Rho Densmore, CZT
About Me...

One day in 2002 my life took an unexpected turn when I ventured to a local Renaissance Fair and, after being dragged to the archery range by a good friend, and after shooting the second arrow, I discovered my passion for archery. Quickly following this experience I went on to get lessons and to acquire a coach. Besides the love of my newfound sport I was consistently amazed at the state of mind I could enter when practicing outside in my backyard. Hours would go by and I stood my ground, raised the bow, drew the string back, and released, sending the arrow freely through the air. It was then that I learned the power of "moving meditation" and how through doing certain activities with focus, discipline, commitment, and attention to the present moment I could truly enter into a different mental and physical state.

With my bow in one hand and my passion in the other I quickly entered into the world of competition. Within the first three years of shooting I attained success at the State (California) National, and World levels. While I did gain much in in experience, facing my inner demons, and working through the anxieties of competition, I lost the ability to use the bow and arrow to attain the peaceful, intuitive, meditative states I was once able to enter into so easily.

In 2005 I became a certified archery instructor and began to share my passion for archery with others. In January of 2011, I started by own archery company, The Second Arrow, which I named after the infamous arrow I shot which started me on a new life journey. In September of 2011 my husband and I embarked on our second trip to Italy to attend a two week session at the La Romita School of Art. (While I do not consider myself an "artistic" person, I am creative and enjoy the creative process.) My aunt who has a Masters Degree in Art was the instructor for the course and my husband, who took up photography after our first trip to Italy, both had their creative direction and outlets. I took a journal and intended to work on my poetry and short story projects while being inspired by the fabulous Umbrian culture, ruins, medieval towns, and landscapes.

It was during one of the studio sessions at La Romita that a fellow American student introduced the class to Zentangles. I was instantly hooked as I discovered I could create a drawing, an artistic piece, even if I wasn't an "artist." Once I returned home I took an official Zentangle class with local CZT, Susanne Wilka, and I soon reconnected with that inner place of calm and focus I had experienced in my early days of archery. This is what I have come to understand about these two "worlds" I am now involved in...

Like a martial art, archery is 90% mental. It teaches focus, concentration, discipline, body awareness, and helps to build self-confidence. When the mind and body are in sync and working together it can be a powerful experience. Through archery, when one focuses and maintains their attention on the process of maintaining proper form and the inner process of shooting an arrow INSTEAD of focusing on where the arrow hits (and whether or not the arrow hits the bullseye) it can be quite meditative.

Zentangles, like archery, can also be a moving meditation activity. If the basic approach is presented and done properly, drawing a Zentangle will keep a person in their right brain (the more creative side) along with teaching focus, discipline, body awareness, and connection to the present moment. For my business, when I begin to incorporate Zentangles with archery, it will be for helping the students I coach to develop stronger focus and concentration skills which they can transfer to the bow and their own personal archery process. With that being said, I will not limit teaching Zentangles only to my archery students. I will instruct any and all who want to learn whether or not they are interested in shooting a bow.  Then I will be able to help others learn that everyone has the ability to be creative and artistic.

In February of 2012 I attended the Certified Zentangle Teacher Training in Rhode Island with Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. At the completition I, along with 77 others (CZT class #8) were recognized as official CZTs. The next step in my adventure begins...

~Rho Densmore~

My First Zentangle

Drawn in Italy and before I understood the 
purpose of  drawing them in black and white.
(Yes that is an archery target in the tangle.)

My Second Zentangle

Also drawn in Italy and it still resides
there in the La Romita Class Artbook.

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