Monday, November 5, 2012

The "Heart" Challenge

Today Andrea Hiltbrunner from the blog "DreAm heArt sMart ArT" has challenged people to post something creative on the theme of "Heart".  Given how much fun I had participating in Jennifer McLean's "Shadows" challenge last week, I thought I'd participate in this challenge, too.  (I'm thinking that participating in these creative challenges could be a bit addictive... but in a healthy way, that is!)

So here's my heart...

It's a "Zentangle inspired" piece of art -- inspired by the art form of Zentangle doodling but not holding to the rules of it.

Back in high school I doodled a lot in the margins of my notebooks.  Then my inspiration game from faces -- I doodled eyes, noses, mouths, eye brows...  (In retrospect, it probably looked pretty weird to have disconnected facial features surrounding my class notes... but I digress...)

I was intrigued when I first heard of Zentangle art some months ago not only because I used to love doodling so much but also because I'd been reading about the stress busting benefits of doodling.  Doodling helps us relax... lowers blood pressure and heart rate... improves concentration and memory.  (Quick... hand me a pen and some paper... I need to save as much of what's left of memory as possible...!!!  lol...)  One article I read pointed out that as children we intuitively did things that were stress busting -- like hugging and doodling.... things we really should do more of as we navigate this complex adult world.

So to me this heart art is about more than art in the shape we associate with the heart.  The heart is often associated with creative inspiration, deep emotion, or our "true selves" and this art illustrates my journey to explore and reconnect with my creativity.  But in creating this heart using a style of doodling -- a form of art that brings health benefits to our physical heart -- I am also more literally nurturing and caring for my physical heart and the figurative source of creativity.

Hmm... that's a bit of a mind bender...  That something as enjoyable as art can also benefit us physically is one of those things that never ceases to amaze me.  Somehow I grew up with the notion that anything that physically beneficial - like medicine - will be unpleasant.  This (creating art) is the kind of medicine that's a pleasure to take!

So what kind of creative medicine are you "taking" today??  : )


  1. Wow Fern, I love your Zentangle Heart. I love to doodle and have done it all my life. It makes me very happy, clearing my head and my heart. Your illustration is so striking in B+W and contrasts strongly with your recent colour work, so I am wondering what it would look like with a little colour? I have quite successfully photocopied pen and ink illustrations and then washed over with watercolour. Love to know more about what pens and paper you used.

  2. Hi Fern,
    that is such a lovely drawing, it made me smile right away. You are also so right about doing good things for our heart by doing things you love - drawing, doodling and hugging in this case. Very thoughtful, I love it!
    - Frauke

  3. Beautiful heart Fern! And...I need to doodle more often if it brings these kind of health-improvements! :-)

  4. Hi Fern! What a pretty heart drawing. I used to doodle a lot when I was younger. I don't know why I stopped. I've been feeling like I want to buy a bunch of colored pencils lately and start drawing again. Your work is very inspiring. :)

  5. Beautiful heart, Fern! Art is an amazing healer in itself so I can fully connect with the idea of nurturing the physical heart too.

  6. I love the heart and I love the idea of doodling as a stress release. Art is therapeutic - no matter what form it takes. I love what this image symbolises.

  7. I love your drawing, so pretty and what a beautiful post it's attached to. I think you're a fantastic artist and I so enjoy seeing what you do.