This blog post was written for Ann Grasso, and appears on Ann Grasso Pattern Art.

Call it mid-life crises or finally waking up…. Just before turning the big 50, I decided to step out of the box. I got an itch to learn, grow and do. I’ve always had artistic abilities but they were never directed or refined. I have what is called a beginner’s mind… (it’s a good thing) so I am willing to try and to explore, much like the special needs kiddos that I work with during my day job.

It all reignited one very snowy weekend… REALLY! A Zentangle® class was being offered and after attending, I was incredibly inspired. I’d always wanted to be an art teacher and this gave me the opportunity to pursue my dream. I attended a certification seminar to teach Zentangle, which became a gateway. I quite literally stepped into a world of amazing creatives and the many, many different types of media available to create art. There is comfort in working small with simple lines that grow into complex patterns which in turn became lovely little abstract pieces of art.

Daisies/ Colored Pencil/ 6×9

Daisy/Pen & Ink with watercolor/ 9×12

Half Full/ Colored Pencil/9×12

Graphite drawing was the next natural step, then transitioning to colored pencil work, watercolor, acrylic painting and finally oil painting. While I do admit, there are many pieces that are for my eyes only, this journey is fulfilling my hunger to learn.

Art Journal Challenge Pen & Ink Colored pencil

Art Journal Challenge Pen & Ink Colored pencil

A Nip/ Graphite/ 9×12

Now for the big questions…. Who? Why?

Who is this art for? Why create art?

For me, it is learning to embrace and create images that come to mind as ideas, inspirations, or my memories. I create for me, with a thought or intention that is sometimes embedded into my creation, or sometimes simply kept in my own thoughts for guidance. I let creativity flow – not allowing judgment to hinder the process. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day! Now I find myself exploring things that I would never have given the time…. new mediums, and styles of art, even abstraction which was totally foreign to me. I can find myself lost in others’ work while trying to learn their stories and techniques. I enjoy taking any classes. They are offered all over: the internet, art guilds, Meetups, etc. Learning from fellow creatives has been the most helpful, talking about techniques and tools, sharing times to try things.

I used to struggle with the questions “Am I good enough?”, “Do I have the right to call myself an artist?” I’ve learned to say yes to both. My art is for me….

Intentions/Acrylic/ 12×16

Upcycled Coffee Table/Acrylics

Step out of your comfort zone (“I’m not an artist”); find your inner spark and challenge the creativity hidden within you. Your art is just that, your art! It’s not something that needs to be shared or judged. You create with your own hands. When I teach classes I remind all that when entering into my classroom the running shoes are left at the door. There is no competition. Simple instruction is offered to guide and allow the creativity within each of us to shine.

Cari Camarra Artist/CZT


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Ted E and Felted Friends

Don’t even get me started on these little loves!


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