I've recently returned from a very short (two days), very long (three thousand, two hundred fifty four miles, round trip, flying from Philadelphia to Detroit to Kansas City to Hutchinson to Kansas City to Memphis to Philadelphia) trip to visit family. (And boy! are my arms tired!)
While there, I met Braylee and Allycia, daughters of a niece-in-law. I have no idea how many "cousins removed" that is. In an effort to keep these girls (4 and 8 years old) entertained, I dragged out my sketch pad.
And so began the operation of "Monsters Made To Order."
Is your pet monster tall or short?
How many eyes does your monster have?
Does your monster have hair?
Is it long or short? Curly or straight?
How many arms does your monster have?
How many legs? How many feet? (Not always the same answer!)
This guy - or one very like him (I believe that more feet and eyes might have been involved in the original) - is my favorite.
I drew monsters with hair so long and curly that it wrapped around the page.
I drew monsters with ten feet, each foot wearing a different type of shoe!
I drew daddy monsters (with tattoos!) and baby girl monsters.... monsters wearing Hawaiian shirts... monsters with wings...
If I was asked to list functional items - things that are made to do the job they do and nothing more - I'd probably list items like "hammer" or "bedspring." I'd probably also look to the past and add "milk bucket" and maybe even "radiator." But I'd be wrong with the last one, as this picture clearly shows.
This is a radiator from an upstairs bathroom in a Victorian era building. It's cool and swirly enough on its own, but I can't help but think of the many stories behind its arrival and installation...
Consider that the radiator, at its basic level, is simply meant to provide warmth to a room.
But the designers of this radiator wanted STYLE in addition to substance!
Then I consider the image most people have of dour Victorian businessmen (and let's be realistic - they were nearly all men). I contrast that image with the rampant swirly flourishes on this functional item and wonder what it is, exactly, that drives us - humans - to inject beauty in the most unexpected places.
This was a photo of a photo of a railing in a Philadelphia building. Tangling in wrought iron... somehow all that banging might work against the quiet serenity of making a Zentangle.
I snappped another photo of a building in University City that has a fabulous piece of work on it. Unfortunately, the photo was blurry. I think I must have had the setting on my camera dialed in for close up work. Next time I'm there, I'll shoot it again.
So, here I am with my initial post on my new blog touting my latest pursuit: Zentangle Instruction. I've got an official diploma and everything!
I'm actually pretty excited about teaching this art form. I've already got two classes in the works for Autumn, with more to come. (That's certainly the plan!)
If you are interested in learning more, please email me. Stay tuned to this blog for more details about my classes and a few random other thoughts as well. You can check out the official Zentangle site at www.zentangle.com. You'll even see my name in the list of Certified Zentangle Teachers.
I am a lover of words and language and the ways in which I can endlessly amuse myself with them. I am a writer, a self-taught artist, an eager listener, and a lifelong learner and now, a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Is that cool, or what?
If you are interested in learning more about my classes and want to reach me by email, send a message to TeeZeeTee@comcast.net!