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Monday, October 27, 2014

Deja Vu?

This week, I had the privilege of teaching two back to back classes at the Amesbury Public Library.  The first class filled up so quickly that we decided to offer a second one on the same night.  It was fun to work with two different groups within the same community.  I'm so pleased that we could make the class work for everyone!  Check out their fantastic tiles at the end of this post.

As I've written before, I always learn so much in the classes that I teach.  I love to hear from my students and to answer their questions.  It was interesting to teach two classes because I realized how many different ways there are to say the same thing.  I taught the same patterns to each group but used different examples from my own life and art to answer questions or to share insights with the new tanglers.  Each class or tangling session is a new opportunity to see things in a new way.

I've had people take my beginner Zentangle® class at least six times.  Before you think that sounds boring, I assure you it isn't.  I try to mix up the content if I know someone is joining me for a repeat visit, but even if I taught the same exact patterns, there is always something new to learn.  Each class brings a new energy, different experiences, vibrant questions, and its own excitement.  My lesson is enhanced by what I feel from the audience.  This must be a bit like what rock stars feel on stage!  A tangler who is in a repeat class benefits from an entirely unique situation each and every time.

Teaching two classes immediately in a row with the same content showed just how different each class can be.  Both were wonderful, and it was great fun to see how each veered in different ways as topics came up or as questions were raised.  

Hmm, maybe this idea isn't true just for classes.  I will have to try to think about how I felt in these classes the next time I feel like I'm in some sort of a rut--with my art, my diet, or just the regularity of life.  If I try to find newness in the day or the task, maybe it won't seem dull or trite.  If I look at everything as a new opportunity, won't I more likely face it in a better mindset?

I'm always looking for ways to incorporate my Zentangle® philosophy into my life, and I'm constantly amazed by how easy it is to transfer my artistic experience into the rest of my days.  What a joy it is to have my life influence my art and to have my art influence my life.

Thank you to my students for giving me this great gift of flexibility, variety, and new points of view.  In exchange, I vow to keep offering fun, relaxing, and creative classes for you!  I think this is going to be a beautiful relationship.

Finding One's Way

A labyrinth can be defined as a maze or passages through which it's hard to find one's way.  It was easy to find my way walking the labyrinth at Kripalu, and it reminded me of the comfort of the Zentangle® method.  With each step of the path, I was invited to relax, breathe, meditate, be pensive, or enjoy the sounds of nature around me.  I had no expectations about where I was heading.  As the path wound around and in or out, I didn't worry about which way to go.  I trusted the path to guide me knowing that I could leave the path and return to the entrance at any time.  The labyrinth, like a string while tangling, gave me choices of staying inside or outside the lines.  There's something truly magical, comforting, and freeing in the simplicity of our Zentangle strings.  

It was a special moment to be able to feel that connection between art, nature, and the world around me while being physically grounded to the earth.  I was mesmerized by the tranquility I felt as I calmly paced the narrow path that many others had visited before me.  I felt a strong sense of community, kinship, and a collective heart as I followed the coil into the center and back out again.  

I highly recommend locating a meditation labyrinth or creating your own path for a unique experience.  Fortunately, we can meditate with a version of a labyrinth on each tile with a simple pencil line, a string.

Pattern Peeping: Featherfall

I spy with my little eye, a pattern that looks leafy.  

I found this cool leaf, and it reminded me of one of my favorite patterns, Featherfall.

This piece was created on a colored tile created by Sue Jacobs, CZT.  It was fun to play with colored pens and colored pencils on a different background even if the scan doesn't do the color justice.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tangle-A-Thon 2014!

It's almost time for the second Tangle-A-Thon fundraising event!  I hope you can join us this year for some more tangling for a good cause.  We will have a variety of projects, make-and-takes, food, prizes, and lots of fun.

Please visit the Tangle-A-Thon site to:

  • Learn more about the event.
  • To register to attend.
  • To donate in support of your fellow Zentangle® lovers.

Last year we raised $2,000 to support TeamWalk for CancerCare at Lowell General Hospital.  It was an honor to hold this fundraiser.  I enjoyed working with my friends and fellow CZTs to organize the event as well as to know that I could doing something to give back.  My life has changed thanks to the Zentangle Method, and I wanted to find a small way to share some of the benefits I have earned with others.  I hope we can raise even more to help out this year.
Emily Classon presenting a $2,000 donation to TeamWalk for CancerCare, 2013.