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.