Monday, January 26, 2015

Tons and Tons (and Tons) of Techniques!

Our adorable and extremely talented instructor Sandra Duran Wilson has some fantastic classes this year at our 2015 Portland Art & Soul Retreat! She's a master of techniques. She'll show you how to create texture and patterns that accentuate and elevate your collages and paintings. Her love of exploration and experimentation comes from a background in science and experimentation. She grew up in a family of both scientists and artists. As a child she trained with her great aunt Santa Duran, a well known Texas landscape artist, and she spent time looking through her fathers microscope and would then paint what she saw. She holds both Fine Art and Science degrees from the University of NM. Her work is in corporate, private and civic collections, including the Santa Fe Convention Center.

Sandra has created a few sneak peek videos for the classes she'll be offering this March. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, then these videos are worth, like... a million! Take a look-see below for what's in store and click on the titles for information about each class.

How to Master The Mediums...

Instant Gratification Transfers...

All Cracked Up...

I bet your wheels are turning now! I know mine are. All those amazing techniques make me want to explore all three classes! And having Sandra Duran Wilson as your guide is like having your best art friend inviting you over to come play! Her excitement is contagious. In her own words...

“I love to play with paint and collage. I call myself an abstract collage painter. I find inspiration in music, math, sounds, colors and my surroundings. I teach in order to share what I am always pushing myself to learn. Transfers and collage add a new dimension and textural layer to my art. I incorporate printmaking, collage and transfers into as many as 20 layers in a painting. I find it exciting to collaborate and share creativity. The world needs more art and inspiration. If I can help someone along the way to find the joy that I do in the everyday creative process, then my day is complete”.

So come play with Sandra at Portland Art & Soul, March 2-8, 2015. Your art will never be the same again!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Up... Up... and Away... Our 2015 Logo Revealed!

We are so very tickled to bring you our new Art & Soul
theme and logo for 2015... 

Flights of Fancy!

The idea came about last year when a few instructors and attendees gathered after class and had a little brainstorming session. The thought behind it was a kind of Jules Verne inspired hot air balloon look. Jules Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. You may remember him for his incredible stories including Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days.

The incredibly amazing vintage-meets-steampunk artwork was created by our very own Art & Soul Instructor Leslie Brier. Well-known for her inventive mixed media art, Leslie has a knack for combining Victorian style objects with futuristic overtones. We knew in a heartbeat, she'd be the perfect artist to create this year's logo. And... you can experience some of Leslie's talent in person.... she'll be teaching at our Portland retreat as well as our Virginia Beach event.

So put on your thinking caps my little mixed-media mavens! I can't wait to see what imaginative things you come up with for trades, swaps, themed clothing and oodles of ephemera to bring along to our Art & Soul Retreats this year. Up... Up... and Away!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pigments of Your Imagination... A New Book by Cathy Taylor!

We are so excited to announce... or brag, really... about one of our very own Art & Soul instructors, Cathy Taylor. She recently published a gorgeous book on the many ways to create using Alcohol Inks entitled Pigments of Your Imagination. How adorable is that title!

Besides being a popular and talented workshop instructor, Cathy is an award-winning mixed-media artist and one very creative soul. Her artwork is a celebration of the patterns, textures, and color found in the the natural environment. Cathy is known for her ability to interpret a subject in a variety of styles. From her colorful detailed alphabetical designs, to her whimsical collages and multi-dimensional abstracts, Cathy's work is represented in museums, nature centers and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. Some of Cathy's work is licensed for use on clothing, textiles, and gift items. She is also a signature member of both the National Collage Society and the International Society of Experimental Artists. She's one talented lady!

Here's what her publisher, Schiffer, has to say about this amazing compilation of unique techniques...

"Discover magic! Join the vibrant, prismatic world of luminous alcohol inks. Mercurial, versatile, inexpensive, and wildly colorful, alcohol inks are one of the newest mediums to hit the art community. Pigments of Your Imagination is your essential guide for working with alcohol inks, from choosing which inks to use for each project to learning how to maximize your artistic potential with a wide variety of fascinating techniques. Using an assortment of materials and tools, learn how to work on a variety of surfaces, including paper, glass, metal, fabric and plastic. Find inspiration for your own masterpieces in the step-by-step demos and guest artist gallery. from the beginning craftsperson to the professional artist, Pigments of Your Imagination offers a broad insight into the expansive world of alcohol inks. Explore the limits of your artistic ingenuity with alcohol inks. Jump Start your creativity!"

We're so very proud of Cathy and this new publication, which will be available this March. For information on the book or to pre-order a copy, you can visit the Schiffer Books website, or

If you're interested in taking a workshop with Cathy in-person, she'll be teaching multiple classes at our Portland Art & Soul event, at our Kansas City retreat, and at the Virginia Beach venue for 2015. So reserve a copy of her book and check out the unique workshops she has to offer!

Congratulations, Cathy Taylor!

© 2015 photo by Schiffer Publishing

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Portland Art & Soul... Time is Running Out!

Susan Bates-Bezek, Illuminated, Glass Enclosed Shadow Box

Well kiddos.... the holidays are behind us and right in front of us is Portland 2015 Art & Soul! Holy moly that went fast! In less than 2 months, our flagship event will be taking place... from March 2-8th. I am so very excited that it's almost here! And I wanted to remind you that class registration, and your accommodations discount will both be closing soon.

If you haven't done so already, it's time to book your rooms, as the deadline for your discounted pricing is February 12th and rooms are filling up fast! Our gracious host for this year's event is the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel — and the time to take advantage of your discounted Art & Soul rate is now!  Here's the details on our spectacular venue...

Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel
8235 NE Airport Way · Portland, OR

Traditional Rooms:
$109 single/double
$119 Triple
$129 Quad

Sheraton Club Level Guest Rooms:

$124 single/double
$134 Triple
$154 Quad
Sheraton Suites:
Microwaves & Refrigerators are available for $15
If you register for 5 or more all day classes, the microwave & refrigerator are complimentary with the cost of your room.

 P.S. Your Rom Rate Includes
  A complete Buffet Breakfast and One Drink voucher every evening!
Complimentary Parking & WiFi!

And for more information about Portland Art & Soul workshops, instructors, and projects, visit our website at today! Registration closes soon!

Sheraton photos courtesy of the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel