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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Importance of Workspace

"There's got to be a place where I can work alone!" I've heard this from artist and author friends so many times that I've lost count. But... It's true! Whether you're a knitter, crafter, painter, writer, or simply a creative person with more ideas than space to work and store your supplies, you need a space to work in. A space you can call your own. Not the kitchen table, or the living room sofa, or a corner of the den, but a place to go that's all yours, with a door or curtain that you can draw and hang a sign saying  "WORKING! DO NOT DISTURB" and mean it.
As my children moved out on their own, I changed their rooms into work spaces. At the time, we lived in a small home that was filled by the four of us and left little space for my creative efforts. Yes, I did use the kitchen table, yes I stored my supplies in a box under the bed, and no, I didn't have a precious studio. It was a nightmare, for certain! My son, the elder of the two children, was the first to find his wings and fly off to independence. His room immediately became my studio. It wasn't a large room, but it gave me a private place to work, one where I could close myself away and hunker down to create my masterpieces.
Later on, we moved into a larger home and with no children living with us, I had the extra space to myself and opened a studio where I taught classes. Those lovely shelves were filled to the brim with art supplies, paper, surfaces and the like. I was in my glory. As time went on and we moved into another home, there was a one room guest house in the back yard that I turned into a studio. My students came with me to keep painting, playing and having fun in classes. As time went on and interest in decorative painting lessons declined, the cost of keeping the studio open became prohibitive. After all, income must be enough to cover costs, right?
Still, I wanted my own space to work after I closed the guest house up and discontinued studio classes, so I moved into a small room in the main house. It took some time for me to figure out how to fit all that stuff from a 500 ft. square building into a 110 square foot den. I had shelves, book cases, cabinets, and a 6' table to accommodate. Yikes! I finally got things under control, and found that the space I have may be smaller, but cozier. The one issue I have is the coziness keeps me from being a slob, a messy slob. If my space starts to become smaller because I have too much clutter hemming me in, I realize I have to clean the area. Aargh!
My point being, a place of your own is as important as having a bathroom. Literally. While you need that place, you also need a place to create, because creating is an essential part of who you are and what makes you tick.



On that note, I'd like to share a few Zentangle pages from my latest book, Zentangle By the Sea and also the cover of my new upcoming book Heart Strings, an interactive Zentangle and coloring book.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

For the Fun of it All

After cleaning under the studio counter, I came across this marvelous surface that a friend had gotten from Wood Items and More, a craft shop in the nearby town of Greenville, RI. The surface was given to me to see what I would come up with. Not one to back down from a challenge, I considered the piece, tucked it away and now I'm facing the possibilities of painting and tangling a design on it.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you tucked a surface away and then forgotten you had it? What was your reaction to finding the piece? Surprise? Pleasure at having found it again? Did you get busy with a project design? Did a design come to mind immediately?

As with so many artisans, I tend to buy more blank surfaces than I might ever use. They get packed, or stacked, and then when I'm desperate to paint on something other than a canvas or on watercolor paper, I start searching to find what I've stashed away. Let's face it, most crafters/artisans have a stash. Huge or small, it's part of our being, a need we have to keep owning wondrous supplies, no matter what they are. The same applies to the media we work with, whether it be pen & ink, paint, charcoal, gouache, etc.

This particular piece is destined for daisies, sunflowers, or just tangled leaves. I haven't quite decided yet. What do you think would be the perfect design? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.

I'll be back next week with a picture of what has become of this interesting surface.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Art of Creativity

A creative class held at Bella Art, in Johnston, RI, yesterday was completely different from what I generally partake of. The travel teacher, who works in conjunction with Sizzix, (www.Sizzix.com),  taught the group how to make a book using odds and ends and fun things hanging around. Bits and bobs, if you will.

In an effort to make mine just a bit different, I added Zentangle and printed words to the project pages. This goes to show how much tangling has affected my life. I include it everywhere I can, from my shoes, to purses, wallets, t-shirts, pajamas, and I even carry a small journal with me everywhere I go.

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer last November, the news threw us into a whirlwind of activity that gripped us like a blast of freezing north wind. So far, it hasn't let go and frankly, we're sick of the ride and would like to get off, please. However, that's not possible, so we've hunkered down, taken a good long look at what's important to our family and moved on from there. We have a great deal of support from family and friends, even people we don't know have reached out to all of us. It's heart warming, to say the least. But... my point here is, that Zentangle has brought me peace in the midst of chaos, it has helped calm my worries, soothed my soul, and it's added a bright spot to the dark place I found myself in.

While Zentangle isn't a be all - do all that cures every aspect of angst or what might be going on in life, it sure does have a positive effect, and for that I'm grateful.

The next time you're stressed, tangle for a bit, you'll find it helps!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 2 of Countdown to Christmas

I count my blessing daily and at the oddest times. Here are my 5 blessings for today:

1. I have a loving, caring family.
2. I'm blessed to be an American woman with rights.
3. I am healthy.
4. I have great friends.
5. I'm blessed to live in a beautiful place.

What are your 5 blessings for today?

Two tangling books will be shipped to someone who shares their 5 blessings with me today.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

Wally the Swamprat has won a pair of tangled earrings for her comment this week. (I'll need your address, Wally. Email me at authorgriff@aol.com   8>)

As we near the Big Day of December 25th, I will host a countdown featuring a free gift for your comments for that day, so check back daily to see what I have in store for you.

Today is the 1st of the five countdown days. I'm offering a Tangling book to someone who shares their Best Christmas Memory Ever. Each of our holiday memories are exceptional to us, I enjoy reading what made the day special for you. So...share, go ahead.

Here's the book you'll receive:

You can visit the Amazon page for more info on this book at




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winners Posted

So...I forgot to post the winners, but thought that I'd better do so now to avoid any further confusion.

Here goes:

Cat Wilson; Ellen; LadyFidza; Wanphai Nongrum; Mia Burke; Robin Johnston; Karen B.; Lois Heinani Stokes; Barb of the Tangles; City Myers; The Fluffy Chicks; Mich; Majka; Lynne; Nancy Roth; Sherri.

Please email your address to me at Pluckypainter@aol.com or send me a message on FB. This way I can send the pins out immediately. Thanks.

Enjoy!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here We Go Again...

     It's that time again...this time win a pair of tangled earrings. This photo is relative, but not exactly what you'll get if your one of the first 25 people to leave a comment about your favorite Christmas (or holiday) gift you've gotten. I know we're a mixed bag of religions, so choose your religious holiday (Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christian,  etc.) and share your greatest gift ever received for that day.
     I can't begin to express how much fun I'm having with these give-aways. I enjoy reading your comments and seeing where you're all located. The world is growing smaller, thanks to technology.
     If you wish to visit a site of one of my books on Amazon and click the like button, please feel free to do so using this link http://tinyurl.com/bfxfgfl


     Here are the earrings I've tangled. Simple, yet fun and different. So comment by Saturday, December 22nd to win.

     Thanks and have a merry, merry....
                                                                       Jeanne