Sunday, August 18, 2019

Local Art Seen: First Lesson in Zentangle with Esther Piszczek

This past Wednesday I had the privilege of being part of the Zentangle & Wine classes at the Master Framing Gallery on London Road. The instructor is Esther Piszczek, a Certified Zentangle(R) Teacher, a former attorney who now helps promote the local arts through her Twin Ports Art blog.

If you're unfamiliar with Zentangle, it's essentially a method for creating beautiful images through repetitive patterns. But it's actually more than that. As the name implies, Zen-tangle is also about the experience itself.

Making art, like writing, is often a reflective activity which one does by oneself. But as most of us who remember our art school days, there's something about a shared studio space which is socially invigorating as well as keenly communal. The Zentangle & Wine is more akin to this latter experience.

Wednesday's pattern. Each pattern has a name.
In addition to wine, there's a bit of pot luck food sharing as well when the class gathers at the Master Framing Gallery. Despite the delicious distractions, most all of the "students" were focused on the lesson and their creative expressions.

Esther shows the way. 
The Zentangle Method involves a specific set of tools, which come in a pouch with a drawstring so can pretty much carry it anywhere. The items in the pouch include a fine .01 micron black Sakura pen, 3.5" square Fabriano Tiepolo paper tiles, pencil and a tortillon (blending stump).

When you dig deeper into Zentangle, there are a number of basic philosophical underpinnings. One of these is that there are no mistakes. In other words, there's an attitude being infused, to accept as beautiful whatever one creates.

The scale of one's work is tiny, especially in comparison to a 20 foot long Pollock or Motherwell. But that's a fitting size for the process, which involved increasingly detailed lines and shadings.

Each month involves instructions for a new design. The design is presented as a process, and you would think all the students would end up with the same final product, but it's simply not the case as you can see from this photo below.

Yes, there was a route to take, but how each individual expresses each element leads to a variety of variations.

There may be an infinite number of results, but the class itself is quite finite, as there are only a small number of desks for working. In other words, seating is limited. So if you want to participate in September, you'll need to book early. No previous drawing experience necessary. Class Cost: $35; Supplies: $10 (or use supplies provided without additional cost). RSVP to 

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Ed's Tangle
The thought I had afterwards is that to appreciate Zentangle one must slow down. Like appreciating poetry, it's not something you do on the run. And let's face is, far too many of us are perpetually winded from living life on the run.

Winston Churchill had a lot on his plate, but found respite by getting away from it all to paint. (Some of his work can be found at the Dallas Museum of Art, if you're ever down that way.)

Here's my Rookie Tangle from Wednesday. I learned a lot, even if mine was the weakest in the class, from my critical perspective. I'm sufficiently intrigued to learn more and will see what happens next.

Related Links
Zentangle Patterns and How To Draw Them
A List of Zentangle Blogs on the Web
Interview with Esther Piszczek about her book Patterned Peace

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Ed, I love the depths you have in your Zentangle. It makes it much more interesting RLF

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