Thursday, June 28, 2007

First Friday Coming Up!

The Art of Life Studio will again be part of the Central Eastside Art District First Friday openings. This month the guest artist will be British-born Christine Tandy who will show her magical star and cloudscape paintings. Chris is a divine painter with a wicked sense of humor, so come and meet her and lose yourself in the paintings!

First Friday, July 6
6-9 PM
Food and beverages will be served

I will be showing some work as well. The new CEAD map is due to appear this month and we'll have plenty available to point the way to other great art venues.

See you First Friday!

Last Chance for Altered Book Workshop!

I have one opening in "Altered Alchemy", an afternoon of altered book making. The workshop was full but due to the withdrawing of a participant, we have room for one more! Here's the lowdown on the workshop which takes place on Sunday.

Transform an old boring book into your own fascinating work of art!

Come join us for this mind and book altering workshop. Bring an older book with a sewn binding. All other materials provided!

Sunday, July 1 from 12:30-4. Tuition: 40.

Serena Barton, LPC/artist


1210 SE Oak St.

Monday, June 18, 2007

More pictures

Here are more paintings from tonight's workshop! The Portrait of Madame X after John Singer Sargent, is still in progress, but is coming along beautifully.

The Forgiving Medium Blesses Participants

We had a blast at tonight's beginning acrylic workshop! Participants created both still life and abstract work--I couldn't wait to put the pictures up here on the blog. Everyone was courageously experimental and tried out many ways of using acrylics, as you can see by looking at the photos. Thanks to all who participated!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Forgiving Medium" returns

Last chance to register for this beginning acrylic workshop!

A fun and supportive workshop for beginners! Some of the great qualities of acrylics are: they dry quickly, they have brilliant colors, they are easy to use, and they can be painted over as many times as you want. Bring your desire to experiment and leave with two small paintings.

June 18 4-7 PM at The Art of Life Studio

1012 SE Oak St., Portland 971-404-7664

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More Altered Alchemy

By popular demand, book altering cabals will be meeting June 17 and July 1 from 12:30-4 for more alchemical action. You can attend either or both. Bring your old book with a sewn binding and we provide tons of other supplies. Tuition: 40. Caveat: Altered Alchemy is Addictive! To register call 971-404-7664 or email

Have a workshop you'd like to attend? Let me know--new workshops are scheduled frequently.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

More on Midsummer Creative Revels

Several people have asked for more information about the Midsummer Creative Revels scheduled for June 24. First, I need to note that I am not affiliated with any other group in Portland that uses the term "revels", though I admit to belonging to The Society for Creative Anachronism in the very early 70's.

I am planning some simple but fun activities--decorating and making an herb sachet, and creating fairy manikins (or womaninkins.) This activity was inspired by the lovely creation by one of my Art of Life group members, Polly Burton. The picture is of her fairy, "Charm."

For the Shakespearean feast there will be no suckling pig, I promise. Just some summer treats that Will himself might have enjoyed, such as "A Dyschefull of Snowe" and "Frittors of Spinage." Come join us and see what these are!

June 24: 6-9 PM
60. includes supplies and feast.
To register call 971-404-7664 or email

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Workshops Coming Up

Today, June 3, we had a very successful "Altered Alchemy" workshop. The group wants to meet again soon, so watch this space for the next altered book making date--most likely June 17.

"The Forgiving Medium", a beginning acrylics class, meets Monday, June 18 from 4-7 PM. We'll cover the many ways to use acrylic paint and the mysterious substances known as acrylic mediums. Even if you have never painted before you'll come away with two portraits or still lifes on canvas. Tuition: 50. Paint, brushes, and mediums are provided. Bring some prepared canvases or canvas board in sizes you'd like to use. I'll have light snacks available. To register contact or call 971-404-7664.

"Midsummer Creative Revels"-- St. John's Eve or Midsummer Night is a traditional time to celebrate the magic of a summer evening. We'll make herb sachets and fairy manikins and feast on Shakespearean treats. Materials and feast provided. Meets June 24 from 6-9 PM. Tuition: 60.

"Book Making for the Right-Brained"--If you'd love to make a book but Fear Measuring, join us for this class taught by book artist Alisa Walton. Her patient expertise will result in participants creating a lovely and durable hand made book. Meets July 8 from 10-4. Supplies included. Tuition: 90. Bring a brown bag lunch.

All above workshops held at The Art of Your Life, 1210 SE Oak, Portland.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Art's Transformative Powers

In preparation for teaching "Women, Creativity, and Healing" this summer at Portland State, I have been reading an excellent book. "The Soul's Palette" by Cathy A. Malchiodi . Her book has done much to remind me of why we make art. As part of my livelihood I show and sell my art. This is great fun, but sometimes I get so caught up in the Art World that I temporarily neglect the major reason I make art and love to encourage others to do so. In her book Ms. Malchiodi discusses the healing that can take place through art making whether one considers oneself an artist or not.

She points out that all young children consider themselves able and entitled to create art. It is only when we grow older and subject to criticism from others and then from ourselves, that we doubt our right to add to our joy and the health of the "soul" by making art. Her mission is to facilitate awareness of the emotional and physical benefits we receive from allowing ourselves to make art in a spirit of experimentation and in the honoring of our own style. Some of the documented benefits she lists from creative activities are: stress reduction, improvement of blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration; improved mood and outlook; and increased ability to communicate feelings.

Malchiodi talks about how many aspects of life are out of our control. Art making allows us to have an experience within our control and to make meaning out of the events of our lives. Art making can allow the unconscious mind healthy expression, even in some cases, mastery of traumatic experiences. "Images are the midwives between experience and language".

Since I have quoted Malchiodi without permission, I am happy to point out that her book is available from, ISBN # 1-57062-815-7. It's a lovely, encouraging book.

Fun First Friday Fest

First Friday festivities at The Art of Your Life were awesome. I tried to take some candid shots, but almost everyone caught me and several posed with their purchases. A huge thanks to Julianna, Barry, and Dawn for the joyous music. You can hear Julianna and Barry at:

Next month I'll be showing the evocative paintings of Christine Tandy--you can see one of her "Starsca
pes" here. More about this show in future posts.