Portland’s Art and Soul!

I just recently returned from a week long trip to Portland where I taught four classes at Art and Soul.IMG_6850IMG_6791

I taught the first two days and then had two days off and then taught the last two days! It was a great schedule that allowed my sister Sherpa, Leslie and I to explore Portland and go to some of my favorite haunts.IMG_6825

My first class at Art and Soul was Day of the Dead Heads! It was the first time I had taught this class and it was so much fun to see student’s interpretations of this theme. The project requires a lot of painting and students rose to the occasion creating some incredible masterpieces. IMG_6676IMG_6668IMG_6673IMG_6678IMG_6667IMG_6666IMG_6671IMG_6672

Many of the students had never worked with clay which makes these Day of the Dead shrines all the more impressive!IMG_6658IMG_6659IMG_6660IMG_6661IMG_6664

I loved watching these brightly painted and embellished skulls come to life!

The next class that I taught was Heraldic Clay Banners. I love banners and these little clay beauties are a unique twist on a very old (Medieval) tradition.IMG_2357 (1)IMG_6685

Katie who joined me in all four classes!!! Yay!

Katie who joined me in all four classes!!! Yay!

This is a great class where each banner explores different techniques…..and for another class of newbies, they really had a full plate with lots to get done!!!IMG_6687IMG_6688IMG_6690IMG_6693IMG_6691

Being in Portland  for a week allowed us plenty of time to see some old friends….and my fellow teacher and friend, Helen Shafer Garcia was teaching there too!IMG_6679But we also had an evening out with a very old, dear friend who lives in the area.IMG_6695

For our first day off after teaching, Leslie and I took the Max train (so convenient!) into downtown Portland. Fortunately the retreat hotel is right next to the airport which makes it super easy to jump on the train at the airport. Our first stop was at the Portland Art Museum….I had read that they had a temporary exhibit there with a collection of Colonial paintings from the Andes……and I had to see them since I am very much inspired by this genre of painting.IMG_6703IMG_6702IMG_6704IMG_6707IMG_6716

We also ran through the early European gallery where I found a painting from an artist I love, Bronzino….well it actually said this piece was from someone from the school of Bronzino. I use a lot of his female images in my own art work.IMG_6739

Our next stop was for a little yummy food and brew at Hair of the Dog Brewery.IMG_6772

The BEST brisket ever!

The BEST brisket ever!

And the really great part is that the brewery is right next door to one of my favorite stores in Portland, Cargo! They moved out of the Pearl a few years ago and even though it is much more organized (not the flea market look it used to have) I still love just looking at the unique displays. If you love beautiful folk art and treasures from around the world, this is the shop for you!IMG_6776IMG_6777IMG_6779IMG_6780IMG_6781

Even the outside is super cool!IMG_6785

Across the street from Cargo

Across the street from Cargo

Our next stop by Uber was a huge wherehouse of antiques and collectibles for a quick spin….IMG_6787Our next day in Portland, we met up with another very old family friend at the incredible Portland City Grille on the 30th floor of a highrise. Wow, the views were unbelievable! It was fun to catch up over a delicious lunch and a perfect view!IMG_2318Next stop was 23rd street….we had never known about this area or street before…it is like Portland’s version of Melrose….a long street with trendy shops, cute boutiques and plenty of great restaurants…..we did find that Portland is a great city for eating!IMG_6800

Outrageous ice cream and a Portland hot spot!

Outrageous ice cream and a Portland hot spot!

After strolling up and down 23rd street….we walked many a blocks to a store that we had passed on the way that I wanted to go back to, Scrap. IMG_6801

I have been to a similar store in San Francisco with the same name,Scrap and even though the name is the same and the contents are the same, the folks who worked there said it wasn’t related!  It is filled to the brim with old, recycled art materials and some true junk which is always fun to peruse through! I found a few, super cheap goodies so that was fun. It was nice walking throughout Portland….

our first day out...sunny skies! Every other day it rained!

our first day out…sunny skies! Every other day it rained!

As night fell we made our way back to the Max and back to the Sheraton to get ready for the next day’s class.




My third class, Mainframe, was the largest one I taught with 20 students. Fortunately most students had some clay experience which helped the class hum along. In this class, students focus on creating a centerpiece that can stand alone or be used as the beginning of a larger mosaic. So many beautiful “mainframes’ were created in this class. Here they are for your inspiration!IMG_6811IMG_6820IMG_6810IMG_2364IMG_6819


Teresa who joined me for three classes created this super cool hinged piece!

Teresa who joined me for three classes created this super cool hinged piece!

After class on Saturday was the vendor show and this was lots of fun to attend. A great time to see old friends and meet new ones!IMG_6823


My new art buddy!

My new art buddy!

My last class on Sunday was Embedded Sacred Tin Hearts. We used tin hearts that I hauled back from San Miguel de Allende as the base for these gorgeous creations!IMG_6840IMG_6832

Our San Miguel buddies...mom and daughter!

Our San Miguel buddies…mom and daughter!

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My sherpa trying to get a little work done herself!

My sherpa trying to get a little work done herself!

It was a truly wonderful week in a city I adore! Thanks so much to everyone who came and took a class with me! Your work was so inspiring. It was fun seeing so many familiar faces and making new friends….thanks again for joining me!





2 thoughts on “Portland’s Art and Soul!

  1. Laurie, reading all about your workshops and travels is always so inspiring! I love, love, love the DoD skulls decorating!
    Thank you for sharing all this with your fans!

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