Gratitangle Dedication …….. remembering Jo Flaherty

November 24, 2022. Thanksgiving

On this day of Thanksgiving, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to all of my creative friends and acquaintances who have encouraged and inspired me along my artistic journey. Whether you realize it or not, without your pushing and nudging, cheering and challenging, I might still be stuck in a causality loop of repetitive and, dare I say, boring attempts at something resembling art. Because of you, I’ve crossed the threshold of humdrum “wanna’ be” to humbly admitting myself “artist.”  You know who you are, for you are all many and amazing! From my active Zentangle days to today’s infatuation with nature journaling, this post is dedicated to you.  

My Gratitangle 2022 using patterns designed by Jo Flaherty: Seaz, Bowtye, Pearly-Girl, Echo-S.

But today I pause to pay special tribute to a remarkable woman, Jo Flaherty.  An amazing artist with a beautiful grasp of design and color, Jo was a master of the flow and rhythm of even the most complex of Zentangle patterns.  She prolifically created works of tangled beauty, but also knew how to have serious fun in her art-making, all while exploring new methods and media. Jo was a natural teacher, coach and mentor, and we spoke numerous times to discuss her various techniques involving composition and color blending. Always willing to provide caring critique and advice on approaches to my work, Jo was extremely influential in my evolving style of art.  Even today There are hints of “Jo” peeking through my journal pages. Such an inspiration! 

Over the course of several years, Jo and I would send Zentangle tiles back and forth in the mail, initiating and then adding patterns until the tile was filled up! Here’s a set of those tiles. Such fun and a tremendous learning experience for me!

The devastatingly sad news of Jo’s passing earlier this month was such a shock. She will be greatly missed in the art and Zentangle community as a wonderful artist and friend to so many.  We all need a hearty dose of “Jo” in our lives, and I’m so glad she graciously and selflessly took me under her wing all those years ago.

Another set of Zentangle tiles jointly created by Jo and myself

Salvatore Dali said it perfectly ……. “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”  This was (and in so many ways, still is) Jo. Someday I hope to follow in her artistic footsteps. 

And here’s another set of Zentangle tiles jointly created by Jo and myself

From the bottom of my heart ….. thank you Jo Flaherty (1953-2022)

Love those who’ve inspired you. Their gift is priceless.


  1. martchare says:

    So well said, Jo was an amazing inspiration and encourager.


    1. She definitely was amazing! Thanks so much for the comment! Hope you’re doing great. Happy Thanksgiving.


    2. So good to hear from you Liz!


    3. elainebhills says:

      The gift of inspiration is truly priceless! Thank you so much for passing on that inspiration and nudging others (especially me) to work at being creative. So sorry you’ve lost a friend in Jo. I’m sure she would be delighted to know how well you are carrying on, and expanding, on her creativity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for the wonderful comments, Elaine! Jo was such a special woman. I “met” her on-line when we were in Oriental. She was always a constant inspiration, made me laugh and pushed me into adding humor to my work, visually and in story.
        You are also a constant source of inspiration, and still teach me the value of and visual imagery that words can have on my pages!


  2. So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend and mentor. It sounds like she was a great inspiration to you and an influence on your amazing art. I absolutely love the exchange of tiles that you shared back and forth! The quote you included is wonderful. I feel inspired by your creativity, energy and kindness and am so grateful that our paths have crossed and that I can travel this creativity journey alongside you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truly lovely comments, Karen! Thank you so much. I am grateful beyond words for those who have and continue to influence and inspire me, and you’ve become one of those sources of inspiration in my world.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. goodlifecp says:

    I’m so sorry about Jo. You’re right, she was an amazing artist. I remember the two of you posting your collaborative work and it was fun to see where one left and the other continued on. The merging of two very artistic and creative minds. ❤️


    1. What lovely words! Thanks Cass! She was such a great woman and friend!


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