What started out as a gift for someone else, has turned into a daily activity for Rhonda Roy.
Back in 2015, Roy said she was looking for a gift for her niece when she came across a zentangle book.
“I bought One Zentangle a Day and I bought another book, some sort of book on drawing and doodling,” said Roy, adding that she happened to keep the zentangle book.
Roy said she was trying to get back into drawing, but she wasn’t feeling the love. Then one day, she said, she picked up the One Zentangle a Day book.
“All you have to do is this one thing a day, and I thought, OK, that will be good and I just got hooked,” she said.
Zentangle is a meditative art form, Roy said. Founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas started more than a decade ago when Thomas was drawing on a manuscript. She described her feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else.
Roberts told Thomas she was describing meditation. From there, the two created a simple system so others could enjoy a similar experience.
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The zentangle method is an easy-to learn, relaxing and fun way to create images by drawing structured patterns.
“It’s a method of drawing, simple shapes and structured patterns and creating little tiny pieces of art,” Roy said.
Since that first book, Roy said, she has continued to draw zentangle patterns every day. As of last Friday, she had drawn zentangle patterns for 935 consecutive days.
“If you’re doing anything — art, writing, anything — you have to take 10,000 steps before you consider yourself a professional,” Roy said. “So I thought I better get going. I still do one a day, at least.
“It’s so simple, it’s so small. It doesn’t take long. You can whip one up in 10 minutes or two hours, depending on what your mood is.”
Last April, Roy travelled to Providence, Rhode Island to take a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) seminar from Roberts and Thomas after taking classes in Ladysmith.
Roy, now a CZT, said there were 110 people from 15 countries at the seminar she attended.
“There were 110 people in the room and you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone was so relaxed and focused on what they were doing and enjoying it so much,” she said. “You can see that while everyone heard the same instructions, and did the same pattern, it all looks different. The mosaic of it is completely unique.”
Since then, another school has opened up in Taiwan. Roy said there are about 2,100 CTZs in about 30 countries worldwide.
“It’s catching on and it’s growing, but it’s still not super well-known by the average person,” Roy said.
In Parksville Qualicum Beach, Roy has been teaching zentangle classes since last spring.
“A lot of people in the group have recently come into this area, or they’ve recently retired, so they’re making social connections that they might not have had a chance to make,” she said.
Roy said in her classes the first step is to take a deep breath and calm down. Then she said, you go through the drawing step-by-step.
“It’s not representational. You’re not learning how to draw a bird, you’re just drawing this pattern. Your version of that pattern is probably going to look different than my version. It doesn’t matter.”
Roy said that while a zentangle may look like a doodle, there is a difference.
“You doodle when you’re on the phone and talking to people. When you’re zentangling, you’re focused on that particular line and that particular circle and taking the time to fill in that little circle and slowing yourself down.”
Roy is offering three spring zentangle classes at the MAC.
Classes are available for beginner and experienced tanglers alike.
The first class is Zentangle Basics, scheduled for April 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration deadline is March 25.
No experience is necessary and all materials are supplied. The three-hour class will give all the basics for creating zentangle images.
Zentangle Basics is a prerequisite for most zentangle classes.
The second class is Shady Practice on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The registration deadline is April 15.
Shady Practice will give people a taste of a variety of zentangle shading techniques. People can bring their mini kit and will go home with more goodies.
The third class is Tangle On, running May 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The registration deadline is April 29.
This class moves on from tangling on paper to materials such as a canvas wallet, tote bag or canvas sneakers. Bring a canvas fabric item or purchase a GoTangle Wallet or tool case for an additional $17. Tangling pens are included.
Each class is $47.50. There is also a series package of any two for $90 or all three for $130.
Register by calling 250-927-3251 or online at https://squareup.com/store/a-tangling-life.