The Vanzant Brush Twitter Feed

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Recommendation 1 - "Creative Workshop" by David Sherwin

I was at my local library and was leaving when I saw the book. I think it caught my eye because it was so colorful. It was called “Creative Workshop” by David Sherwin. I looked at the back cover, scanned through it and was hooked. I checked it out. When I got home, I immediately started reading my new design bible. The author Mr. Sherwin has brilliantly put together 80 design challenges to teach and motivate you into learning about maximum creativity.

 So, first let me tell you what happened and why I think this book is so awesome. I read the first challenge and knew there was no way I was going to be able to complete it within the 30-minute time frame given. I decided to give myself the best advantage by using the tools provided by Mr. Sherwin in the Introduction. Well, long story short - I did it! One of my main challenges is coming up with ideas within a given time frame. There are times I have an idea but it might take days/weeks to flesh it out on paper. So this exercise showed me that with practice I can hone my design skills in all areas of my life and for that I will be forever grateful to this talented author.

Moving on, I got a little busy after the first Challenge and had to renew the book. I worked on Challenge two, finished it and again ran out of time before I could start the next challenge so I decided to do myself a favor and just buy the book. So now I am working on each challenge and having a great time learning new things. One thing that I found particularly helpful were the techniques Mr. Sherwin provided to help with time management and structuring your ideas, such as:

Time Boxing – Allocating a time period for each activity.
Mind Mapping – Using a diagram to visually organize information.
Word Listing – Using words to visually organize information.
Picture Association – Using pictures to visually organize information.
Brute Thinking - Using attributes attached to random words or pictures to find an association.

There is so much more and I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. This book should be used to teach students how to create and document concepts on the clock and it is not just applicable to art.

Think Creatively!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury England

Two weeks after September 11, I traveled to England. One of the towns on my list of places to visit was Shaftesbury England, specifically, Gold Hill. I stood on the hill after a two hour train ride and only hours after I first set foot in England. This steep hill had the most beautiful cottages and I was so happy to have made it! When I got home, I wrote this poem about it. I hope to one day see it again.

Gold Hill – Shaftesbury, England

By: Monica Vanzant

A quiet moment on a hill
of man made stone and crafted skill
I stand in awe, my mouth agape
Amazed at finding heaven's gate
For what I see is beauty wide
My soul is full and swells with pride
A scene with cottages askew
All shapes and colors, none are new
Atop a hill in Shaftesbury

Broad images that touch my soul
I wonder at their stories told
A long walk down, I stand and sigh
This journey will my strength defy
But I must go, I know that now
Way down Gold Hill I do avow
And so I start my trek downhill
The easiest part and needs no skill
Atop a hill in Shaftesbury

With little breath and steady heart
From this long hill I do depart
Some happy greetings come my way
From friendly locals I survey
Their nods and smiles at me so sweet
I'm more surprised each one I meet
Three times I hear, “It looks like rain!”
I find myself refreshed again
Atop a hill in Shaftesbury

With shaking legs and beaming smile
I look up at my traveled mile
Well not a mile but it feels so
The distance from that place I know.
From awe to dread I pick my way
O'er cobbled roads where children play
For now I know the time has come
To turn again, so I succumb
Atop a hill in Shaftesbury

With labored breath, I start my walk
My legs move slowly as they mock
My foolish pride that drives them so
Beyond the length they want to go
But on I push to higher ground
Until the top is once more found,
With gods good grace I have my end!
Up steep and winding path to wend,
Atop a hill in Shaftesbury

My panting breath comes back to me
As I turn back and there I see
That I have filled my latest dream
I've walked up THE GOLD HILL - I deem,
As sure as rain will come today
I know I will return and stay
For though my own land's miles gone past
It feels as though I'm home at last
Atop a hill in Shaftesbury

Lily - "The Icon Prize" Finalist

A huge thank you to Lane Von Herzen, author of "The Unfastened Heart" and the Icon Prize committee for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful project.


Set To Music...

Creation of still life "The Two No One Wanted"

Fine Art Paintings by Monica Vanzant

Video of Black and White Photographs

Create your own video slideshow at

Video Skyscape - Heavens V

Create your own video slideshow at

Video Skyscapes - Heavens IV

Create your own video slideshow at

To learn more about the singing/songwriting duo Elise Bellew and Blake Ryan and or to purchase their music please visit

Video Skyscape - The Heavens

Create your own video slideshow at

Video Skyscape - Heavens I

Create your own video slideshow at