I’m super excited about bringing in Serena Barton to teach this summer. While I’ve never been able to fit one of her classes into my schedule (perhaps I’ll take a class when she visits), I have visited her classes and observed her working with students and the art produced was stunning. I have gotten to know her personally while attending art retreats and she is a wonderful person and I know you will learn lots from taking her classes. Here is a little information about her personally.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.
I live in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Eugene, OR. Even though I’ve mostly lived in Oregon, I love to travel in the U.S. and overseas.
2. Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?
I made a lot of art as a small child and continued through elementary school. I also took acting classes and started acting in local plays. This took over from visual art for many years. I started seriously making art again 20 years ago, after my first life-changing trip to Italy.
3. What is the earliest memory you have of anything art related?
I remember making art with a friend when I was about 2 ½. She was a few years older and she told me I scribbled. I hotly denied it and then looked at my paper. I saw that I did scribble and felt bad. Of course now scribbling is an important element of my abstract work!
4. Is your family artistic?
My father was what was then called a commercial artist. He made exacting designs for collages, companies, etc. He left behind a whole lot of little tiny tools for precise and literal cutting and pasting. One of my maternal great grandmothers painted some and hooked beautiful rugs from rags. My daughter is a photographer, jeweler and collage artist.
5. Do you have an art degree or other art credentials?
I am a self-taught artist. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s in Counseling.
6. How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been teaching about 16 years and leading creativity groups for about 20 years.
7. How did you get started teaching?
I started with adding some creativity groups to my counseling practice and then went on to teach studio classes.
8. What is your favorite class to teach?
I really don’t have a favorite. I love to teach techniques and even more, I love to encourage and inspire my students in any medium.
9. What is your favorite art medium? And why?
Currently my obsession is with oil and cold wax on wood panels or paper. I love the way the oil/wax mixture can be manipulated, textured, incised, and yes, scribbled on. I love working intuitively, not knowing where I’m going. The paint and I work together until things come together in a way that speaks to me.
10. What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?
Our local public libraries offer free art classes to the community and I’ve taught two of them. One was encaustic assemblage and one was “Layers of Memory” that I”ll teach at Blue Twig. The students were a blast and made some greats work.
11. What is your favorite artist? Why?
I have many favorites. At the time I got really intense about learning to paint I learned a lot from the French 19th century painter, Edouard Manet. His brushwork brings me to tears at times.
12. Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?
My advice is, “Just Keep Going.” Sometimes our work looks awful when it is partly finished. Leave it for a bit and then come back to it. It may turn out to be your favorite in the end.
13. Where can people find you? Facebook, blog, website, Instagram, etc.
I’ve also written two books, published by North Light. You can find Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop and Wabi-Sabi Painting with Cold Wax on Amazon or purchase from me at our classes at Blue Twig. (I’ll bet she would sign the books for you if you ask nicely!)
14. Anything else you want to share?
I’m excited about my first class at Blue Twig! I know Deb from art retreats and I can’t wait to see her store and meet my students! I love to teach and provide lots of individual attention.
Serena will be teaching 2 different classes at Blue Twig Studio. Please be sure to get registered early if you are interested. The links are included below.
Transformations in Oil and Cold Wax – July 15th & 16th (2-day workshop)
Layers of Memory and Imagination – July 17th
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918