Kass Hall’s Zentangle Untangled

Kass Hall just came out with Zentangle Untangled and I have to say, her book made me understand Zentangles. They really are inspirational and ever so meditative. For me, drawing is meditative, but to do it purposely to that end is a very healing thing indeed. For this fact alone I recommend Kass’s book, but I recommend it for many other reasons as well.

I like Kass. We began talking last year before her book was released and we share an experience of using art to heal the self through cancer treatment. Kass is another strong woman, so I honor her for just this reason alone, as if I need a reason!  😀

We caught up on Skype last night and then continued the conversation through email. Where she said, 

‘Personally, Zentangle has been very therapeutic for me and has helped me a lot through my cancer last year and prior to that. Having that to focus on (and be so portable) has been a real benefit to my coping with illness. I find I really am able to zone out from the world and even my own thoughts when I am drawing – sometimes I haven’t even noticed the phone ringing!’

I couldn’t agree more. I used writing Dreaming from the Journal Page as a catalyst to get me through treatment. It helped me to switch my doctors appointments into interruptions from writing, so that writing, making art, drawing, painting pages, was the goal. Going to doctors appointments were needed but not the all consuming goal it could have been had the universe not given me a contract during the same week as being given a major diagnosis. Kass found out she had her 4th bout of cancer 6 weeks before her book deadline. And she traversed those waters with grace and gave us a fabulous text in spite of and because of her experience.


Zentangle Untangled: Inspiration and Prompts for Meditative Drawing is a great book. If you would like to begin using art as a means to heal, as a balm for the frenetic energy of our crazy fast world, this book is for you. 

Here is the list of Blog Hop Links: 

Numinous thoughts.

Kass Hall and I speak to one another through Facebook, she is also a (4 time) cancer survivor and she has written a book, soon to be published about Zentangles, called Zentangle Untangled. Kass recently wrote a review of Dreaming from the Journal Page on her blog. Then she went and wrote this post.

And I got to thinking. When I was diagnosed, it was the exact same week I received the contract for Dreaming from the Journal Page. I approach life with a glass half full mentality. So, if you can’t do anything about a situation (in this case that would be a cancer diagnosis), and you love making stuff and have a contract sitting on your desk to write a book. You write that book and do whatever else needs doing, like get chemo and have surgery. This seems normal to me. Many people act as though this is an aberration, and make statements like, ‘I would curl up in a ball and sleep during something like that’. (Kass didn’t say this, but more than one person has.)

To which, I am nonplussed. Really?

But my thing is, if in doubt, paint something. If my mind is filled with negative, start a project and focus intently on it until reason prevails. Fear will always beckon, it’s the ‘frenemy’ you wanna shake and can never quite release. So, why give the mind a chance to settle in that place? And I am not saying that writing a book while going through treatment for breast cancer, or any cancer or sickness, is an easy thing to do, not at all. Maybe I am grateful that I have cultivated the wherewithal to apply art to major life experiences-no matter how challenging.

My bald head during treatment became a beacon of strength to me.

Where do you find courage and ability? Are you one of those who might curl in a ball and sleep? I find courage in the making. Painting, drawing, sewing, it fortifies me. It reminds me that I have ability and can push myself further. It reminds me that I want to be better, live more, extend myself to the limits of possibility.

To have my life threatened by a disease and to know that my lease on life is tenuous at best? That seems like courage to me. Or at the very least the impetus to be courageous. At the same time, I often feel like Kass, I know what I want and the steps I need to take in order to make my goals acheivable, but I freeze.  

My very own signed copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page

Are you frozen? Do you apply art to necassary situations? How do you cope with challenging circumstances? Kass and I would like to know.