Friday, June 27, 2014

On Beyond Providence

I just returned from Providence, Rhode Island where I spent four glorious and amazing days participating in the 15th Zentangle Teacher Training Program given by the founders of Zentangle, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. I have been an avid practitioner of Zentangle for about two years, and I am now a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT).

To quote Rick and Maria, "The Zentangle Method [of drawing] is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns." Here is an example of a Zentangle tile that I drew just this morning:

This Zentangle features about eight structured patterns that I put together to create a completely new and original piece of art. I learned how to draw the patterns from Rick and Maria and many other artists in the Zentangle community, but the decisions I made regarding choice and placement of patterns were my own.

Rick, Maria, and Molly, their daughter, guided 110 of us through multiple mini-sessions that spanned the four days of the seminar. They are excellent teachers -- passionate, devoted to their craft, kind, focused, clear, and heart-centered. I feel fortunate to have found this approach to creating non-representational art and to be a part of this intriguing community of creative spirits. Since discovering their website and connecting with many people on the Internet who are into this artform, I have taken ownership of a new aspect of my identity, namely artist. I am an ESL teacher by profession, and when the semester is in full swing, life gets very busy. Still, using this approach to creating art, I am able to produce finished pieces that allow me to express non-verbal elements of thought and feeling.

In celebration of my new certification, I am beginning this blog for the purpose of exploring and sharing the effects of practicing Zentangle on my life as a teacher, writer, family member, and friend. I look forward to this journey and hope that some of what I share will give you food for thought as you navigate the twists and turns of your own path.