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Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.


I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Zentangles Are Just So Zen...!

 A couple of years ago, my friend Dinah got me interested in Zentangles. They're a form of "doodling" that's very calming and meditative. Basically, the idea is to lay down loose, flowing, overlapping lines on the surface of your paper, then fill in the negative spaces with a variety of repetitive patterns using a black fine tip pen.

"Office Romance"   ©2011 Lynn Edwards
The concept has been expanded by artists over time to incorporate color, representational subjects and other refinements, but I haven't taken it to those levels. I keep it simple by just sticking with the basics.

When Dinah first introduced me to Zentangles, I was eager to try them. At the time getting into a Zen state of mind sounded mighty good to me.

A terrible tsunami and earthquakes had just devastated northern Japan. Political turmoil was rampant, both here at home and around the globe. Deadly tornadoes had brought death and destruction to the city where most of my family lived, and in the midst of that god-awful year my mother had been diagnosed with cancer as well as an aneurysm threatening to snuff out her life. Was I stressed out? You bet. If picking up a pen and making funny little marks on paper would give me a modicum of calm, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes, I was all for it.

Garden of Eden ©2012 Lynn Edwards
It didn't make the problems and stress disappear, of course, but doing Zentangles did help soothe my frazzled nerves. It provided moments of temporary respite from some of the intense anxiety I was feeling. When all you're focused on is making simple repetitive patterns, the part of your mind that's busy conjuring up mental bogeymen and posing terrifying "what if's" just sits down, shuts up and takes a back seat to the task at hand.

I churned out quite a few Zentangles that year. The materials needed (a pen and a small piece of paper) could be carried around in my purse, so I took them everywhere. Just knowing they were so accessible was something of a comfort. And the Zentangles were fun to do. No pressure to make a masterpiece, just move the pen around. No prepwork; just begin. No rules to follow, either. Just enjoy the process. And so I did. Still do!

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