The ZIA transition, continued, and accelerated

April 26th, 2013 No comments

My work is slowly becoming more complex and deliberate in design as opposed to the more random areas filled with random patterns.  More and more of my design and execution time is spent deciding which pattern works best in a given area.  I’m doing a lot more pre-planning of image composition as well.

Custom NameTangles for children:

For my grandsons, James and Gary.  These were framed in backgrounds of dark blue and medium blue.

For my grandsons, James and Gary. These were framed in backgrounds of dark blue and medium blue.


Kristina's twin boys are next - Pierre (aka Little Pierre) and Maslin (aka Mazzy).

Kristina’s twin boys are next – Pierre (aka Little Pierre) and Maslin (aka Mazzy).



Kristina's oldest, Gabby is one of my best, I think.

Kristina’s oldest, Gabby is one of my best, I think.


And Gabby's best friend, Ashley, gets a coordinating one too.

And Gabby’s best friend, Ashley, gets a coordinating one too.


Categories: Zentangles Tags:

Zentangles to ZIA transition

April 26th, 2013 No comments

I’ve discovered that I have unintentionally but whole-heartedly moved from simple Zentangles to ZIA, “Zentangle-Inspired Art” in a short period of time.   What can I say, it was calling me.  😉

Here are some updates I’ve completed during the span of time that I was having trouble with WordPress (and a million thanks to the support staff at for digging me out of THAT mess – I am sooooo grateful!):

For a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer... in her early 40s.  Keep fighting, Alma, I love you. <3

For a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer… in her early 40s. Keep fighting, Alma, I love you. <3

Namaste #1.  This went to live with Amanda and Salvatore.

Namaste #1. This went to live with Amanda and Salvatore.

Namaste #2   This went to live with Kristina and her beautiful family in Aptos.  <3  I miss you all!!

Namaste #2 This went to live with Kristina and her beautiful family in Aptos.





Peace.  This went to live with Carol, who has become one of my prime collectors - with much love and gratitude, Carol !!!

Peace. This went to live with Carol, who has become one of my primary collectors – with much love and gratitude, Carol !!!

Categories: Zentangles Tags:

New tangles

February 16th, 2013 No comments

I framed 2 of these (the right 2) and gave it to my yoga studio, cuz they’re awesome people there! They have it displayed on the counter where people check in. 🙂

My Etsy shop's lotus logo, with a little decoration.

My Etsy shop’s lotus logo, with a little decoration.


This is the Valentine’s Day card I drew for my S.O. It came out pretty nice!

An "Aum" symbol, elaborated. :)

An “Aum” symbol, elaborated. 🙂

Categories: Zentangles Tags:

Zentangle: A Special Piece

January 23rd, 2013 No comments
A Landmark Date

A Landmark Date

This is a special tangle for my S.O. on his five years from cancer surgery date yesterday.  I didn’t intend the patterns to represent anything in particular when I was drawing them, but looking at them now, they seem to tell a story in a way – of the complexity, confusion, imperfections, and struggle of this battle he (and we) has/have fought with this demon.

Categories: Zentangles Tags:

Zentangled: Day Four

January 20th, 2013 No comments
Mooka practice

Mooka practice

Day four – venturing a little farther into new patterns, practicing Mooka (those darn curves again) and trying to slow down.

Beach Day

Beach Day


Categories: Zentangles Tags:

Zentangling: Day Three

January 19th, 2013 No comments
Day 3

Day 3

My third day of “official” tile Zentangles was trying out new patterns and working on drawing consistent and pleasing spirals and curves.  So far, I’m finding French Curve templates handy. 😉

A "golden spiral" nautilus

A “golden spiral” nautilus


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Zentangling: Day Two

January 13th, 2013 No comments
My second group of Zentangles

My second group of Zentangles

My second day saw a little more complex patterns.  Still having a blast.  🙂  Top left features the main section of Betweed on a base of Bales.  Top right is Betweed surrounded by Stipple.  And bottom center features a center of Shattuck (L) and Brayd (R).

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Venturing into the world of Zentangle

January 12th, 2013 No comments
My first four attempts.

My first four Zentangles.

Larry found a video of Maria Thomas doing an AuraKnot and I was hooked.  Here are my first four ‘official’ Zentangles (on proper tiles).

Zentangles are basically simple patterns drawn in a given area.   You first define your overall image in pencil, then make a “string” which divides that image area into random or deliberate shapes.  Then draw to your heart’s content.  There are hundreds and hundreds of Zentangle patterns to choose from or you can make up your own.  Simplicity is key.

Using the finest drawing pens available – Sakura Pigma Micron – with an ultra fine point, these designs take on a life of their own.  Work in B&W or add splashes of color (or more than a splash!).  The only rules are that there are no rules except make every stroke slowly, precisely and deliberately and this becomes a remarkably relaxing, therapeutic and addictive pastime.

Categories: Zentangles Tags:

I don’t do this nearly enough

November 9th, 2012 No comments

Writing I mean.  I miss it and then I’m always surprised at how long it’s been since my last post when I come back.

Recently I drove up to Santa Cruz to meet friends.  James was supposed to have had a concert, which lots of folks had arranged travel to see, but it was cancelled and instead of being depressed about that, we decided we’d still go and have a little get-together of our own.  We had hoped James, Heidi & Hunter might make an appearance but they were busy getting ready to move to a new house – moving is enough stress right there!  We had a blast just the same – we visited lots of spots in Santa Cruz and met Jim and Susan Kohl from San Jose with their kids for one freakin’ awesome Mexican meal at Manuel’s in Aptos.  My goodness they had truly wonderful margaritas!  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet such really great people – all because of James.  🙂

Categories: Home, James Durbin Tags:

And my next adventure is…..

May 17th, 2012 No comments

(from the Santa Cruz Sentinel)

A year after his unforgettable Durbin Day concert, Santa Cruz’s James Durbin returns home for a more relaxed and original live show at the Beach Boardwalk

So, do you remember where you were on May 14, 2011?  For about 30,000 Santa Cruz County residents, that question is a gimme. That day was, of course, Durbin Day, a singular event in Santa Cruz’s history, a sudden thunderclap of national celebrity, live music and hometown pride, all carried on the shoulders of a young man who, six months earlier, was struggling to make ends meet by delivering pizza.

He is James Durbin, the otherworldly talented 23-year-old Santa Cruz singer who exploded into national consciousness a year ago on Fox’s highly rated “American Idol.” Durbin Day marked the moment that Santa Cruz could celebrate the rise of its hometown boy face to face. On Saturday, a year removed from the frenzy of the original event, Durbin returns to Santa Cruz again to perform live and for free on the stage at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The event is the kick-off to the Boardwalk’s summer entertainment season.

Those who saw last year’s show may see on Saturday little difference in the look and vibe of the concert. But the differences between last year and this year are fundamental. From Durbin’s point of view, last year he was still part of the “Idol” stable, and was under the thumb of the show’s producers, which meant he could perform only two songs. Now, seasoned by a year’s experience as a touring and recording artist, Durbin has been emancipated.

“The show is now up to us,” he said recently during a visit to his hometown to celebrate his son Hunter’s third birthday. “We can sing whatever we want. Play however loud we want, as long as we want . All we have to be worried about is making sure we make our next plane to Columbus after the show.”

Even more stark was another huge difference — timing. The Beach Boardwalk knows all about putting on big events. It’s been doing it for most of its 105-year history. But it almost always has months to plan and organize those events. Last year, however, no one knew for sure that the Durbin Day show was going to happen until the day before. Earlier that week, the show was presumed to be a go, then it was cancelled, then revived.

“It was an absolute rollercoaster,” said the Boardwalk’s Kris Reyes. “Most of the events we do, we have up to a year in advance. Time is on our side. This time we really had to fly by the seat of our pants.”

When Durbin made the final four at “Idol,” the Beach Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council and the City of Santa Cruz began making plans for a Durbin show. It’s a long “Idol” tradition that the top three finalists get to perform live in their respective hometowns. But then something unexpected happened — Durbin was voted off the show.

“We were all going 100 miles an hour,” said Reyes, “and we were 100 percent confident that this was going to happen, and when he was voted off, it was a punch in the gut.”

Reyes was standing by the desk of Boardwalk publicist Brigid Fuller watching the East Coast live feed of the show on the Internet when it was announced that Durbin didn’t make the top three. “Brigid immediately called the producers of Idol’ right there and asked, Can he come anyway?’ And by the next day, there was a conference call about how to do that. When we asked the producers later why they let him come, even though he wasn’t in the top three, they said, Well, nobody had ever asked before.'”

For Durbin, that week — and especially that day — was particularly emotional. Before the concert, he took part in several community events, including a rally at the Louden Nelson Center with about 300 people from local children’s theater groups.

“I had no idea of what was going to happen,” said Durbin of the moment when he and his wife Heidi and son Hunter began to make their way from Louden Nelson to the Boardwalk. “I really thought that all the people who would be there on the beach were the same people who were at Louden Nelson.”

He turned the corner at Beach Street toward the Boardwalk and was faced with a flabbergasting sight. “I could not believe it,” he said.

Since that day, Durbin has toured around the country with his fellow 10th-season “Idol” performers and has recorded his first album “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster.” He has also put together his own band. During the 2011 Durbin Day show, he was backed by Santa Cruz’s White Album Ensemble who played a primary role in Durbin’s development as a performer long before “American Idol.” The WAE’s keyboardist Dale Ockerman also ran Musicscool, which made Durbin a scholarship student when he was still a teenager. This time, however, he’ll be playing with his band, which features guitarist Dylan Rose, a Santa Cruzan who first worked with Durbin while teaching guitar at Musicscool.

He also returned to “American Idol,” this time as a guest performer, an experience that he called a bit surreal. “We were down in L.A. for about a week rehearsing for Idol’ and then that big day came and I went back to the CBS studio and walked through those old familiar big elephant doors in the studio, seeing all these people I had spent so much time with, the producers, the stagehands. And it was really cool, because everyone was happy to see me.”

The second Durbin Day on Saturday represents yet another return to the scene of the crime for Durbin. He said that the magic of the original show will never be exactly duplicated, but that this time, he’ll feel more relaxed and more focused on delivering a memorable concert.

“Regardless of how many people are there, it’s just going to be so much fun for me,” he said. “Going back to your hometown, there’s just nothing like it. I’m probably not going to talk as much. But I really did love just being able to stand there and not being able to talk over the screaming and everything. That was so cool. I would love a bit of that again.”

{ saturday 5:30 p.m. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. }

Categories: James Durbin Tags: