Here is a fun lesson in line exploration that the students at St. Michael took on by force! After a brief intro discussing lines, they completed their individual line templates to give them a bank of ideas to get them going.
Now, let’s talk about mandalas and zentangles. Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘circle’. In Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions, it figures visually and spiritually – and the wider idea is that of the universe, a sacred space, and a wholeness therein. A zentangle is a modern term, employing the action of doodling with a meditative, relaxed openness to the image, to self.
What do you get when you put the two together? A zendala, of course! The kids (and I) had great fun saying that word, really fast, like it was a Ninja challenge or something (talk about mixing it up) – we still say it from time to time, just for fun.
We traced a circle using one of those ‘too-big-but-you-eat-it-anyway’ ice cream lids, and then drew some lines to section them off. (I suggested that the sections could be something other than triangular pie shapes.) They were a bit nervous to start, so they began in pencil to fill in the sections with different lines/doodles. As their confidence grew, they went over the pencil lines and continued with black Sharpie marker (one student wanted blue – a Delft Zendala Plate?). I had some lovely quiet music playing over the two periods we did this, though the atmosphere was not quite … meditative. A lot of concentration though.
They were quite happy with their work at the end, and we did just stop (in time for minimal clean-up). In the months following, some students continued to do them, and got their families in on it too. Yes! Love that. I laminated the pieces from class that day, and I like to think they are still hanging in their rooms …
If you would like to try your hand at a zendala (or zentangle), here are a couple of places to find out more about them:
So, get out your Sharpie (my favourite), and send me a picture if you like!