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Stratford Expert Untangles Mysteries Of Zentangle In Art Class In Trumbull

Jamie Johnson, a Certified Zentangle Teacher with a doctorate in art history, will teach a course in the patterned artwork Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Trumbull Historical Society. Photo Credit: Yankee Tangler on Facebook
Teens and adults can register for Sunday's Zentangle class in Trumbull. Photo Credit: Yankee Tangler on Facebook
This pattern is an example of what participants will learn how to make in a Zentangle class Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Trumbull Historical Society. Photo Credit: Jamie W. Johnson, Ph.D.

TRUMBULL, Conn. --  From a complex rose window on a Gothic cathedral to the geometric mosaic in Islamic architecture, Zentangle designs are a centuries-old art form, says Jamie W. Johnson. 

In her class Sunday, Feb. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Trumbull Historical Society, Johnson will instruct teens and adults on the the creative expression called Zentangle. Moreover, participants will learn to make the structured patterns called tangles, while achieving a sense of mindfulness, she told Daily Voice.

Zentangle, said Johnson, fosters self-esteem, focus, relaxation, creativity and stress relief.

"I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), known as the Yankee Tangler. I also hold a PhD in art history and have more than 10 years' experience in museum education," said Johnson, who lives in Stratford.

The class is for all ages and skill levels. The Zentangle method was created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. 

"No experience is necessary. I emphasize the mindfulness aspect of Zentangle practice, focusing on process before product. I am excited to share Zentangle with others looking to explore their creative sides," Johnson said. 

The meditation aspect of Zentangle comes from creating the simple and repetitive designs, making it "easy to enter a meditative state while tangling, much like knitters and crocheters do with yarn."

Participants in the Sunday class will learn to focus on the mindfulness of the practice, feeling the paper, watching the ink flow from the pen, and noticing their breath as they draw, Johnson said.

"For me, it is not about the students' finished works of art but the experience the students have while creating them. In my own practice, I try to make a tile every morning. Some days I make simple ones, some days I smudge the paper. As we say in Zentangle, 'no mistakes.'"

Johnson said she happened upon Zentangle on Pinterest several years ago while researching how to draw simple flowers.

She bought books at a local craft store and began to practice on her own.

"I have created Zentangle art works on paper tiles, fabric bags, art canvases, rocks, porcelain ornaments. You can tangle anywhere," she said.

"As an art historian, I have long been aware of the use of patterns in art all over the world and through time—felt shapes in the shyrdak of Kyrgyzstan, Greek keys and egg-and-dart designs in classical architecture, complex rose windows in the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, stylized knots in Viking and Celtic stonework, geometric mosaic designs in Islamic architecture, the colorful patterns of Navajo rugs, complex dot designs of indigenous or Aboriginal Australians, to name a few. Patterns are everywhere! Zentangle is one way to create beautiful patterns."

Registration for Sunday's class is limited. Email name, phone number and number of registrants to

For more information, call 203-377-6620. The class fee will be payable on the day of the class.

The Trumbull Historical Society is located at 1856 Huntington Turnpike, Trumbull.

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