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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Family, Passion & Gratitude

​Over a year ago, we decided that our porch, where we spend most of our at-home time​, was in need of a bit of color. The outside door has a transom window above it that seemed ideal; not too big, not too small -- with the sun peeking through this south facing window all day long.

We have recounted the story of the Birth of Zentangle so often, that we wanted to memorialize that day, and thank the "angel" (?) whom, for lack of a better term, we credit for bringing it to us.

As we discussed this we realized we already have quite a few angels that have made their home here at 27 Prospect Street. We didn't realize how many as they arrived randomly from here and there, without fanfare, without ceremony.

There's one on the outside of the house, that I painted many years ago (a "putti") inspired by the Sistine Chapel ceiling (here seen watching another angel that visits often . . . "UPS Bob").


Verdigris cherubs watch over the opening between our living room and dining room.


There are etchings we purchased in Boston on a sidewalk sale near the Museum of Fine Arts.


One favorite, an old lithograph of beautifully colored cherubs with wings of butterflies, rather than feathers, called out to us.


And many other angel-inspired images have gathered in our home:




Rick and I designed this window with a friend who creates art in glass. His dad was a master stained glass designer and creator, and our friend grew up amidst this mastery. Coincidentally, his dad (recently passed away) was my teacher when I studied this art form (just enough to put glass in my kitchen windows) over 35 years ago.

We unveiled this window at our recent "Zentangle Christmas Party" (postponed for months by our abundance of snow!) Rick had rigged up spotlights outside. We called everyone together on the dimly lit porch and Rick, holding a dimmer switch behind his back, gradually turned on the lights.


We enjoyed sharing this unveiling with our family and friends we work with. It was the first time anyone else had seen it.

It looks nice in the day, too . . . even a cold, gray day!


There are all kinds of details that make this window personal, take your time to enlarge it and enjoy the bluest blues, the ochre-y wings and the tangly bits here and there . . . the symbolism and the craftsmanship.


What do you see in it?

Let us know in the comments and we'll forward a print (or two) of this image above to some randomly chosen commenters.

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We will announce the winners randomly chosen from our previous blog and this one in our next blog.

Click images for larger views!

76 comments:

Sue Sharp said...

What a beautiful stained glass artwork, and so personalized! Truly captivating!

A Shehdan said...

Absolutely lovely! Love the subtle Zentangle accents!

Judy Maurer said...

I love the blues in this work. So striking! Wish I could see it in the light.

Cathie DeChellis said...

A magnificent Angel amidst the Tangles! Our world needs to Bee Family, Bee Gratitude, Bee Passion. Thank you for sharing !

Jane Menard said...

I see everlasting joy. it's beautiful.

Chrissie Frampton said...

This is such a wonderful idea and so personal to you and your home.

Sandhya Manne said...

Beautiful!!... love the bright cheerful colors...and the touch of tangles make sit perfect!!

Dianne said...

I am intrigued by how the artist included tangles within the glass.

Jane A said...

I love the book of "Z" and the way the Crescent Moon pattern fades into the blue in the corner...lovely!!!

Maureen Stott said...

What beautiful work of art! I loved so much about it. The colors, the "surprises," i.e., the little bee, butterfly wings, tangles and tiles, monogram, the angle writing, the words: Family, Gratitude and Passion. What an inspiration. I'm sure that the light through the window will bathe you in feelings that will contribute to your life. Thank you for sharing it!

Zentangle said...

Our friend, Stephen, used an old glass technique that involves ground bits of glass that he painted onto the colored glass, then fused (melted) it . It has a lovely texture that surprised even us! We love the honey comb pattern Stephen added in near the honey bee, that was a thrill for us to discover,especially for Rick, as he is a bee keeper, with all the respect and love he has for his "girls".

Mary Reich said...

The folds in the robe are gorgeous in glass. I also like Maria's quill calligraphy pen!

Jean VanSullen said...

Beautiful to look at and relax. Also fun to enlarge and find Zentangles. Love the book with the "Z" on it too. You should be so proud to bring Zentangle to so many of us.

Phyllis C said...

I first noticed the butterfly wings and when I enlarged the picture they are even more beautiful. When enlarged I could see the subtle zentangle designs and the bee. It is awesome !!!!! ) :) :)

Cindy Bowles said...

As a lettering artist myself and now a CZT I can see how this image is just perfect for you! If I'm the lucky recipient of a copy of this, I would treasure it!
I'm so curious as to how the tangles were added. Did you do them after the window was done or on the glass before it was assembled?

Thelma Wickwere said...

The more I look at the enlarged photo, the more I find to admire. The image is very spiritual and soothing to me. What a wonderful addition to your home! I'm sure it will bless all who enter or leave. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourselves with us.

Nanette said...

This is beautiful!!! I keep going back to it to look just so I can see something new I didn't discover the last time I looked at it. It's just lovely there above the door, day or night. Thank you for the opportunity to win the special print.

Helen Stevens said...

I love how the zentangles are incorporated. I also love the bee and honeycomb. I love butterflies so I love the wings. I also love the Z book. You and the stained glass artist are so talented!

Stella Peters-Hessels said...

Being a "fan" of angels, you could not make me happier than to share this glass artwork. Thank you so much. The beautiful bright colors Angel can daily heat your house every day.Enjoy it!

Lynda H said...

I think you two are earth angles. Just look at how many lives you have impacted, changed, inspired, helped up with a willing hand. Yup you are very special people. Can't thank you enough.

Pat Floerke said...

The fabric of the robe moves and flows with such grace, just like zentangles.

Katie C said...

This is so amazing when looking at it larger and close up! The subtle tangles are divine -- hollibaugh, crescent moon, flux -- as are the feather quill pen, the book the angel is holding (with a Z!)!
I can never believe the phrase "The devil is in the details," because in my experience, I've found the opposite. To me, it's "the DIVINE is in the details!" I love how you honor the angels. Angels are an important element of life to me, and when listening to you present in CZT 15, it was clear to me how the art of Zentangle was divinely inspired. You and your family are genuine and giving. You are the caretakers of this art.
I'm getting gushy now... hahah!
All the best,
Katie Crommett, CZT 15

Jean Kearse said...

A quote that I dearly love is:
"Every blade of grass has an angel which bends over it saying, 'Grow, Grow, Grow.'"
Your home has many angels which encourage and inspire your creative and generous hearts. May these messengers fill you with their spirit and presence as you continue your healing journey.
Thank you.
Jean M. Kearse
Rochester, NY

Peg said...

Oh, I want one!!! I think my favorite parts are the two small segments on the angel's left wing, just to the right of the word "Passion", and Maria's beautiful lettering. Those two small parts are such a magical mix of blues and purple-ish, pink-ish celestial hues! I am not blessed to have a stained-glass artist as a friend, but if I did..... Beautiful, well done!

grammy said...

Beautiful work and I'm sure when the sun comes in color dances all over.

Marilyn said...

Absolutely gorgeous! A treasure!

Aleesha Sattva said...

I love Zentangle patterns in the corners. The cornerstones of Zentangle itself. Beautiful choices!

Antonine Koval said...

What an extraordinary tribute to your lives and to the spiritual connection Zentangle can bring to all our lives.

Robin Pichelmayer said...

Beautiful!

Maxine said...

This window depicts so many of the core elements of artists. to Bee inspired, combine our passion with the time honored role of teaching. The glass artists work here is extraordinary! Each piece chosen and manipulated with such great care. It is being the beauty that we wish to behold in life.

1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More said...

What a Beautiful piece of art work for your home. I love all the little details that personalize it for you two. The tangles in glass are masterful! How exciting to see what can be done! What a treat that you shared this with us. Thank you.
Kate Ahrens CZT IX

Mickey said...

Well thought out design and beautifully crafted. Truly one-of-a-kind piece of art that depicts a grand part of your life.

Janet said...

This is a beautiful work of art. The feather quill is no doubt a tribute to Maria's calligraphy work, Dragon's Ink. The bee is a nice touch and of course Hollibaugh and Crescent Moon had to be included. What a lovely tribute to the Zentangle family you have created.

Carmen G. Burgos CZT9 said...

Simply beautiful! I love Angels...keep them in different places around my home.

Donna Cyr said...

Because my Dad died when I was three, I always felt the presence of an angel in my life. To share this beautiful stained glass angel and the other Angels in your lives is very special. Thank you for sharing the magic of Zentangle Angels with all of us. Very special art and stories.

Wendy said...

Absolutely beautiful! I see LOVE

Linda Fine said...

Amazing! The tangles in the red corners that blend into some of the blue background are wonderful! The words on the banner, "family, gratitude, passion," all encompass what Zentangle means to me and I'm sure to many others! I feel like I now belong to a larger Zentangle "family!" I have so much "gratitude" to you, Rick and Maria, for creating such a beautiful art form! The "passion" that I have for tangling will last a lifetime! Thank you for sharing this Zentangle angel with us all!

Lisa Lehman said...

I love this blending of so many things together! The tangles you chose that represent each of you, the bee, the lettering, the colors! What a beautiful piece of art to adorn your home and welcome others. May you enjoy it in good health for many years to come!

linesbylynn said...

What a treasure - everywhere you look is a new gem to discover! I love all the ties to you and to Zentangle ! What a priceless piece of art!!!

Sue Leslie said...

What a captivating and novel way to express your creativity and passion in life. Very well done.

Lynn said...

It was fun to pick out the Zentangles in the stained glass along with the bee and the "Z" book. The artist was very clever.

Cindy Hernandez CZT 12 said...

Oh,I love the window! The glorious colors and the perfect symbolism in the tangles you selected. The glass technique to produce those details is amazing! I really enjoy how the angels butterfly wings reflect the old lithograph you shared. And beeing a bee keeper myself (I too love my girls) I especially loved the busy little bee. I hope your girls made it through the winter. Mine are already very very busy out here in Oregon.

Jeannette Bisbee said...

I love how the in the last active second of this beautiful window....the Angel is drawing the word FAMILY....for from that divine and precious gift all joy, all bounty, all creativity, all the sweetness of life has come forth for not only the both of you.....but the wider world of Tanglers....and so many others who were hungry for fun, and color, and the magic of 'one stroke at a time'. Lovely to see a home and two lifetimes filled with so much sacred energy.....Bless you, always, for sharing it with all of us!

Kat van Rooyen said...

I am going to the #20 CZT Seminar and I'm beside myself! In fact, when I saw this window and began to study it (Wow! So much within!) i began to shed tears. I call them Spirit tears which are good and divine. Magnificent! I can be blessed as a recipient but if not perhaps you'll make postcards of it.

Anne's tangle blog said...

Thanks for sharing all these beautiful angles with us!!! The white wing is one that keeps me coming back to look at it.
I find myself finding angels (and sometimes buy them) nowadays.
And then your stained window; it's breathtaking. I do love the wings sooo very much.

Celia said...

Love it! I love the way the tangles fade away into solid cover. So many hidden things the more you look. And I love the bee!

Hanneke said...

I don't usually comment, just admire -and this is a lovely stained glass window with great detailing -intrigued by the idea of spending time in the porch -is a porch different in America -there must be a whole cultural thing we are missing......

Zentangle said...

Hanneke,

We have an old (1800's) Victorian Home with a typical porch for that type of house: a roundish shaped (actually was 7- sided, quite large, with great columns holding up the roof. A couple years ago we decided to make it an all season room, adding great big windows and glass doors. So now it is basically another room in our home but with all the light of being outdoors. We can see out in all four directions, enjoying the sun and the moon, too.

Zentangle said...

Anne,

The white wing is a beautiful piece done by a friend of mine, now passed away, carved in marble. It is about 20" wide and it turns (pivots) on its stand. It was one of those emotional purchases, made when I had no right to, but never regretted. It sits high up in our living room on a tall curio cabinet, up high where wings belong.

Ginny Stiles said...

I truly have never seen anything quite like it.
Zentangle means a great deal to many many people.
The longer I am involved in "spreading" it out the more I can see what it can do and mean. The glass reminds everyone of how Zentangle is more than just patterns. It also reflects the two lovely people that started the Zentangle movement! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The window is splendid. One thing I saw above the P in the word Passion is a small peace symbol. Bless you & those you love. meemaw, Hamburg Pa.

Hanneke said...

It sounds lovely Zentangle! -More like a conservatory then....a seven sided room sounds so exciting. Thanks for all the inspiration, would love you to come to the UK to give a course!

marilyn miller said...

So graceful, so meaningful, so loving!

Natalie Kessler said...

I love the butterfly wings. Your photos are always a visual delight, and how fun to meet UPS Bob.

Natalie Kessler said...

I love the butterfly wings. Your photos are always a visual delight, and how fun to meet UPS Bob.

Kimberly Dragone Barcello said...

I see much beauty and love in this wonderful peace.....er piece!

Maureen said...

It's a glorious window "into" your art form. I love that there are hand painted glass pieces to add some extra "zen" and the bee adds another miracle!

Susie said...

I love all the calming shades of blue invoking the sky, along with the myriad of beautiful wing colors. I. too, love adding inspiring words in artwork and love the uplifting the words add to this beautiful piece.

Lucy said...

Glad to be watched over by this bold and bright angel. I look forward to what she's going to reveal from the Z book she's holding in the years ahead! Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Zentangle has become, and continues to be an intrinsic, multi-faceted, living thing to me, yet, hard to explain, I didn't know it before you showed it, every new thing becomes an aha! The secret that isn't one as each thing is revealed. I appreciate all that you do, and this delightful journey very much. Thank you for your latest.

Quwatha Valentine said...

I love the stained glass angel. I enlarged it so I could look more closely.

But what I really want to know is, did you climb a ladder to paint the cherub on the outside of your house?

Zentangle said...

No, the angel was painted on a triangular piece of plywood, with 5 coats of urethane on it afterwards. It lasted about 25 years, then we sanded it and varnished it once again and put it back up.

Was originally made for Christmas decoration, but we never took it down.

M

Judy Holzschuh said...

Rick and Maria, you are angels who have helped many of us open artistic wings we never knew we had. All your angels must feel right at home! Judy Holzschuh

gobarb26 said...

So very beautiful and impressive. I love all of the detail that I was able to see, once I enlarged the pic. So relaxing, just like Zentangle itself. They both seem to take on a life of their own! I was teaching at a gallery school that was organized by a woman who was very intrigued by Zentangle art. She does fused glass and did a piece that won all sorts of prizes, nationwide. It really doesn't compare to this amazing work of art! TFS...
Barb B. CZT

Julie Tamanaco said...

Hi Z-gang! Thank you for sharing this with us! What a beautiful addition to such a unique home. I especially love the honeycomb and how crescent moon and Hollibaugh escape their quadrants! Staind glass seems like a dying art so it is so nice to see such an amazing piece created.
Love and Light
Julie Tamanaco

Mosaic Magpie said...

From the stunning colors to the tiny details...what a beautiful work of heART.
Deb

Maryll Diefenderfer said...

Thank you for blessing us with this uplifting and inspirational image. I will look at it often and I'm sure I will see something new and wonderful every time I do.

Anonymous said...

A truly inspiring image. So peaceful, and the proportions of the figure and background show so much thought and harmony in the overall effect. It must be so jewel-like in person. May it ever shine love into your home and hearts.

Melissa Cahn
CZT 6
mwcahn@ptd.net

karin said...

3 crosses-forgiveness, angel reaching down from heaven to help someone in need, Jesus riding on a donkey to city of Jerusalem, angel in snow like we made when we were still little, venus-fly trap,eenies hollibaugh,fly on a wall,peace, love, protection, serenity, kitty cats, clouds,ducks,frog,sanddollar,lace, hearts paintbrush dove 1o zentangles,little critter, stepping stones river rocks, riverbed quillpen,book with z, marie, Rick snail, ruby friends art this is a blessing very beautiful wish I could turn it upside down then see what I could see.In God's healing grace

Yvonne Westover said...

Family, passion and gratitude is how I feel about Zentangle!! The beauty of your creativity is exemplified in this beautiful window from the Flux, crescent moon, Hollibough and paradox in the corners to the feather quill and Zenthology in the Angels hand. You have designed a truly fitting welcome to your home!!

Char Weiser Pamplin said...

It is lovely that the window is above a doorway so that it may be enjoyed coming and going- from within and from without.

luvhymns said...

I see your tangles in the corners and the bee captivated my eye but the darker blue down from the robe tie, is a ship. I clicked on the stain glass up close and see that it may look like a darker blob to most but when I click back to article, I see the ship. Old English or Spanish ship. ")

Amy L. Smith said...

The angels with butterfly wings is my favorite... so precious!

Amy L. Smith said...

In the window above the door I see so many tangles. I was actually looking for Bijou; is he/she there??!

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Christine Garrott, CZT16 said...

It is said that, during the course of one's life, many angels cross your path...some stay to walk with you just a short time, providing healing, strength, and grace just at the right time, while others become your companions, sharing both the joys and the sorrows, and always extending the hand of hope. I believe that Rick and Maria, and through them, Zentangle, are part of that cadre of lifelong angels for me. How appropriate that they share this beautiful representation of that energy with us.
Namaste, Christine