Zentangle: How a small piece of art can become a treasure
Doodling became an art form when Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas founded their zentangle enterprise in 2004.
The Massachusetts couple combined creative moments and meditation into a craft executed on 3½- by 3½-inch paper “tiles.” While Roberts practiced Buddhism as a monk for 17 years, Thomas developed a career as a botanical artist and calligrapher.
Jennifer Kwiecien, now a certified zentangle teacher, offers instruction at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
She agrees with the founding couple that “anything is possible one stroke at a time.”
“It's deliberate drawing,” Kwiecien, a Carnegie resident, said.
And it's a way to develop focus and self confidence. The basic patterns, designed by Roberts and Thomas, are repetitive with line building upon line. They curl and loop, taking their shape via a fine-tipped micron pen. Pencil shading, smudging and perhaps, color, finish each design.
In as little as 15 minutes, a small piece of art can become a treasure. But more than a frameable design, the process brings something to the spirit of the person creating it.
One student once told her that 30 minutes of focused drawing often gave her one or two pain-free hours.
Kwiecien studied with the couple in Rhode Island for four days in 2012. About 100 others were in the class, including some people from New Zealand, Hawaii and South Africa.
“People all over the world are doing this,” she said.
She now is in the company of two other local certified teachers, one from Mt. Lebanon and the other from the North Hills.
Children can learn the art with very little direction. There are no mistakes and no erasers, she said, and an errant line becomes part of the design.
“It changes, just like life.”
Kwiecien's class is a part of the library's monthly calendar, and there's room for more than the 12 students who meet in the library's reception room on the second floor.
“She brought zentangle up to us, and it seemed a great thing to offer our patrons,” said Maggie Forbes, the library's executive director.
“What I love about it is Jennifer is a patron sharing her enthusiasm, and our patrons and the library are better for it.”
Getting lost in the patterns is both relaxing and compelling, Kwiecien said. “It feels so good you want to do more.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Record collectors help give new life to vinyl at Green Tree convention
- Carlynton senior collecting items for military care packages
- Annual pet blessing in Scott is short, but sweet
- Oyler: Daughter of Korean war bride tells emotional story
- South Fayette couple branches out in entertainment world
- Collier to require 4-year degree when hiring police