Monday, December 22, 2014

Another Zentangle Year

Best wishes of the Season to you and yours!

I have so much to be thankful for this Holiday Season.  I am healthy, active and content and I love the people in my life and I love what I do.  Zentangle has played a huge part in that list.  It has grounded me when I am feeling in orbit, soothed me when I am troubled and comforted me when I feel alone. It has been a pleasure to teach this little art form to so many people near and far.  Thank you for all your support! 

Be sure to check out the class page regularly to keep up to date on upcoming classes. The next one is Zentangle - The Next Step in January where we will explore more challenging tangles.

Many thanks to the Spokane Public Library and The Spokane County Library management and staff who have been sponsoring me to teach the Free Intro to Zentangle classes and to Tamara and David Milliken for the use of their lovely little house and to the owners and staff of Spokane Art Supply for the use of their class room!  Stay tuned for more free classes to be announced for the New Year. 

I will continue to offer a variety of classes at The Inner Sky Community House in Millwood and Spokane Art Supply on a rotating basis along with all the private, corporate, and school classes I teach.

Lately I am thinking that my compass needs a little tweaking to match my dreams, so I am hatching plans for a workshop where you will artfully create a Vision Map for 2015, with tangles of course; more after Christmas on that one!  Also in 2015 we will explore tangling on metal, some book making and jewelry too! 

2015 is going to be another fun year and I hope for you too! 

All the best,


                                      Tangled Trees from the students at Moran Prairie Library!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Small is Good

Even though I have to think and plan about fall Zentangle classes my mind and body are still in summer mode, thinking back to lots of sunny activities this past summer and looking forward to more before October rolls around and the lake gets too cold for swimming. 

 It's been a long hot and at times smoky summer in Washington State and to keep cool we have recently added  kayaking to our summer water sport mix.  We haven't yet worked out the storage problem of two kayaks.  For now, mine, dubbed the Otter is on saw horses and the other (my husband's), dubbed the Orca, is precariously perched across the recycling bin.  I plan on designing decals for each so we can tell them apart as they are identical twins, but mine is better (because I say so).

 We also were fortunate to spend time with our family this summer, who is spread up and down the west side of North America.  Most importantly, to help celebrate my Mom's 88th birthday in Victoria, BC.  She is still painting regularly...something to look forward to.

Happy Birthday, Gramma!

So the kayaks have created a bit of a storage dilemma, which brings me to focusing on what is important and keeping things small and manageable.  A big part of the storage space is taken up by my canvas/paper/mat board/glass cart, a big sucker on wheels which has served me well over the years.  While finding a shed for the kayaks is one option currently favored by my husband,  I think a little distilling is in order, just like a good gin in a smooth cucumber gimlet (another great discovery this summer).  So the cart has to go.  I rarely do big canvases any longer and with Zentangle and Art Book Binding, I have rediscovered small and Small is Good.

I was reminded of this over and over again this summer when I taught Zentangle to kids through the Spokane Public Library.  I had to keep things in smaller increments of time for shorter attention spans, moving quickly from one thing to the next and mixing in singing and movement as well.  At first the kids weren't sure what all these small steps had to do with making art but by the end they were fully engrossed in the process, because that's what it boils down to, the process.

Zentangle has taught me about small increments, how to break things down into manageable spaces. Not to get overwhelmed by the Big Picture.  How one can create a wonderfully intricate looking drawing, one stroke at a time without having to know what it will look like in the end and to embrace the unknown and create from "mistakes".  So the addition of kayaks have caused a bit of a storage stir, but one that has pushed me in a direction to embrace The Small.

If you want to find out about Zentangle Classes in the wonderfully water filled Inland Northwest, be sure to click on the class page on this blog.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DiGGiNg iT!!

Original watercolor painting by Loretta West - "Dad's Garden"

A gardening friend once remarked that Spokane, Washington where I live has a most beautiful and long spring.  Having lived here for a while now, I'm inclined to agree.  Sometimes it is maddening when you are planning on planting and it gets cold and a little snowy.  But then other times you are made buoyant by a sudden warm spell like we are having today.  This seesaw in the weather can continue right to Father's Day.

My Dad was an avid gardener, and I think of him especially when I am gardening...feeling closer to him in the garden than anywhere else.  He had great gardening habits, and one of them was to leave a garden fork stuck in the garden.  The idea is that if you leave the fork out in a spot where you pass frequently, you can just quickly fork out the annoying weeds and crab grass (my nemesis) without having to get a tool and come back and make a big production out of the task.

So I recently bought an extra fork just for this purpose to stick in the front garden where the grass doth grow annoyingly so.  I thought, well as it is, this fork looks pretty darned plain, especially for the front yard.
So of course I jazzed it up a bit with my trusty oil based sharpies! 
Voila, working Garden Art!!

No garden implement will ever be safe again!!
Be sure to check out my upcoming workshops under the Classes tab.  There is still room in my May workshops, Nature Tangles and the Zen Journal. 
Also just announced a Zentangle and Watercolor Florals workshop for Manito Park in June.  You don't want to miss that one!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014


It has been over a year since I took the Certified Zentangle Teachers' Training in Rhode Island and it has been a whirl wind of adventure. Yes, some times it has been a bit frustrating and an uphill slog, but a great ride none the less.

I want to take the time to thank all those people who believed in me and what Zentangle could do to help people relax and unwind beautifully.  So many were encouraging and offered spaces for me to teach my first few classes which helped immensely. 

Most importantly, I wish to thank my students who took a leap and jumped in, many trying drawing for the first time in many years.  It gives me a happy heart when I think about all the warm experiences I've had teaching Zentangle these past few months.  Many, many thanks just don't seem quite enough to express my gratitude to all these people who have come to classes and then spread the word about Zentangle in our community.

I created a photo montage from some student work done in my Spokane area  Zentangle classes.  Enjoy!  Everyone did so very well. I feel so very blessed to have taught you all.  Bravo!

p.s. to continue your journey, be sure to check out the new spring classes under the Zentangle Classes page!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Open Heart

Happy Valentine's Day!  To celebrate the day, I sat down and listened to the Olympic coverage while I tangled a pile of Zalentines  to distribute at random today.  I loved the expressions of delight on people's faces as I went about my day like a good fairy, spreading LoVe where ever I went.

A while back I had joined this Facebook group: Random Acts of Zentangle which anyone who is on Facebook can join;
This group has nearly 500 members world wide who make and distribute Zentangles in various spots they visit, some quite inventive, like the card slot in an ATM machine.  I've had a pile of completed tiles in my purse for a while, and usually forget to distribute them, but I made up for it today!  Here's a shot of the Zalentines...

I feel very thankful that I have a lot of love in my life. Which includes making Art and practicing  Zentangle.

With love in mind I have been practicing the Tangle Pattern, Heart Rope, by CZT, Bunny Wright from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.  I love it for it's simplicity and yet as it undulates in a out, it has a nice Celtic line drawing feel as well. With Bunny's permission, I have made an (amateur) video of this lovely pattern for you to view and use for practice.  Thanks, Bunny!

Well, I tried to download it here, but it wouldn't work for some reason, so to view this video you will have to go to this link and "like" the Zentangle Spokane Facebook page which has the video and so much more! You can also find the drawn step outs at this link: 

                                           Tangle Pattern, Heart Rope, Drawn by Loretta West, CZT

Bunny is a fantastic Zentangle artist and she has allowed me to share with you, for your inspiration, one of her recent pieces entitled; Opus 101. Way to go, Bunny!


In other news, we had some very lovely Zen Luminary Classes at Cana Anama in Millwood in January and February to brighten the dark evenings, here's  shot in case you missed it. I'm hatching another similar class for this summer....stay tuned!

Plus the FREE  introductory classes sponsored by The Spokane Public Library continue on into April, at various branches.  Check it out at the link

The dates in April will be scheduled shortly.  Keep checking the site.

Also have a couple of  NEW ZENTANGLE WORKSHOPS for March!
Zen Pillow Workshop, Tues, March 8th, 6:30 pm in Millwood.  $35 per person, prepaid, includes all supplies! You will learn by an easy, step by step method, how to tangle on fabric.  Must prepay to save your seat.
Zen Journal Workshop, Sat, March 8th, 10 am to 1 pm , Spokane Art Supply. $35 per person, prepaid, includes all supplies!  We will tangle the inside and the outside of an Artist's (that's you) Journal to take home and fill.  Must prepay to save your seat!

Call or text me at 509-995-1647 to reserve your spot or email me at   It's going to be fun and relaxing!

Finally, in closing I leave you with an  excerpt of an article from Yoga Journal by Barbara Kaplan Herring on the heart and heart chakra:
"The fourth chakra, the heart chakra, rests in the center of the chakra system, at the core of our spirit. Its physical location is the heart, upper chest, and upper back. The fourth is the balance point, integrating the world of matter (the lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (the upper three chakras). Through the heart chakra, we open to and connect with harmony and peace. The health of our heart center registers the quality and power of love in our life. In Sanskrit, the heart chakra is called Anahata, which means "unstruck" or "unhurt." Its name implies that deep beneath our personal stories of brokenness and the pain in our heart, wholeness, boundless love, and a wellspring of compassion reside."
I wish for you this Valentine's Day and every day, a heart overflowing with LOVE!