Monday, January 27, 2014

Mindful Drawing

The McCollums and the Blocks belong to a wonderful group which we fondly call the "Socratic Group."  This is a group of 10 people that meet every 4 to 6 weeks.  We go out for Sunday brunch and then meet in one of our homes for a presentation of some sort.  Some of the presentations we have had are Zentangles (of course), storytelling,  essentials oils, EFT, worm farming, visualizations, walks in the woods, lawn labyrinth, art museums  . . .  and all sorts of other things.

Yesterday we had brunch at the Thunder Bay Grille in Pewaukee (great brunch).  Here is a picture of my plate.

That was just my first trip to the buffet.

Here is our group.

After eating, we came back to our house and I had a mindful drawing exercise for us all to do.  Actually it is one of the suggestions for mindfulness that we give in our eBook "Mindfulness in Pen and Ink."  

The Mindful Drawing Exercise

We divided into groups of two (spouses not together) and found a spot by ourselves.  Each group had a big sheet of shelf paper (I couldn't find white so it was brown) and some color marker (I gave each group Tombow markers.)  Each of the four groups then followed these instructions.   

1. The entire exercise is to be done in silence and mindfully.
2. Decide on which of the two of you will begin.
3. The first person draws a line using any color you wish.
4. The second person draws a line using any color you wish.
5. Back to the first person
6. Back to the second person.
7. Go back and forth between the two of you, each using any color, changing colors if you wish.
8 This is done for 30 minutes.

The important thing is to do the entire exercise mindfully watching your partner draw his/her line and then responding in some way with your own line.   This does not necessarily have to do with Zentangle but it could. Don and I have done it using tangles.

When I told them they were going to do it for 30 minutes, many reacted "Oh, wow!  That is a long time."  When finished, many said "That went really fast."

When the exercise was finished, we all gathered together again and talked about our experience.  It is always interesting to hear the varied reactions to this exercise.  My partner was Peg (Don's wife).  We both really enjoyed the time.  I felt we really responded to one another.  Being mindful of the other person and the line they are making enhances the creativity. 

Below you see a couple of the drawings.  You will see that the drawing could be representational or they might be abstract.  Nothing is right . . . nothing is wrong.  

Try this exercise with a group of people. I think you might like it. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We taught our regular monthly Zentangle class at Artist and Display in Milwaukee last week.  The evening was saddened a little bit because when we arrived, Nora, the manager, came and told us that the store's ArtDog Erica is now in training to be AngelErica.   Erica was a wonderful bulldog with a delightful disposition that lived her 11 years much of the time at the store.  She had been ill for 6 or 7 months and the doctors had given her 4 months. On January 16 it was time for her to enter a new phase.

Our class that night was filled.  In fact, it was overfilled and we were overjoyed.  There were 24 in the class.  We always have so much fun!  We gave away a copy of our eBook, Mindfulness in Pen and Ink to Wendi Lee, a first-timer to our class.  She emailed me a day later and told me she had downloaded the book and was enjoying it. :)

Pictures follow:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I have here a new tangle.  I really enjoy designing new tangles. This one is not derived from anything in particular although it does have similarities to Printemps and Bunzo.

Now, a word about its name - Clogit.  We have near us a small town named Ixonia.  Rumor or tradition has reports that it received its name by someone pulling letters out of a bucket or something similar.  I did not want Clogit to have a representational name so I decided to use that technique.  I pulled 4 consonants out of a bowl and 2 vowels out of a separate bowl.  Then I put them in different orders.  These were some possibilities: LOGICT, GOLTIC, CLOTIG, GLOCIT, plus many others.  I decided upon Clogit.  Be it good or not so good, that is its name.

Here again I am using Rick and Maria's stepout template which can be found on the CZT Zentangle site in the CZT resources.

As you view this stepout, it will be helpful to you to click on the file in order to make it larger.