Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Learning the lessons I teach

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.

Let some air in there. Breathe.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer slid away!

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!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Color My World

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.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Genius on a train track

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.

on Facebook Revilo 215

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A little bit Floo, a little bit Mooka...

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.

Flooka wildness!
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.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Will we go 'round in circles?

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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Comes a moment...

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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AIn't it just the way?

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!

Note to you all: vote in the poll!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where did February go?

You mean you do other things besides Zentangle?

Oh yes. Last year and this year, I participated in Thing-A-Day, the creative sprint for the month of February. One thing - at least one thing - every day for all the days in February.

Last year, I initiated the Odd Fellows project. This year, I continued it. You can see the work here:

But, hey! Doesn't mean I don't still want to tangle around! Check out the class schedule and see if there's room in your schedule for some artistic fun. See you soon, I hope!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back to School?

Well, back to class anyway!

I've just posted new class schedules on the "Class Schedule" page.

I'm rolling out some new classes (Zentangle Organics at Morris Arboretum) and some new locations (Cambridge, MD and Wallingford, PA) and some new tricks and techniques (sign up and see!).

I would surely love to see you at a session soon!