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Sue Reichert’s zentangles:

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Yoga for your brain

By Ada Lang

If you Google the history of the zentangle, you really won't find anything that specific on the subject because it is something that defies a tidy definition. When you look at an example, at first glance, it may just appear to be a bunch of doodles.

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But, it is more than that. Some practitioners believe that it serves as a form of meditation. There is some deliberate thought involved initially but they easily fall into a rhythmic, relaxed state as they draw the different designs.

Some people call it yoga for your brain,but luckily, it does not require sitting on the floor with your legs behind your ears and chanting.

Cedar Key resident Sue Reichert hasn't been doing zentangles for more than a couple years, and it is hard for her to put into words how she chooses some of her subject matter. She says that, the less I think about the patterns, the better they come out.

Mostly it comes from feelings - a commemoration of the life of a friend who died; a visual summary of what she remembers when she thinks of her daughter; or her daughter's fish, Goggles; or a way to hold her soldier son closer to her heart.

Reichert doesn't think of herself as an artist because she is not adept at painting. But a few years ago, she met Peggy Herrick, a local artist who is a master at the art of journey day books - a combination of sketching, decoupage and journaling that helps one remember something in a more visually complex and stimulating way.

So, she dipped her toes into the (art) water by doing a journey day book. At the get-togethers, she met Patti Jett, also of Cedar Key, and was introduced to zentangles by her. She says that it is hypnotic and meditative and takes on a life of its own.

Since then, she has doodled her way around many notebooks and on a variety of subjects and shows no signs of stopping.

She recently walked into Kona Joe’s Island Cafe and presented the owners, Joe and Edie, with a zentangle she did that evokes a memory of their shop. She said she has no idea why she picked that subject but the end result was a framed one-of-a-kind design for her friends.

You can find out more about Journey Day Books at Herrick's site: journeydaybook.org or get information about zentangles at zentangle.com.