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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Tangle Refresher 53

Tangle Refresher!One of my oldest and favorite subscriptions is the Twice-Weekly Letter from Canadian artist, Robert Genn. He’s a wonderful painter who waxes philosophical on all matters related to art. He’s always sincere, helpful, and thought-provoking.

Robert’s current newsletter is about “How to paint intuitively“. He explores the definition of intuition and some thoughts from “bright minds” who’ve “had a hard time determining just what intuition is.

Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter

This image uses his delightful “Self-portrait with Emily” from the home page of his Painter’s Keys website. Click this image to see a larger version.

Robert then gives his own list of suggestions of how to paint intuitively, determined by his interest “in practical systems that might be applied in daily easel-life.”

Some of his suggestions for painters might also be helpful with the pen-and-ink art of Zentangle®. I believe if we follow the structure of the Zentangle Method that eliminates thinking, planning, and picture-making — we become open to the creative potential of our own intuition. Then our art grows organically, intuitively, one deliberate pen stroke at a time.

Robert’s suggestion to “Pay little or no attention to reference material” [while you’re in the moment of creating] struck a particular chord with me. I have a bad habit of perusing “reference material”  — books, magazines, and God-help-me, the internet — attempting to multi-task while creating. And you’d think I’d know better. Not only does it suck up valuable creative time, but for me it also leads to confusion and indecision. Too many ideas, too much input. Bifurcation. Instead of being inspired by reference material, I short-circuit, become blocked. I’m much better when I sit with only my pen and tile and simply allow. My art is better, and I feel better too.

Intuition is perception via the unconscious that brings forth ideas, images, new possibilities and ways out of blocked situations. – Carl Jung via Robert Genn

Don’t get me wrong, of course there is a time and place for reference material. Then it percolates in your neural network and emerges later with your own innovations and interpretations when you are creating intuitively. I am glad to be reminded by Robert not to combine the two processes in the same time zone. And to make creative time the highest priority.

With Zentangle, I don’t personally need the “distraction” he suggests is important to the painting process. But I can see how it would help when creating a painting where there’s so much planning and decision-making involved. Still, a little background music never hurts while tangling either!

I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on Robert’s article and his suggestions, please add them in the comments below …

 * * *

The Tangle Refresher series, aka Buried Treasure, highlights hidden tangle gems from the past. It can remind you of patterns you might not have used for a while or introduce you to patterns you might not have come across yet.

Here are five more tangle pattern gems and a Tangle Refresher from a year (or two) ago for your tangling pleasure. Zenful tangling!

Buried Treasure from a year ago
Zentangle pattern: Beelight Beelight
Zentangle pattern: LinQ Linq
Zentangle pattern: C-scape C-Scape
Zentangle pattern: Charlie Charlie
Zentangle pattern: Ving Ving
Revist the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 25

More good stuff …

3 comments to Tangle Refresher 53

  • Renee King

    Roberts words about “CENSERY OVERLOAD” is so true. I find myself searching everything for inspiration and end up giving myself a headache. I enjoy so much waking up early, getting my coffee,pens and paper and tangling to the sounds of the morning. Then I have put myself in a fine mental state to take on the world. Which happens to have its own tangles to pattern after.

  • Laurie Folsom

    Thank you so much for sharing Robert’s suggestions & insights and your own thoughts on intuition & creativity. The timing was perfect as it seems like I waste more time “researching” and trying to get inspired (which totally leads to overload and indecsion, as you say) vs. just putting pen to paper and getting into the flow. Your timing = kismet. Thank you. -Laurie

  • Fred Carpenter

    I use 6″ x 6″ Strathmore Smooth paper for my Zentangle art. I display them by attaching them to a sheet of metal with Neodymium magnets. The metal can be attached to a wall with screws.

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