One of the first assignments was to take a quote and do an art journaling page inspired by it. This is the quote:
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in
their true beauty is revealed
only if there is light from within.
Now, I have never done art journaling, but I have an idea what it's supposed to be like. Although I guess some people would say that it isn't 'supposed' to be like anything, but the pages often have a similar look. I decided to go a different route. I have some issues with stress, and have tried yoga, pilates and meditation. Yoga and pilates seem to work pretty well for me, because I can focus on more than just my breathing. Meditation, however, seems almost impossible. IF I do manage to succeed, I inevitably fall asleep.
Well, I heard about this art form called Zentangle, and it's sort of like meditation through doodling. I've been wanting to try it, but didn't get around to it. To be honest, I worried that I would spend too much time agonizing over whether my doodles were 'good enough' to really get any relaxation in.
The quote gave me the push to try it though. The stained glass metaphor just seemed perfect for Zentangle.
Here is what I created: (sorry for the not great cell phone photo)
And you know what? It really worked! all the tiny details allow for a lot of just repetitious doodling, where I didn't feel the need to agonize over them. A few times I worried that I might use up my favorite pen, but like they teach in meditation, I just acknowledged that thought and then let it go.
Now, I know you are wondering, where do you even begin on something like this. Well, it's actually a LOT easier than it looks! I found a youtube video or two, and basically what they said was, that you start with the major separations. Don't even worry about the details. So, I started with the quote. I knew I wanted to put the 'stained glass' part in a 'window', then the sparkle and shine in a starburst. I emphasized the more important words and let the less important ones stay smaller. After I drew the sections that hold the quote, I started expanding on it: adding lines extending from the starburst, adding additional waves beside the part that says 'when the sun is out', doubling the lines that create the 'tear' where the darkness part is. Then I started filling in doodles. When I got done the two downward checked sections from the star, I decided that I wanted to make all the sections from the star checked, but the two upper ones were really large, so I added the sun and the rainbow to take up some of that space. It really just builds upon itself.
There are also tons of resources out there to get ideas of different types of doodles. I looked at some of them, but decided to start with simple and just do what came to me. I think, for my next one, I will also use a quote, because it helped to create some sort of flow for the piece. I have a hard time just sitting down with a blank piece of paper and starting something. But there will be a next time, because it was actually quite relaxing! I highly recommend it!