It’s a String Thing challenge this week included a special treat for me! The challenge features my good friend and artist, Sarah Fowler’s “Strutz” pattern. I’ve played with it many times but never completed a tile featuring Strutz. Of course, being in a pretty big artistic slump made forcing the tiles uncomfortable. That said, I love her pattern and its hollibaugh effect. It’s funky bends and embellishment possibilities make it lots of fun to play with. Sarah is an amazing artist and such a positive person, it was a real pleasure to feature her art and story on my blog a few weeks back!
Strutz was a perfect fit for this week’s string and it works great with Maria Thomas’ Printemps. I’m hopeful I can relax enough to get next week’s tile finished before Saturday night!
I have a special treat for you today! Sarah Fowler, of the United Kingdom, is one of my first and most supportive artist friends from the Zentangle® Mosaic App. She creates the most marvelous marbled tiles for tangling! They are so lovely, I struggle to put a pen to them.
Sarah also has created 5 unique patterns, one of which, Strutz, was chosen as the featured pattern recently at TanglePatterns.com. Whether it’s tangling, deconstructing patterns or creating beautiful marbled tiles, Sarah is truly an artistic soul. She was one of the first people to comment kindly on my work and I’ve recently realized just how big a deal this type of positive feedback is for an artist! I’m speaking for myself but I have seen plenty of evidence that most artists feel this way. We are hyper critical about our creations, afraid to let others see it for fear of rejection, yet desperate to share it and get feedback. Rejection of our work is like disrespecting our children! So, for the most part, we hide that vulnerability and our art! All of you artistic types probably experience something similar, so you know! Sarah Fowler helped me learn to be unafraid (at least within the safe environment of the Mosaic app) and as I began posting art, I discovered I’m just one of the group. We all feel inadequate or are too picky about showing our art, but we do it anyway. Thanks Sarah for your encouragement of me as well as all the support you give to the community at large!
Now it’s time to meet the lovely Sarah Fowler!
Sarah writes: “I graduated from Plymouth University back in the eighties (back then it was a lowly Polytechnic) in Environmental Science. I had wanted to go out and save the planet from the evils of the human race, but no one wanted to pay you back then, so ended up on a conservation scheme teaching primary school kids about their local wildlife, which I loved, until they cut the funding.
Then got a job at London Zoo in the insect House! That was an adventure! Then finally settled into a job learning to be a fingerprint officer and scene examiner for the London Metroplitan Police. I stuck with this for almost twenty years, met my beloved hubby and had two fantastic boys.
Then about eight years ago a toxic mix of undiagnosed glandular fever, work related stress and parental bereavements forced me to give up work and reassess what I was doing to myself.
I slowly got better and regained some of the old me and am now working as a relief manager for a local charity shop for Ageuk.
I discovered Zentangle in August 2015 through my sister in-law who lives in Texas. I was having a particularly difficult time coping with two rather challenging volunteers at the shop. As my self-confidence and ability to cope with stress weren’t what they used to be, they were starting to get to me, when my sister in law suggested I try Zentangle as a way to deal with how these people and how the situation was affecting me.
Well…. talk about a lightbulb moment!……..learning zentangle was like rewiring my brain…I could draw something beautiful without worrying how it would turn out. No decision making, no changing it halfway through, no mistakes! At the end of each tile I felt like a new person, more relaxed and able to tackle what life would throw at me. My mother was an artist and I grew up always frustrated with my attempts at ‘art’, as it would never turn out how I wanted it to!
Like so many other people, zentangle just swept me away into another world of discovery and I have loved every minute. I had hoped to attend CZT seminar 28 but had a bit of a blip so had to cancel. I hope to get there one day as I would love to teach zentangle. The Zentangle® Mosaic App has had an amazingly positive effect on my tangling and my confidence…the unparalleled supportiveness of the zentangle community has really made such a difference to my outlook on life!”
Wow! Sarah I know it doesn’t seem so to you, but you’ve had some amazingly interesting life experiences! Thanks so much for sharing your story, your art, your compassion and your positive attitude. They’ve made a difference in my life!
Many of Sarah’s patterns are featured here in these pieces and if you are interested in her patterns, you can find her step-outs here. My personal favorite is c-snake. Well, and Strutz…Which will be yours?
Apparently, good friend CZT Terri Delaune had a hand in naming a couple of these! (She is quite handy to know!) If you try one of Sarah’s patterns be sure to # pattern name so Sarah can find and appreciate it!
I had to stop yesterday and breathe, and focus on accomplishments. I am normally frenetic about constantly creating at a high level (that’s a high level for myself not everyone else!) and pretty OCD about getting things done well and on time. Unfortunately, this means I get lost in the journey and forget about the big picture. Me and half the population, right!? Today was a big picture day for me. After slogging along for about 9 months this blog hit 3,000 views and today i had 100 views in about 8 hours. Seems silly but its nice to see your hard work realized even to a small scale.
I wouldn’t be here though, without the encouragement and support of the wonderful people in the Zentangle® Mosaic app, as well as the amazing group of artists and friends at Tangle It! Pattern Club on Facebook. Hmm, this sounds like a bad award dinner speech! Since I’m thanking the academy, let me give a nod first to Barb Masinton for the use of her beautiful art for this post! It’s nice not to need to prepare art for each post and quite honestly her art has been part of the reason my site traffic has been up. It’s simply spectacular! I also wanted to thank Dr. Ellie Miller (who’s off for CZT training next week, Gratz Ellie!🤗) of Tanglesxm.com and Write of Passage. She stuck with me thru a long time during which I couldn’t write or create. We found each other on WordPress then discovered we were both on Mosaic. Since that time, she’s been a true friend in her support and encouragement. Thank you Ellie! I cant forget Terri Delaune, CZT for your help with my pattern submissions. It helps having feedback! Dolly Bolen, CZT, Jody Genovese, CZT, and Sarah Fowler, each of whom have been encouragers, and all of whom created fabulous art using my Patterns so I would be able to showcase them in a variety of ways, thank you all! In honor of their impact on my life, here is some wonderful art by these wonderful ladies! Zentangle is amazing! Everyday, I get visitors from all over the world. April has been my most successful month yet. Thank you all!
(struggling with this WordPress iOS app. So the photos aren’t set in perfectly and I had 2 duplicates I couldn’t remove without starting over. My quick post changed into a nightmare but I’m still grateful!)