Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Landing....One Box At A Time

We've been living in our new home in the Okanagan area of  British Columbia ,Canada for four months, but it seems much longer as we have accomplished much in that time.  For most of the summer, the air has been smoky from forest fires which has forced us to stay in and paint and fix, getting ready for winter. However, on days when the air is mostly clear, it is sublime and we've been able to take in some of the many lakes that surround us with swimming and kayaking.   With each new day, I fall in love with our home more and more as it is rich with so much to do and see. 


For a short time I thought my studio unpacking was all done....except...my husband found more cartons in the garage marked STUDIO which would explain why I couldn't find certain things. I am constantly surprised at how little I really need to make art. (Now if only my cheese grater would appear...probably in a box marked den.) My only rule was that only one box be put in the studio at one time so that I wouldn't feel overwhelmed in such  a small space.  I learned that one the hard way and just like Zentangle, which is completed one stroke at time....I unpack one box at a time and depending on the box it could take a while as I rediscover things from the past.  

I am currently building a new Canadian website for my artwork which I invite you to visit at

If you are interested in purchasing any of the art that is still listed as available, please contact me at colourgardenstudio@shaw.ca or my old address still works at colorgardenstudio@comcast.net

In other news; my art work along with other Canadian Zentangle artist's work, will be on display in Jasper, Alberta starting September 30th to celebrate 150 years of Confederation in Canada!  Oh Canada! I chose to design birds of which I am very fond.

Also, I am scouting out spots to hold both Zentangle and SoulCollage workshops in the greater Vernon, BC area some time late fall and winter so be sure to check back for details.  If you want to get on my mailing list, please drop me a line at one of the above email addresses.

I leave you with a couple of gems:  One rediscovery from a book I made where I created a brainstorming poem that seems perfect for the end of summer and the industriousness of fall...

The other is from a recent field trip to a lavender farm where they had this open air gazebo and people had written their wishes and good sentiments on tags and attached it to the structure.  If there had been any tags left I would have tangled one for sure....but still I could feel the good will and love in that space, as it was palpable.

Okay just one last thing. I spotted this tangle on line and thought it too cute not to share. Though I won't show our dog Mattie as she has kind of a sour spot for cats ever since one tried to hitch a ride on her face! Woof!
All the best until next time...and as usual feel free to leave a comment or two or six.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Letting in the Light for The New Year!

"There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen
After a year of changes and challenges, I, for one, feel like celebrating a bit.  I can attest that practices like Zentangle and other art forms have kept me grounded and noticed how out of touch I felt when I did not attend to these practices.  Though the future still looks wobbly (but it always does, really), I think it's time to bring a little Joy and Light into our lives, don't you?
Many people have asked for another luminary class that I am going to offer it again in January.  You can click on the classes tab and reserve and pre pay for your spot.  Or if you are looking for a gift idea, why not buy more spots for family or friends to join you?  Just let me know that it's a gift and I will send you a lovely gift certificate and card to give you your intended.

I truly wish you and your family a Very Happy Holiday and

 I hope to see you soon!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Turning Over a New Leaf...Autumn Appreciation Sale!

It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride thus far this year.  Lots of turns, banks and dips of personal changes and challenges.  Throughout it all, and with help, I have managed to come out the other end pretty well.

I find sudden and repeated curve balls difficult; more so as I get older.  How did I manage so much before and not even give curve balls a second thought, I wonder?  It comes down to pure innocence, I figure.  What I have learned is  that each one usually propels me out of my comfort zone du jour and sends me hurdling in a new and more exciting direction.  This time it is no different.

With these changes I have decided to scale back on a few things.  First of all, a few weeks ago, I suspended my FaceBook account which included the Zentangle Spokane page.  My time was being sucked up too much by the cyber world and interfering with my artist vision.  In short, it was messing me up!  So out it went and I feel so much lighter not carrying around so much distracting crud in my head. Bonus is that our meals aren't burning.....as much.  I still have an Instagram account which I post to on occasion, so you can find it here and follow along if you wish: loretta.west Spokane, Washington.  Because I just can't help sharing, now can I?  I may reinstate the Zentangle Spokane page this winter.....but life is okay without facebook....actually really good, trust me on this one.  You might want to try it yourself for a while and notice any changes.  

The other change involves learning a new tool for me.  A few months ago, a friend introduced me to the intuitive and transformative work of SoulCollage.  It involves three of my loves: Meditation, Intuition and Collage which are used as tools to listen to your soul to help guide you through your life. Like Zentangle anyone can do it and it requires limited supplies.  Soon I will leave to train to become a facilitator in this process and am very excited about it.  You can find out more about SoulCollage at this link:

Choose your own adventure!

With all the personal changes I have experienced this year, I have decided to scale back my Zentangle teaching for a bit.  In gratitude to each of you who have supported my teaching journey I am having an Autumn Appreciation Sale! I have always offered private classes in my bright studio,(see photo below), but now I am offering a 30% discount on private Zentangle Classes of 1 to 4 people until November 30th, 2016. That way I can more easily manage my time with all the rest life has to offer me right now. 

I can design a class for you whether you are a beginner or more advanced tangler.  We can cover color, mixed media, luminaries, tangling on objects like gourds for fall,  Holiday gifts, or something you would like to try and you need my studio and assistance. You can choose your own adventure.

Check out more details on my Classes page on this blog:


Well, my adventure in Art and Life continues to unfold and I hope that we meet along the way!

Blessings and Peace to you.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Zizzling Zentangle ZZZZZZZZZZZZummer!!

FREE Summer Classes!!!
I am offering free classes this summer sponsored by both the great folks at the Spokane Public Library and the Spokane County Library.
To kick off the classes for the Spokane County Library Zentangle classes they put together a blog with video of me in my studio.  You can view it at this link.


Here are the details:

 Tues. July 5, Moran Prairie Library, 6 pm

Wed. July 13, Medical Lake Library, 6 pm

Tues. July 19, Argonne Library, 6 pm
Sat. July 23rd, East Side Library, 10:30 am

 Wed. July 27, North Spokane Library,  6 pm

Tues. August 9, Airway Heights Library, 6 pm

Tues. August 23, Deer Park Library, 6 pm

Tues. August 30, South Hill, 6 pm

Wed. August 31, Spokane Valley, 6 pm

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rapids, Rocks, Eddies.....Flow.....

Design your own Coloring Page with me on June 17th! See below for details.

Yes, you and I are the river; we flow, run deep down to that ocean-mix in which our souls swirl.

- Lonnie Hicks

It's been a bumpy spring of sudden changes.  Lots of  rocks to navigate around and  drift over in the river of my life.  My time has been diverted from teaching for a bit as I needed to spend some time  in my own little art eddy for a while.  Like many, making art sustains me in turbulent waters and keeps me from going under.  This is when I rely on nearly daily practices that ground and nourish me.  My life experience has taught me that the water will flow again and that the things that slow me down and steady me, like practicing Zentangle, meditation, gardening, yoga and the love for and of others, of course;  will see me through once again to the open waters.

One of the things I did to keep contact with the world was join a Facebook group called,
 Traveling Tangles Project. 

Or you can do a search for Zentangle swaps and find all sorts on the web.

In this group over 400 tanglers from all over the world have gathered to start a Zentangle tile or two or more, and then mail them off to others to finish and keep.  It's so nice to get real honest to goodness mail.   It's like  Pen Pals with tangles! 

There were mornings when I didn't feel like tangling and instead wanted to dive into the rapids.  However, just knowing that someone in another part of the world was waiting for me to send my started tile or finish theirs got me going.   In fact in participating in this swap it got me motivated to finish a tangle pattern I had started long ago.  The resulting online conversation about it, even helped with a name: B'Tworld!  I have added a new page to this blog: My Tangles which has all the tangles I have developed thus far for you to try.

When I am not teaching I also keep busy by either trying out new techniques or mediums to share with you  and by completing Art Commissions.  Fortunately, the great folks at the Spokane Public Library asked me to design the back of their book marks for people to color and also a coloring page for their coloring sessions at the branches. It includes the words, Read, Learn, Discover and Color. A Calligrapher I am not, but I learned quickly enough to get the job done and we all are pleased with the result.  The book marks should be available soon a your local city library, if not there already.  

I had so much fun designing this page, I thought about how best could I share this experience with everyone?  I noodled around selling coloring pages or books online which I may still do; but my heart is in teaching first, so I  thought it would be even more fun to teach you all how to design your own coloring page using the Zentangle method.  It's a winning combination of two mindful and relaxing techniques in one go!


Create Your Own Coloring Page Workshop

Using the Zentangle Method, we will create a beautiful personalized coloring page for yourself or as a unique gift.  All supplies are included.  There will be student grade coloring pencils to use in class, but if you prefer to bring your own favorite coloring supplies, please do.
Suitable for ALL abilities, including beginners.  No Experience Required. I'll show you how, one stroke at a time.
You don't have to know how to draw!
When: Friday, June 17th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Mellow Monkey Yoga Studio, 9017 E. Euclid, Millwood
Cost: $35 per person, Prepaid and Includes all take home Zentangle Supplies!
To register you can click away on this button


Or if you wish not to pay online, contact Loretta West, CZT at colorgardenstudio@comcast.net or 509 995 1647 and you will be sent an invoice to be paid prior to class.
Thank  you for your continuing support in my teaching and art journey, I couldn't do it without you!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sanctuary - noun  sanc·tu·ary \ˈsaŋ(k)-chə-ˌwer-ē\

: a place where someone or something is protected or given shelter

: the protection that is provided by a safe place

: the room inside a church, synagogue, etc., where religious services are held

This word sanctuary has come up a lot for me of late. What does it mean to me? Does it need to be a physical space or is it more of a feeling? How important is this sanctuary?  Do I need to defend it? Share it?

Last year I started to realize just how certain places had become my shelter.  A place to recharge and regroup and then emerge; somehow more settled, in order  to meet the demands of my world.


One such place is my home and in particular my studio and more precisely, my big chair where I am sitting right now writing to you.  From this chair I can look onto the front garden and watch the birds and the seasons change.  I can meditate or sit with a book or tangle, draw, paint, and dream. I am always reminded of how important this spot is to me when someone else sits here.  When that happens,  I feel uprooted and sometimes a bit uncomfortable.  Sitting there has become my pattern for regeneration and restoration.

The second place is our garden.  I love to walk barefoot in meditation through the garden on summer mornings,  waking up with the birds and flowers, pretending like I'm Snow-white. Tra-la-la.   I love visitors to our garden.   I like to show them all the plants,  trees, flowers;  successes and failures.  Invite them to smell and touch it all.   To hold dear the earth as I do.

The third place is one that moves and floats and is propelled by the wind!  I just love sailing on our little boat and equally love just bobbing on the lake relaxing with my husband and our friends.  Our boat is a cradle to me and the surrounding water a moat and once I step off of dry land I feel as if we are in a world of our own.  Recently we were both asked to act as students by our good friend, Bill Holcomb who was interviewed and filmed last summer for North West Profiles on PBS.  Here is a link to our cameo roles in  the show in case you missed it the first time:

This piece and others will be on Display at an Art Show in Coeur d'Alene February 12th, see below for details.

In Zentangle,  we learn to draw patterns and how that can equate to the patterns in our lives, our world. Physical and mental patterns.   By drawing the repetitive shapes we may begin to notice patterns more and more.  Eventually we may notice behavioral patterns, our own and others.   Recognizing behaviors as patterns allows us to see a bigger picture.  If they are our own behaviors,  we can decide to accept and continue them or to change them.

We can also  get stuck in one pattern that keeps us stuck in other endeavors and once we change that one thing it can unlock a door of changes that were just itching to see the light of day.  Recently for me it happened that after many years of attending the same yoga classes, my circumstances changed and I stepped away from what was my sanctuary. Though I missed my yoga class and my fellow yogis greatly, other good things have happened since I changed my pattern.  I have returned to swimming in winter.   I believed swimming was only a summer lake activity; but when I got over the adversion of putting a bathing suit on when there's no sand and no chance of sun burn,  I love it and feel stronger than with yoga alone.  I'm meeting another tribe of people too, friendly water people, and that's alright!

In the process of studying about sanctuary and how important it is to all of us, I have begun to see that physical sanctuary spaces change, come and go, and that the truist sanctuary is deep inside my soul.

What's Up Next?

If you haven't already, please click on the classes tab to find out all about my next class at the ClayFox Clay School where I will be a guest teacher on Saturday, March 12th. I am very excited about this opportunity as way back when dirt was made I studied pottery in college and loved playing in the mud!  So this is a bit of a pleasant visit to the past for me. It is also a bit of a full circle thing too as the owner of ClayFox, Jill Smith was my first landlady when we moved to Spokane and I was looking for studio space for my looms. Life's pattern is all about circles.  I hope you will join me there.  Just click on the classes tab on the right and find out more....

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Zentangle Art Show in December!








INFO: 509 -995 1647