The Story That's Mine to Tell
Zentangle is an art form. Zentangle is uncomplicated pattern drawing needing few rules or materials: a pen, a 3.5” paper tile and a pencil. Because Zentangle has so few restrictions, drawing Zentangle patterns invites imagination and playfulness. Zentangle is where I landed while searching for something else.
Oddly enough, Zentangle showed up at the insistence of dragons. Someone once asked, “What is the most playful thing you can think of? What simply makes you smile?” I said, “The possibility of dragons.” From that moment on, dragons simply showed up in my life, unbidden and persistent.
The more I practice tangling, the more untangled my life becomes. Zentangle methods help calm a busy mind and give space to sort things out. The underlying premise of Zentangle? There are no mistakes. There’s no way to do it wrong, which implies that being perfect and right in our lives is simply not necessary.
Zentangle isn’t about art. It’s about the space before art. Zentangle is about the peace derived from making art, not the art itself. I've been tangling in 2017. I’ve done hundreds of tiles. Most of them are thrown in a box when I finish. It’s not about the art.
I’m a retired career teacher. In 2017 I trained with the creators of Zentangle and am now one of about 6,000 in the world certified to teach Zentangle, a CZT. My students are intrigued by Zentangle because the practice is inexpensive. Tanglers simply pull out a tile and pen. There’s no set up or place to be. It’s portable and invites doing at a moment’s notice.
Recently, I found myself driven to create tiles of my own design. Learning to bring a product to market has been an adventure and far more involved that I imagined. So not only do I practice and teach, I produce a pre-strung tile that’s playful and invites imperfect possibility.
It's time to begin. Join a class now!
I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU that I so appreciate your teaching style - your gift of instruction and your clarity on freeing the artist in me and everyone you work with. I feel myself entering something new about freedom and the amazing artist within. I am very grateful for your guidance and modeling.
I FIRST MET ELAINE WEGENKA when I was looking for an art class to take and stumbled upon Zentangle. She was the teacher listed on the website closest to where I live and in January 2022, I began meeting with her weekly for lessons. I never imagined how much I would learn or how my creativity would be able to shine. I never thought I could draw, but now I feel like a true artist! The first tangles learned were not too difficult and, before I knew it, I was creating all of these fabulous drawings. I was astounded! At first, I used black ink only, but soon we started using color, which opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. Elaine introduced me to watercolor pencils, which I love. I learned more subtle ways of blending and combining colors and about leaving some open space for the eye to rest. After a few months, I started using watercolor, colored pencil and then I discovered gel pens! Sometimes all on the same drawing. Eventually, I started seeking new tangles on my own, and now the possibilities are infinite!
The lessons that Elaine presented were well thought out and I was able to make steady progress. I didn't just learn how to tangle and color, I also learned a lot about myself, and how I had limited myself by thinking I was not capable of drawing, by not acknowledging that I was a creative and imaginative person. Zentangle became an important way to express myself, and in such a satisfying way.
Elaine frequently shared some of her own work, which is just exquisite. She is a delightful person and an inspiring teacher. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to expand their artistic and personal horizons.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO I signed up for a Zentangle class offered through our local Community Center. I wasn’t really sure what was involved, but it sounded interesting. First & foremost, I have been a 3-dimensional artist, working mainly in Jewelry design and ceramics, though I have dabbled in greeting card design, but little or no 2-D work. At first, I saw sure that I would never be able to master the complexity of what I was seeing; examples done by more advanced students, CZTs and our instructor, Elaine Wegenka. The class was made up of all beginners and we were challenged weekly. There was so much to learn. . . and Elaine kept the class moving forward with new and interesting lessons. Each week was filled with new designs & techniques. The Zentangle method is a wonderful relaxation experience, and Elaine began each class with a few minutes of focused meditation – a wonderful way to separate the class work from the stresses of the day. In looking back over my work of these past few years, it’s amazing to compare where I began with where I am now in my Zentangle adventure. Never thought I would be capable of some of the work I have produced. Definitely a tribute to Elaine’s abilities and teaching skills. It has now been 5 years or so, and Elaine’s knowledge continues to be a source of wonder, of exposure to new ways of seeing and expression.
I STARTED TAKING ZENTANGLE CLASSES from Elaine in 2017. I walked into Elaine’s class very unsure of what Zentangle was. She was so warm and welcoming. When I started the class, I had the mindset that my product needed to be perfect. Changing my mindset from product, and mistakes into seeing them as opportunities was a hard stretch for me. Elaine taught me how to look at my art and ask, ‘what if?’ not ‘what will it become.’ Elaine is so special, and I will keep taking her classes.
...AND THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing freely some of your talents and expertise. But mostly I want to thank you for your generous spirit and gracious heart. I truly believe Rick and Maria have developed a process that is completely accessible to anyone. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to this magical art, and for encouraging and nurturing me through it.