My finished mixed media piece

“I’m creative – you can’t expect me to be neat too.”  ~Author Unknown

I must confess to relief that the holidays are behind us once more.  It’s the same every year for me.  I love the anticipation, preparation and celebration but by the time it’s all over my only thought is “enough already!”  Impatient to get on with regular routines and pick up on things left undone while I was in holiday mode, I find myself with a sort of mental ADD.  Like a grasshopper, my thoughts jump from idea to idea rarely staying on anything very long.  A mental hangover from the overload of things to do during the season.   I’ve noticed my grandchildren haven’t had that problem.  They have adhered themselves to all things electronic to the point of overload.  They especially like to hole up in Bear’s Man Cave, only coming out for food and water.

Knowing I would have them for the entire weekend, I resolved to find a way to pull them out of the cave and away from the wonders of Club Penguin enhanced by the stack of gift cards they received for Christmas this year.  Strathmore is offering a series of online classes for 2012 – FREE.  I decided to enroll in the Mixed Media workshop.  After watching the videos, I knew this would be a stretch for me and would draw both kids like flies to honey.  It’s a messy approach using just about everything but the kitchen sink.  Zentangle is neat, requires few tools and supplies and is controlled in approach – that’s what appeals to me about it.  Nevertheless, I gathered various supplies and announced to the kids we would be doing art on Saturday afternoon.  What ensued was a messy, disorganized and thoroughly FUN afternoon for all of us.  Each has a unique approach to the creative process and clear ideas of what they like and don’t like.  This messy, anything goes approach was perfect for them – though I struggled mightily.  The contrast in the three pieces reminds me a lot of my Zentangle classes.  We used the same supplies and had the same instruction, yet each piece is unique.  We all agreed to move forward with the entire workshop as a team of three and packed up our ugly vinyl tablecloth along with our supplies in preparation for next weeks lesson.  Even better, Saturday was a day free of the cave and electronics.  They never even missed it.  Mission accomplished!