Montrose Library is launching a new ongoing program for adults and teens. Every second and fourth Tuesday, starting June 11, come to the library to hang out with fellow tanglers, listen to relaxing music, and practice your “tangling” skills.

What the heck is a tangler? I’m glad you asked. In this context, “tangling” refers to the creation of a

Zentangle — a step-by-step, formalized approach to creating structured designs through the drawing of various patterns. A tangler, therefore, is a person who creates Zentangles.

The human urge to draw, or doodle, has been around since before the invention of pen and paper. Cave drawings and petroglyphs from early human civilizations could be considered early examples of doodling. The Zentangle method effectively takes this innate human desire and provides a structure whereby intricate, complex designs can be easily created even by the most “unartistic” among us (NOTE: I believe that, as human beings, we are creative by our very nature; therefore, I don’t subscribe to the notion that art and artistic ability are accessible only to a select few.)

Headquartered in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Zentangle, Inc. is the brainchild of Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. In 2003, they took Maria’s botanical background designs from her art work, broke them down step by step, and added a meditative component. And thus, the Zentangle Method was born. (Visit www.zentangle.com for more information.) Since that time, it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with tanglers and tangling groups springing up all over the place. There is even a Certified Zentangle Teacher program available.

One of the foundations of the Zentangle method is that there is no such thing as a “mistake.” Designs that go in an unintended direction are considered part of the organic nature of the design. This approach reduces a lot of the anxiety and stress that often crop up — especially with adults — about doing art “wrong.” If you can draw something as simple as a line, a curve, a dot, or a squiggle, you can absolutely Zentangle.

In addition, repetitive creative work has been scientifically shown to be calming and self-soothing. Who doesn’t need more of that? Zentangling is also incredibly easy. All you need to get started is paper and a black fine-tip pen or marker.

Come and join the Tuesday Tanglers starting this coming Tuesday, June 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Listen to soothing music while you tangle your way into a state of relaxation. No prior experience is required and basic informational pamphlets will be available for newbies. Each session will also include two new tangle patterns for you to try, or you can browse through any of the available tangling pattern books for inspiration. Basic supplies will be provided, as well as recommended resources for additional supplies that you can purchase if (when) you find yourself bitten by the tangling bug.

Can’t wait to tangle with you!

Tiffany McNeil is an Adult Services Librarian at the Montrose Regional Library.

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