Sunday, November 28, 2010

Close to the Holiday Weekend

Ah, the traditional Thanksgiving holiday draws to a close, we spent our holiday as I believe it was meant to be celebrated -- quiet and treasured time with each other and family. My 82 year mother decided she wanted to cook the Thanksgiving meal this year so I accepted. We (Verlin and myself) showed up, brought the pies, helped put the finishing touches on the meal to get it on the table and sat and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon together visiting, eating and doing dishes :) This is the first time since my dad passed away about 6 years ago that my mother has cooked this holiday meal, it was good to see her do ok and seem to enjoy the event.

I realize it has been a while since I last posted and have been doing some introspection on my progress as a zentangle teacher and as an artist at large (or small or medium). As to things regarding zentangle; am progressing slowly with the business building efforts, I had the good fortune to teach a group of 18, 7th grade students at a middle school in the North Canton, OH area a few weeks ago and got paid! The class went really well and the students (and teachers) really seemed to enjoy the process.

Teaching zentangle is an experience that brings great personal pleasure, it seems age does not matter when it comes to the amazement factor at the completion of a tile. At first, these kids were a bit skeptical of what was going to be taught, but as the tile progressed, they became more engrossed in what was happening. When they were finished we assembled all their tiles on a front table to share, then the magic began. They were so animated; the sharing among them was surprising to me. The surprise to the teachers was how quite they had been after the 2nd tangle and how eager they were to share and begin another tile.

The teacher asked me to show the students how to create a group zentangle as this group of students is responsible for creating the class yearbook cover. So, I introduced the concept of a group ensemble -- they were very eager to get started filling in their 6”x6” tile once they saw how all the tiles would fit together as a completed project. The ideas of how to place and arrange the finished project just began to roll out of their mouths in a choir of untamed creativity. This was a great lesson in self-confidence & fun for me. I'm hopeful they will invite me back. The teacher sent me a link to the class website; here it is if you are interested in having look:

The best thing about this teaching adventure is it renewed my interest and confidence for developing zentangle as a viable teaching method for income. It also gave me a new view of myself as a teacher and artist. I have begun to seriously get organized and am in the process of creating a lesson plan approach for other academic situations. This lesson portfolio will be used to explain the how and what is taught in a zentangle class/workshop or class series, the progression of a class, and the finished tiles or projects. The lesson portfolio is a scrapbook album, it is turning out quite well if I do say so myself. Verlin and I have brainstormed venue ideas. I seem to have arrived at several places to approach after the Christmas break.

After of our brainstorming session, the decision was made to handle the progression of teaching in venues for self-development and later creating a program to venture into the professional development for accredited CEU areas, this later I've discovered will take a bit more work than originally anticipated. As I write this, it sounds like quite an ambitious goal but, I hope to get this accomplished in my lifetime :)

Also, creating large zentangle inspired gifts for Christmas presents has been on the fore of projects over the last few weeks. These are great fun and the finished products have even impressed me. I hope post pictures of these items. It just occured to me to started to think of taking pictures of the in progress stages instead of just finished projects. The progression thing is really interesting.

I feel a bit addicted to the zentangle art process at the moment, this is probably better than the continual eating of leftovers I’ve been into since Thursday.

Well, enough for now – am off to get my holiday weekend and laundry finished up before heading back to the work week.