Sunday, March 21, 2010

Getting a Few Z's (And 3 S's on Shadow Shot Sunday)

Jasper Johns is, of course, a famous artist. And at one point, he says, he made a decision to "stop becoming an artist and actually be one". At this point in my journey, that quote is meaningful to me.

The first anniversary of my blog just passed, on March 15th. And this past year in the blogosphere has been wonderful, thanks to all of you. I never imagined that such meaningful connections could be made over the internet, and that I could learn so much from so many. It has accelerated my progress in art and given me much joy. Thank you so much for that.

And the journey continues. I am not sure of the placement of the line between becoming and being. A student, of course, is always learning, but a dynamic artist is learning as well. When does one stop becoming, and start being an artist? What do you think?

One wonderful thing that I am doing now is creating a good working space in my home for the creation of art. Yes, that's right - a studio. I had planned to have this done by the end of this month, but the end of April is more realistic. And that will be good.

I watch "Morning Joe", the news program on MS-NBC with Joe and Mika. Sometimes, Mika's father, the former United States National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter appears as a guest.

Everyone treats him with great deference. His name is Zbigniew Brzezinski.

He has gravitas. Besides having a wonderfully learned accent, he has z's all over his name and in odd places. This adds to has stature.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think having z's scattered throughout your name creates a great advantage for anyone in any field, not just political science, but also literature, and the arts. Having that final letter appear somewhere in your name can create all of the difference between respect and oblivion.

I believe, then, that to be rather than become, it would jump start the entire affair if I simply change my name from Dan Kent, to Dzan Kzenski.



Of course my name wouldn't be unpronounceable, like the name of Zbigniew Brzezinski or the name of God, for example, but that would keep my feet on the ground.

Zbigniew Brzezinski also has three z's. I would have only two. I would be important and humble - the best of both worlds.

There is zen in Kzenski.

I am not, of course, Dzan Kzenski. I am merely Dan Kent. But it helps that Ramona has awarded me a Kreativ Blogger award, and I thank her for that. There are certain obligations that come with the award that I will fulfill in another post.

In the above drawing, I drew the family eating dinner at one restaurant, the surroundings at another, and the trees at a third. The above picture was a painting adventure for me, and I believe I have managed to smooth some bumps in the road, while creating a few others. That is learning, I guess.

If I can't get a few z's, I can at least have three S's. For Shadow Shot Sunday, I contribute the following:


A somber note and message: On the Everyday Matter Posts, it was announced that Danny Gregory, the creator of Everyday Matters, who has greatly enriched so many lives including mine, has tragically lost his wife, Patti.

To Danny: I feel for you and your son, and wish you solace in the wake of this tragic loss. You have spread the gift of joy, wonder and hope to so many, myself included. I hope that each of us can convey just a bit of that back to you, to help you through these difficult times, so that you can know that the thoughts and best wishes of the entire Everyday Matters Group are with you and your family.



  1. Dan- You have a way of telling a story that is so interesting and entrancing. That's artistry. You have the ability to sketch a scene, convey a moment in time and allow the viewer to see inside. That's artistry. You take photographs that tell a story too. That's artistry- and you are an artist. (And there are no z's in artist.)
    I'm so glad you are setting up a space for your art! I"m sorry to hear about Mr. Gregory's loss. So sad.

  2. You create z'art! :)
    I'm still somewhat timid about drawing in public - not if I am alone, oddly enough, but if someone is with me at a restaurant or coffee shop. I think it's because I feel that I am ignoring my companion because I'm very much somewhere else in my head. Ah well, one of these days.

    I was stunned to read about Patti's death. My heart goes out to Danny and Jack. So very sad!

  3. Sincerest condolences to Danny for his profound loss. This is sad news, indeed.

    You are an artist when you declare it AND when you engage in it as a priority in your life. You ARE an artist, without or without all the "z's" in your name. (Zorro had the right idea - just cut a big "Z" into everything). Great drawing, BTW.

  4. Dzan, you do wonderful work! I love all your paintings of folks in their everyday settings. Congratulations on your anniversary, and I know you'll love having a studio when you get it finished! nanzy

  5. Dan-- everytime I visit your blog, I always go away inspired. Thanks.

  6. Oh, a studio sounds great, DZAN KZENSKI! And you are definitely a creative one, indeed.

  7. U have a great signature mark on your paintings that i can identifiy as yours, i love the 'family portrait' :)

  8. Every time I read one of your posts I feel like I have no words. You used them all up too well. I am speecheess. I am without speech. (Seinfeld)
    Seriously, you say it all and too well for me to come up with anything. BUT...I love the whole post, Dazn! The drawing once again has that great style you have! And I love that so often you paint people enjoying each other's company. The trees work really well outside and the people are great. (I love that boy's leg!)
    Now, I'm off to recharge my vocabulary. I knew them once, and I can get them back.

  9. Oh, and my heart also goes out the Danny and his son. I can't imagine the pain they are going through right now. May they find peace soon.

  10. Yes you are an artist. You have the right to use that word. You produce art, thus you are an artist. Love the story and the art. Wonderful as always.

  11. I say leave the z out of Dan but leave it in Kzentski! Lol. You don't need any zees at all because you already are an artist. When you started wondering when the change occurs - it does! Because it all depends on you. It is your art. Some people do not like famous artist's works but that doesn't make them non-artists does it? And some artists only sold works after they were dead but they didn't become artists then - they already were artists. Did you have trouble saying you were a husband or a dad? How about a son? That's something you never worked for or tried for but you are one. Why do we think there is a magic line to cross to be a "real" artist because isn't that what you are really asking? Well, a whole lot of people just gave you your verification that you are so please accept it and enjoy your blogiversary!

  12. The creativity of your paintings and words are an inspiration,how could you not be an artist??

  13. Happy first anniversary!
    It is always interesting to read you and look at your art. You are a zartist, it is a fact.
    Be careful what you dream, though, it is not easy to have a complicated name (talking from experience)

  14. A delightful and thought-provoking post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and art with us this past year! Kudos to you for "creating a space" for your art...keep growing, learning, seeing...but BE the artist you want to be!

  15. Wonderful post, Dzan! Of course, I think you ARE an artist because you have the artist's spirit. To me, that is all it takes.

    I love the subtlety of the colors up there. And the sketch is that you combined different scenes. I should try to do that. I have a tendency to lump different sketches on the page in a disjointed sort of way. Never thought of doing it like this!

    I've been very busy lately. We're doing our planting (veggie garden is huge this year), so I haven't been spending much time on the computer or I would have commented on this piece when I first saw it, about five minutes after you posted!

    Yes, it's terrible about Danny. I couldn't believe it when I read that. People from all over the world are mourning with him.

    Signing out,
    Zraena Youltzon

  16. Forget Dzan--go with DZ Kent.

    I'm glad to hear about the studio space--it's nice to have a designated place to work. I have a studio/workshop but my art supplies spread into every room.

    I agree that it's hard to say "I'm an artist."

  17. Congratulations on the Kreativ Blogger award, you deserved it, I always enjoy reading your posts. I'm so sad for Danny's loss.

  18. I am reminded of a cartoon I saw of a guy sitting in front of a big computer. There is a woman in the doorway on the phone and the caption reads: "oh, he hasn't got time to create any art..he is too busy talking to all his computer friends about being an artist"--don't think that didn't bring me up short. I do spend a lot of time online! But actually--I do think the internet has helped me to be motivated to paint. My blogging friends have almost always been more interested in what I do than my "real life" friends! (weird as that is).
    As for an artist's name. WELL. a short succinct name has always been an asset image wise. Think: Paul Klee.
    I like your sketch--I hope to see many more!

  19. Z is my favorite letter! Great sketch too. Terribly sad about Patti. I hope it helps just a little that so many are thinking of them.

  20. Happy first Blog Birthday!! You are definitely an artist, with or without Zs. The compilation sketch of you family is wonderful and charming.

  21. Can't you just say: "I AM DAN KENT. I AM AN ARTIST"?

    It's easy to determine if someone is an artist. If she/he produce art, than she/he is an artist.
    I think you produce art. Do you?

    P.S. Happy first bloganniversary!

  22. OK, OK..if I deny being an artist at this point, I would be insulting all of you! And that I cannot do. OK, Dragana. Uhhum. (Clearing throat). I AM DAN KENT. I AM AN ARTIS--Cough, cough, sputter, sputter..I'm okay---It's all right. I'm okay.

    And, yeah, Celeste - my name's even shorter than Paul Klee's! YEAH! How good is THAT?! All right.

    Still, you know - maybe, you know - one little z might help? one?

    Thanks to you all..

  23. Thanks Dan for your comment. Yeah I go to Iceman very often to help him with stuff. Whenever we're not doing ice sculptures, I fix his computers, I fix his security camera systems, and all kinds of technical demands... ya know being and engineer and all. But of course doing ice sculptures is the most fun thing ever over there.
    I am glad you like my motorcycle drawing. My dad doesn't like bikes too and I could understand his reasons as I could with yours as well. Thanks for the comments.

  24. What a most fabulous post, Dan. So glad you came to visit me as I have now found another fabulous artist to follow. Just the few that I can see on this first page are all so very wonderful and you have a most delightful style. I'm still trying to simply drag my own out of kindergarten style. Interesting to hear your arguments, yea and nay, on the line between artist and artist wannabe. I've mentioned this very point several times in a few posts. Alas, I doubt I'll ever move out of the 'wannabe' category, but I keep struggling. I do have a small room as a studio in my home and it is my haven. I spend most of my time either here or in my bedroom. LOL Love all the Z's; not so bad surrounded by vowels, but them next to a consonant and the pronunciation wars begin! By the way, my great grandfather (my dad's mom's dad) was named Earl Kent. T'is the Brit in me.

  25. Great sketch Dan. Happy anniversary