Sunday, April 20, 2014

Retreat to Paradise

I apologize, my posts have been a little sparse recently. March was a brain fog month and things that needed planning weren't gelling. I've been preoccupied with planning and now travelling.

Some time ago I was contacted by Jo-Ellen Mathews in Florida who had noticed that, in the class information on my blog, I wrote, “I’m willing to travel.” She wanted to know how far!

She invited me to give a day-long workshop at the Retreat to Paradise art and zentangle event in early April. She asked if I would focus on zentangle-inspired mandalas - two of my big loves, so that would be no problem. Of course I said “Yes!”
Travelling from snowy and blowy Saskatoon I was delighted by the southern veranda look of the white rocking chairs in parts of the Charlotte airport, and the bird-of-paradise carpets at the Melbourne airport. This part of Florida in April... truly paradise.
I was also thrilled with the view from my 3rd floor balcony. I left the door open slightly overnight so I could
hear the surf crashing. It was wonderful!
On Saturday I was to do three zentangle-inspired mandala projects with 26 wonderful and enthusiastic people. However, because of issues with humidity and drying time, we moved a watercolor preparation session for the Sunday class to Saturday, and I completed my session on Sunday.
My view from the instructors' desk. Yes, there were chocolates!
In my classes we started with a small, freehand mandala on a square tile (3.5"), then did a looped-string lotus (or star) on a zendala tile (4.5"), and finally a cut paper stencil mandala design (11"), progressing from small to larger and from directed to mostly free-choice.
On the left is our first project. This is Alice Hendon's re-do at home to see if she could remember how to do the middle. In the centre are many of the looped-string lotuses in which people were free to use color if they chose. And on the right is Holly Williams' completed cut-paper stencil mandala. All fabulous!
Teachers plus:
Meredith Yuhas, PhD and CZT taught on Friday and showed everyone how to draw a tangled garden and a tangled underwater scene.
Cherryl Moote, CZT and paper-worker extraordinaire, taught mainly on Sunday. She makes books and does origami and helped us make two books to tangle in.
Myself and Jo-Ellen Matthews, CZT, the very friendly, very organized, and very energetic planner of the event.
Teachers and organizers with the paparazzi. :)  I felt like a celebrity!
One of the little projects we did was to tangle a clam shell. Here's mine.
One evening we were treated to an wonderful concert by Holly Williams (who was attending the weekend) and her husband Tim Macomber. They play the hammered dulcimer and electric mandolin, respectively. The Celtic music was both lively and ethereal. You can hear a little of their music here. Yes, I bought a CD. I'll play it sometimes during my zentangle classes.
Jo-Ellen and her husband volunteer with the local sea turtle rescue group and
we artists tangled a surf board to be auctioned at a fund-raising event.

This seems to be a year for travel for me! At the end of April I'll be in Maine at Tangle U doing a three-hour session on Sacred Geometry and an hour of Hollibaugh on Steroids. In mid-June I'll be going to the 14th CZT training seminar in Rhode Island to do an evening about mandalas. My husband and I have planned an Alaska cruise in August, and will perhaps visit somewhere else in December. It's wonderful!


  1. Wow! You are one very busy lady! And I love all the work that you put out! Maybe you could give some thought to an online Mandala course or something, I'm so scared I never get the opportunity to meet you in person for a class and I would consider that a really great loss! (For me!). Just love the surfboard!

  2. Sounds like a great place for a Canadian to be for a weekend in winter! So jealous! I'd love to be your personal assistant this year, even without a wage, if it meant getting to travel wherever you went! It is my dream to go to Tangle U one year soon. Take care, safe travels and continue doing what you're doing!