Monday, August 30, 2010

"Balancing Act" at Trinity Cathedral

Demeter Wept in "Balancing Act"

I'm excited to announce that my show, "Balancing Act" is up at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. The show is open to the public and will be up until October 30. I'm delighted to be showing at Trinity, whose members are open, friendly, and committed to community service. The other day when I went to deliver the art works, volunteers had just finished serving 225 people a free lunch!

Here's the information on the show:

"Balancing Act"

New Work by Serena Barton

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
147 NW 19th
Portland OR 97209
Kempton Hall

Here are a couple more images from the show:


"Hope With Feathers"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Art Unraveled Classes I Took

A Pendant by Paula Hardesty

I took two classes at Art Unraveled, in addition to teaching. The first was "Soldering for Maidens' taught by Paula Hardesty. As you can tell from the title, this class was perfect for someone like me who had never soldered before. Paula was delightfully clear and patient! She provided us with our own soldering irons to keep, wire, solder, and lots of extras!

A class in soldering was definitely outside my comfort zone. I don't know what it is, but though I'm comfortable with painting, collage, and assemblage, I have a lot of trouble with more exact art forms. Somehow, my fingers turn into big old bananas and fight me when I'm doing something like wrapping copper foil around a glass sandwich with an image inside. This makes for some frustrating moments for me when I know what to do but my small motor skills don't seem equal to the task. But, as I've said, Paula was very patient and I did manage to create three pendants! I knew I couldn't do the wire and soldering work neatly at this point, so I exaggerated the lack of symmetry. Now that I've done soldering, I'm eager to do more!

Paula Demonstrating Technique

My Pendants

The second class I took was "Trashy Novel" from Michael de Meng. We took old books and turned them into outrageous assemblages. Michael is also a patient teacher and his humor helped me take myself less seriously as I destroyed and recreated my book. The books were supposed to be able to close, but a few of us made books that stay open. I had a lot of fun in this class. I feel, though, that I stayed a bit much in my comfort level and didn't try all the techniques and ideas I could have. Oh well, guess I'll just have to make more trashy novels!

Some of the Trashy Novels from Class

My piece, called "Private Library."

The title of my trashy novel comes from a vintage bookplate that was affixed to the inner front cover of the book. After it was cut away from the book I used it as a centerpiece.

Michael points out the rich depth this student achieved with layers of acrylic glaze and a deep niche

Here's another Trashy Novel in progress

The view from my table at Shopping Extravaganza.

Two more highlights of AU were the Shopping Extravaganza and the mask-making contest. I loved meeting people and talking about my work at the shopping event. Since I was vending, I didn't get much time to shop, but maybe that's just as well. Thanks to fellow instructor
Annie Lockhart who spelled me at my booth so I could eat and carry out other calls of nature!

I loved this Steampunk Crown by Joanne Huffman

I was one of the judges at the mask-making contest and was too busy with my duties to get pictures of the incredible masks that were created. Part of the contest included a runway walk for each contestant. These were so creative and hilarious that I laughed until I cried all my mascara off.

I hope to be part of Art Unraveled again next year!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pictures from "Wabi-Sabi Workshop"

Lots of texture, scraping and piling on of paint and medium. Yummy.

I had a wonderful, magical time at Art Unraveled. In telling about my adventures, I'm starting with photos from the class I taught there. I had 18 students, all of whom let loose and did some amazing work! I hope I got a photo of everyone's work, if not, I apologize for the omission. My hastily taken photos can only approximate the delicious-ness of the work produced!

The circles on the lower part of this piece were made with alcohol ink.
The vertical shapes were formed with candy wrappers.

Texture, drips, and circles combine into a rich piece.
The slate alcohol ink sets off the warm orange delightfully.

The red spatters really set off this minimal, yet complex work.

The lovely variations in surface and color were done
with what the student termed "the dirty paper towel" method. It works!

A palette knife produced these superb brushstrokes and textures.

This student used cut out pieces of bamboo printed
paper to set off this evocative landscape.

This textured landscape composition gets its powerful
"Sweet Spot" from the vertical stripe of blue at upper left.

This piece soars with textured and colored paper and vintage
book pages. Collage with a painterly effect.

Payne's Gray and a "dirty" pink combine beautifully in
this piece, together with a textured collage element.

Rich tones and a subtle use of textured, lacy paper produced this grouping
with an aged and mysterious feel.

Gorgeous fall hues with great texture variations.

This encaustic-like piece has soft layers over a base layer
of a free-form ink design. The work seems to shimmer.

This fascinating piece begins with gauze and a painting knife.

Rich blues and siennas layered in complex textures.

The first layers go on.

Another wonderfully complex, "dirty towel" piece.

Layers of paint, ink, and gauze created this enchanting piece.

I want to go to this gorgeous place--such richness.

I provided written and visual prompts for the students. One used her haiku prompt to wonderful effect as shown in the next three photos.

"A Mountain Village/

under the piled-up snow/

the sound of water."

The bird image came from a cheaply printed "throwaway" paper, whose qualities made it blend in subtly and powerfully.

A vibrant and glowing piece. The student worked on
the piece from this direction, and she was reminded of trees.

I first saw this piece in this direction--being from Portland,
I of course saw a bridge!

Representational images, texture, and swathes of color combine
seamlessly in this dreamy landscape.

Metallic paint adds a subtle glow to this piece. I can almost hear the water in it.

Two hymns to color and joy.

An eloquent small piece done on cardboard expresses the essence of Wabi-Sabi.

This piece completely captures
the texture of the rocks and the light of the area
where the student hikes in her faraway home.

I wish I'd had time to take photos of all the work from this class. Many pieces not pictured still stick in my mind. A heartfelt thanks to the students from this class!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Goodbye, Sophie and more art

Sophie a few years ago

Our beloved Sophie cat died yesterday, age 19 years and 8 months. It was time for her to go but she'll be much missed. It's the end of a long era. Sophie used to watch "Night Court" every night with my daughter when the latter was in high school. Even when Karuna wasn't home, Sophie would go in the TV area at 5 PM, waiting for the show. She fought at first with Emma(who we got during the first year we had Sophie.) They later became good friends until they both got old and cranky. We lost Emma a few years ago and Sophie grieved. Sophie had little use for Lester, the cat who adopted us a couple of years ago. She put up with him, but let us know she thought we were out of our minds to give him house room. She complained a lot and ruled the roost. Thank you, Sophie--we love you!


Tomorrow I leave for Art Unraveled. A week of teaching a class, taking classes, no housework, and meeting wonderful students from all over. Whee!

The Beginning

Me ha dado tanto

Ghost River