Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sometimes I even surprise myself

When I first found Zentangle I immersed myself in it every extra moment I had.  I was overwhelmed by the number of tangles available, how to keep track of them, and the semantics of whether I was doing a new tangle or a tangleation of something old.  Then came the black tiles with white ink.  Oh my, the possibilities of this new duo.  Watercolors?  Who new you could incorporate watercolors.  Watercolor pencils, traditional watercolors, field kits, and who ever heard of a brush that has the water built in?  Who thinks of these things?

Not much has changed except for the fact that many of the more current ideas and inspirations I have come across have forced my older finds into some of the deeper recesses of my brain.  I had read about using your non-dominant hand to tangle pretty early in my Zentangle journey.  It was brought up again in my CZT training and I have seen many people do it on various blogs.  It was even a challenge from the Diva at some point before I started doing the challenges (and I read all her archives), so I know I have stumbled upon it there as well.

So the obvious question is "Why haven't I tried it yet?"  The human nature answer is, because nobody made me.  We all have things we put off for one reason or another.  The feelings it may bring up, the fact that it is undesirable to us, or in my case (and probably other people's as well) the fear of failure.

I have been tangling for just under a year now and I think my tangles have improved significantly. The thought of putting something "ugly" in my book was not something I wanted to do, and I would never have the heart to throw a Zentangle away, so the non-dominant Zentangle remained undone.

Imagine my surprise (dread, apprehension, and nausea) when I read this weeks Diva challenge, Non-Dominatrix!  I must not be the only person who has had some trouble with this because the Diva even commented about it in her post.

So I sat down, got out my pen and tile,.......and sat there for about 15 minutes.  The hardest part was getting started, and not just with the tile, but with each new tangle.  I felt like each time I started something new I had to get back "in the zone", but once I did it was much easier than I thought and the end result was definitely a surprise to me.

My first Zentangle done the "right" way!

Tangles: BB, Rain, Flux, Scena, Nipa, Amaze
I started with Flux because it's one of my favorites and I am really good at it so I figured that my right handed attempt might still come out ok.  I moved on to Scena because I wanted to see what kind of control I could maintain with my line work and then Amaze to test my ability to maintain control in tight situations.  I tried BB in an attempt to see if I could keep my lines straight and moved on to Nipa and Rain simply because I thought the top of the tile looked empty.  Shadowing with my non-dominant hand proved to be one of the greatest challenges, and I am not really sure why.

The biggest surprise came when I turned the tile over and tried to sign my name, and it was a pretty embarrassing effort.  So how can I complete these intricate patterns with my non-dominant hand and still make them look pretty good but when I attempt to do something simple like sign my name I fail miserably?  I guess that's a question for all the neurologists and psychologists and scientific types out there but it makes me wonder, "What is Zentangle really doing to my brain?"  All good things, I'm sure.


  1. Erin, you tangled beautifully, wow BB was a super test...great!

  2. Well you made a very nice tile! and how did they call it no wobbling.

  3. Very nice. Your non-dom is strong (or is it your brain?). Interesting about your signature. I haven't tried that.

  4. So very gorgeous! You have mastered the. On dom!

  5. wow, I never would have known that you did this with your non-dom hand. I think it turned out great. It was a fun challenge. :)

  6. Wow! Wow! Amazing work and it almost fool me before I realised you actually use non-domination hand. Well done!! Funny about writing in back of card, I forgot to use my non-domination hand to do that!! But I have signed my initials with non-domination hand on tile anyway.

  7. Wow this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experiences too. It is good to read where you went on the 'non dom' journey.

  8. Your tile is wonderful! It looks great for a dominant hand, much less your non-dominant one. As a matter of fact, when I saw that it was marked as having been done the "right" way, I thought maybe it was done with your dominant hand, and then you were going to try it with your other.

    I agree that shading was particularly difficult, though I don't know why.

    Interesting about the signature, esp. considering how good your tangles look. I "forgot" to sign with my non-dominant hand (amazing how we forget these things, isn't it?), but I tried it after your post, and it looks about equally as shaky as my tangles. :-)

    1. I agree with the others--this is a great tile, and the fact that it was done with your non-dom hand is most impressive--I never would have guessed. I, too, signed the back with me non-dom hand, and found it to be one of the hardest aspects of this challenge! I really appreciate your thoughts on the process...including the fact that you've known this would be a good thing to try, but you hadn't gotten around to it yet...putting it off simply because nobody "made" you do it. I completely relate to that! Thanks for sharing your effort, results, and reflections on this challenge!

  9. What a great tile! You are obviously very whole-brained. Signing your name has a more to do with left versus right brain than handedness. Just because one is right or left handed does not necessarily indicate their hemisphere dominance. I'm right-handed but I'm also incredibly right-brained. Wow - sorry for the lecture... LOL. I really loved your tile. I would never have guessed you used a non-dominant hand!

  10. Incredible, Erin.. I would have never believed this was done with your non-dominant hand had you not posted about the challenge! Brava!

  11. Erin, this is Totally incredible! I'm jealous, the other wouldn't say it, but this is too good!

  12. WOW...that's amazing! I would never have know that you used your non-dominant hand...this looks so perfect!

  13. beautiful job! and you even signed with your left hand!



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