Friday, November 30, 2012


I've had quite the week.  First off, I had the opportunity to teach a nice small group at Synergy Healthcare the basics of Zentangle.  Heard back that a couple of the students tangled late into that night. Sweet!  Here's some of the fine work from that class.

Every year, I am forced to revisit a particularly distressing part of my past and this year was no exception.  I try to keep it out of my mind, but the anxiety tends to grow the closer I get to the date.   This past Thursday morning, while I got ready to leave the house I sat in a chair and asked for guidance.  Not bravery, not strength, just plain old guidance.   I didn't have time to do a tangle before I left, but knew I would have time in the doctor's waiting room, so my kit was at the ready. 

It seems when I need the most steadying, I will notice "messages".  Don't know if it is because I am on high alert that I notice them and they would be there anyway, but I would like to believe that they are there for me and anyone else who needs them and if they need them they will be obvious to only them.  Kind of like my belief that Zentangle will be shared with those who need it most in their lives.  Anyway, I'm driving down town and I pull up behind a green VW bug at a stop light.  In the rear window, is simply written one word: "Forward".  That was all.  Yes, I thought, what ever happens I must concentrate on going forward and not getting stuck.

I then arrived at the doctors office feeling a bit better.  While waiting I started a Zentangle and I felt myself relax a little.  The nurse called me in and after we talked about Zentangle for a while, she took my blood pressure, bang on normal!  Usually under these circumstances it's too high. "Wow, this Zentangle stuff might really work!" I exclaimed to the nurse.  She then asked for my business card.

Then my doc walks in and immediately she noticed my kit on the floor and said "Okay, what are you in to now?"  So I gave her the schpeel.  She then said she had a nanny who after a particularly harrowing experience would color in coloring books until she felt better.  My doctor said "It was another way to heal for her.  Just mindlessly coloring."   It seems that if the mind is otherwise occupied, the spirit and body know exactly what to do to heal.

I drove slowly home along our beautiful Spokane River and at another light I stopped and noticed the sign on a oil change business who usually advertises specials and things like that, but on this day it said " Leave your worries behind."  So I did. 

Do you have a favorite Zentangling spot?  I do, it's on one of my wicker chairs in my bright south facing studio.  So while the bit of winter sun that we had today shone down on me, I created a tangle in my sketchbook of what I had experienced on Thursday, a nice reminder, to go Forward and to leave my worries behind.  What was that zipping by?  Oh, that was a worry, it's gone now, thank you!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recycling- Pedal, Pedal, Pedal

Darned busy week, but it's been but a fun one! 

If you recall in my previous post I had shown a tangle from my sketchbook, Unraveling.  Well, I had some old mixed media canvas blocks which were gathering dust in my studio for a few years and I found them this week and thought, yes, I can do a tangle like Unraveling on these blocks which already have good background color on them.  So that's what I did while listening to the blah, blah, blah of the t.v.  It was nice quiet evening time with family, which is so very precious to me.
I then continued to work on the leaves with the Strathmore Mixed media paper, this time with Acrylic inks over tangles with micron pen.  Here's the result which is mixed too.  The color was good but the movement of the inks was not as I would like it to be, but you have to experiment to find out these things.
So I am doing the same thing on Arches 140 hot press which I haven't used in a while.  I used inktense for an under painting which seemed to retard the spread of the subsequent watercolor layers and speed up drying for some reason.  This is a beginning stage.
Also taught a private Zantangle class this week. One student had tangled for 5 months and the other never before so was fun to teach.  Here are their tiles, well done!
The more experienced student had done some tangling on various surfaces including Gourds and Rocks and here are a couple of pictures of his beautiful work.
I have been loving adding Zentangles to my acrylic paintings which I started painting in Flora Bowley's Bloom True online class.  The elephant in this one emerged on it's own.  Elephants symbolise the Highest True Self.   This piece which may not be done quite yet, is called "Jungle YaYa!"  A Yaya is an old Greek Grandmother.
Quittin' time, more in a while. One more shot of the Studio Dog, Libby who is has had cast on for three weeks and is very, very, very bored!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Toasty toes!

Years ago, I worked where I couldn't always keep warm in the winter and, as I passed peoples cozy looking homes I would imagine warm toes by the fire a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.  Fast forward many decades and miles and I sit today with my toes toasty by the fire while the first snow piles up outside. I feel very grateful for such contentment.

I am also very grateful to have started to teach the Zentangle classes in earnest.  Many thanks to the folks at New Moon Family Wellness,, who hosted  our first workshop last Saturday.  It was a small class, but a mighty one and it felt so very good to get my feet wet and share this wonderful art form with others.  I have to remember that starting off small is okay. A few back country ski trips ago, we were passed by Sam, an octogenarian who, when asked how he had caught up to us going up hill, replied "I start off slow and work into 'er."  I always try to remember this advice when I feel tempted to leap out of the starting gate. So we are starting off small and working into more and more Zentangle classes.  Here are a couple of beautiful tiles drawn by students in the first Zentangle class for Spokane!

I continue to experiment with the Strathmore mixed media paper.  It has been a problem for me in that I don't like the way aqua media does not move much on this surface, even if I wet it first.  There may a trick I have to discover here.  Anyway, I played around with acrylic inks on a piece and will post when dry.
My body clock is not liking the time change and I'm not relishing getting up when it is so pitch black outside at O'Dark :30.   So this morning I set up a small lamp by my studio chair with the heater blasting on me and my dog, Libby, and worked on this new Zentangle called "Unraveling" in my scetchbook.  I used colored pencils on it too.
Keep Cozy!