Stay firmly in your path and dare; be wild two hours a day! Paul Gauguin

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Tapestry . . .

Just Beginning

I am a Weaver!
It feels good to say it,
because it has been way to long 
since I have done anything creative at my looms!

I am sure you have done this as well . . .
strayed away from an art form you love,
only to learn something new . . .
something that distracts you, interests you,
and pulls your attention away.
For me it has been learning the Art of Calligraphy,
teaching Zentangle® and SoulCollage® classes,
all good things, but take an immense amount of my time!

As you know I am a Poet,
I love to read it, share it out loud and write it!
I recently wrote a poem from my loom's point of view,
sitting in the corner . . . unattended, unloved and unused.
It certainly made a point with me!
I asked myself why I hadn't woven anything,
for so long ... even years?
Why have I let everything else get in the way?
I didn't have any answers, only to say that
everything has a season,
including our arts.

So I put a warp on my tapestry loom,
gathered some beautiful fibers
and began a trial piece,
just to see if I remembered the tapestry techniques.
It sure felt good to see it progressing!
Tapestry weaving is just like life . . .
taken slowly
you will grow in patience and knowledge
if only you will learn
to slow down and enjoy the process!
It feels good to just sit at the loom
and see where it leads me!

Fiber Stash

Just getting the feel of it again

Adding a little adornment

I learned Tapestry weaving when my son Curt
was only a year old,
I remember leaving him with my mom
once a week
for a two hour lesson,
Curt is soon to be 35 years old!
Weaving has been a part of my life for a long time,
it is something I turn to over and over again,
and also what I leave behind from time to time!
It is a constant reminder of who I am
and what I can accomplish!

I love the song "Tapestry" by Carole King
 (my favorite singer in the world!)

" ... my life is but a tapestry
of rich and royal hue ..."

Life is full of colors and textures,
experiences and life lessons,
friendships and family,
and so much more.
I am grateful that my weaving
reminds me of all of that ...
all creating the woven cloth of my own life.

Work in Progress


Wishing you fun and rest
during this Holiday weekend!
Sending out love

Donna Lee

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Learning the Art of Color Theory

My Mandala Color Wheel

I have been taking a Color Theory Class
with my Calligraphy teacher
the past few Monday nights
and I must say I am learning
more than I thought possible.

I wanted to learn how to create my calligraphy
by mixing my own colors . . .
I have received more info than ever!
We started out right away learning
mixing and color theory
and it felt so good to instill the proper
way colors are mixed into my head!
Betsy's paint collection was
unbelievable!

 Just a few tubes of paint!

We started by mixing the three primary colors
in gouache and getting the right consistency,
and then we began to fill our palettes

Just beginning to mix gouache

Starting with the Primary Colors

I know that Red and Blue makes purple
Red and Yellow makes orange
Yellow and Blue makes green,
we learned that in school right?
But actually mixing it,
trying to get it right,
I was learning all over again,
it felt really good!!!
We then went on to Secondary colors and more!

My mixing of colors

During our second class we learned about
shades and tints,
my color was yellow,
which is a difficult color to work with,
we painted and mixed carefully
and created our own color charts

This Tint exercise was so fun ... I learned a lot!

Learning Shading ... Yellow mixed with black turns green!!!

The next exercise was to learn how to fill our dip pens
with our gouache
and write with it!
Making sure the consistency of the ink was 
what we wanted,
what fun was that!
We also practiced on black paper too,
which I totally loved!

I just love this pic!

I'm learning so much from my teacher,
Betsy is amazing
and I consider every minute with her
a blessing to be learning from someone so multi talented!
Her pen collection alone is inspiring,
I drool whenever I get near her calligraphy pens!

Wow ... just wow!

Next week ... working with Complementary Colors
and writing a favorite quote of ours
in Calligraphy!

I never want to stop learning, 
it is good to get out of your own comfort zone,
try something new and grow,
be with new people.
I'm grateful to have this opportunity,
cause I am totally in love with
Calligraphy
and I plan on getting really good at it!!!!

May your week be filled with love,
happiness and many happy moments.

Donna Lee





Wednesday, May 6, 2015

How do you see yourself?

Just playing around!

This past Sunday I was able to
attend a Calligraphy Workshop
with the sweetest teacher
Amy
of
It was an afternoon of cocktails, cupcakes and calligraphy,
filled with fellowship, sharing, laughing and inspiration!
I enjoyed the experience so much
and learned a lot from Amy!
She is amazing!
The afternoon was a gift I gave myself.

So happy to have this photo with Amy

As I was leaving the workshop,
I saw this amazing mosaic mirror
and couldn't resist taking a picture!
Don't we all love taking selfies from time to time?

All week I had lots of ideas for my blogpost today,
but somehow the question
"How do you see yourself?"
just kept coming into focus for me.
So I decided to write about it today!

It isn't an easy question,
and sometimes, on certain days,
I certainly don't want to answer that question!
What do I see when I look at myself?
A soon to be 58 year old grand mommy,
a wife and mother, a semi-retired Optician,
a friend, sister, poet, artist and teacher,
a child of God,
and a positive and loving person!
I feel that I'm living a pretty balanced life
right at this moment,
and it all feels delicious!!

It is important to re-evaluate 
how we are doing from time to time,
check in with yourself ... see if there are any imbalances!
Trust me, your body will let you know,
your mind will send you signals,
and your heart will always know the way!

Life is a balancing act,
each and every day
Don't ignore taking care of yourself,
take time to nourish your spirit,
it is so important.
If you see yourself in a positive light,
you can then be ready to give to others,
trust me ... others need you!

How do you see yourself?
We can always look at the negative side of things,
and no good can come out of it.
Take time to "take a selfie"
Write down all the positive things you can think of
about your beautiful self,
concentrate on those characteristics,
NOT the bad things going on in your life.
You may just be surprised at the list you come up with!

This beautiful spring season,
I wish you joy and abundance,
happiness in all things,
most of all
I wish you peace and understanding!
Love yourself today!

Donna Lee




Friday, May 1, 2015

Full of Beginnings

OBX Spring Beauty

Yesterday was National Poem In Your Pocket Day
and I carried this beautiful poem by David Whyte
(my absolute favorite poet!)
How I love the beauty of words!

THE LIGHTEST TOUCH
Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests your whole body,
steeling you for revelation.

In the silence that follows
a great line
you can feel Lazarus
deep inside
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light.

    - David Whyte

Today is the first of May
new beginnings ... yippee!
Spring is here
and I look forward to freshness in my life!
Today I am mailing out
postcard this morning


What fun this experience was!
(If you get the chance, sign up next time around)
Jennifer Belthoff has a gift of bringing others together
and there is usually writing at the heart of her gatherings.
I love this woman so much!!!

This Sunday afternoon I am
taking a Calligraphy Workshop
with the amazing
and I can't wait, truly!
I am totally in love with learning
the Calligraphy process, I'm hooked!


Next weekend is another
Artful Spirit Gathering
and we are teaching the Soul Collage Process,
(link button on sidebar for details)
here is my latest card ... still in process


This spring is looking to be
a very creative and inspiring one!
I love sharing the
creative process with others.

Have a beautiful beginning of May,
Know that I think about you,
I love you
and I cherish the thought
that you come here for a visit!!

Donna Lee


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Beauty of Children


This week I had the sincere privilege
to teach the art of Zentangle®
to my niece Amy's Second Grade class
at Hermitage Elementary!
You see Virginia Beach City Schools
had to add about a half hour each day
to their schedule to make up for
all the snow days they had taken!
(Virginia Beach and snow ... hard to believe!!)

Amy and I have been trying to schedule 
a Zentangle® time with her children for quite awhile
and this was the time!
I had never taught Second Graders before,
they are young to learn the process,
but I was willing to try and see how they did.
In fact, I was curious to see how they would do!
I have taught 4-6 graders before,
so this was going to be a learning experience
for the instructor (me) as well!

I created a sample Zentangle® during the week,
trying to have four tangles I thought
young children could draw,
and then tried to have stories 
they could relate too!
Static (Harry Potter's Scar)
Crescent Moon (little lady bugs)
Knightsbridge (checkerboard)
and Printemps (spirals going round and round)
I let them know that Zentangle®
was exercise for the brain!
It would be a small gift for their classroom.

Class Demo 


We started by taking three deep breaths
to calm them down after a very busy work day,
and talked about how breathing really
helps when they need to slow themselves down
How adorable they were ... concentrating on their breathing!

I was able to demonstrate on a
cool camera which projected onto a screen for the children to see,
something new for this teacher for sure!
We took the process step by step,
and as slowly as I could
(we only had an half hour to work with)
They did so good, my heart was so happy
to see them concentrating and drawing,
asking questions,
trying!

Concentration happening here!


When we finished our work,
we talked about an artist signing their work,
so they found a place they wanted on their work,
to sign either their name or initials.
We had time to come together 
and put our tiles in an ensemble,
and view each others work!
My heart skipped and leaped, truly!
We took a class picture,
just look at those little faces!

Our Classwork Ensemble!



Mrs. Watson's Second Grade Class

I left them some other things to work on,
and I challenged them to try this same tile again,
taking their time and learning even more.
What a joy it is for me to be with my niece,
teach precious children
and share the Zentangle® process with 
any age!
Mrs. Watson will be sending each child home with
their completed artwork and a certificate
from Zentangle®

Certificate sent home


I would say it was a lovely Wednesday afternoon,
and the fact that my little grandson Grayson,
got to come along with us,
and hang with the kids
and see his mama,
well there are no words to express
my happy heart!!!

Grayson and Lauren

Have a blessed week,
do something good for someone else,
think about positive things,
and share what you know ...
whatever that is!!!

Donna Lee

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Art of Seeing

Entitled "True Vision"


I was recently able to attend
a Thursday morning
art inspiration time
with my Calligraphy teacher and mentor
at the beautiful One 11 Art Gallery
It was a simple two hour workshop
entitled
"Zen of Seeing"
What a treat it was for me!

We gathered quietly at the art table,
and began with a quiet exercise
of drawing for a twenty minute time period
(I was able to share my new app Insight Timer from my iPhone),
The directions were to look at the still life (below)
she had set up for us.
The only thing we were to do
was draw what we saw,
never looking at our work,
letting our eyes tell the story,
not picking up our pen
and NO TALKING!

We slowly drew,
listened to beautiful music 
softly playing in the background.
It taught me for sure to 
slow myself down,
after hurriedly trying to get to class!

Our Still Life to work with

My little finished piece

We then took the time to share with each other
 our drawings and explain how that felt
not being able to look at our work while drawing.
It is truly amazing what your eye tells your hand

Betsy's demo with Inktense blocks

She then took Intense blocks
and just colored a few areas of her drawing,
she then used a spray bottle of water on top,
and blew the water colors around,
it was so spontaneous and lovely!
(Of course now Intense blocks are on my art wish list!)

The second exercise was even more exciting to me,
she pulled out her large collection of colored inks
it was like a candy store!

Betsy's collection of colors

We were asked to chose three colors that spoke to us,
this certainly took a little time,
there were so many choices!

Betsy then demonstrated watering down
a sheet of paper,
adding ink drops of color to the paper
and then we put saran wrap over the colors,
allowing to dry outside
(it was a most beautiful morning that day!)

Betsy's demo

My color choices

Smearing the colors

After our colors had dried, we then had
a beautiful sheet of ink colored paper to work with
then the fun began ...

Betsy demonstrated and talked about different
ink pens to work with, and I was tickled
to try some new pens, I am so used to the
Micron pens with my Zentangle ....
She then began to demonstrate how to start outlining,
shapes and objects from the dried splotches on the paper,
the Zen of seeing ... enjoying the process.

We weren't able to finish our drawings
in class, but here is mine ...

 My complete work!

I enjoyed this process so much
and I have learned even more since I purchased
the book Betsy recommended to us
The Zen of Seeing by Frederick Frank
(inside the manuscript is completely handwritten!)
What a treasure to add to my creative library

Awesome book recommendation

I learned and experienced way more than I thought I would,
on a simple Thursday morning!
I was thrilled to have some time off that day,
and that there was an opening in her class!
I could have just stayed home and done housework,
but where is the fun in that?

Reach out, find a fun little workshop to attend,
all the new things you learn can just be added
to your creative toolbox!
Mine is becoming quite full these days!

Donna Lee
living creatively each and everyday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Things that are yummy!

Spring beauty!


How wonderful that today April 1st,
is the day I get to greet my computer
and come to write my blog post.
There is something special about a Wednesday morning!
Perhaps it is because I am off today,
I can concentrate on putting the thoughts in my head,
to the page on the blog,
perhaps it is smelling the
applesauce raisin cake baking in my oven,
or feeling the warmth from the fire
(even though it is springtime!)

There are so many wonderful
and yummy moments in our lives,
if only we would take the time
to enjoy and experience them!

I pride myself on seeking out moments
to enjoy, to pause, to learn
to just be still with myself.
Perhaps the art I choose to work on,
allows me to do that as well

 Small tapestry weaving of mine ... thread by thread

 Learning the Art of Calligraphy ... patience required

Drawing Zentangle in a coffee shop

Oh how I love creating my Mixed Media Mandalas

There are so many beautiful things around me,
I scarcely can take it all in.
When I do have moments to myself,
there is usually a quiet art that follows me,
perhaps it is because they teach me ...
patience
the art of slowing down
 calmness of heart
how to center myself
being alone is okay
stillness is beautiful

Perhaps it is just seeing a movie by myself,
having coffee with girlfriends on the spur of the moment,
snuggling up to a good book,
writing a poem 
spending time in God's Word,
listening to soft music by Debussy,
writing a letter,
knitting a pair of socks
or
taking a walk at my beloved ocean
(this is truly the yummiest gift of all!)

The beautiful Outer Banks

Springtime has arrived
and now it is time to work in the garden,
planting my herbs and flowers
to enjoy all summer long!
Time to get the bird feeders well stocked,
it's going to be a beautiful season!

Backyard beauty

So on this beautiful first day of April,
grab some yumminess of your own,
be creative, be open
and share with me what you are doing,
I would love to hear.

Don't waste a moment,
living this life is a gift given ...
 we must recognize all 
the special moments we are given
Make happy yummy moments of your own
and recognize them when they happen!

Happy Easter Week
May your life be filled with love and laughter
and all beautiful things
I treasure you, my reader ...
thank you for stopping by today!

Donna Lee Zeppieri Wynn
(wow that's a mouthful!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Believe

My daily Mantra!


I recently attended the 25th Anniversary
in Hampton, Virginia.
I have fond memories of being a part owner and artist
in this collaborative art gallery over the years,
in fact, I truly can't believe I left there over 10 years ago!
I was thrilled to be invited and so happy to attend!
The crowd that gathered was impressive ... what a turn out they had!


I purchased this lovely clay sculpture (pictured above)
 as a keepsake,
to always remind myself to
"Believe I can do anything"
Blue Skies Gallery believed in my artistic abilities,
and back then I was concentrating on
my hand weaving and I loved my work!
Now I stand here ... 10 years later
and barely find time to sit at my weaving loom,
I miss it!
I truly miss the time I spent working in the gallery,
the fellowship with other artists, the inspirations,
creative conversation,
meeting patrons from all over
as they visited the gallery.
Those were good times, wonderful memories
and I grew in confidence,
in my artistic abilities.

Attending this gala last weekend,
forced me to think about the past ten years 
since I left the gallery to pursue a full time position
at Gilbert Eyecare,
I had to give up a lot to work full time again,
especially time!
Time is a precious gift for sure.
Now here I am ten years later . . .
now just working three days a week as an Optician,
caring for grand children two days a week,
and fitting in my artistic pursuits wherever I can!
My artwork has gone totally in another direction,
and I have learned so much along the way.

Yes, I believe in Me!
I believe there is time to pursue what interests us,
I believe in the Artistic Process and in Growth,
I believe I have a strong purpose in my life,
I believe my words matter,
I believe in God, love, truth, faith, family and all good things.

B ` E ` L ` I `E `V ` E
in yourself
in your own dreams
in your life pursuits
You can do anything!

Donna Lee


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Poetry on a Wednesday Afternoon


Poetic Wednesday


thoughts flow from inside the heart
spilled wide open onto the page
scary yet cleansing emotions
 all rolled into one act
putting my pen to the page
writing freely
no holding back
breathing deeply
no holding back

i find myself at peace
with this process
meeting myself here in this moment
just being present
with my own thoughts
with all the complicated emotions
words will continue to come 
they say to me "you are safe here"

i think i will just stay for awhile
breathe in words
let them allow to flow within
comfort my own heart
relax in the writing process
poetry is a gift
not everyone gets it
but i sure do


3-10-15
5:55 pm





Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Walking Through Change



Entry way found on a photo walk in Providence, RI


I have been walking through some changes lately
and I must say
it takes some getting used to!

Why is Change always such a hard thing to adjust to?
Letting go of some things, or should I say
the way things have always been ...
and stepping into new is taken some adjusting for me.
I have cut my working hours at Gilbert Eyecare,
to help care for my precious grand babies,
with no regrets at all.
We are still searching for a church home,
after leaving a church after 14 years.
My artwork has taken on some changes,
and things that used to interest me,
no longer do.
I have let go of collaging, some art journaling,
mixed media and weaving
in order to concentrate on art techniques
that calm my heart.

When we enter into this art world,
we truly think we can do it all,
we spend lots of time in art stores,
spend hard earned money to buy the supplies,
only to let them go later,
because they no longer interest us,
hmmmmmmmm.....

Our tastes are constantly evolving,
our interests are changing daily,
friendships come and go,
experience come in and out of our lives,
we remember the wonderful high
we carry home with us from art retreats,
only to find that feeling slipping away 
as we settle into real life again!!!
Then we find our attention goes toward something 
new something exciting...on to the next adventure.
There are so many e-courses out there
catching our attention
in fact, it's an overload lately.

So for myself,
I have stepped back in 2015,
concentrating on what calms my heart and mind,
being choosy about about how I spend my time,
how I spend my money and my efforts.
Being choosy is a good thing!
Here it is the beginning of March,
so it is time to check in with myself,
How have I been doing these past two months???

Working less,
caring for my grand babies,
writing poetry,
teaching Zentangle and Creative Writing
learning Calligraphy just because ...
letting my watercolors flow
is just the perfect mix for me!
It was hard for me to let go of working full time,
being an Optical Manger,
making daily decisions ...
yet here I stand
Walking through Change
and I like it.
Learning to slow the pace down,
concentrating on what I now need ...
it's really good stuff!
I'm not gonna say it's all been easy,
but necessary.


There is Power in just allowing change to happen

You don't have to do it all,
you don't have to have it all,
you don't have to be into everything,
just let your life unfold,
gently and naturally
watch what happens,
and be content with it all.
I stand here grateful for learning lessons,
lessons I needed to embrace!

Creating just for the fun of it!

Donna Lee