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My Art Journey

Susan Bilheimer

Blog #1 of 2




February 2nd, 2013 - 01:37 PM

My Art Journey

I was a writer and became disabled in 2010 with an auto-immune disease that made me dizzy all the time and unable to write or work on the computer any longer, really unable to do much of anything. After a year and a half, someone recommended finding some kind of creative outlet. Well, I had really been artistically anorexic for many years. But my analytical writing mind was useless to me and I had a lot of time to fill each day.

I started by drawing in coloring books. That led me to wanting to create my own art somehow. but I was clueless how to break open my creativity and could barely draw a stick figure.

I got books on drawing and watched video after video online. Read books on left brain, right brain, no brain. And I just couldn't make any headway. I was completely frozen creatively, certain I couldn't draw a straight line. Then, I stumbled onto the website that changed my life regarding art:

ZentangleŽ is an art form and method created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. I started by playing around with the Zentangle method and that gave me confidence when I couldn't draw on my own. I am so grateful to the folks at Zentangle for getting me over the hurdle of my own judgmental attitude and showing me a way to draw for a non-artist. I began creating tangles and learning simple patterns.

Unfortunately, after a week or two, I became frustrated that I couldn't draw more complex patterns immediately. I didn't understand, as so many from art communities told me, that I needed to be patient. I set off to investigate other types of art expression because I thought this wasn't for me.

(In the end, I discovered that the Zentangle art form, used in conjunction with my unique style and adding color, most deeply speaks to my heart. But I needed to go through the rest of the experience to gain the knowledge and confidence to figure out my own style, which changed my relationship with Zentangle when I came back to it. I no longer need to learn complex patterns. I just modify those I know and create new ones myself out of patterns and shapes I see in everyday life.)

On to the rest of my journey

My first non-disaster was a fun artist journal (following the instructions of Teesha Moore on YouTube for her 16 page journal):

Here are some pictures of my first completed journal:


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