Kathryn Costa Returns!

Tending Your Soul Garden

Mandala Workshops on Mother’s Day Weekend

I’m thrilled to announce that Kathryn Costa is back offering 3 different workshops, this time in The Underground at Curtis Memorial Library, a one minute walk from The Painted Dog. I will be taking all three classes! To register for any of the three workshops below, click here for Tending Your Soul Garden on Kathryn’s website, True North Arts.

Get Grounded & Centered

Workshop #1 – Squaring the Circle Mandala

In this workshop, you’ll discover how easy it is to draw a progression of circles and squares. The Squaring the Circle Mandala has a grounding and centering quality perfect for those times when you’re looking for clarity, confidence, and inner peace. 

May 11, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Curtis Underground in the Public Library, Brunswick, Maine
All supplies included. You’re welcome to bring your favorite coloring supplies.

Dreaming, Planning, & Manifesting

Workshop #2: Tending Your Soul Garden Mandala

In this workshop, the gentle gardener invites us to look at how we’re tending our soul gardens. As you fill in the rings of your garden mandala with simple patterns and your favorite colors, you’ll plant the seeds of intention, weed out limiting beliefs, and water with affirmations to help your dreams to flourish.

May 11, 2019
2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Curtis Underground in the Public Library, Brunswick, Maine
All supplies included. You’re welcome to bring your favorite coloring supplies.

Love Who You Are

Workshop #3: Blossoming You Mandala

This workshop is an invitation to love who you are, to love your mistakes, to love yourself when it feels hard, to love yourself enough to give yourself the things you need, and to keep loving yourself until it becomes a habit. Inspiring words grace the petals of this flower mandala and serve as a gentle reminder of what nourishes your body, mind, and spirit.

May 12, 2019
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Curtis Underground in the Public Library, Brunswick, Maine
All supplies included. You’re welcome to bring your favorite coloring supplies.

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Summer Art Camps for Kids in Downtown Brunswick, Maine!

Summer Art Camp I:  BUILDING and ASSEMBLAGE!

Monday/Wednesday/Friday, July 9th, 11th, and 13th


This camp is all about building up.  Ideal for ages 6 through 12, we’ll spend our days using found objects, paper towel tubes, egg cartons, corrugated cardboard, wooden bits, fabric, metal baubles, and more to construct a sculpture.  This will grow from a solid platform.  We will use various glues and methods of attachment.  Students will have the opportunity to paint their sculptures and embellish them further.  Students can use their imagination and create their sculpture as a house, a castle, a building, an animal, a robot, etc. The sky’s the limit!  There will be other small projects to do as well during drying times.  Students should bring a water bottle to camp.  A nut-free snack will be provided.  The cost for this camp is $105. (The image below was found on Pinterest!)


Summer Art Camp II:  Paint a Giant Canvas

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday  July 23rd through July 26th

9:00- 12:00pm

Back by popular demand, this week the paint will fly!  Designed for ages 10 to 18, students will work on an extra large canvas and experiment with many different mixed-media painting techniques. During the first two days, we will concentrate on building up an abstract piece of art using collage, texture pastes, finger painting, drips, and various mark making.  The last few days will be more about honing our color palettes, using line to define images, and how to incorporate shading.  We will especially focus on 70/30 relationships and other elements of composition.  Students should bring a water bottle to camp.  A nut-free snack will be provided.  The cost is $145 and includes all materials.


Bonus Bookmaking Camp with Stamp Carving!

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, July 25th, 26th, 27th


Back by popular demand; it’s a book making extravaganza for ages 8 and up.  We will create hard cover accordion books (pictured below), zines, spiral bound journals, and a miniature book too.  There will also be a chance each day to work on designing and carving rubber stamps.  Hand carved stamps seem to pair so well with handmade books!  The cost is $90 and all materials are provided.


Mixed Media Jewelry Making

Monday/Wednesday/Friday, August 13th, 15th, and 17th

9:00 – 12:00pm

We are mixing our media here and making some very funky jewelry pieces.  Designed for ages 7 through 16, we will be working with clay, resin, felt, buttons, shrink plastic, and more to create some very whimsical earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.  We will make our own paper beads as well!  Students should bring a water bottle to camp.  A nut-free snack will be provided.  The cost is $95 and all materials provided.


Summer Art Camp IV: Splash! Water Media Exploration

Tuesday and Thursday, August 21st and 23rd

9:00 to 12:00pm

This camp is designed for ages 7 through 13.  We will experiment with all sorts of watermedia techniques on paper.  We will use a wide variety of water soluble and water reactive media such as watercolors, rubbing alcohol, alcohol inks, water soluble crayons, gelatos, and much more.  Students will begin by constructing a large folder to keep their work in.  The folder will of course be decorated!  We will work primarily on paper.  All exercises will allow students to use their own imagination and choice of subject matter.  Students should bring a water bottle to camp. A nut-free snack will be provided.  The cost is $65.

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Newsflash: Local Artist Turns 40 and Feels Stuck or Uninspired…

It’s been a funny month.  Without going into too much detail, I basically lost my mojo for the last few weeks.  Normally I don’t have to look too far, or too long, for artistic inspiration.  This was different.  I was feeling truly stuck.  I had no desire to make anything at all, except dinner.  (I kind of love making dinner).


Things are now turning around and I’m starting to feel better.  I’ve made some progress in the way of creative advances.  I accomplished the above journal page which tells part of the story for sure:  A skinny-armed woman stuck in a metaphorical snowbank.  I don’t like how the end of our Maine winters seem to drag on forever.  This one is no exception.  I’m sick of the cold and the snow.  I’m impatient for warmth and sun.  For flip flops and bees and flowers… Happy first day of spring, by the way!

I did something else the other day; I turned 40.  On the day of my birthday I latched on to an isolated glimmer of inspiration and I made a book.  An art journal filled with the best paper under the sun: Fabriano Artistico 120 lb. cold press.  The idea didn’t emerge out of no where.  It was simmering on the back burner for a while.  A couple months ago a dear friend had given me a most awesome vintage “Kalamazoo Binder.”  It had a front and back cover connected with two heavy straps.  It also had a mechanism that allowed you to contract and expand the width of the spine.  There has never been a more perfect cover assembly ever in the history of cover assemblies for my all time favorite binding: the bind-over-tapes method.


The first signature is always the hardest.  But through perseverance, and in keeping my eye on the prize, I accomplished what I set out to do.  And I made some progress climbing out of my snowbank.


Here’s a close up of that glorious stitching:


I even hand carved a stamp for the cover.  A celebration of my milestone.


Call it what you will; stuck, feeling blue, or winter doldrums.  We all know those are just softer words for depression.  I’m not a stranger to end-of-winter seasonal depression.  Self care, herbal tea, Vitamin D supplements and brisk dog walks all help immensely.  “This too shall pass” is a fantastic mantra during these times.


This most recent page is full of happy color; I guess I’d call it a bright abstract landscape.  There’s a little bit of my late mother thrown in there too.  She was a lover of birds and a very creative woman who didn’t live to see 41 years old.  I miss her.

Now, I’m as human as the rest of you.  Some retail therapy happened here too.  These shipped out today and are by far the best flip flops that I have ever worn.  (I used to have a teal pair but they wore out).  They are called Artisan Flip Flops and are made by Clark’s.   May you or someone you love be blessed with a pair as well.



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Art Retreat with Kathryn Costa in Brunswick, Maine!

Creating Mixed Media Tarot Cards & Spirit Sticks


SATURDAY, March 10th, 10:00-4:00pm  $85

SUNDAY, March 11th, 11:30 to 2:30 $40  (optional) 


Have you ever wanted to delve into the Tarot but didn’t know where to start?  Maybe you are a spiritualist or Tarot reader and want to make your own cards?  Or, you just plain love making art! Join Mandy Russell from The Painted Dog Studio and Kathryn Costa author of “The Mandala Guidebook” for a relaxing, spiritual, and creative experience. 

The suit of Wands from the Tarot is the source of inspiration for our play this weekend as we create our own Tarot card, spirit stick, and landscape collages.



Colorful Painted Papers

Our creative play begins with the spontaneous process of making colorful painted papers by scraping, sponging, dripping, stamping, and using a Gelli plate. Each participant will create a spectrum of colored papers to use for the collage projects.


Spirit Sticks

Paint, markers, fabric, beads, feathers, and assorted embellishments transform a plain stick into a spirit stick that represents your life. As we decorate our sticks, we create a visual timeline that honors the blessings and challenges in our lives and the path that brought us to this moment. This is an empowering activity that celebrates our brave and beautiful spirits.



Wand Tarot Card

There are four suits in the Tarot and each represents key aspects of our lives. The Wands represent inspiration, intuition, creativity, and action. Cards in this suit symbolize our ideas, our core values, and our sense of purpose. Painted papers from the opening session will be used to create a collage depicting a Tarot card from the suit of Wands.



Landscape Collage

What is your passion? What excites you? What’s next for you? We’ll ponder these and other questions inspired by our work with the suit of Wands and our spirit sticks. We’ll create a landscape collage using our painted papers, printed papers, magazines, book images, and assorted ephemera. 

All materials, supplies and tools provided. No art experience required.



**This WEEKEND ART RETREAT event will take place at Curtis Memorial Library‘s “Underground” art space located at 23 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, Maine**

In order to register, payment in full is expected.  You can pay using a credit card over the phone by calling 207.504.2438 or you can mail a check.  If you wish to mail a check, please email Mandy first at thepainteddogstudio.com



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Kathryn Costa is Teaching in Brunswick, Maine!

Exciting news in the world of mixed media art and craft: The amazing Kathryn Costa, author of The Mandala Guidebook, a beautiful and recent North Light art book publication, is teaching two workshops at my humble studio, The Painted Dog, in downtown Brunswick, Maine!!!  She will be here Friday evening, November 17th, from 6:00-8:00pm, and the following day, Saturday afternoon, November 18th, from 1:00-4:00pm.  For each class, she will demonstrate a different method of creating and coloring your very own mandala, as unique and individual as you are!

When life feels scattered, chaotic, or messy, creating and coloring mandalas offers a feeling of wholeness, centeredness, and balance. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means “circle” or “center.” They’ve become popular these days in the many adult coloring books on the market. Anyone who can print the alphabet can create a mandala. We use the same lines – vertical, horizontal, curved, and diagonal – to draw the shapes. Focusing on drawing and coloring takes our minds off our worries and to-do lists. When our minds relax our bodies follow. During this quiet time, we can experience deep relaxation. It’s also a time when we can focus on a positive intention that inspires us to appreciate what we have or to choose something better for ourselves. Each mandala that we create is as unique as the person who creates it. Come and experience the joy of watching a beautiful work of art emerge from your own hands.


Two Drawing Mandala Workshops with Kathryn Costa

Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means “circle” or “center.” Mandalas have become really popular these days in adult coloring books. See how simple it is to construct your own designs. 


Seed of Life 

Friday, November 17, 6:00-8:00pm

The Seed of Life is one of the elemental patterns found in sacred geometry. We’ll warm up our compass skills in this activity as this design is made up of only seven circles. Make it your own by adding details and your favorite colors, examples pictured below.  This workshop is $30 and includes all materials.


Drawing Symmetrical Mandalas

Saturday, November 18, 1:00-4:00pm

Learn the secret to creating perfectly symmetrical mandalas in this workshop. You’ll be amazed at how everyone begins this project with the same starting point yet the end result is a beautiful mandala that is as unique as the person who created it, examples pictured below. This workshop is $40 and includes all materials.


Please remember to email me (Mandy) at thepainteddogstudio@gmail.com if you’d like to sign up.  Advance registration with payment is required as I expect these workshops to fill quickly.  I do hope to see you there!!


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