A summer and fall of very, very busy travel and work... home for a time and enjoying a cup of Earl Grey while sitting in my comfy chair. Musing on the recent travel days of mine and the uproar of elections and hurricanes and so, so much spinning around today.
It's easy to get caught up in the whirl of the world. It's easy to forget to remember the lessons I teach in all my classes.
Take your time: faster doesn't automatically equal better.
Pause to collect yourself, your thoughts, your intentions before beginning. Invoke the rituat of beginning.
and Autumn has pounced on me! At least, the nights are Autumn cool, and that's delightful. I've been traveling all over the place and hardly home at all. I drop one bag, pick up another, and head right back out the door.
These cool evenings remind me that it's time to list the upcoming classes, so here's the 411:
September 29 - Dorchester Center for the Arts, Cambridge MD
October 5 - Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, Philadelphia PA
October 6 - Main Line School Night, Radnor PA
October 17 - Mount Airy Learning Tree, Philadelphia PA
November 2 - Community Art Center, Wallingford PA
November 3 - Cheltenham Township Adult School, Cheltenham PA
November 7 - Souderton Community Education, Souderton PA
November 8 - Main Line School Night, Berwyn PA
November 10 - Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia PA
November 14 - Middletown Township Park and Rec, Langhorne PA
November 17 - Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA
November 27 - Mount Airy Learning Tree, Philadelphia PA
WOW! We're going to be busy!
Details on the class schedule page (links to registration and whatnot!)
Just a quickie note... the TeeZeeTee Travel Portfolio elves have been in production mode and there are LOTS of new color options!
A Travel Portfolio is a great way to take your Zentangle work on the road. The fabric portfolio is large enough for two pens, one pencil, and a baker's dozen of standard tiles. Check out the "Travel Portfolio Options" page for the newest colors and patterns.
When I take the train into "Center City" (Philadelphia, for those who might be reading outside the tri-state Delaware Valley area), I frequently press my camera lens against the car window and snap frantically trying to capture the dynamic, fleeting, powerful urban art that I pass by. The pictures are never good.
I've harbored fantasies of slipping down through the urban obstacles to take good shots, but realize that if I did, the next post you would read would be a request for bail money!
So, how cool was it for me to discover Oliver Wright at a local street art fair in Ambler, PA this past weekend? VERY COOL. Oliver said, "I used to work on real trains..." and he sighed a wistful sigh. "Then," he said, "I grew up."
I don't want to send him bail money, but I was more than happy to plunk down my dinero for a table-sized piece of art:
Oliver Write - Revilo 215
Is this genius, or what? Now I can take my camera lens away from the train car window!
Here's Oliver's contact info. Pay him a visit, and tell him you heard about him from me.
gets us to Flooka! I've been playing around with this pattern for a while now. Some have even seen it show up in my classes. Traditional wordless instructions can be found on the "Tangle Patterns" page.
What I've learned is that the curvier you make the initial stroke, the more Flooka looks like a curled up "pill bug." I've also learned that Flooka is ambidextrous, that is to say, you can curve the initial stroke to the left or the right.
I call it "Flooka" because the shape reminds me a little of the shape of "Floo" pods and because the second stroke reminds me of the "outside line creates the inside shape" nature of "Mooka." Strangely, the people to whom I've taught it (and I, myself) are reminded of caterpillars. We think, particularly, of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, although we don't exactly know why.
Simple enough: put the little wheel inside the bigger wheel and put the pen in one of the holes. Start moving the little wheel around inside the big wheel and most important of all: STOP THINKING TOO MUCH!
I loved my spiro-toy then; I love it today. But, it sometimes IS a love-hate kinda deal. When I relax and deliberately focus on letting the wheel guide me, I get great results! When I think I know where to PUSH the pen, not so much.
Sound like anything else we know? When I follow my pen, I get better results! When I push it, not so much. And this is a lesson I learned all over again in working on my first Zendalas. Focus on the space, on following the pen... not on thinking how to push the pen where I think it needs to go!
Join me? I'm conducting my first Zendala workshop on Saturday, June 30 in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Details on the class schedule page or jump directly to the registration page by clicking here.
I have an acquaintance who is a yoga instructor, and I once overheard her to say, "oh, I can't do my own practice when I teach; it's impossible." And, I kinda get that. As she's teaching postures, positions, and poses, it would be difficult to silence the sound of her own instructor's voice in her own head to achieve the meditative state that she's encouraging her students to seek.
When I am teaching, I often experience the same phenomenon. I deliver my lines, answer questions, provide feedback, encourage nervous students... juggling so many functions makes the state of Zentangle elusive at times.
Yet, there comes a moment in every class - EVERY CLASS - when the group gets "there." It's never the same pattern or technique; it's not the same time in each class. But in every class, there comes a time, when everyone is quiet, when art is being made, and when creative peace settles over and illuminates every artist in the room.
Thank you to all of my students for those moments.
I clicked "schedule... send now..." and the latest issue of TeeZeeTidbits went winging through the ether... zoooooooom.
Just as I extended my clicker finger to zoooooooom over to the blog to activate the poll I promised in the newsletter, the doorbell rang. (Don't worry, this is not a scary movie.)
The electrician said, "sorry, but I need to shut down your electricity while I troubleshoot some problems with the parking area lights; it'll just be a minute."
Uh-huh. I live in an old house, with old wires, and with old connections, and possibly even old watts running through those old connections and wires. So.... note to self: post only in the middle of the night when no electricians are up and about!
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!