Zentangle is an abstract art created by a collection of patterns. It is typically done in black and white as a way to destress and reduce anxiety.

Marisela Rumberg is dwarfed by the large wall she’s tasked with painting, but that doesn’t stop her from taking on the challenge.

“I love it,” she said. “I want to do more.”

Rumberg, who is originally from Mexico but now living in Fairfax, was commissioned for her first large-scale mural just recently following a quilting workshop retreat she taught.

Being a zentangle teacher since 2016, Rumberg always invites people to hire her to paint a mural on a white car or wall whenever she teaches a class or attends a lecture.

Zentangle is an abstract art created by a collection of patterns. It is typically done in black and white as a way to destress and reduce anxiety.

After prompting students during her recent class via a contract with the Virginia Consortium of Quilters, student and West Locust Street building owner Mary Grogan took her up on the offer.

Grogan was so motivated about the art piece, Rumberg recalled, the pair drove by to see the building together the day the retreat ended to envision what the wall would look like.

After traveling back home, Rumberg began to sketch out her abstract idea for the wall and ran it by Grogan, who gave Rumberg the majority of the creative control. The design includes swirls, three-sided shapes and even a feather.

The building, which is adjacent to Culpeper Town Hall, must be scaled using a lift. On her first day of the job, Rumberg got a quick lesson on how to move herself up and down. Then she was off to the races.

On the days she paints, Rumberg drives an hour back and forth only to work until she’s “exhausted.” Painting days last upwards of eight hours in the direct sunlight and heat.

Rumberg will be back to painting on July 23 and will be painting for another week. She is unsure how much longer after that she’ll need to complete it. 

“It is a lot of work, but I’m liking it,” she said. “I’m loving it. I feel like I’m getting better at it.”

Prior to jumping on the lift, Rumberg’s first experience with painting large surfaces came before the COVID-19 pandemic when she painted the LOVE sign in Occoquan in Prince William County.

She frequently teaches, freelances and works as an English/Spanish interpreter.


(2) comments

Fix Prince William

Harry, you’ve got issues.

Harry Morant

Brilliant! Urban "art" to hoodify Culpeper. And there will be no gun violence, now that stress and anxiety have been eliminated, another plus!

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