We have had snow on the ground since mid-December here in Southwest Minnesota. So my thoughts naturally turn to my friend in sunnier climes. She calls herself “Z” but I know what her name really is. I have seen it at the bottom of her paintings and her photographs as well. She is an artist with her eye open to the world around her which she presents to us with great joie de vivre and vibrant color. Indeed, it is her eye for color that strikes me the most: her work is a delight and her blogs are always worth a visit — as growing numbers of people are coming to realize.
I know Z only by her blogs and her comments on my blogs, which are frequent, almost daily. She has a problem with her electricity down there in Ecuador, especially during the rainy season, and she can’t always get her computer to work. But it’s worth the wait and her comments are always interesting and thoughtful. She delights in her world but is aware of its flaws as well. My blogs can be a bit dour at times, but she continues to read them and make insightful comments. When I taught philosophy I usually tried to inject a little humor into the class discussion — not jokes (I can’t tell a joke to save my life) but things I find amusing about the topic I happen to be addressing — try to lighten things up a bit. I sneak such asides into my blogs from time to time. Z “gets” my peculiar sense of humor and frequently comments on my attempt at humorous asides. In fact, I find myself thinking of her when I write them these days, hoping she will get a chuckle.
I always loved teaching aesthetics when I was at the university. They were some of my favorite classes. My mother was an artist, I can draw a bit, and thanks to my good friend, the artist Ed Evans, the art students at the university were required to take the course in aesthetics as part of their art major. That in itself was unusual, because a course in philosophy is not that easy for people who are intuitive and (as we say) right-brain oriented. Philosophy can be a bit like swimming through glue even for those who are good swimmers. But I have always preferred to interact with thinkers who combine different ways of thinking about their world. It is much more interesting. And Z is that type of person. The art majors I taught always surprised me and a number of them did extremely well and remain my friends to this day. Do I need to say I have a special place in my heart for artists?
In any event, if you have not visited “Playamart” (also referred to as “Zeebra Designs and Destinations”) you owe it to yourself to visit her blog and learn about Z’s world. It is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I have no idea how she finds the time to post such a stunning, fascinating blog nearly every day while continuing to paint — and with a computer that doesn’t always cooperate! In any event, it was no wonder to find out recently that she has over 500 followers. Her part of the world is tropical Ecuador, but it opens up into the world we all share and the joy Z takes in her world is infectious. She hopes that you will emerge from her world with a “lighter heart,” and it is very likely you will. It is time well spent.