“Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides.” Euripedes

It has been a busy week for me.  In addition to all my regular personal and professional obligations, I had the pleasure of teaching the first of a two-part workshop series at the Red Shoes.  It was a large class of very interesting and talented people.  The time passed quickly for me and the group posed many questions that made me think about my own work in a new way.  The teacher and the student traded places a few times that evening.  My own “lessons learned” were hovering around the fringes of my thoughts as I worked on this week’s Diva Challenge and influenced the final tiles in some subtle ways.  This week’s challenge is to use your initials as the string.  I ended up doing several and may have resolved the issue of my “chop’ in the process.  A “chop” is the distinctive initials/signature at the bottom of a piece of artwork.  I have gone through several iterations with none really hitting the mark for me.  I haven’t worked out all the details, but it’s certainly better than anything I’ve used before.

There is a special moment in a Zentangle class when everyone places their finished tiles together to form a mosaic.  The room becomes quiet as everyone studies each tile and realizes their own is every bit as wonderful as all the others.  I think of it as a mirror of sorts.  Each person in that class gets the very same materials and instructions.  All do the same tangles.  Yet the tiles are each different, unique and beautiful in their own right,  just like each student.  I have also realized that the Diva Challenge is much like that moment in class, but shared virtually among caring friends.  We all start at the same place, but make the journey our own.  We learn from each other and grow better with each challenge shared.

Thanks are in order this week for several people.  My youngest daughter helped out as my assistant for the class – I could not have managed nearly so well without her.  The staff at the Red Shoes, especially Wendy and her husband for getting everything ready and helping me tear it all down.  And to Sue Jacobs for sharing the link to some wonderful Zentangle inspired letters.  Finally to my students, for the opportunity to share my passion with you and learn from you.  It was truly my pleasure.