Welcome to my Wild & Whimsical World...!


You've stumbled upon the world of SERENDIPITIES by Dena ... where I share my whimsically hand-painted furnARTure & accessories with those who are looking for something off the beaten track ...

I'm a folk artist -- completely self-taught. I discovered that I could paint at age 40, that I had a gift of coordinating/clashing various colors and patterns, in a way that "breaks the rules" and yet delights the senses. I take great pleasure in giving stuffy and serious furniture the "permission" to express their inner frivolity & frou-frouness, all the while retaining their inherent functional usefulness ...

... a lamp still lights up the room, even while it lights up the heart.

Serendipity means "an unexpected treasure" ... as I scour the countryside, looking for unwanted and forlorn furniture to rescue, repair and resurrect, I often come upon an unexpected treasure hiding in a yard sale, a flea market, a thrift store, or even a dumpster (yes, I horrify my children by digging in the trash!). I bring home these discounted diamonds in the rough, seeing past the rough exterior, into the hidden potential. After cleaning, repairing, and priming each piece (creating a blank canvas), I let the inner joy and beauty of each piece come out -- I'm often as surprised and delighted as anyone else, to discover what it "wanted" to look like, as the unexpected treasure emerges ...

(for the record, I see human beings the same way...).

After each piece is "adopted" by the new owner, my desire is that this treasure will continue to inspire delight and joy, as it catches the eye, and brings a smile -- transforming the mundane moment-at-hand into an unexpected treasure.

I have a covert plan, to infect the world ... invading every home on the planet with one of my creations, lightening each heart, and bringing about a contagious harmony! I'm out to transform the planet -- one piece of furnARTure at a time..!

Shows & Events (Past, Present, Future)

Local 14 Art Show
Foresty Center
Portland, Oregon
October 14-17, 2010

Charbonneau Art Festival
Wilsonville, Oregon
October 1 & 2, 2010

Silverton Fine Art Fair
Silverton, Oregon
August 21 & 22

Art in the Forest
West Linn, Oregon
August 14 & 15

Davenport Days
Silverton, Oregon
August 6, 7, 8, 2010

Dallas Summerfest
Dallas, Oregon
August 1, 2010

Salem Art Faire and Festival
Salem, Oregon
July 16, 17 & 18

Cracked Pots UnGarden Show
Forest Grove, Oregon
March 6, 2010 - 11:00-6:00

Portland's Christmas Expo
December 4, 5, 6, 2009

McMinnville Crazy-Christmas Bazaar!
November 27, 28, & 29, 2009

Charbonneau Arts Festival
Wilsonville, Oregon
October, 2009

Hops & Heritage Festival
Independence, Oregon
September, 2009

Master Gardener Fall Fling
Dallas, Oregon
September 2009

Dallas, Oregon
July 23-26, 2009

~ The Story Behind the Art ..! ~

What a delight it is to discover the many ways in which we are creative beings! Whether as artists, or writers, or gardeners, or cooks, or actors, or salespeople, or entrepreneurs, or singers, or organizers, or parents, or students, or whatever our particular bent..! What joy to join God, as co-creators, in this life we've launched into! I love the sense of *beingness* that I experience when I'm lost in the moment-of-now, in the midst of the creative Process & mindset ... I forget time and even my surroundings ... as the clamor of the tyranny of the urgent fades mercifully into the background, and I just get to BE who I Am... ahhhhh, sweet Rest-infused-with-energy!

Recently, I've REdiscovered my artistic-bent ... the past several years have been tumultuous, and creative in other ways ... and quite frankly, my spiritual/emotional/transitional journey took over my life with a huge intensity. And so, something that I love to do had to take a backseat for a while ~ a temporary hiatus.

However, it's become clear to me that it's time to bring it back, to reclaim this sidelined part of who I AM ... that my inner-creative-bent must come out to play! And so, I've started to paint again ... not portraits or still-lifes, or even walls (I do that too, as a faux-artist), but in painting my wild and wacky furniture as art, or FurnARTure. I've shared the photos on the side-bar ----> (& then down a wee bit), but I'd like to share a little bit about why I do what I do ...

I was bulimic for many years, from 1979 - 2000 (ages 18-39)... very seriously addicted, and came close to dying many times ... tried everything to recover (you name it, I did it, to no avail). I felt like a totally spent, useless, discarded human being, a complete failure ... utterly hopeless. In the fall of 2000, I got the sudden out-of-nowhere urge to paint-over a little stool in my house (this after having had all creativity sucked out of me by the addiction - when one is in "survive mode", there's no room for thriving).

This particular stool had a Pennsylvania Dutch "hex" sign on the seat, of a two-headed bird ... each head looking into different directions. It suddenly spoke to me of "double-mindedness"... conflicting inner desires - a confused-compulsion for self-destruction on one hand, and a haunting desire for life (rather than merely existing) on the other. That stool wordlessly taunted me, reflecting the inner-judgment that tormented my soul. A silent indictment. I couldn't bear to look at it for a moment longer!

I primed that little stool, marveled in the inviting clean-whiteness of it, and launched into the creative process ... it was as if the life and joy was coming to me, more like through me, from some forgotten place deep within me, as if the stool spoke to me about what it wanted to be -- somehow reflecting what I wanted to be, or to remember who I am...

I was delighted with the final outcome, and quite frankly astonished -- I felt a spark of long-forgotten joy in my heart. I continued, transforming many items, just for the sheer joy of it. It was a thrill to take old, discarded, unwanted, useless items (which I found in yard sales, thrift stores, and dumpsters), to clean them up, prime them (that fresh blank slate), and bring out the hidden inner-life. Something within ME was feeling the hope-of-life again...

Three months later, in an incredible moment of transformation, I was healed of bulimia (the tool/mode was Theophostic prayer) ... it was as if something said to me, "as you did with the furniture, so I do with you ... you are not old, discarded, unwanted or useless ... you are a conduit of joy and life, which I'm now bringing forth, from where it was long-hidden." The outward manifestation was a pronouncement, a foretelling if you will, of what was happening within me, where it could not yet be seen.

Out of the ashes of a life deemed hopeless, beauty has emerged. I am the most astonished & grateful of women! I've transformed from barely surviving, to gloriously thriving!

And so, my painting continues to be an affirmation of life and joy ... complete with the inherent imperfections that come with the rescued, and forgotten, and passed-over things of this life ... testimonies of where they once were, and what they have now become. Nothing wasted, nothing regretted. All good.

I love that I rescue these diamonds-in-the-rough out of the landfills (recycling in a sublime form - more rewarding than merely rinsing out cans, LOL!) ... that I give them new life and purpose again ... that they serve to bring joy and delight to those who see them. They're meant to be beautiful and useful, if "only" to bring a smile to the face and the heart, when they catch the eye.

I call my art Serendipities by Dena ... for each piece is an unexpectedly-revealed treasure, a reminder that within each of us, without exception, there is a hidden source of joy and beauty, a spark of Life, that can come forth if only we take the time to draw it out...!

I dare you, I challenge you, and I hope to inspire you to freely-express YOUR joy and creativity today...!

Shalom & Namaste,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Update for 2010

MUCH has been happening ... almost too much to keep up with...!

I had several commissions to paint, most of them for Christmas. And then, four days prior to Christmas, I was flooded with Mommy-guilt (the second most powerful force in the universe!), and I set about to paint ten items in those four days (8 for the offspring, and then one each for the beloved and omni-present boyfriend and girlfriend). Here's a a wooden bowl (inside and outside), a nightstand, and a mirror:

Then, I plunged into the task of figuring out what shows to apply for in 2010 ... it's amazing how early most of these shows set their application deadlines! You pretty much have to be an insider, to get in. Once in, you're in ... but this has required quite a bit of sleuth-work and hoop-jumping.

At this point, I've applied for 3 shows ... the Lake Oswego Art Faire, in June ... the Cracked Posts UnGarden show, in March ... and the Silverton Ladies' Night Out, in April. I should start hearing soon if I'm "in". Some of them have pretty stringent requirements to get in (requiring a high level of attention to detail that doesn't always mesh with the artistic personality -- my kingdom for a secretary! or a clone!), and others are more relational. But an artist's gotta do what an artist's gotta do...! Other shows I'm hoping to get into are the West Linn Art in the Forest, and the Corvallis Fall Festival.

Oh! Almost forgot -- I donated a sweet little tea table, for Corvallis' Chocolate Fantasy Festival's art auction, to be held on the evening of February 27th. Here's that little table:

I've not ventured into any more stores or galleries ... I LOVE the places where I'm already involved ... and I'm wanting to honor them more with keeping them well-stocked with fresh art.

I sold one large and lovely mirror in December ... it was hung in the wonderful Cascade Bakery, in downtown Salem, where they make an entire wall available for "Artists in Action" artists, all year 'round. The quote on the mirror reads, "Those Who Bring Sunshine Into the Lives of Others Cannot Keep it From Themselves."

I currently have two other mirrors hanging in the Spinnaker Office building, near the Salem airport -- they'll remain there through March. This one reads, "Reach High, For Stars Lie Hidden In Your Soul."

And this one reads, "Stay the Course, Reach a Star; Change the World, Where'er You Are."

Sales have been slow, but steady ... nothing that's going to put/keep anyone in college, but plenty to keep me able to continue creating, and to apply for shows.

'Tis the year to "expose myself"... LOL! Just got to keep the concepts of "exhibits" and "exhibitionists" quite distinct...! Location, location, location! ;)

Shalom, Dena


MysticBrit said...

More glorious sunbursts from a heart overflowing with light. Thanks, Dena. May many more bathe in the glow.

Why do some of your designs call to mind Mandelbrot fractals? Must have my eyes checked... or just enjoy the trip;)

Infinite Unique Flavours of Isness perfectly captured...

Dena said...

Oh, I LOVE fractals...! That set me off to look at some ... and that reminded me of the mandalas I drew as a girl ... not even knowing what mandalas WERE...!

MysticBrit said...

Fractals have been called 'the fingerprints of God', which I think is a superb metaphor.

They are like 'heaven in a grain of sand, eternity in an hour'. They are just sublime to behold.

And I'd been looking at some myself when I saw your post, including the latest attempts at true 3D fractals (which have never been achieved). They are totally entrancing, and make my soul dance.

Dena said...

Well ... don't just sit there -- share links to the dance-inspiring fractals!!!

(which would be a most excellent name for a rock band!) :)

MysticBrit said...

Nag nag nag nag nag... Cain't ya google, lady?;)

Try thissun - there's 2 more pages after this -


Cool & happenin' visual vibes..

If So Led, Check Out My Spiritual-Journey Blog: