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Yoga for Your Brain: A Zentangle Workout Paperback – January 1, 2011


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Yoga for Your Brain: A Zentangle Workout + Totally Tangled: Zentangle and Beyond + One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun (One A Day)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: Design Originals (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574216988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574216981
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I'm starting a new, irregular feature here at Four Rooms -- the Saturday Review. There are so many wonderful resources that I come across that I'd love to share with you all that I've decided to institute a series of book reviews, to be written as the mood strikes! The first book that I'd like to share deals with the artistic habit of Zentangles. If you haven't heard of Zentangles before, they're a kind of formalized doodling created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas ..... check out the Zentangle website and blog to learn all about this wonderful art form. Sandy Steen Bartholomew is a Certified Zentangle Facilitator and an artist who has added her flair to this new craft, and created a how-to book that goes in new directions. In her book, Yoga for the Brain, the basic forms of Zentangling are enhanced with ideas on how and where to find patterns to incorporate into your tangles (hint: nearly everywhere!) and ideas on how to use this technique in new ways -- for example, in portraits, for transfers, printmaking or to decorate your journal pages. It takes the contemplative notion of zen doodling and adds some alternate routes for creative expression. I admit, I like Zentangling. And so I read this book with keen interest. The only problem I had with it was that I read it in e-format. It's not great in that format; I wanted big pages with colour, pages that I could flip back and forth as I explored and cross-pollinated ideas. So I am pretty sure I'll be searching this one out in regular old book form -- it's one that I think I'll be referring to for a while! It is fun, colourful, cheery and rife with possibility. I love to see Zentanglers adding their own touch to the basics. This book is recommended for those who already have some familiarity with basics of Zentangling.

When I first heard the term, Zentangle, I thought, "How fun and creative! I've just got to learn more about this." What I soon discovered, is that Zentangles are merely a form of doodling (an art form that has been in existence for centuries), in which you put together various doodles to create one, more complexed piece. The key, and the reason for the term, Zentangles, is that by incorporating various doodles into one piece, you are exercising the brain in such a way that it literally helps you become more calm and relaxed de-stressed. So when I heard about the book, "Yoga for your Brain" I was excited to see just how various pattern-drawings can work together to help the brain relax, calm down after a long day, and de-stress after a an emotionally trying experience. Sadly, I learned none of these things. "Yoga for your Brain" isn't about showing you how to use various pattern-drawings during various situations in your life, and it explains absolutely nothing about the Zentangle method other than a brief recap of what a Zentangle is (which is located in the beginning of the book). But wait! The book's not a complete loss. If you are familiar with Zentangles (which the book presumes you are), and you already understand its concept, then this is a great follow-up book. It takes you step-by-step through 60 new pattern-drawings. In the book you get a quick refresher course on the basics of Zentangles, how to use shading to enhance a pattern, how curves help accent a piece, and how to use small boxes to break down a complicated pattern and make it manageable. There's even a few tutorials on how to create a circular mindmap, transfer images using Sheer Heaven, create foam plates, use foam plates for printmaking, and make sculptures out of rocks that have been drawn on. And the best part is that it is full of sketches and photos, making the process of learning these 60 new pattern-drawings a breeze! Based on the contents of the book alone, and not what I had hoped the book to be, I could say that it's a book worth purchasing if you're ready to take your doodling to the next level, that is!

When I first saw the book and the pictures, I immediately thought of quilting. I am a quilter and many of these patterns (bales & botto) match patterns in quilt tops or blocks (Pumpkin seeds & Drunkards path) and in the quilting that joins the sandwich of the quilt. Bellaposa is very much like a quilting feather pattern. The main difference between Zentangles and quilting would be the small detail lines that only a prize winning (read insane) quilter will sew into a quilt due to the time it would take. The author does mention quilting as a source of inspiration for her "Ballenchain" taken from the "Wedding Ring" block/pattern. The author makes an assumption that if you're reading this book, you already know the basic Zentangles, which I didn't. She does cover some of the basics but also uses terminology for beginning designs that I haven't seen to know what she was talking about. There are oodles of references to the doodles (Zentangles) in previous publications. I do like many of her names for her Zentangles - Ballenchain (Ball and chain based on the wedding ring - bad marriage experience?) and Pingline (penguins in a line). The reading is easy and light. The author's style is fun and whimsy. She covers more in this book that I first realize. Beyond drawing fun patterns, she discusses ... - shading - finding and copying new designs - ways to track your designs - journaling - ways to develop new ideas for patterns - how to use drawing to clear your thoughts and track your to do's - how to transfer your Zentagles onto other surfaces with useful tips - printing your design multiple times - using alternate materials - drawing on rocks instead of paper Extra items in the book that I appreciated is an index to find an example of that design and even more, explicitly mentioning what product or tool she used to achieve the shown Zentangle with URLs to the products. Very helpful if I wanted to achieve the same look. I'd recommend the book to long-arm quilters and doodlers who want to up their game.

Zentangle is meditation achieved through patternmaking, allowing you to focus, relax your mind and boost your creative confidence. Zentangle is the perfect exercise to keep that big muscle inside your skull flexible. Yoga for the Brain pages are jam-packed with Zentangle ideas, tips, projects and 60 new tangles.

With a name like "Yoga for Your Brain" I expected it to be some sort of guided meditation and brain workouts - more of mental mind games, or visualizations. Well, it's pretty visual, but it's more active than I expected. The book takes you through making "Zentangles " which are quite neat works of art. The author's, obviously, look wonderful and are mesmerizing. Mine? Not so much. I have a good eye for art, but terrible hands for creating it. But that's not the point - the point is the process. If you like the idea of meditation for relaxation but are unable to really clear your mind of external thoughts, try this book. By thinking about the art you're creating, you really do lose sight of other stresses. If you already do meditation but want to try something new, or you love creating art and want to get into meditation, this book is perfect for you too.

From the Author

Please note that this book is NOT designed as an introduction or basic book! It assumes you have a bit of tangling experience and aims to push you farther. I am very proud of it, so I really hope you enjoy it. There are more than 50 new tangles, projects - things to DO with your tangling, and more tips on shading, deconstructing and designing your own tangle patterns.

More About the Author

Sandy Steen Bartholomew is an author, illustrator, mixed-media artist, and a Certified Zentangle Teacher. She runs a shop/studio (the Beehive), a private studio (BeezInk Studio), and an Etsy shop (Bumblebat). Her life looks like a Zentangle! She is inspired by juicy, jewel-tones and rusty-crusty, peeling, earth-covered things. Magic and mystery, bits and pieces, and weird little creatures. If it sits still, she'll paint it.

Sandy lives with her two kids and a cat in their colorful, mixed-media house in Warner, NH - a town full of introverted artists she has never met.

Visit her website for samples of her work and inspiration: www.SandySteenBartholomew.com

Customer Reviews

It's meditative, calming, relaxing, and most of all FUN.
K. Aanestad
With beautiful examples and wonderful ideas this book provides ample samples of great art work and tangles for anyone who loves to tangle.
C. Irish
Sandy's book is rich with wonderful tangles, easy to follow instructions as well as beautifully presented.
W. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Seven Kitties on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for beginners, though it does cover a few of the basics. But for those who have got the basics down and want to extend beyond the little tiles and add even more techniques (and, of course, new Tangles), this is the book you've been waiting for.

It's thin, and I'll admit I was a bit stunned at how thin, but then I opened it up, and there's so much going on on each page! Techniques (the best discussion of shading I've seen), tangles, exercises, tips, you name it!

It also discusses other uses of the tangle--such as basic printmaking, transfers, using them in journal pages, and of all the cool things, painting rocks!

Did I mention there are more than 60 new tangles? There's an index at the back for them, too, which is such a handy feature.

If you have her first book, you probably don't need to read this review to put this on your must-have list, but if you don't and you've been tangling for a while, you need this! And if you're just beginning, or need some inspiration at how amazing and dazzling they can be, you need this book! It will keep your mind and pen flying!
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it is a small book, it doesn't seem that way because it is packed with detailed instructions, exercises, illustrations, advice and inspiration. I thoroughly enjoy it and refer to it often. It's not just a book about Zentangle, she also suggests how to create your own tangles by looking for patterns in the world around you. An excellent, thoughtful book with good advice on how to live a creative life.

Yoga for Your Brain a Zentangle Workout
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A&D on April 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
before you buy this book, remember that it is not for beginners. But even if you are a beginner, then this is a fun book to read and to try out.
"Tangled Women" in this book is one of my favorites. I think the author had had some difficult time keeping the Yoga theme going on in this book :O)

This book has about 60 new zentangles.
There is also more ideas and instructions of drawing paisley, shading, painting rocks and printmaking.
Then there are tips (e.g. inkjet colors that can bleed through, etc)

I would recommend this book if you like zentangles and drawing.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By oldhippie59 on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I purchased the book "Totally Tangled" and loved it so much I couldn't wait to order "Yoga For Your Brain". It has so much in such a small book. I love it and would suggest it to anyone who loves doing zentangles.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gale O'Brien on June 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sandy Steen Bartholomew continues the adventure of learning the art of Zentangle® with her sequel book, "Yoga for your Brain." This books assumes that you are already familiar with the basics of Zentangle® and are therefore ready for more advance designs. My favorite part of this book was the section, "Working it out on the go." Here you learn to notice your surroundings and to recognize Zentangle® patterns in just about anything from a tree, a vine, a flower, a fence, a wheel, a gate, bricks, pinecones, logs and more.

#5369 Yoga for Your Brain a Zentangle Workout
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tamcam74 on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really helped me decide how best to approach drawing and shading my Zentangles. I also love how the author/artist helps one set up patterns you have found and want to convert into a "tam-tangle (my own designs)".
I also like the humor in her books- definitely no pressure art that ANYONE can do.
If you like to doodle- and want to take it to the next level in art creations- you will like this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By PurpleDiane on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is REALLY SMALL. To give you an idea of how small, it's only got 52 pages, and that includes both covers and inside covers. And it's not taller to make up for the size. I would have given it 5 stars if the cost/size ratio was better.

The contents deserve 5 stars, though, and I would still recommend it to anyone who loves Zentangles. There are some great patterns, and a wealth of ideas for using them in everyday life, enhancing them with shading and color, and developing your own patterns from real life. She also talks about printing tangles from foam plates and using transfers.

Deserves to be in the library of any Zentangle aficionado.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cindi Bisson at WCK on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Design Originals brings you this much-anticipated new edition to the world of Zentangle books. Yoga for Your Brain - A Zentangle Workout begins with a quick refresher on creating Zentangles for those who may be new to this art form. Then Sandy shares, through instructions interspersed with her great sense of humor, some of her creative tangle designs (including over 75 new designs!), shading tips, ideas on where she gets some of her inspiration, and some interesting techniques like transfers, printmaking, and using tangles on interesting surfaces like game board spinners, gourds and rocks. If you are a beginner, you might want to consider Sandy's Totally Tangled to get you started, but Yoga for Your Brain would definitely be a fun addition to your Zentangle library.

Softcover, 51 pages. Published by Design Originals.
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