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Lisa Ruth, Artist & Owner of Expression-m

Hello and welcome to Expression-m!

Located in the heart of Portland's Nob Hill and Pearl districts, Expression-m primarily functions as my art studio/work-space and office. I work mostly with oil and acrylic paints; drawings in graphite, ink, color pencil and charcoal; 2D animations, storyboards, video, and illustrations. In addition to creating my own pieces, I love providing custom artwork and will work with any budget.


I also love to teach and have taught fine and commercial arts at the high school, junior high and college level. It is my goal to see Expression-m become a place of learning, exploring, creating and healing through The Arts.

Simply stated, art is a way of life. It is a way of perceiving the world, problem-solving, building awareness, developing/employing critical thought, and relating to the world as much as it is a manner in which we create for functional purposes, personal enjoyment and challenges, and in explaining things to ourselves and others.


Art is also an internal safe haven and intuitive process applicable in every aspect of life; yet, artistic expression and the creative process overall are often the very gifts dismissed as simply being 'fun' and therefore, not to be taken seriously as a lifetime pursuit. After all, why should a child learn about how color impacts emotions, how to dissect poetry or meaning from classic literature, or using perspective to master the challenge of drawing (and thinking) with depth & focus when the future is being encapsulated by corporate, tech and political interests far removed from the use of imagination, independent and creative problem solving skills, or solitude?

It is not just children suffering from a deprivation of the arts; it is all of us. At a time when Art Therapy is finally being realized as a fundamental means of helping people from all walks of life recover from trauma (physical and/or mental), dealing with addiction, loss, disorders and any number of issues, does it really make sense to reduce access to art at school, home, or in our communities?

Art is all about connection, exploration, and deriving meaning from our world. When the capacity to imagine and create has been quashed within an individual, then they have been robbed of their full potential to connect, explore and derive meaning from life. Why would we inflict such a thing on anyone?

My approach to art is on an intuitive level as much as it is through skills I learned from many incredible art instructors (impressive artists in their own right), countless hours of inquiry and explorations of techniques, and yes, many years of trial and error, self-doubt and noise. As much as I love to create artwork and make it available to the public, I also wish to take Expression-m somewhere beyond only showcasing my work.

As an educator and arts advocate, it is my vision for Expression-m to expand in order to bring the world of art into the lives of young people, who are encouraged now - more than ever - to be disconnected from one another and even from themselves. Creating art is as much a salve for the soul as it is the ultimate form of communication transcending all social barriers.

Take some time to browse the site, leave a comment, ask a question or request to be added to the Expression-m email list. I look forward to hearing from you!


Photo credit:  Peggy Matthies

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