On Myself

Above: illustrations by Debora Grace, a certified Zentangle teacher.

It's November and Halloween decor is giving way to Christmas lights. The holiday season is upon us and, COVID or not, it's getting pretty busy.

But holiday prep aside, life is hectic enough. I typically have morning, afternoon and evening English tutoring students sprinkled across my week, mostly Tuesday through Thursday. Art students , events, and other commitments are bookended around them and wedged in between. I try -- though I don't always succeed -- to start and end each day with meditation and some strokes of illustration or color on paper. This pours the living water into my soul and helps keep me going and motivated.

I started last week -- as I have the previous seven Mondays -- in my studio space leading students, artists, in the practice of a therapeutic art technique. The students lead and inspire as much as they follow.

I ended last week -- as I did the previous seven Fridays -- leading a student, an artist, in this therapeutic art technique, and also attended the last of the Detroit Fine Art Breakfast Club Artists Talks at Swords Into Plowshares in Detroit. In the middle of the week, I led a private party of seven women through a special meditation and illustration, in both cases using this same therapeutic technique.

This technique the Zentangle method founded by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts -- shown in all the photos of this edition -- is a gift that keeps on giving. I'm certified in it, and it never ceases to amaze me how much creativity it brings out in others, and how much focus and calm it brings to everyone.

This time of year, creative resourcefulness is high in demand and calm is at a premium. Tangling is an ideal solution.

Above: illustrations by Debora Grace, CZT.

So, how about you? Did you gather your holiday gifts throughout the year? That's what I like to do, as I come across things I see as a good fit for parents, hubby, and kids. Secret purchases sit patiently in a secret stash till December.

Or are you planning on Black Friday shopping? Lusting over specials and spending to cram like pie at a Thanksgiving feast? What's your most satisfying Black Friday experience? How about your craziest?

You certainly could do worse than poking around my store. And the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday after Thanksgiving, some of the items that have been in development -- the line of prints, jewelry and cards is way backed up -- or waiting in the wings to debut at ARTHAUS:Detroit, will surface. 

It's always a busy time here, balancing "day" work and "side" work, surviving and making, the everyday and dreams. That's what it takes. For now. 

In the coming week, there'll be a whole lot of tinkering going on, with holiday tasks heaped on top. And I'll be reaching for my pen and ink.

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