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I love teaching expressive drawing and painting and have been teaching in spiritual centers as well as privately since 1990.

My intention is to help you to access what it is that you would like or need to express and to find your own unique language to express that. In a safe and nurturing atmosphere we use meditation, visualization, shamanic journeying, and music to go within and discover what would like to emerge. We will acknowledge emotions, colors, or shapes that beckon.

Here are some common fears:
  • Feeling blocked
  • Tendencies toward perfectionism
  • Lack of technical skill
  • Fear of going within due to what we may discover there

Don’t worry! You will be in a safe place to explore.

If you are coming from out of town I have very inexpensive options for accommodations if you register early. If those are filled I can often connect you with someone to share a room at a nearby airbnb or hotel.  Just inquire

No, you don’t need experience to take a workshop.

I am used to working with folks with all areas of experience from none at all to those with an art degree from Yale. We are all in this together to provide a safe atmosphere to discover with no judgments. I have a strong classical background in technique and can help you develop your technique if that is your interest. I also have the ability to help you work from your head and discover what wants to emerge.

Click here to preview Art and Spirit: Art-Making Retreat.


If you are already working artistically with a particular medium, you may bring that and work in that medium. I have some basic supplies here -oil pastels, some acrylics if you are not sure if this is for you and don’t want to make the financial investment to buy supplies. My suggestions are oil pastels, (these can be the inexpensive craypas, which are like oily crayons), acrylic paints, watercolors, or soft pastel. Materials are not that critical. You are welcome to call or email and discuss with me.

The following are some questions that were asked of me during a radio interview on the healing effects of art-making:


It allows one to go into sort of meditative trance space whereby thoughts, emotions, ideas can most easily surface. Once identified, they are “brought to light” I like to say. Then one can give form to these intuitive insights releasing the inner light of the soul. Sometimes I find myself remembering something that seems irrelevant; however, if I then ask “what relation does this memory have to any current situation”, I might find a link that then allows me a better understanding. It’s similar to working with dreams to get answers to problems


I would say that this is one of the most important ways that art making can be healing. One will inevitably become frustrated but confidence comes in learning that we can face our fears and blocks and work through them. One becomes adept at discerning what is important to them by identifying subject matter and manner of expression.


Is a place where growth comes in. In expressing or revealing our inner world paint or drawing materials we give ourselves an arena to expose ourselves in.


can be lifted by using this part of the brain, accessing feelings and opening the heart.


comes by way of being able to “be with” a piece of work that didn’t come out the way we planned. We learn not to be a perfectionist. When I am accepting of myself, everything is working more smoothly. I am relaxed and at peace.

Doing artwork engages the right side of the brain, which is healing for my being. I get grouchy if I don’t use this muscle often enough. I hear this from almost every other artist I speak with. It has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body, thus strengthening the will to heal and opening the heart.

Informal discussions of our artwork with one another: help one get comfortable with the fact that we will not always create something beautiful or to our satisfaction. We come to understand that that is not as bad as we feared. The reviews and exposure help one find where their strengths lie, thereby increasing confidence. Everyone has strengths. Perhaps it is in being able to access images, or using color well, or having a nice loose expressive hand.


learning to work through blocks also promotes self confidence which can be applied to blocks in other areas of life.


is necessary if one’s goal is to integrate art-making on a regular basis in one’s life. Finding our discipline here can help us to carry it over to all areas of life.


Makes people happy.

Upcoming Workshops

The Magic of Watercolor – Art and Spirit- Cape Cod Coastal art-making retreat @ Oestara House
Sep 7 @ 6:45 pm – Sep 10 @ 4:00 pm

Fee includes lodging and 8 meals.  We will have dinner out on Sat.

Here in this magical sacred spot near the ocean we will incorporate some meditation and relaxation time in order to invite all sides of ourselves to join in the mystery of allowing what wants to emerge.

cape-cod-massachusetts-united-states-2This is a nurturing NO PRESSURE few days allowing you to relax and sink into your joy in making art.  Though my demos will be in watercolor, and it is a very portable medium for carrying outside, you are welcome to work in any medium you wish.

We will mix up working from our imaginations with working “plein air” (from life).  The beautiful Cape Cod coast is one of my own favorite places to make art.  Not only is it incredibly beautiful, but the ions from the ocean are cleansing and stimulate our creative processes.  On the days we work on location we will consider composition, color, light in capturing a moment in time.

I will offer plenty of demos with information on technique and different ways of approaching your art.  We will join in circle and share art, laughs and chocolate.

Unless specifically noted as a workshop or class in technique, all of my classes focus on helping you find your own unique artistic expression,  your own language of color and form and marks on a surface.  I combine meditation, guided visualization, examples of other’s work, and more, with my own intuitive talents to help you discover what will give you the most fulfillment in your expression. Your art is a powerful healing tool for your life.  Art can help us to trust our inner guidance.  I will help you to discover your own inner wisdom and archetypes.

Those that may benefit from attending a workshop with me include:

  • those who have been creative in the past but find it difficult to enter back into their process
  • those would have always wanted to “make art” but have been discouraged by others or failing to achieve their own standards or are experiencing a great deal of fear around stepping forward
  • those who like my style and would like to learn how I approach my art


If you have to cancel at any time prior to 60 days of the workshop event your deposit will be fully refunded minus an administrative fee of $30.

If you have to cancel at any time within 60 days of the workshop event, we will consider 50% of your workshop and lodging/meal fee to be a non-refundable deposit (unless we fill you spot) and will refund you the balance of your workshop/lodging fee.

Please Contact Melissa Harris with questions regarding the workshop and to make workshop registration arrangements:

Contact Lorah 845 532 1539  with questions regarding lodging and meals and to make lodging/meal registration arrangements:

Option is available to pay half ahead ($337.50) in a check made out to Melissa Harris and sent to PO Box 56  West Hurley, NY  12491  with the balance due at the workshop.  Your total if paid by check is $675.00.  If you wish to pay by credit card you can “add to cart” with additional credit card fees of $23.65.  Your total is $698.65 paid in full or two payments of $349.35 each.

$349.35$698.65 Select options


Art and Spirit: Art-Making Workshop
Woodstock NY @ Melissa's Studio
Oct 13 @ 6:45 pm – Oct 15 @ 4:45 pm

Workshop PhotoIn my Art and Spirit workshops I combine my talent as an intuitive with my extensive background in painting to help you to work through creative blocks and learn or refine technique. Come and join a like minded circle of sisters as we explore what wants to emerge.  My large light filled studio and acres of forest and meadow is the ideal location to support you as you relax and explore what your heart and soul hold to be true. The workshop is for those with no experience as well as those who would like to improve existing skills. Students are encouraged to work with their own supplies if they have them (pastels, watercolor, acrylic, or other except oil – ).  Melissa will supply more complete information on materials upon  your registration.I have some very basic fill in supplies here at the studio if you don’t want to fully invest at this point but you will need to bring your own. Workshops include lunches. Weather permitting we often gather at Melissa’s fire circle in the evenings for some song, laughter and treats. There are many accommodation options. There are a few spaces at a friend’s home nearby that (an informal B & B) are very inexpensive and include breakfast but they go early!  There are also many airbnb’s nearby. There is a reasonable Quality Inn in Kingston NY that is only five minutes away as well as many other hotels and local B & B’s depending on your preferences.  Ask Melissa about accommodations. Stay or come early and explore the infamous and cute town of Woodstock. Click here for a full description of the Retreat.

Option is available to save the credit card fee and pay $325 by check, made out to Melissa Harris and sent to PO Box 56 West Hurley, NY 12491

$335.00 Add to cart


Natural Living Expo- Marlborough, MA – BOOTH 1011 @ Best Western Royal Trade Plaza
Nov 11 @ 9:00 am – Nov 12 @ 5:00 pm

natural living 11-13The expo is a weekend for learning about body-mind-spirit wellness, healthy living, rejuvenating, healing and exploring the latest holistic and green products, fair trade shopping and information. With over 75 lectures, workshops and cooking demonstrations included in the $12 weekend admission, plus access to 225 exhibits including the famous Free Sample Bar — the Natural Living Expo is an incredible value at a bargain price. Be one of the first 200 people on Saturday or Sunday and receive a free gift bag!  I’ll be teaching a class on Developing & Using Your Psychic Awareness at 2:00 Saturday Nov 12 in Salon B.