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Creativity

The defining feature from our month of May was the drama production at our homeschool co-op. The yearly musical theatre is one of the keystones to our homeschool co-op and it's one of the (many) reasons we joined.

Putting on a show serves a few purposes: it gives our kids training and experience in theatre, it brings the group together in the way that only intense, creative endeavors do, and it's the primary annual fundraiser for the co-op.

Brienne has long desired to be in theatre, she is what you'd call a natural. The reason we moved to Montreal was for our children to have these kind of experiences.

This was our family's first experience with musical and theatrical performance. (The girls each took a year or two of dance when they were little and we lived in Maine, and they performed in recitals as part of that, but those were minuscule commitments compared to this production.)

The production was an adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof, titled Tradition... TRADITION.

Our creative children, with no prior experience or training, dove headfirst into the endeavor, adding their own skills, talent, and interests to the troupe's existing dynamic.

Brienne and Celine, who had been taking drama class since January of this year, were actors and chorus members, with lines to learn and parts to sing. Brienne played the role of Chava, one of the main characters. Celine sewed costumes, helping out the costume director. She also designed posters, the playbill cover, and welcome sign.

Laurent, not a drama student, helped with the technical team, operating the slide-show which projected the scenes. He assisted the costume director with odd jobs, served as usher, and was tasked with fine art projects.

One of the things I so greatly appreciate about the co-op is the way the students' gifts are taken into account in the very choosing of the projects, and roles and responsibilities given. Our own children contributed to the whole, based on interest and ability, and were challenged to grow in those capacities, as well as trying new things they were unfamiliar with. What a wonderful opportunity.

I am a proud parent; our children shone, along with the rest of the cast and crew. They shone because they were coached and mentored by fabulous teachers, directors, and more experienced students; they practiced and worked hard; and because we, as the homeschool parents, created an atmosphere and opportunity for them to do so.

We sold out the show within the first couple weeks of ticket sales, had to add another show, which also sold out in a couple days. All told, we ran five shows in four days.

I'm relieved and exhausted.

The production is over and it went very well. As with all things of this nature, there were emergencies, glitches and errors, and the show went on, with aplomb and enthusiasm. And garnered rave reviews.

I am relieved about all that but I am also relieved that we were able to add this to our repertoire of homeschool and family life experiences. That after years of living removed from such opportunities we could step into this kind of experience.

But it was intense.

And not just because performance and production is intense, which it is, but because parents are the ones who make it happen. And I am one of those parents.

This drama production exists because parents make it possible. Some of these parents are uniquely talented and experienced with music and theatre - they are the show directors. Others organize and mastermind. Others cook. Others sew. Others drive (oh, do we drive). Others design. Others manage children backstage. If your kid is in the play, you too have a part.

Damien and I believe that family life and parents should be the primary influence and social dynamic in children's lives, even through adolescence. Which is just one of the reasons we decided, years ago, to homeschool for the long haul.

Even though family is the primary influence, the circle of interaction, experience, and opportunities must expand as children grow. And if you're homeschooling, especially homeschooling through high school, parents are often instrumental in building community and providing enriching opportunities and experiences.

I am so thankful for the influence I have in my teenagers' lives, for the close relationship Damien and I share with them. I am a co-creator and collaborator in their social community. I know almost all the parents of all my kids' friends, and many of them are my friends. This feels like a gift and a blessing, which it is, but is also a fruit.

It is the fruit of a lot of labor because the endeavor of building community for teenaged kids, kids in general, requires effort and sacrifice. There are things we have sacrificed in this life season, and priorities that have shifted, so our children can be an integral part of their homeschool community.

When our kids were little, assuming responsibility for their education was not a decision we made lightly but we didn't really understand the long-term ramifications. You never do.

I wrestled with the ramifications of that decision all last month. In truth, I wrestle a lot with this. You can hear some of my frustrations in my previous post. Damien and I call these the whoosh years and May typified what I mean by that.


fundamentalist homeschooled children?
no, just girls in costume playing soccer during a rehearsal break

I felt challenged every day. I struggled with sacrifice and selfishness.

My inner world, my writer's world, craves silence and reflection. I need time to read and to ponder and think about ideas. I want to examine my life, not just live my life. I need to write my way through and when that time is limited I get antsy. And my faulty thinking can get the upper hand on me if I'm not careful. (The ways things are today are the way they will be forever, that kind of thing.)

What about my goals?, I moaned from time to time, temporarily forgetting the truth that participating in this production was the fruition and culmination of previous goals and dreams - to find a thriving homeschool community for our growing children.

It was a taste of the Appalachian Trail all over again. Which is to say, it's exactly like life. You have a goal, you set a course and when inevitably that course gets rocky, steep, and sticky with sweat, you think why is this so damn hard? And you remember, ah yes, because good things require hard work. Fruit is the reward of labor.

And you think for the 100th time, if it wasn't for the companions with me on this journey there is no way I'd be doing this.

Which is exactly why we're doing this, why we invest ourselves in teenaged community, homeschool community, and doing hard things together - because of the relationships. The relationships for our kids and for ourselves.

Homeschool parents sign themselves up for a challenging task. We have not passed the torch for our children's education into the hands of a system or an institution. We carry that torch ourselves. The wonderful thing about being part of a homeschool community is that they help us hold it up.

I'm so grateful to be part of a community that provides, through the incredible effort of parents and families, opportunities for greatness and service, high expectations and accommodations, hard work and lots of fun.

Which is not to say we're a perfect group of people. There's "stuff" in our families and community, but there is support for the stuff we are going through, and there are boundaries to ensure everyone's safety; emotional, physical, and otherwise.

It's not the absence of "stuff" that creates a healthy community, a healthy marriage, a healthy family. Hard stuff is the result of our own brokenness, our unfortunate birthright as children of Adam and Eve. And when we pretend there isn't suffering and difficulty in our life, it's a lie at best, and a cancer at worst.

What builds healthy teenagers and healthy families, is having community that will support you through your stuff. People to hold you up, and hold you accountable. People to say, "I've got you covered". People who help rub off your sharp edges. People to pray with you and cry with you. People who will agree to disagree. People who will help discipline and disciple your kids. People who will be those other adults in your child's life to mentor and guide when you are not the best person for the job.


This post sat in draft mode for days because I couldn't write a conclusion on that note. Gratitude for togetherness, we need each other, the importance of community; all sounds so great but it is not the whole story, or the end of the story.

I am tired, physically and emotionally. All that social engagement which my teenagers enjoy and crave, is only ok for me in much smaller doses. You could say I've overdosed.

We crossed my personal boundaries for face-to-face engagement and out-of-the-house commitments many miles ago. Because of commitments on top of commitments I am only now starting to catch my breath, even though the drama production wrapped up at the end of May.

Many other parents "seem" to manage this level of involvement just fine. I've struggled with feeling inadequate and selfish compared to these parents. I'd rather be at home gardening, writing and reading than engaging with people every. single. day. And driving to engage with said people. (And these are wonderful people! They are great to be around.)

Perhaps they, like me, acknowledge this is just for a season. And so, like me, they keep most of their personal angst to themselves.

It's been too much of a good thing.

This last month has been flat out busy and scheduled-to-the-max. End of term projects, visiting family, my trip to Toronto, kid friend birthday parties, the year end co-op celebration, long rehearsals, performances (an extra performance), a youth ministry meeting at church, many shared meals (which build community yes, but also wear me out), birthday celebrations (Celine turned 17!), a post-production cast and crew dinner, debrief and impromptu dance party (best dance I've gone to in my whole adult life, we didn't get home till 1:30am), doctor's appointments, and a homeschool convention all piled up on each other.

This may be "typical" end-of-school-year stress for many families, but it's new to us.

Damien and I have been doing this together. Thank God or I'd really be done for. I feel we have pushed the boundaries of what is healthy. Oh the irony! Healthy marriage, healthy family, healthy teens... rings false in my ears when I am worn thin right now from community. We need companions for the journey, yes, but right now what I need is no companions, no journey. Just rest.

And time to do some of the other work I've had to put off for the last three weeks.

Sitting here with this tension, and having had lots of discussions about this with Damien, I draw on the truth that this is all part of the experience, a necessary part of building healthy family culture and healthy community. A time to re-establish boundaries and re-assert individual and family limits. A time to recalibrate and learn from what we've experienced.

A time to withdraw, because not only is fruit the reward of hard labor, so is rest.

My inner manager falsely believes all discomfort, overcommitments, and periods of overextending ourselves could be eliminated if we only managed things better. Not so.

To some extent yes, good management has the potential to produce better results for all involved. Good drama production management, good home management, good community management. But so much lies outside of our control, and we're usually stuck with making the best decisions we can based on the current information available and then living through the consequences of that. And then we make adjustments for future, based on what we've experienced.

That's called learning. That's called life.

Family life, homeschooling life, teen life must allow for that type of learning also.

I love to keep things well managed in my life, under control. But when things veer out of control is when I have to dig down into one of life's most important spiritual lessons.

When life spins outside of my well managed schedule with its neat and tidy boxes, and I cannot rely on my own strength, I have an opportunity to learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit.

I didn't intend to hit you with a previously unmentioned idea right here at the end. Not good writing form, but I'm pretty sure this is the reason I couldn't conclude this post, I wasn't telling the whole truth.

The truth is, I could not do this thing called parenting, marriage, homeschooling teens, without the breath, or living waters, of the Holy Spirit in me. And I can't do community, the kind I wrote about above where you rub off sharp edges, pray and cry together, agree to disagree, etc. without the power of the Holy Spirit.

I hesitate to write about this (which is no doubt why the idea didn't work its way into this post earlier), because I want to write in a language that is accessible to a wide spectrum of readers.

So this is how I'd explain the power of the Holy Spirit in my life.

If I didn't have the faith that a divine power, a resurrection power, is available to me, I'd run out of the essence of what I have to give.

What I give, to my family and community is expressed, for better or worse (oh the constraints of being human!) in a Renee skin and skill set. But I cannot give living waters from an empty well. I can only give what has been given to me and so I desperately need the Spirit in my life.

There is a lot of talk these days about soul care filling the well. The power of the Holy Spirit in my life is the ultimate soul care, the source that fills my well.

Truer than true: I cannot be who I am called to be in my own strength.

What I want to be, as a mother, a community member, a wife, a writer, is way beyond what I am capable of doing in my own strength. I need divine inspiration. I need the Divine. And this is what I know as the Holy Spirit. It is what I intentionally connect with and seek out when I meditate and when I consciously stop, in the course of my day, to breathe deep. It is the reason I seek solitude, gardening, and good books, so I can hear the still small voice of the Spirit.

What I have to give is not something I dredge from within. What I give is something I surrender to; it flows through me (around the various obstacles I put in its way), changes me, enables me to contribute to community, serve my family, write this post.

I know I said that What builds healthy teenagers and healthy families, is having community that will support you through your stuff. I stand by that, I strongly believe in being part of building and supporting healthy teen culture in the context of family and community.

In addition to that, the conclusion I'm seeking for this post, is that what builds a healthy homeschool mom, at least this mom, is to rely on the Holy Spirit to fill my well.

To recognize that the inevitable seasons of life that move me beyond the zone of "well-managed living", beyond my control, what feels like miles beyond my boundaries, are the Divine opportunities to learn a most important truth: I cannot do this in my own strength. I can fight (and I tend to do that, wasting a bunch of emotionally energy), or I can invite the Holy Spirit to work through me.

And then I rest.

I'm frustrated with the state of our yards. Truthfully, I am a frustrated with a few things right now, but we'll stick to the yards.

We have a front yard and back yard. As the main floor tenants we can do what we please with both, which is a real gift for a gardener apartment dweller like myself.

I appreciate so much the beautiful front yards I see in our neighborhood and city. I enjoy city life when beauty abounds in both large green spaces and the little nooks and crannies people claim for gardening.

I have dreams and intentions to transform our own green spaces, to create beauty for our own enjoyment and our neighborhood. Perennial beds, bulbs, a small vegetable garden, annual flowers, I have space to cultivate all of that. But right now I keep coming up against my two greatest problems. I don't have a lot of money to spend and in this month especially, I am hard pressed for time.

Not enough money, not enough time. Perennial frustrations, gardening pun not intended.

Earlier this month, I scored big when I discovered our borough's free compost weekend. At that point in the month drama hadn't yet taken over our life so I spent a Saturday making trips to the eco-centre to pick up the compost, bringing it back to the house in buckets and bins.

But so much work remains and there has been very little time, and very little funds with which to purchase plants or even the tools I need to step back into the role of gardener.

I am currently without a rake or a spade. The last time I needed to own those tools was when I lived in Maine. I left them there with our tenants to use in the maintenance of our property. To add insult to injury, the weed whacker, which Damien uses to buzz cut the-patch-of-weeds-we-don't-even-bother-calling-a-lawn, refused to start this week. So we have to visit a small engine repair shop. We are smack dab in the most intense time of a drama production schedule. We don't have time to get the whacker fixed, never mind the fact "fixing the weed whacker" is not a line item in the budget.

Earlier this month I was able to borrow our neighbor's tools, which was great for the compost weekend but borrowing doesn't work so well on a day-to-day basis when I might have a random 15 minutes to work in the yard and no tools at my easy disposal.

I'm frustrated and I feel restricted by my limitations.

The state of our yards does not represent my vision or values. And I feel ashamed because I am a tidy person, I create and share beauty, and I have strong sense of contributing to community. That we are "those people" with the scrappy yards irks me to no end. If all that wasn't enough, I have the contentment-stealing thoughts that, "if only Damien was interested in gardening I could achieve my goals quicker."

I want a beautiful garden, and I want it now.

I have desires, dreams, and goals - for writing, blogging, and gardening. But progress in those areas seems to be moving like molasses in this season.

Deep breath Renee. You have no idea how often I say this to myself.

Wednesday this week, our one day off from driving, rehearsals, and performances I had an hour (in between laundry, getting a few groceries, making brownies for the bake sale that accompanies each performance, and picking up stuff for the play) to do something about the problem.

I created one small area of beauty.

Our front yard has a lot going for it with its maturing shrubs and large trees. It has a good foundation and I can totally work with it, but it's weedy and needs to filled in with shade-loving perennials (hostas are the obvious choice). And I'd love to enliven the space with spring bulbs and colorful annuals.

Our bedroom window and balcony overlooks the front yard, and every time I go into the bedroom, which is often because it's the guaranteed tidy and quiet spot in the house, I am reminded of the state of affairs in the front yard. All that is not done, all I want to do. (Gardening never fails me as a metaphor for life.)

The yard has so much potential but my eyes needed something beautiful, now. So using the leftover free compost I planted a $3 begonia in a cheap colorful pot, and placed it on the rusting white chair I rescued from the trash last summer. The planting and placing of that begonia took five minutes.

I also washed the balcony and the windows. That part took 45 minutes. And then I reluctantly returned to the intensity called drama production week. I made something tidy. I made something beautiful. It's small but it's something. It's all I can give right now.

I placed the pot in such a way that I see it from all the angles inside my bedroom. And having clean windows really helps.

Earlier this month I did the same thing on our kitchen balcony. I planted colorful pansies that catch my eye every time I wash the dishes, or sit at my little table to eat, read or write, as I am doing right now.

I've started building the gardens in the backyard but there is so much left to do. The weedy patches far outweigh the cultivated ones. And the only thing blooming are dandelions.

On free compost weekend, when I borrowed my neighbor's tools, I started a flower bed along the fence. This year, until I have the budget for perennials, I'm planting it with annual seeds. A few dollars of seeds will give me a lot of color come July and August.

I weeded the rose bed, planted cosmo seeds, found a long forgotten concrete bordered bed under the grass, dug up that turf, composted and seeded that space with a package of mixed wildflower seeds.

I also started (what will one day become) the vegetable garden by digging up the weedy turf along the back wall of the garage and planting a couple rows of sunflower seeds.

We won't even see those sunflowers from our kitchen window, those beauties are for the neighbors.

Perhaps that gesture will make up for the fact that, on a hot windy afternoon this week, our scrappy yard full of puffy dandelions (the kind my young children would use to make feather beds for fairies) single-handedly seeded the entire neighborhood with this pesky weed.

For the people who are quick to point out the utility of dandelions, I must add that I'm not interested in eating the barely edible young leaves of dandelions from my urban yard or roasting the roots to make fake coffee. I'll wait for the apocalypse to put that knowledge to use.

The backyard looks pitiful right now, full of spent dandelions, but the pansies are bright and beautiful, which is why I've placed them where I have, the first thing I see when I look out the window.

These are small solutions to larger problems. A little bit of beauty is better than no beauty.

All creative endeavors of transformation and growth - raising children, planting a garden, putting on a play - take time. In my weak and tired moments, when I am stretched and stressed (from the aforementioned play), I am easily frustrated that my goals, my dreams and aspirations, require more time and resources than I have to give.

But an inexpensive pot of flowers, carefully placed to catch my eye, before I see the mess, actually helps. Giving me something pretty to appreciate in the process.

Happy Boxing Day!

Some friends have asked me about the time commitment required for the Hibernate retreat.

It requires none, and there is no guilt or pressure to prioritize or participate in the content. It's completely self-paced.

My approach to last year's retreat was to read, experience, and connect with others around the ideas as much as I could. And some ideas I put off for later in the winter or another season altogether.

Meditative drawing is one of those ideas.

I'd seen this idea floating around and had noticed books at the library. Heather taught a couple meditative flower drawing patterns in Hibernate and I KNEW I wanted to learn more.

I started researching meditative drawing and came across Zentangle. I was hooked, and overwhelmed. I wanted to learn but wasn't sure where to start.

So I reserved all the Zentangle books in the New Brunswick library system, that's the library we used when we lived on the Peninsula, and perused each one to decide which one I wanted to buy.

I settled on One Zentangle A Day and have since discovered a few more resources which I review near the bottom of this post.

I started doodling the beginning of June. I had no idea what I was doing. I have never considered myself an artist, and I've always said, "I can't draw". I'm sure some of you can relate to this.

There are still many things I am unable to draw, that I haven't even tried drawing, faces for example. But what I have learned is that I can draw, with practice. And what is so wonderful about Zentangle and other abstract drawing is that it's not supposed to look like anything you can recognize and so you can't draw it wrong (but you sure can draw it wonky, as I have experienced!)

It feels so good to be joining the artists in my family. All of my family draws. Damien has a hidden talent that only those closest to him (that would be his family) know about and my kids have been drawing since they were toddlers and have never stopped. Their artwork features regularly on the blog because I think it is beautiful and I love it.

But now, I am drawing too. And there is something so satisfying to me about getting shading advice from my son, who's drawing experience vastly outweighs mine.

Fear not, you don't need a resident artist for tutorials, learning to Zentangle doesn't require you to know about shading, or anything else other than connecting points with curved or straight lines.

Zentangle is a pattern-based, abstract drawing technique. And if you want to get really picky about it, it's done on square pieces of special paper called "tiles". I don't use square pieces of special paper. I use a high-quality, blank spiral-bound journal I inherited from Damien who used the first few pages for some doodling of his own.

What I love about Zentangle:

  • No expectations. What I draw on the page doesn't have to look like anything in real life. Phew.

  • Relaxing. I have to admit I'm sometimes a bit jittery about making mistakes but that's also why I keep doing it. To learn that each mistake I make is not that big of a deal.

  • Open-ended. I don't naturally thrive in open-ended scenarios but Zentangle is "going with the flow" in your drawing. You have to let go of preconceived notions of what you think your art should or will look like and let it unfold. I create a Zentangle drawing, pattern by pattern, without a plan. This open-endedness helps me see and experience for myself, the beauty in not knowing, not planning, not controlling.

  • Accessible and space-small. The tools are simple, the supplies easily accessible and doesn't require a special studio or equipment.

  • Guidelines, but it's also very creative. "Official" Zentangle drawing uses certain pre-determined patterns. As you learn to Zentangle, you learn how to draw the individual patterns and combine them with other patterns. I don't know who makes these up or how new tangles are added to the "official" mix. I guess this is what makes it Zentangle specifically vs. abstract doodling. But even though you're following a pattern, called a tangle, how you draw that is very subjective and then there are tangelations (mixing it up). And how you pair and layer patterns next to each creates a new piece of art every time.

  • Therapeutic. I've been doing a lot of things this summer and fall to face anxiety head-on. CBT, mindfulness, meditation, supplements, and drawing. I don't know how significant a role the drawing plays but it helps because it is a type of mindfulness and the fact that I can't do it perfectly is very good for me mentally. A lot of resources profess the therapeutic benefits of Zentangle. I can't disagree with them but mostly I just think it's really enjoyable (so, I guess yes, it's therapeutic).

In trying my hand at Zentangle I completely adopted the posture of a learner, a student. I knew virtually nothing, other than what I learned in Hibernate, about meditative drawing and I have made some ridiculous drawings in my practice. It's supposed to be a "zen" experience but sometimes it's a snort laughter experience as my lines go places I didn't intend.

But I've also drawn tangles I'm really pleased with and I can flip through my journal and see the progression of my skill. This is very rewarding. I'm a learner, I'm not experienced, and it's good to be in that position.

Ever since I started posting photos of my tangles on Instagram I've been asked how I learned and what books I recommend.

Like I mentioned above, I chose One Zentangle A Day because it was my favorite book from what I could borrow and preview from the library collection.

What is Zentangle?

First, I need to define my terms. According to One Zentangle A Day, Zentangle is:

a miniature abstract work of art. It is created from a collection of patterns not meant to represent anything. It is created on a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch piece of art paper called a "tile". This size allows for a work of art that can be completed in a relatively short time.

I'm not so technical about my Zentangle definitions. I draw tangles in a sketchbook and I call it Zentangle. The more precise term for what I draw is Zentangle-inspired art, or art following the Zentangle Method. All those words seem so fussy, and I'm not into fussy. I just call my drawings Zentangle.

This post may bother the Zentangle purists but I'm calling any drawing created with tangles (the abstract drawing patterns) a Zentangle. Technically, a Zentangle is a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 tile.

What I like about One Zentangle A Day is that it teaches a step-by-step progression of how to draw individual tangles but it teaches you to create multi-patterned Zentangles from day one.

Supplies

OZAD gives an extensive supply list for creating Zentangle art. If you want to do everything the book teaches you'll need these supplies but it's overkill for getting started.

All you need is quality paper, a couple pens, and a pencil. If you want to do black tiles you need white pastel pencils, white gel pens, black tiles. But to start, you don't need any of that.

The huge supply list at the beginning of OZAD is a drawback of the book because it can easily overwhelm a newbie. But it's a good list if you intend to get serious with Zentangle.

I'm still in the newbie basic stage and use very simple supplies.

Lessons

The drawing lessons in OZAD are given out over 42 days of instruction. The premise, like the book title suggests, is that you can do one zentangle lesson each day.

For someone like myself with no drawing experience this is a laughable proposition. I started the book's lesson on July 9th (my first tangle is dated) and I have tangled most week days since then and I'm now on Lesson 22, just over halfway through the book. I'm averaging about one lesson every week.

OZAD is very in-depth but not too in-depth for a beginner. Lessons from the halfway point involve color instruction - using watercolors, gouche, colored pencils, and markers to color tiles. I'm just not ready for that yet, so I'm holding off on that for now and continuing with the blank and white tangle patterns taught in the second half of the book.

After these color lessons, the last 14 lessons (days) are quite artsy and in my opinion, advanced. Whereas the first section of the book I followed fairly closely, this part I will pick-and-choose from as it features mostly Zentangle inspiration vs. teaching how to draw tangles.

All together this book teaches how to draw 70 tangles.

More Resources

Joy of Zentangle teaches tangles with less emphasis on the meditative aspects of Zentangle. More drawing, less zen. I only recently discovered it at a local DeSerres, the library didn't have it in my original search.

I like this book and will be adding it to my personal library soon.

I recommend this book for the variety of tangles it teaches and its shading instruction, something I find quite difficult to learn and is not taught very well in OZAD. I've sought Laurent's advice in this regard, but not everyone has a Laurent in-house.

I haven't adequately previewed any other beginner Zentangle books to provide any more solid recommendations. There is a series of twelve Zentangle art books published by Design Originals that teaches a lot of Zentangle art.

The first in the series, Zentangle Basics is a workbook style publication, with lots of blank space for practice. I've come across other workbook style Zentangle "manuals" that provide more blank space than instruction. I prefer sketching in a notebook/sketchbook and I chose OZAD since I wanted an instruction book primarily.

I've also found a few Zentangle books that provide a lot of artistic inspiration with less focus on instruction, not so great for beginner.

When you start looking for Zentangle books you'll invariably come across a lot of meditative art coloring books. These seem to be wildly popular but I haven't gotten into the experience myself. I LOVE color; bright colors, contrasting colors, and someday I want to color my Zentangle drawings with watercolors, markers, and colored pencils. But coloring in pre-drawn lines just doesn't hold the same appeal for me. My preference is definitely drawing.

I've only scratched the surface of Zentangle, in my own art and explaining it here. I have enjoyed learning how to draw Zentangle inspired art immensely over the past few months even though I do not consider myself an artist. If you are interested in developing your own drawing skill I think Zentangle is a great place to start.

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