book.  Below is a quick view of her demonstrating the Keeko pattern for the students.

   Beckah Krahula also stresses that it is the process that is important.  For some, doing Zentangle can be a form of meditation because you are practicing focus and meditation through the process of drawing repetitive lines.  These marks are called a tangles and can incorporate different techniques.  Such as drawing circles, straight lines, etc.  She talks about the originators of the Zentangle art form, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.
    One of the interesting things about her book is the way it is organized it.  It is an easy read and written so that the reader can read it in short intervals.  Each chapter is further broken down into a series of one lesson formats that covers subject matters like "tools, patterns (tonal values), and more."  If you have only a small amount of time to devote to learning a new art form, then this book is for you.  The picture below features only a small portion of the step by step pics of three of the many patterns that are taught in her new book.

Sample Patterns from "One Zentangle A Day".
My daughter wanted to try out some of the patterns, so we raided her babysitting kit and found an old plastic foam dollar store puzzle.  She decided to recycle the puzzle and give a new life as wall art by using the back side to draw the zentagle patterns.

       She painted the puzzle with a single coat of white acrylic paint to make the surface a little less porous. (Note: you may need to do more depending on the acrylic paint you use.)
      Then she took the individual puzzle pieces and using a permanent marker, she drew a different pattern on each piece.
Recycled Puzzle with Zentangle Pattern drawn on.

Once that was done, she re-assembled the puzzle.  The fun part for her is that she can change the way the final piece looks just by changing where she connects the puzzle piece.
Zentangle Recycled Puzzle Project

Since it is foam, it is very easy for her to hang on the wall by piercing it with a couple of holes and stringing some cotton twine through it.
        As you can see, the Zentangle piece is created by using repeated patterns, a process that is actually a very relaxing process. The book starts with simple patterns and builds from there.  Throughout the book, the reader is encouraged to play with water color, pencils, inks, and other materials that take the process just one step further.  The book includes a short inspiration gallery that features work from other artists.  It is an excellent resource for anyone who likes to doodle. I recommend it for kids and teens, as a fun way to teach them patterns.  The meditative value of the process is very helpful for anyone who needs a different way to meditate and be creative.
    The reader really can learn a lot about the process by following the recommended the six week format.  Reading the book is like taking a workshop for a much smaller investment. Beckah covers a lot of information in this book.   If you follow all the lessons you will get more than your money's worth with this book.  I found that the process is a wonderful way to quiet my mind and just focus on the moment while creating one of these cool tiles.
    Also, if you prefer working with a kit, the publishers is releasing Tangle Art: A Meditative Drawing Kit by Beckah Krahula.  Tangle Art  A Meditative Drawing Kit  includes: a full-color, 40-page instructional booklet containing beautiful art samples and techniques ((with 8 blank sketchbook pages to practice your drawing), drawing pens in two sizes, and a pencil and eraser.  The new kit Tangle Art can be pre-ordered on Amazon.


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