Creative Wellness Blog

Zentangle (and wine) with me!

A Zentangle tile by Nancy Monson, CZT
Zentangle x 4 by Nancy Monson, CZT

The Zentangle® Drawing Method is a structured drawing technique that is relaxing and fun—it’s so absorbing, it pushes away your anxieties and worries! It doesn’t require artistic experience, so it is accessible to all. The technique looks complicated, but once you learn the steps to draw the “tangles” on paper tiles, you can create beautiful drawings.

Recently, a study from Drexel University published in 2016 found that 45 minutes of drawing a day can reduce levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, making you feel calmer. More recent research from Drexel shows that making art activates the reward pathway in the brain, creating feelings of pleasure. Better still, you don’t even have to produce good art to boost your mood!

As a long-time artist (amateur and lately showing my work and going to art school), I am a big advocate of using creative activities—be it drawing, sewing, knitting, painting, throwing pots, taking photographs, writing in a journal—to destress. In fact, I wrote a whole book about it: Craft to Heal: Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting, and Other Pastimes. There’s something so satisfying about making things with your hands, and the mindfulness it takes to create means you’re not thinking about all the things you have to do. You get into a flow, and you feel good! (That is, of course, if you suspend judgment on your work and just enjoy the journey.)

Zentangle goes beyond mere doodling, which is largely mindless. At its core, Zentangle is all about being in the moment and being mindful, paying attention to what you are doing. Getting into a rhythm. The drawings unfold in an unplanned, yet planned way, and everyone’s drawing comes out differently—even though we do the same patterns. There is no right or wrong with Zentangle, and there are no mistakes. Only opportunities.

Zentangle was developed by artists Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. I’ve been making Zentangle drawings for five years, and I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher, taught by Maria and Rick to share this amazing drawing technique with others.

I am booking Zentangle and Wine Parties at people’s homes (the wine makes it extra fun and social), which includes all supplies and instruction by me. Once you learn the technique, you can do it on your own whenever you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or can’t sleep!

If you’d like to book a party for you and your friends, contact me at [email protected] or 203-556-8698.

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Nancy Monson is a certified health and creativity coach who supports her clients to discover their healthier selves through personalized eating and exercise habits. She also speaks frequently on creativity, health, and diet topics. In addition, Nancy is a successful freelance writer. Her articles have been published in over 30 national magazines and newsletters, including Family Circle, Glamour, More, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Shape,, Weight Watchers Magazine, and Woman’s Day. Nancy is the author of three consumer books: Creative Wellness, an ebook published in 2012; Craft to Heal: Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting, and Other Crafts; and The Smart Guide to Boosting Your Energy, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1999.