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.
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!
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.
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.
From the bottom of my heart ….. thank you Jo Flaherty (1953-2022)
Love those who’ve inspired you. Their gift is priceless.