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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Whose Muse is Whose?

This week, Laura Harms, CZT celebrates her fifth year publishing her iamthedivaCZT blog!

Congratulations, Laura, and thank you for collecting so many "muses" together in one place to inspire us and all who visit and contribute to your blog!

This week's challenge is to create a tile combining diva dance and auraknot.

Here's ours:

Maria writes:

​I have spoken before that I have been an artist since about the age of 5.

But what made me have to be an artist? Why was I so focused at such an early age?

Well, I actually know what it was, or should I say who it was.

When I was really little, (I am #6 of 7 children) I would hang around my with Mom while she was tidying up her bedroom in the mornings, talking to her as she so carefully made her and my Dad's bed.​ As usual I sat or rolled around on the floor, gazing at ceilings or marveling at the different perspectives of things, and one morning, I spotted something under her bed. I carefully slid it out, and asked my mom what it was.

There before me was a framed "something or other" that, at the time, I had no word for. My mom joined me, kneeling beside me and wiped the dust away ever so carefully, and explained to me what it was. "Ma tante Alice" ( "my aunt" in French) made this for "Memere and Pepere" (her mother and father's) 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1952. She explained that it was a story that her sister had written (in both senses of the word) to give to her parents as a gift.

I could not read at the time nor did I know much French. But it was not what it said, but how it looked, that fascinated me. Letters going in all directions, beautiful swirls and decorations around the letters, gold and red accents, cut paper borders and fancy corners . . . I was in LOVE!

After that, I would visit this masterpiece often, studying the tiniest details, following the margins, counting the stanzas, admiring the concept of writing beautifully. At that time, I only learned how to write properly . . . not beautifully. This was another world, and I wanted to go there.

From then on, most of my art included letters of some sort. My idea of fancy and beautiful morphed over time, but my passion never ceased. I studied mostly on my own, having taken a few classes with Michael Sull, a penman from Kansas.

My Aunt Alice, was actually called "Sister Maria Fidelis," a Presentation of Mary nun. None of us knew her as anything but a nun. She was always "Aunt Alice the nun" because we had another aunt named Alice who was not a nun (but, this is too funny, as I had not really thought about it in a long time, but this other Aunt Alice actually once had been a nun, then came out of the order, and at the age of 40, married my uncle and proceeded to have four children! Really! You couldn't make this up . . . but I digress . . . )

Not only did "ma tante Alice the nun" give me my name (another story!), she was my "MUSE."

A "muse," according to the dictionaries on this computer, was originally a female who inspired creativity. I am guessing maybe, way back then, women could inspire, but not create(?). Muse eventually became more generally "the source of an artist's inspiration," "creative influence" or "stimulus."

Eventually, after my parents passed, and the "family treasures" were distributed among us, I chose to take this piece home with me. It hangs in my studio as a constant reminder of where I came from.

So, what has this got to do with all of you?

The piece of art that inspired me was not the work of an Old Master. It was not the work of a professional artist, or a world renowned calligrapher. It was a simple, humble, work done with limited materials and expertise, but with unlimited love and passion. In an antique bazaar, someone might purchase it only for the frame, but this piece directed the course of my life.

What role of "muse" might your Zentangle creations play for others whose urge to create is yearning to be sparked, but who may think they are not artists? How might your work change the lives of people you will never meet . . . a chance glance over your shoulder in a restaurant . . . a sighting in a friend of a friend's home . . . a five-year-old's first vision of a tangle . . . ?

You have no idea where or how you will influence the lives of others. You do not have to wait for some predefined level of accomplishment for your creativity to have an impact. You do not have to create like daVinci, or Picasso, or Rembrandt to make a difference. (And even if you could, wouldn't that be more like copying instead of creating? Only you can create like you can create!) And when your creation is out there, there's no way to predict when and where it will strike that chord in someone that will resonate throughout his or her life.

So as we begin this new year, don't wait . . . Create!


Dear tanglers, who was your "muse"?

Please tell us a little about them.

We will choose a few commenters at random and send them a piece of my lettering and tangles because, well, I still LOVE to write. Just for the pleasure of it all. 

Oh yes, the winners chosen from commenters on our twelfth "12 Days of Christmas" blog post, are:
  • Dana Jones
  • bobbi j.
  • patsy

Congratulations! Winners, please send your snail mail address to Zentangle (at) gmail (dot) com.

With all best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Rick, Maria, and all of us at Zentangle HQ!


Stephanie Jennifer said...

I'd say that my muse is my "other self"... A personification of my creativity, almost. Like an inner voice that bounces ideas in my head. The muse draws its inspiration from other artists that inspire me; conversations I have with others; from the things I see; the experiences I have; the love I feel from the people around me. So my muse is me, but it's voice is made up of everyone around me.

I also have the more classical version of how the art world thinks of the muse- as the artist's partner. The person that I'm in love with in that point in time will usually be a large driving force behind my creativity. :)

Onefineteacher said...

My muse has been the world around me! I try to really look at the details of buildings and decorative artwork that I see. When I slow down and appreciate what I am seeing, then the muse appears! Thanks for your beautiful work, as usual! Happy New Year!

Anne's tangle blog said...

My best friend Gerla absolutely is my 'muse'. She always inspired me to draw by doing that herself (in my opinion she is a wonderful artist), but my frustration was that I couldn't. Then one day I came to visit her and she said: "Now I found something really for you" and showed me her Zentangle kit that had just arrived by mail.
The next day I ordered mine and ..... never stopped tangling since.

LynnK said...

My muse is my Mother - she loves to create wherever she is and at anytime. She's not afraid to experiment and try new things. She always carries a journal, pencils, and a camera with her. When on vacations or road trips, as a child, she would have Dad take the back roads and would yell randomly for him to stop, so she could take a photo or draw a quick sketch of something that inspired her. I love her creative energy and strive to see with an artist's eye as she does. She is a great encouragement to me, as well as, an inspiration!

LynnK said...

My muse is my Mother - she loves to create wherever she is and at anytime. She's not afraid to experiment and try new things. She always carries a journal, pencils, and a camera with her. When on vacations or road trips, as a child, she would have Dad take the back roads and would yell randomly for him to stop, so she could take a photo or draw a quick sketch of something that inspired her. I love her creative energy and strive to see with an artist's eye as she does. She is a great encouragement to me, as well as, an inspiration!

The Creative Miss L said...

My muse is my English teacher from my last two years of school. Mrs Ireland inspired her students to look beyond the ordinary and to tackle the world head on. She encouraged us to see that anything was possible. I model my teaching style on her (I'm now in my 10th year of teaching, teaching is my 4th career). I too seek to inspire my students to challenge perceptions of themselves and to have the courage to explore the world. I'm still learning and still pushing those boundaries. Thanks Mrs Ireland.

Molly said...

My mother is my "muse". She taught me from a very early age that creativity extends far beyond my pen and paper. She taught me passion fuels and inspires confidence. She showed me that I can be and go beyond what I know. She showed me to be creative in all that I do, and in result all that I do becomes less of a chore but rather just another medium I work in. From cooking dinner to doing the dishes, writing a grocery list, or waiting tables. If you can artfully look at all that life offers, your perspectives change and you suddenly see life as a work of art, an ever changing masterpeace.

Sue Sharp said...

This so exquisitely beautiful! I can't say that I had one "muse" at least in the creative field. My father dabbled in pastels and ink drawings, my mom played the piano, and taught me to sew, there have been numerous other encouraging people… but I never really considered myself capable of creating original art… until Zentangle. So now my Muses are many - Rick, Maria and Molly; other teachers I have had the opportunity to personally learn from and been encouraged by at CanTangle and Camerida and in Elora; and maybe mostly, those wonderful people who share and encourage through social media, some I've met, many I may never meet.

Ginny Stiles said...

My muse was my father.
He was an architect and in the "olden days" of my youth that meant blue prints and little models of buildings. In those days (with no computers) he had to construct 3D models of churches and libraries and homes so people could visualize the building to come. But he also loved art and in his youth did sculpture. I once watched him do a watercolor of a small vacation home while I stood beside him. It was a life changing moment for a 12 year old girl. And it changed the direction of my life forever. I'd give anything to have that painting now but it was lost to time. But it lives on in my memory.

Karen said...

What a beautiful story Maria. I never thought about the fact that I could secretly be someone's muse. But I do hope I inspire others, simply because I wasn't an artist before I met Zentangle, and now I am an artist and a teacher! So who is my muse? The Zentangle community. All the CZTs I have gotten to know and love. The support system we give each other is something I have only ever felt in my old church community. Molly H really inspires me, so much. Her tiles and ideas are often the string that launches me into action. Square One: purely Zentangle is also a source of inspiration for me, so I will add Chris Chris Titus to my muse list. Kat took me by the virtual hand when you released aquafluer and walked me through my stuckness and THEN encouraged me to go to CZT school. You and Rick are my muses, daily. I can't believe I went from where I was to where I am now, because of my Zentangle community. Thank you for that. (Will copy and paste this onto the blog post when I get on the computer). Thanks for the deep thoughts first thing in the morning!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. My earliest muse was quite simple. It was sunlight coming through color. Although I don't remember the first experience, my earliest creations were watercolor paint on tracing paper that was then taped to sunny windows and food coloring added to clear empty bottles which then filled every sunny windowsill. Looking back, my Mom was incredibly patient!

These days i still paint with watercolor, adore translucent glass, and get intoxicated by the way sunlight infuses plants when in Florida or tropical places.


Phyllis C said...

I loved reading the story about your muse. I had never thought about it in that way. I grew up with my mother painting and doing "chalk talks" at church. Someone would tell a bible story while she drew the picture in chalk. My brothers and I grew up around the art she did. We soon developed our own style of art but I have continued in arts and crafts all my life. So my muse was my mother.

Unknown said...

My muses were 2 of my dad's sisters. Mary was 20 years older,could not read or write but crocheted beautiful flowers in doilies and blankets. Veronica was a year younger than my dad and she sewed at the mill. Eventually she made my wedding dress. it was the making of things from threads that got me into anything crafty.

Unknown said...

I have recently discovered? uncovered? recovered? that my muse was probably my Brownie Scout leader. She taught a bunch of second grade girls to knit, which I have translated into
- respect and enthusiasm for the intelligence, ability, and patience of children
- learning (and teaching) new skills
- the joy of creating
- self-confidence and self-respect
And much, much more!

Fantasticcolor said...

I enjoyed reading about the influence of a muse on fellow artists. So that led me to think about my muse. Several came to mind, but the one muse that has been the most prominent in my artwork has been a Greyhound. Yes, I did say greyhound. He was a retired racing Greyhound named Fantasticcolor (Color). He was an elegant black on white parti colored fellow. He has been gone for years, but he still influences my art. Greyhound adoption..."saving one Greyhound at a time." Zentangle..."Anything is possible, one stroke at a time." Elegant black and white art, relaxing, mindful, and fun...just like my Color, my muse.

Unknown said...

I too would say I have many people and things that inspire me. I would say nature is my most frequent muse. I am fascinated by colours, textures and shapes that naturally occur. For zentangle Art, I would say Rick and Maria and other CZTs I have meet, or some I have never met inspire me. Everyone has such a different perspective on the same thing and I love seeing the individual styles coming out given the same pattern.

Marie aka Grams said...

This is a lovely post, Maria. Nostalgic memories.
Thanks. Marie English

Unknown said...

My mom and dad were a huge influence on my artistic endeavors. My dad was an architect during the era when it was all done by hand. I loved his perfect block lettering and intricately detailed drawings. My mom was a painter and quilter and had lovely cursive hand writing but it wasn't until I was in Jr High that a young man in my class sparked my love for lettering as art! All that to say; it was calligraphy that became my artistic outlet and ultimately how I found Zentangle; through Maria's calligraphy. So I guess I'd have to say that my muses have come in many forms and faces through the years. I'm so grateful that they've all been a part of my journey.

Donna Pilato, CZT 18 said...

What a beautiful post, and very thought provoking. I'd have to say my mother was my muse, indirectly, by instilling in me the love of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC as a child. I was always drawn to art appreciated and harbored the desire to create something myself.

Joanne Faherty said...

My muse is Sarah Travis, she indirectly lead me to Zentangle....her work is beautiful but actually nothing zentangle about it. She is the reason i now tangle nearly every day for the past 2 years. :) I love your post Maria thanks for sharing

Danielle said...

Thank you, Maria, for your thoughtful post.

To this day, even 21+ years since she's been gone, my mother’s creativity continues to pop up in every area of my life. From her fanciful lettering on my lunch bags and scrapbooks, to the illustrated notes she would frequently tuck in those lunches, to the artsy outings to galleries and museums and other special places, sketchbooks under our arms, to a day spent doing rubbings on tree trunks or sidewalk tiles or storm drains, to all the prints and books she made available – the list could go on and on – she inundated me with inspiration and ways to find more.

One year we drove several hours to the desert to get a 10-foot Yucca bloom which we spray painted gold then hung with shiny red ornaments for our Christmas tree. No money? No problem! Collage, papier-mâché, found objects were easily transformed into artistic treasures. Everyday items were our palette: hand-lettered and painted labels for our spices, homemade wrapping paper, old clothes needing a pick-me-up dying.

Besides all the exposure to the artistic masters and the colorful and mathematical patterns inherent in nature, probably the strongest inspiration was Mamma’s love of trying things out for ourselves and delighting both in the messes made along the way and the exquisite surprises that came from all that. No wonder I feel so at home with the happy accidents along my journey into Zentangle. Thanks to my mamma muse, no amusement has ever topped creating and designing.

Unknown said...

Dear Rick and Maria, what a great story. It gave me food for thought. I remember drawing and coloring from a very young age but i cant remember who or what trigered that. Because i wasnt stimulated it just disappeared for years. I did have a muse in a different way. When i was 7 i went on a holiday with my friend and her family to France. Before we went the mother of my friend gave me my first photo camera. I loved making photo's and because it was stimulated with this gift it stayed with me untill this day. I did become a photographer..... she was my muse to my keep creativity flowing. In a different way then drawing but my story didnt end...yet! Suddenly it's September 2014 and i meet this wonderfull American couple in Holland. They brought me back were i started when i was young. Drawing! Zentangle came into my live and the muses are everywhere...the constant flow of creativity that i see in the Zentangle app and on Facebook is my muse. Thanks yo everyone for giving me back what i thought i lost.

CZT Marieke 20

Zentangle said...

Marieke, and WOW did you blossom! Your art is fabulous. Enjoy, it only gets better.

Noreen said...

Thank you Maria for such a beautiful post.

I would say my mother was my muse. She instilled in me “I can do anything attitude.” It has carried me throughout my life. I love figuring something out and I am not afraid to try something new or different. She also taught me not to be afraid to be by myself.

I often say that I can’t create and that I am not artistic but I can "copy" anything. But in doing so it is "my" voice that comes through and that I really am creating and being artistic in my own way. I am just using what someone else has done and used it for my inspiration. I may never be an "artist" but what I learn along the way is inspirational.

So at first it was mother who was my muse but many, many more people after that have inspired and challenged me. And I continue to be inspired by all I meet. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to that.

mariejo said...

I read the text "Hommage aux Jubilaires", c'est un beau poème superbement bien composé avec des rimes très riches! et le cadre est très beau!
Bravo "Tante Alice"!!!!!!

I draw some tangles a few years ago ,like very much!!!but i have not really 'muse"

Bette Abdu said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. While I've always had an urge to create but I was never encouraged to do so - in fact quite the opposite. "to get a good job" I was told to forget art - then in Jr. High School an art teacher told me to look elsewhere for a career since I couldn't draw. Still I've always pursued "crafty" things (knitting, crochet, beadwork, bookbinding, polymer clay) as a hobbies while working in 'good jobs'. When Zentangle entered my life, I discovered that I could most definitely create art. So my muse is most definitely Zentangle. Since attending the first CZT program in Feb 2009 I've been privileged to teach Zentangle. This week was a thrill as I taught the first Zentangle program in the country of my second home - Panama.
Best regards,
Bette Abdu

Anonymous said...

My muse was my high school friend’s mother. She opened me up to the possibilities of creating with my hands. She taught me to sew, introduced me to the art work of other cultures and with her daughter we explored many creative outlets. Jackie CZT XIII

Midori Okasako said...

my late parents. my father, reserved and philosophical. my mother, openhearted and lively. although they had long passed, i feel their supportive omnipresence within me, to guide, to protect and to keep me anchored as i face this world everyday.
cherish, midori

Chris Titus said...


Chris Titus said...

You are such a BABE! ❤️

JJ said...

I think my Muse must be my husband. When I can't seem to find time for my art, or get frustrated with something he is always there to tell me that I need to take time and make time to do my art... and to tell me that he thinks what I am doing is important and always seems to look at whatever I am doing and find something unique or beautiful or cool in it, even when I don't!

gobarb26 said...

This may sound strange, but my muse is my cancer. I have Multiple Myeloma and I first learned about Zentangle at the cancer center that I attend. They have a wonderful Arts in Medicine program there and that is where my first candle was lit! Although my cancer is incurable, I still decided to become a CZT! I am so glad that I did because I have been able to teach many other people this wonderful Zentangle method. I am told that I am now someone else's muse! I have come full circle. Thank you for this beautiful relaxation/art form!!

Unknown said...

Very thought provoking post and great title "Whose Muse is Whose?" I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and all the wonderful comments that followed. My first muse would be my mom. She was such amazing artist. I grew up watching her paint and draw. I would sit along side her at a young age and create as well. She encouraged me to pursue my art career. She passed away in 2004 from pancreatic cancer. I wished she had known about Zentangle before her passing. I think she would have loved it. I feel a strong connection to her when I create art. I will always be grateful to her for inspiring and encouraging me to do art.

lilystangles said...

Absolutely beautiful tiles! :)

Unknown said...

I loved reading about the finding of a muse that still holds such clear memory after all these years. It is amazing what we know when we are so young--sometimes I think that is when we know the most. I'm not certain if there was one moment or object that shared with me that I could be an artist. I do know that I found art early and that creating and appreciating art have been my companion and saving grace every single day. I am also truly grateful for artist aunts and other amazing people in my life who have showed me the power and peace that come with artistic expression. Just typing this, I am awash with gratitude! Thank you!

Zentangle said...

Dear Mariejo, Many thanks for saying this about ma tante Alice's calligraphy piece that she created for her parents. I am ashamed to say that I never thought to have it translated before!! I understood some of the words, and recognized all the names of course, but that you read it and appreciated the composition made me (and Alice, too, I am sure) smile. Next time I am with someone fluent in French I will have them read it to me and translate it for me.
Ma tante never forgot any of us on our birthdays, writing us long letters about nothing, always inserting as much religion as she dare to do. . . . she was an amazing woman, teaching art well into he 80's. I believe she entered the convent at 16 or 17 and died in her late 90's. She had been a nun for over 75 years, I remember the convent having a reception for her celebration.
Again, thank you. Maria Assunta (that is what she named me)

Cheryl said...

Maria, thank you for your lovely article on your: "Ma tante Alice" and how she inspired you to become the artist that you have become.

My mother Kathleen (Kay) is my muse. When I was very young we had a very large 15 room boarding house that Mom rented rooms/suites to the tourists. We lived in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Banff Alberta, Cananda.

Even though my Mother started her day out at approx. 5:00 am and ended around mid night she always had time for us 4 children. She was very creative. She sketched, and drew pictures that were so real the subjects jumped off the page. She would always take time to sit with us and draw, to read or do one of the many crafts that she so loved to do. She too, did everything with love, passion, and patience. We did not have a lot of money back then so, we used what we had on hand. Simple, but elegant designs would emerge. We would create. My Mother always told us to appreciate our works of art, and she would proudly put them on display around the house for everyone to admire.

We were all influenced by her love for the arts, that has resonated throughout our life, too. Our Mother is now 93, and still is an inspiration to all who meet her.

Many of the tourists admired our work, and who knows how many of them were inspired by our creativity.

Take care, from Cheryl

Andi Porrazzo said...

I am not sure who my muse is. I can tell you that she sews and draws and sings and flies in her dreams. It has always been this way. Since the beginning of my memories. I am 61 now and I pray that she stays with me forever.

Andi Porrazzo-Nangle MA, CZT 13

that cat said...

i don't know what my "muse" is...i'm not cerebral enough to sit down and consider it. it's like one of those job interview questions that leave me stumped. what i DO KNOW is that since i found zentangle (and paper tape) i cannot let a day go by without creating something. i simply can not. and for that i am thankful.

Maria Perez-Tovar said...

My muse was my art teacher at school, when I was 14. Her name was Maria (so many artists named Maria...)
She knew how to make all of us feel like a real artist, in every class.
She repeated us all the time: "You all are artists, girls. Don´t doubt it."
When we was drawing in her art lessons, she always made positive comment about the best part of our work. And I don´t remember her telling us something negative about the worse part. And there was a lot!!
She removed from us the fear of create something that other people wouldn´t appreciate, or like.
Her sentence was: "Create for yourself. You are the only critic you must satisfy"

Deborah Olander said...

I don't have a real muse (a living, breathing, specific person) or a model from the past. When I was studying aesthetics in graduate school, I adopted a concept that I studied in the work of the philosopher Suzanne Langer: the Ideal Beholder (_Feeling and Form_, 1953). This Ideal Beholder is the most perceptive, intelligent, caring person you can imagine, and that is the person (entity?) for whom you are creating something artistic. This audience will come to experience your art as aesthetic experience . Langer says that 'the artist works for an ideal audience, the ideal beholder," who may or may not really be there. The beholder "enters into a direct relation not with the artist, but with the work." The piece of art shows the viewer (listener, etc.) a way of organizing emotion; the ideal beholder, being responsive and intuitive, then experiences the work as aesthetic emotion (i.e., "exhilaration").

It's simple, really. Remember the first time you found zentangle? Someone's tangling made you feel that exhilaration. You were at that moment an ideal beholder! How exciting is that?!

Sue Clark said...

I love everything about this post, Maria! I would have to say that I've had several muses throughout my life. The earliest I can recall would be my grandmother (who had 12 children, my dad being the oldest). She taught me how to crochet at a very early age, and I remember one of my favorite things to do was go play with her button box. In her day they saved everything and if a garment was ready to be made into rags, all the buttons were saved. When I was a little older, 10 or 11, she volunteered at a Catholic charity store and would bring home really pretty buttons and I would help her sew them on to cards to be sold again at store. (Good memory that I haven't thought about in awhile) I loved art all through school and had a great high school art teacher. When I didn't have class I was hanging out in the art room. My best friend loved art too, and she had a room in her house that was ours to paint, draw, and just create in. During my working career and raising my family, I loved photography and drawing, with most of my inspiration coming from nature. Oddly enough, it was my friend from HS who has a quilting blog, where I learned about Zentangle. Since then you, Rick, Molly, all the other CZT's (some I've met, some only online), and my students are all muses for me. I can't begin to tell you how the past 5 years has changed my life, and reawakened my love of creating!

Yvonne said...

Both my grandmothers did handwork of all kinds, mostly crocheting, embroidery, and tatting. When in elementary school, I ate lunch at my paternal grandmother's house, and she was everyone's dream of a grandmother, soft and cuddly, she made all of her grandchildren feel like they were the special one. One day she had a friend over, and they were both embroidering. She went to the kitchen to fix something to eat. I grabbed her needle and thread to try out the stitches I'd been watching her do. No scolding.... she just promised she'd teach me how to do it. I started with the daisy stitch, and thankfully my mother who had no interest at all in handwork, supported my habit from then on.

Took a calligraphy class in college, and flirted with Zentangle for a couple of years before I took the plunge. I'm also a quilter, both sane and crazy, and know how to do almost every fiber craft that exists. (Crazy quilting uses fabulous fabrics, threads and notions to make beauty)

Dolores E. El said...

In contemplating "my muse," my mind went back to the ages of between three and five (before I started Kindergarten) when my Mother, My Aunt Rose, and several of the women who lived in the community complex would get together in the afternoons a few times a week, at my Aunt Rose's house and crochet ruffled doilies. The finished doilies would adorn the women's coffee tables after they were finished and stiffly starched with "Argo Starch."

I remember being fascinated with the beautiful stitches, patterns, thread colors, and the height and the ruffles after they were starched and ironed. I sat somewhat quietly at my mother's knee and watched their hands twist and turn as the yarn moved through their fingers and the needles, and the end results never ceased to amaze me. Simply beautiful!!

Needless to say, I grew up with a love of crocheting, and an appreciation for all arts and crafts and all things hand made. When I recently visited sites that showed examples of hand made crocheted ruffled doilies, it brought back pleasant memories and I realized that the various combinations of stiches and patterns reminded me of "tangling."

Thank you all again for sharing this beautiful gift with the world, have a happy, blessed, prosperous year.

Dolores El, CZT14
Henderson, Nevada (Previously-Milwaukee, WI)

Roseanne said...

Thanks for sharing this, Maria. What a beautiful tribute to your family, especially your Tante Alice.
Roseanne Sabol, CZT 17

Deb Kopeschny said...

Hi Maria and Rick, Thanks for your post on "muse". Your post struck me as important in identifying how inspiration often comes in unsuspecting ways. I would say my muse was my mother, but not because she was endlessly creative. Rather, she wanted to do more; more knitting, more sewing, quilting. She rarely took the time to do it. She desired to do it but did not give herself the permission. I saw that and it encouraged me to create. Of course, I struggle with the permission sometimes too. But recognizing the many benefits and importance of creating spurs me on. With gratitude. Deb CZT3

Ela Rieger CZT 19 said...

The tiles are so beautiful!

My muse was my grandmother , she showed me the little miracle of nature to respect and recognize their beauty . These were not always the beautiful butterflies but inconspicuous beetles that were more beautiful in closer inspection . The smell of fresh earth , the traces of a mouse and the flight of a bird of prey . She showed me different woods and how the perfect consistency and color of potato dumplings is . She told me that every fold in the face of a person is well deserved and makes this face beautiful . She trained my eye for the details.
I was born relatively unmusical in a musical family and had to learn an instrument . I was not happy about it.
In the age of 22 , I met a young German painter, Andreas Weische. He gave me paper and pencils and said without asked me if I can draw, sit down and draw and I did it. Since then I did it again and again.
Thank you for that "bringing my mind back to that moments". :-)

Zentangle said...

These are all such amazing, wonderful, passionate stories. How nice to remember them and be grateful for these muses that have come into our lives and inspire us to do things we never thought possible.

Thank you all for taking the time to write these. Print yours out to give to your children so they have this account to tell future generations about you and your muse(s).

Debbie said...

It's wonderful to see you jumping into the Diva's challenge! I enjoy completing it as often as I can.

My muse - it may be my inner child because I'm always trying to build fun and games into everything I do. I get a lot of inspiration from other artists too.


Anonymous said...

What an interesting question! I got started on creative activities when my mother taught me to knit at age 10, and I learned experientially how wonderful it feels to create. Since then I've delved into one thing and then another, mostly crafts; I've never been much of an artist but always longed to be. But always going deeper and deeper into my own creativity. I heard about zentangles through Quaker sources 2 1/2 years ago and taught myself (no CZT's in Nicaragua), and whole worlds on creativity have opened to me since. So who is my muse? I have to conclude -- myself. Following my heart and my own spirit, I seem to be my own muse, along with SO many wonderful mentors, not least of whom would be you wonderful folks at zentangle HQ. Thank you, one and all.

Such Stuff said...

Muse not only works in mysterious ways, but for me also in seemingly unconnected ways: dusty boxes of decades-old magazines in grandparent’s basement, an art exhibit of an influential Chinese artist, a re-focusing of priorities due to cancer, and a clearly-gifted expressive arts therapist who shared with me an art form she wasn’t currently teaching.

Although I’m still fairly new to this art-form, I love sharing the peace and magic of this meditative process. And even though I have not yet become an officially certified Zentangle instructor, I have deepened my own learning of it by teaching it to other cancer survivors and caregivers as a way to give back to the program and community which offered so much support when I needed it.

While still pondering the impact of muse in my own life, I am only just becoming aware of my own role as muse that I may be playing for others. Helping ignite their spark of creativity, or provide a way to express it. And isn’t that why we’re all here…? To create that which only we can create.

Thank you for providing such valuable tools!

Ellen said...

Love your story. My muse was my mother and my grandma's. They were always knitting and cross stich and crafting their own clothes and those fot the (grand)children. And I started out creating useful things, but now I create because I can and like

Unknown said...

My muse was my mother. Although she was never able to complete high school, she became very well read on her own had the most beautiful handwriting. Whenever my mom sent me back to school with a note (absences, tardiness, etc.) the teachers would always remark at what exquisite handwriting my mother had. It was always something I aspired to; occasionally as I sign my name (and I have just realized it is always when I am happily signing a birthday card or greeting to a loved one) I know my mother is guiding my hand as it is identical to the way she wrote my name!

Art 2 Tangle said...

What an inspiring story, thank you Maria for sharing. This made me think way back when I was a little girl. I remember very clearly my playground was the flowerbeds my father and after his passing my grandmother loved. One flower in particular was a favourite of bees and I wanted to capture these Dalias. I didn't have crayons to colour and so picked the flowers, caught the bees and put them all in a plastic bag so I can study them. Needless to say it was a very painfull experiment. I also remember taking a shoebox and making a 3D set out of sweets. My favourite caracters ended up in marshmallow, liquorice, toffees and lollipops. If you can choose a "muse"I would say Mother earth. Till this day it is my main inspiration and metaphor in life. An area can be barren or just rocks but you will always find an interesting creature or plant living there. My love for flowers definitely comes through in my Zentangle and I believe it will just grow with the love and "water" from the Zentangle community.

Lise CZT12 said...

Dear Maria,
I loved loved your story about finding the piece that inspired you so much. It stuck me that although nothing so specific an event as yours, that my mom was my muse.
She was not an artist per say, but everything she did was an artistic statement in some way. She would have denied being an "artist."
Her gifts, for any occasion, were always wrapped with flair and style. A shirt for example might actually be wrapped to look like a shirt, complete with cut out buttons. She never used tape- and her packages were always perfect. She made her own gift tags- tiny, tiny things, with borders and decorated corners.
Halloween costumes were to die for. One year I was an alarm clock with real "hands" and my sister was a giant witch's hat- all made by hand & usually at 2 am. She and my dad went to a costume party once as a bag of popcorn and a matching bag of peanuts.
For my 7th birthday party she made a picnic lunch for each guest, wrapped up as a birthday present, all different for all 10 little girls.
One year for Christmas she made me and my new Barbie doll matching dresses, with piping around the sleeveless armholes- even Barbie's sleeves were piped!
She wrote a lullaby for my older brother and sang it to all four of her children, I sang it to my two daughters, and now I sing it to my first grandchild, Levi.
She was an talented amateur actress and a comedian who wrote her own hysterical material. Mom was a great cook and I swear she could put a gourmet dinner for 6 on the table for under $5.00.

I'm not sure if any of these things could be defined as an artistic inspiration- I can only say that Mom inspired me to be the best I could be just by being herself. I think of her often when I am practicing my calligraphy, mashing about with clay and most certainly, while I am tangling- and did I mention that she loved seeing my Zentangle work? She was 86 when I first started and sadly, by then, did not have a steady enough hand to draw herself.

With thanks to Mom,

Toby said...

I would say my muse is the young children I work with. Children(especially those under 5) have an amazing way of noticing and appreciating all those little things adults take for granted. And very young children live in the moment in a very pure way. I think in Zentangle, and my art in general, one of the things I try to do is get into the headspace that children seem to naturally exist in.

Zendoodle said...

And what do you think about my arts on my page? (zendoodle.pl)

Anonymous said...

My muses have changed over the years.... There have been a few. First off my mother who was creative in many ways. Then Mrs. Perry who taught my 2nd grade self how to embroider. Something that I kept up for many years. My 4th grade teacher Ms. Schoonmaker, who taught everyone in her class how to knit, including making our own needles. She also taught me how to make lace by tatting, when I was in high school. Various art teachers along the years have inspired me, guided me and sent me off in wonderful new directions. Then you and Rick Maria, for helping learn the fine art of Zentangle. Many blog friends who inspire me with their work, some that I have been fortunate to meet, and others that I hope to some day. My students at school have also been my muses and have set me off on new directions. I am sure that I am forgetting people too! The only thing I hate is when they all decide to desert you at once!

Inge F. said...

My muse is definitely my Dad. When I was a child he was working for a very famous gallery in Salzburg carving extraordinary frames for pictures of popular artists. When he was 50 he decided to leave the gallery and run his own business. He loved to restore old furniture and carving different patterns. I grew up in a house full of most beautiful handcarved pieces of furniture, pictures and all other sort of things. He always had an idea of how to surprise everybody with new pieces of artwork or just a little something until the end of his life. My Dad was born in 1920 and definitely had no pleasant youth - nevertheless he was full of creativity his entire life. I am a bit like him. There are so many ideas in my head I am sure I´ll be unable to implement until the end of my life. I have been interested in patterns since I was a child and Zentangle is THE METHOD I have been looking for all the time. From the very first moment I saw these deconstructed patterns I knew "that´s it" - and I was hooked. Thanks Maria and Rick for sharing your creativity with the entire world! Inge Frasch, CZT, Bavaria Germany

sweetpea1030 said...

Thank you so much for this article. I am a colorist. I love to color. I've had my own crayons and coloring book for as long as I can remember.

Oftentimes when I'm viewing the artwork of others, I am discouraged and wonder why I'm even trying. Then I acknowledge the fact coloring is good for me in so many ways. That may be the only value ever to be placed on my artistry, and I'm okay with that.