Saturday, November 24, 2007

December: A New Workshop & A 3-Artist Show

December brings a gift-making workshop, "Hand-Made for the Holidays", and a three-artist holiday show and sale. Avoid the manic malls! Make a unique accordian book for someone special and/or pick up one of our unusual handmade gifts at the holiday sale.

"Hand-Made for the Holidays"

Create a personal accordian book for gift-giving! Bring copies of photos and 2-D memorabilia to mix with our plentiful supplies. You'll produce an attractive work of love for someone special. Sunday, December 9 from 10 AM-4PM
Bring a sack lunch and your images

(See accordian book above)

Tuition: 100. (includes supplies)
To Register: Send a 50. deposit to: Serena Barton, 1210 SE Oak St., Portland OR 97214. Feel free to email me at: or call: 971-404-7664 with any questions.

Holiday Show & Sale
The Art of Your Life & Innerstandings Studios
Art by: Serena Barton, Jane Kearney, & Diane Havnen Smith

(See pendant by Jane Kearney above)

1210 SE Oak St., Portland
Friday, December 7 6-9 PM
Saturday, December 8 11 AM-4PM

You'll find book arts, fine art pieces, paper dolls, photography, journals, jewelry and more. You can even sit down and make your own collage when all the heady shopping possibilities overwhelm you!

Thanks to all of you who have made art, viewed art, and loved art at The Art of Your Life this year! Have a loving and peaceful holiday season!

All warm wishes,


Sunday, November 18, 2007

More November News

Here are a couple of pictures from my recent show that opened in Seattle on First Friday. The show is at Frame Up Studios in the Fremont District and will be up through November. The opening was lots of fun and I got to meet many art lovers from Seattle and a few visiting from Portland.

I have an opening in my women's creativity group, The Art of Life. This is a creativity/support group that meets Tuesday evenings from 7-9 PM. We are a humorous, irreverent bunch who explore all kinds of media with abandon. No previous art experience is necessary--really! The tuition is 35. for each two hour group. Supplies and inspiration are provided!

AMHA Open Studio

Several members and colleagues of the American Mental Health Alliance-Oregon Chapter got together today at my studio to play around with art and chat. This was the first in what will be regular Open Studios where mental health types can let loose and make art. Above are a few works that photographed ok with my phone camera, though the real pieces are much better in person. We had a great time and could have gone on all day and night with our fun!

To find out more about the AMHA, go to:
This is a dedicated professional group that helps folks find a therapist who is right for them, holds educational and networking events for members and colleagues, and continues to work for privacy for mental health and counseling clients.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

As promised, more pictures from PSU class

Here are some more pictures from "Living to Paint/Painting to Live" at PSU.

"Living to Paint/Painting to Live" at PSU

Today I finished teaching another wonderful PSU weekend class on two women artists. This class covered the lives of Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi.

Sofonisba, who was born about 1532-35, lived to be in her nineties. She served as lady in waiting and court painter at the court of Philip II of Spain. She began the tradition of genre painting, which refers to painting real people in scenes of their everyday lives. She was known for her wit and her psychologically astute painting.

Artemisia is one of the Baroque periods finest painters. She is known for the strong, bold, and active women that appear in her portraits and mythological works. She overcame many personal and financial hardships to become extremely successful and honored in her time.

Above are some of the projects done by students in this weekend's class. ( Because I can only put up 5 images at at time, see the next blog for more images.) I never cease to be moved and delighted by the energy the students can put in to their projects and the outcomes they achieve. This isn't easy, as they have only a couple of hours or less to produce their work! I'd say this group did an incredible job.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Abbess and the Entrepreneur Inspire Women Today

Above: Student work from "The Abbess & the Entrepreneur" at PSU

A couple of weekends ago I taught the first in a series of classes on women artists. This is a Portland State University 1 credit series that I proposed and have had accepted for this year. The class was all women students of various ages. For most, this was their first Women's Studies class and the first class about art. We explored the highly diverse and fascinating lives of Caterina Vigri, also known as St. Catherine of Bologna, and Lavinia Fontana, Europe's first woman artist to compete with men in the art marketplace.

Caterina (1414-14630 gave up a lavish life at court to become a nun in her early teens. She later became an Abbess of a Poor Clare convent, wrote a book, poetry, music, and painted.

Lavinia Fontana (1222-1614) supported her parents, her husband, herself, and gave birth to eleven children. She was famous throughout her native Bologna and other parts of Italy for her portraits, religious, and mythological paintings.

The members of the PSU class did creative projects based on the lives and works of the two artists we studied. Several made evocative collages for both women. One student wrote a poem to each woman. The poems were so deeply felt they had several of us in tears. Another student drew her visions of the two artists and said it was "the first time I have drawn in 20 years."

I am happy to see that my belief has proven to be correct; that women of the past can provide inspiration for women (and men) today to overcome obstacles and to create lives full of meaning.