My first Zendala

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A Zendala is a Zentangle® version of a mandala, but without all the spiritual symbolism.

Zendalas are characterized by their circular symmetry and strong use of repetitive identical elements around the circle. I was never really a fan of Zendalas because I feel that trying to achieve perfect symmetry in hand-drawn art is a bit of a waste of time -- computers can do a much better job at that.  

I believe much more in searching for BALANCE instead of perfect symmetry, both in art and in life.

Understand that I write this with deep knowledge of the potential of computer generated art, having been in that industry for 17 years. I was always a strong advocate that the artist is the one who generates art, not the machine, and I even wrote a regular column at a magazine on the subject. 

Back to Zendalas: I had gotten these terrific mandala stencils from Genevieve Crabe (you can find the at Jenny Perruzzi's shop here), but they sat unused for a while, I just couldn't wrap my mind around a way to remove my distaste for perfect symmetry. 

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Finally I sat down with the stencils -- by the way, they were incredibly easy to use. This is the line-art: 

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In my attempt to ditch perfect symmetry, I feel like I pushed too hard in the center, and the crescent moon is a bit TOO asymmetrical. But hey, it's my first one!  

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A secondary reason why I have avoided Zendalas for so long is related to shading. Traditional Zendalas are shaded without any up or down and that, to me, was a problem.

However, I found a compromising method that made me happy, and although it didn't turn out quite is 3D as I usually like my pieces, it was a really pleasurable and fun experience. I will definitely try this again! 

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I used Zen gems, Crescent Moon, Echo Lines, Scallops, Ibex, Hypnotic and Florz tangles. 

Here is another shot of the tile. The Zendala is made on an apprentice tile -- which is a lot larger than a regular tile, but I though I would allow myself some room to play. 

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What a fun experience, will definitely try this again! 

Copyright 2017 Eni Oken