The Red Deer Art Club has dove into a new form of art that they believe has therapeutic attributes.
Commonly referred to as zen tangle, the method is a form of line art that combines easy-to-learn patterns to form intricate, free form pictures.
Win Fuller has been doing zen tangle for about a year and will be the featured artist at the club’s Spring Showers Brings May Flowers art show at the Golden Circle on May 2 from 5:30-9 p.m.
She says anyone can do it and is great way of escaping from the world.
“It’s structured doodling pretty much,” said Fuller with a laugh. “It’s a meditative art form. Once you start doing it, you zone everything else out and it’s really focused art. It improves your creativity for other art work and it’s extremely addictive.”
One of the great things about the medium is that projects are completed in one sitting, often in 15-45 minutes, depending on the size of the picture. It is easy enough to do while sitting down and watching TV or in the morning while you eat your breakfast.
The style is also fairly inexpensive to do, requiring just a pen and a piece paper. Though you can use a standard ball point pen, there are many different specialized pens for the more serious artist.
Fuller swears by its therapeutic qualities for those suffering from cancer or other illnesses.
“It just calms you right down,” said Fuller. “Cancer patients are always waiting for treatments and doctors, mentally it is so good for them.”
The club is using a $2,000 grant from the city’s arts, culture and heritage department to help promote art in the community, with the intention of working with the hospice and at risk youth, and to help put on the art show.
The show will feature more than just zen tangle designs, it will include a wide range of art completed by local artists. Admission is free and the art is for sale.
“We have such beautiful things, and they’re well matted and framed and I feel people should be supporting our local artists,” said club president Lucille Gaumond.
“There’s something for everyone.”
Gaumond is impressed by the quality of work produced by local members and says they are always looking for more people to join.
The club gathers once a week on Thursdays at the Golden Circle from 1-4 p.m. and regularly brings in local artists to lead a demonstration in different styles and techniques.
“Art is a universal language, everyone can do it and we speak through art,” said Gaumond. “Art is also our history, when you go to Greece and see the Acropolis . . . those are thousands of years old.”