Paulette Roades is a woman of many talents.
A 29-year resident of Copeland Oaks, Roades’ most recent accomplishments is teaching Zentangles class.
"When I saw them, I said I would like to learn that," said Roades of the art form using 3 1/2-inch by 3 1/2-inch paper tiles.
The 92-year-old explained that a woman named Maria Thomas "invented" it and has been doing them since 2007 and then it exploded worldwide.
"It’s freehand art, drawing one line one step at a time," said Roades. "It looks like something impossible to draw on a little square but the series of straight or curves lines make a pattern."
For Roades, there’s a reason to do Zentangles. "It’s the pleasure of doing it, the use of the eng (bend or curve) and seeing the result," she said.
Roades also is an accomplished calligrapher. She is a charter member of Calligraphers Alliance, a group of people who are interested, learning or proficient in calligraphy.
Roades grew up in the Browning Woods section of Youngstown and graduated from Youngstown College in 1948 with a bachelor’s of science in chemistry. "I majored in chemistry and minored in math," said Roades. "Until my senior year, I thought I would get a job at a lab somewhere."
However, she received an offer to be a lab instructor to a couple high school teachers. "I really enjoyed it, and decided I wanted to teach," said Roades, who then added some education courses to enable her to be a teacher.
Roades’ 30-year teaching career began in Rock Creek Village in Ashtabula County. After four years there, she went to Southington Schools in Trumbull County, then to Springfield High School in Petersburg, Ohio. She taught the last 18 years of her career in Poland.
"I don’t know what it would be like now (teaching)," said Roades. "But, if I had to do it over again, I think I would (be a teacher)." She added that children have changed over these many years.
As far as her artistic talent, Roades said she only had art classes in elementary school. "But, I was always interested in fancy lettering," said Roades. "I can remember I had some kind of certificate in high school that had my name written in Old English; it was so beautiful, I tried to write my name like that."
Many years later, when she and her husband, Josh, lived just outside of Lisbon, the Salem branch of Kent State Unviersity offered an adult education class on calligraphy, and she took it.
A group then formed, and Roades is a charter member of the Columbus Calligraphy Guild. "My husband and I would drive every month to Columbus so I could attend a workshop," said Roades. She discovered there were guilds scattered throughout the country, and in 1981 attended the very first international Calligraphy Conference at St. John’s University in Minnesota.
"Donald Jackson is the best caligrapher in the world," said Roades. "He lives in Wales and is a scribe to Queen Elizabeth. Donald was going to lead the very first calligraphy conference, and I made an application to go."
Her love of calligraphy continued over the years and she attended conferences for 13 years.
Due to age and health issues, Roades’ last conference was in 2003. "The conferences are very busy, it’s constantly on the go," said Roades.
Roades has also done paper marbling, a task she said is time-consuming and takes a lot of different materials and tools.
Roades and her husband moved to Copeland Oaks in 1989 because her mother was on campus in Crandall Medical Center. She was devastated when, after only six years living in a villa at Copeland, her husband died. "He got lung cancer, it went to his brain — and poof — he was gone."
Roades moved from the villa into independent living in the main building at Copeland just last year.
She keeps busy with her art, teaching and socializing.
A permanent display of her different forms of artwork can be found in a hallway in the independent living area of Copeland Oaks.