Valerie Sjodin

Valerie Sjodin
Hillsboro, OR
Collage, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting
College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, K-12 Schools, Library, Senior Center

Art making has become a natural part of my life journey. Like much of life, it is working through a problem-solving process that often deepens meaning and purpose. Other times, it is just plain fun. For me, making art is a combination of being and doing, a collaboration and conversation between me and my Creator. I paint, make art journals and facilitate workshops.  I love teaching and sharing in the joy of the “aha” moment with people.

I’ve been drawing, trying to make things beautiful ever since I can remember. I’m a graduate of Marylhurst University with a BFA in painting, I taught Art for about ten years at Heritage Christian School & developed an art integration program, have attended numerous workshops and taught some, volunteered in the art literacy program at a local grade school, have been in a number of galleries and art exhibitions over the years. Teaching older adults travel art journaling at home has been an exciting journey. Recently, I have made two coloring books, Colorful Blessings and Colorful Blessings - Celebrating Everyday Wonders, published by Taunton Press. It has opened a new teaching avenue of how-to-color using colored pencils.  I love to paint, learn new things, and share in the creative process with others.

I believe we are all part of a big story; a small biography within the big Story ~ an adventurous mystery, romance, tragedy and comedy, a poem. Life is about how our stories weave in and out of one another’s, how they are passed on and the unexpected turns they take; in short “it’s all about relationships.”  Older adults in community settings live this story out. Through their life experience, they have so much to say creatively. I have found older people eager to learn, try new skills, and are grateful. Art making together can help facilitate learning new skills, experiencing joy and purpose, and building relationships within the community.  Nothing compares to seeing someone create something they didn't think they could do, and the joy of new friendships formed.