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HeARTspace – Soul Art for Mothers Information and Art-Making Time

at Everett House Healing Center, 2917 NE Everett, Portland, OR

June 22, 7:00-8:30pm for mothers, FREE!

Join us for an introductory class on Soul Art for Mothers  and find support for your creative expression. HeARTspace is a unique art studio and a dance house located on private land in a beautiful forest near Portland. Our Space provides powerful and creative expressions for mothers, and also pre-arranged one-on-one time with a mother and child. This evening provides a taste of that experience for mothers.

Your host and guide is Sue Ellen Liss, MS, who has worked with children and parents for thirty years as a Preschool and Elementary School Teacher, a Child Development Specialist/School Counselor, a Head Start Education Coordinator/Mental Health Consultant, and an Expressive Arts Therapist. She has raised four children, been a single mother, is a grandmother, a Soul Artist and has a deep love of Nature.

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P1080434 copy_1 reduced_optHello Moms!

Happy for days of sun and warmth after a long, wet Winter/Spring! I have scheduled ten Summer Events, starting with a Solstice Gathering on June 24. I look forward to sharing HeARTspace Forest and Soul Art-making with you either individually, with you and one child, or in a small group.

If you see an event that interests you, please RSVP. After you RSVP we will communicate about the details of arriving here. I also want you to know that I am flexible with times and dates for the individual activities, as well as with money issues. Message me with your needs and limitations, and we can work things out.

The important thing is that you take time for YOU! I am here to share my beautiful location in the forest, my art studios, and my expressive arts skills with you. I was a single mother of 4, so I know the complex choices you face.  My service is to make it easy for you to take care of yourself, as you care for and relate to your children.

Take the leap! I am waiting to meet you. For more information about me and HeARTspace explore the rest of my website .  Feel free to find me in Facebook as well.

See below for a description of each of the ten Summer events and see the meetup listings for a general map to my location-.

In love and light,
Sue Ellen Liss

Saturday, June 24-1:00 PMSummer Solstice Ritual

July 8-1:00 PMSoul Art and Nature Time just for YOU!

July 15-1:00 PMSpecial 1-on-1 Time for 1 Mom & 1 Child

July 29-1:00 PMMothers Making Soul Art Together

August 5 1:00 PMSoul Art & Nature Time just for YOU

August 12-1:00 PMSpecial 1-on-1 Time for 1 Mom & 1 Child

August 26-1:00 PMMothers Making Soul Art Together.

September 2-1:00 PMSoul Art & Nature Time just for YOU

September 9-1:00 PMSpecial 1-on-1 Time for 1 Mom & 1 Child

September 23-1:00 PMAutumn Equinox Ritual



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Hello Moms!

HeARTspace StudiosAre you feeling like you need time for YOU?

Do you ever wish you could spend special time with one of your children to connect more closely with him or her?




Dancing House StudioSoul Art for Mothers Meetups continue to be offered at HeARTspace in the forest for you to take time for yourself AND for you to spend time with one of your children for a special day making art and enjoying nature together.




P1080434 copy_1 reduced_optIn addition there will be “meet Sue Ellen time” in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood on Fridays before the weekend offerings.




Creativity, Balance, Fun!

Creativity, Balance, Fun!


Treat yourself to a day away for YOU, or a day away with ONE special child, making art and enjoying the forest.

Click on the Meetup Link to see times and dates:




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Find Your Path

Find  a creative path with your child.

Moms, do you long for special time with one of your children – No siblings, no dad, no friends, just you and your one child?

Nothing like it for both mom and child! And it’s hard to find time to make this happen. No matter what your situation – Working mom, stay-at-home mom, single mom, one child, or bigger family – The demands of any life get in the way of this much needed time to connect with one child, their way.


Go with the Flow.

Soothing Forest Stream

When is the last time you and your child really connected with nature? Research shows how important this connection is for all of us and especially for the development of children.  But it’s not like the “good old days” when I was a kid, and we could roam around the neighborhood and play outside in nature with friends all day in the summer, just coming in when it was time to eat and go to bed.

Today parents must understandably be so much more cautious.  So combining time in nature with one mom and one child makes perfect sense.  Then you are watching over and protecting your child, while playing with them and giving them one-on-one very special time.

The flow of your own expression.

Make Art!

Another important mother-child interaction is make art with your child.  When my kids where at home, there was always an art table or an art room for them to make stuff.  It would keep them happily busy and creative, while I got lots of stuff around the house done.  This was great, but it wasn’t one-on-one time with each of them.

You may not even have room for a special art space in your home, or you may not enjoy the messes that inevitably happen, or you may think you don’t know how to make art. There are places in Portland for parents to take their kids to make messy art and then you get to pick them up leaving the mess behind. But, again, it’s not special time with you and your child.

"Dancing House"

“Dancing House”

What if you could combine time with one child with experiences in nature and art-making fun? What if this time could include special art time for you and your child? What if doing this would shine up your inner sparkle and enliven your relationship with your child? And what if you could play with art-making under the calming energy of huge fir trees, as the beautiful forest wraps itself around you, calms you and brings you closer to yourself and your child?

To make this happen, Sue Ellen Liss, M.S., of “HeARTspace – Soul Art for Mothers”  offers you and one child an expressive arts/nature experience in HeARTspace in the forest.  There will be time and space for mother and child to share in a fun summer day among big old trees, rushing creek, and all the wonders of nature as seen through your child’s eyes!

You will create art together and share playfully.   Don’t worry!  Soul Art is easy.  It’s art-making in your unique way. It’s playing.  It’s fun.

A special day with mom can mean a lot to a child –  just “mom and me”.  Each child in a family has a different experience with their mom.  This is an opportunity to focus on one special child at a time.  Art and memories will be created.  Hope you can join in.

See day, time and details at

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Soul Art

Let Soul Art help you find your sparkle.

“Don’t Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle!”
I saw this saying on the billboard of a local restaurant and it reminded me of my long, and winding journey to find my lost spark. For years as a young mom, I wasn’t sure what I really needed. I focused on the needs of my family and helping my kids shine, but didn’t have a clue what would really make me sparkle. Little did I know that my shining would help my kids sparkle.


“Nothing has a stronger influence…on their children than the unlived life of the parent.”
- C.G. Jung

Balance Parenthood and Personhood

Balance Parenthood and Personhood

As mothers, we are often too busy tending to the needs of our families and our jobs to notice that our sparkle is dulling down a bit, or a lot.

Maybe you, too, have forgotten what makes you sparkle. Maybe your parenthood is out of balance with your personhood.



Anyone-can-do-it Art

Anyone-can-do-it Art in  the forest with sun shining

At HeARTspace you can make “anyone-can-do-it” art to learn to stay in touch with your strong, calm, creative center, as you try to become a better parent by finding more balance in your life.

From this inner place you can implement positive parenting skills more effectively.



At HeARTspace you can take time to notice and nurture all parts of yourself, as you navigate through your one precious life. Here you will make Soul Art and try to bring your gifts, your sparkle, into your families and your world, thus giving your children a model of a more satisfied human being. As you fill yourself up, you have more to give.


Creativity, Balance, Fun!

Creativity, Balance, Fun!

“Soul Art for Mothers Meetup” in HeARTspace forest near Portland, OR, offers you time, safe space, and support to explore your creativity and find balance between your parenthood and personhood.




Artful Expression

The trillium bloom, you can too.

By setting aside a few hours for yourself to visit this peaceful place you will allow nature to quiet your mind, so you can hear your heart and make artful images to express yourself, blossom and grow to be a better mom by becoming a more creative, happy woman. Here you will explore what you need to let your sparkle shine!



Check out  for current offerings.


Showing Up


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“Showing up”
We are fast approaching that time of year, when for some, Santa “shows up” in a magical way, or we express the seasonal rituals of our own spiritual ways, soon after we may have just cooked a huge turkey (or tofurky) dinner for the whole family.

We thrust ourselves into the task of making each child in our life as excited and satisfied as can be, enjoying family and friends, and looking inward to think back on our year, if we can find the time for that important step.
I loved playing Santa Claus — Choosing just the right gifts for each child, keeping the secrets, watching the anticipation, staying up all night to put together the thing that came in a zillion parts. It teaches kids to believe in magic, imagination, and unseen joy. It’s a feeling. It’s family. It’s wonderful.
Of course, it’s not so fun if you don’t have what it takes to make this happen, and you end up very disappointed or feeling inadequate. If you are trying to make it bigger than it needs to be, you might end up exhausted or in debt. The expectations are high – expectations of others and ourselves, and of course of all the advertising that leads us astray.
P1080434 copy_1 reduced_optSo HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers Meetup is inviting you to take some time to step aside, make some any-one-can-do-it Soul Art, breathe in the fresh forest air, talk to other moms, and adjust your perspective, so you can discover that your holidays can be what you want them to be.   You know what that is deep down inside of you. It’s just easy to get distracted by trying to live up to other people’s expectations.
All you have to do is “show up”.  I know, sometimes that is hard to do.
13813326-the-girl-the-teenager-holds-the-headWhen my daughter was entering 7th grade in Junior High School, we moved and she had to go to a different school than all her grade school friends. They would be reunited in High School, but she had to endure two years without her long-time friends. On the first morning of school, she walked from the front door to the street, where she would catch the school bus, stopped, turned around and came back in the house with a face filled with fear and tears in her eyes. After talking with me for a few moments, she turned again and decided that she could show up at this new school and see what would happen. Of course she made new friends. Some went with her to her high school and some are still her friends to this day.
Feb. 24, 2014 212How often do we adults turn, stay in the shadows,  and decide that we can’t face showing up somewhere new? I certainly have stopped myself from going to something new, because I feared the initial discomfort. Yes, sometimes I go and decide that the event or new people are not for me, but at least I showed up to know for sure. Of course, if we don’t show up we will never know what we missed or who we might have met or what we might have learned.
How often do you stop yourself from “showing up”, because you  don’t want to take the time for yourself, or are too scared or worried?


Stop worrying

Worry doesn’t help.

HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers Meetup is waiting for you moms to show up.You are invited to take time out from the holiday hustle to settle into some simple art-making and refresh your spirit, as you focus on giving your family and yourself a memorable holiday experience, whatever that means for you. You might want to take a look at what you do this year and what you might want to do next year. What will your children remember about this time of year and what will you remember?


Soul Art

Soul Art

HeARTspace studios will be open for you to explore your Holiday Heart’s Desires between 10:00am and 2:00pm on four Saturdays: November 29, December 6, 13 and 20. You don’t have to be here the whole time. You could come from 10-12:00 or 12-2:00. Of course, you could give yourself the gift of expressing your creative self the whole time.


Dancing House StudioSo if you want to come to HeARtspace studios, click on the Meetup heart on this page for details and to sign up. This series is offered on a give-what-you-can basis in the holiday spirit. (I do ask that you bring one of those $3.99 packets of wood that you can buy at Fred Meyer and other places. We heat the studios with our cozy wood stoves.)

Hope to see you soon!
Sue Ellen

The Empty Nest


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We mothers gleefully fill our nests with our heart’s desired child or children and enjoy the art of parenting to varying degrees, knowing all along that the object of this endeavor is to send them off into the world to forge their own lives, sometimes near us and sometimes far from us. Along the way, we are so busy caring for and supporting these sweet products of our longing hearts that we barely have time or energy to cultivate our own creative interests, especially if we embarked on this motherhood journey at an exceptionally young age. Of course there is also the truth that John Lennon pointed out to us – “Life is what’s happening while we’re making other plans” – and we’ve had to adjust our dream life to fit reality. We know it is best to be deeply present for what is happening in each moment of our lives and still remain grateful for and happy in each of these moments, but that is often easier said than done!

For instance, empty nesters, see if you fit anywhere along this spectrum of late-stage motherhood feelings:

“I can’t wait until they are all out on their own. Then it will be my turn.”

“I’m so sad. I never want them to leave.”

“Whew, I don’t have to worry so much any more now that they are on their own.”

“Ha! Now I’m really worried about them.”

“Yay! One came back to live at home.”

“Oh no,  s/he’s back. How do we handle this?”

“Oh good! My children all live close by – I can visit anytime I want.”

“I wonder if I’m being too intrusive in their lives?”

“It’s so nice we can have an adult-to-adult relationship now.”

“Why do they take everything I say as criticism?”

“I think I did a pretty good job of parenting.”

“Why do they blame me for all their problems?”

“I love them no matter what.”

“Why do they sometimes seem to hate me?”

“Oh good, now I have a daughter/son-in-law!”

“She/he acts like I’m the evil mother-in-law.”

“Aaaah Grandchildren!”

“They ask me to provide free childcare all the time – I’m tired!”

“I would travel across the globe to see my grandchildren!”

“They prevent me from seeing my grandchildren.”

And there is always some other version that is unique to you and is either contributing to or getting in the way of your happiness. The list can go on and on, but what travels through all of our stories is our need to find or stay in touch with our own balanced, creative life. Yes, you are all creative in your own ways. Take time to explore your self-expression in this period of your life by making Soul
Art with a small group of other searching mothers. Join together with other empty-nesters to explore your heart’s desires by making Soul Art in HeARTspace forest.


Welcome, new arrivals to HeARTspace newsletter! You are the folks that signed up after you witnessed my one-woman show, “Finding the Lost Spark”, last year. I thought I had added your emails, but had not. Blogs you have missed are still on the website.

Last summer in HeARTspace Forest was spent creating a cozy, comfortable movement space that my grandson named the “Dancing House”.  Since then I was out of town being supportive of a family member with a health issue.  So really, the HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers Meetups are just beginning. Individuals have already been out here, some to explore and get support for their motherhood journeys through art-making, and others to rent space to rehearse their own artistic meanderings.

It seems that one interest right now is from mothers whose children are grown, and they are seeking to find their balance and creative expression in their empty nests. So that is the Meetup that will begin soon – “Soul Art for Mothers with Empty Nests – Finding Your Lost Spark.”  Check details with the HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers heart link to the left on this page.  If you are a mother with teens, or school-age children, or preschoolers,  there are groups for you there also.

For more information about Sue Ellen and HeARTspace check out the website at

Taking a half-day once-a-month for yourself in the forest making art and getting support with other like-minded mothers  is a gift you deserve.   Join in the meaningful, playful, supportive fun and find your Lost Spark.

I look forward to meeting you!

Sue Ellen


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Look familiar?

Look familiar?

Well, dust settles all over the house constantly, but I’m talking about the emotional dust kicked up by the whirling energy of child-rearing. Do you ever feel like you can never get a clear picture of your own needs and desires as a woman, because the “dust storm” of your family’s needs is all you can see or feel? For me, when I was a mother with children at home, even when the kids were all out of the house for awhile, I would stare blankly ahead, not being able to focus on what I really wanted or needed in those precious moments. So I would run around working away at my never-ending to-do list, instead of pausing to breathe and notice myself for a change and figure out something that would renew my spirit and infuse some energy into my body. Besides taking a nice, hot bath, I found that if I had a few ideas set up ahead of time for varying lengths of time, I could plug one in, when time for me presented itself.   Some were quick and easy at home, like drawing with pastels, water color painting, writing in my journal, dancing around the house to an Al Green record (oops, dating myself), while watching my reflection in the patio door, singing along at the top of my voice. Yes, for me, I found that what nourished me was the Expressive Arts.

Moving our own way in the Dancing House.

Moving our own way in the Dancing House.

Then I got brave and signed up for an improvisational drama class, a traditional dance class, a contact improve dance group, a water color painting class, and a real pastel drawing class at the art museum art school! Each time I thought, “WHAT am I doing here?!” (Especially when I got in that drama class… but now that’s my favorite art form.) But when I stuck with it and settled into the process…Wow…Great things happened! I couldn’t afford the time or money to do all of that very often, but I made sure I did SOMETHING each month to connect me to the arts with others, who were also searching for their creative expression. One more thing that contributed to my personal transformations is the time I spent with a friend in the forest, making art, resting and listening to nature and my inner self.

"Dancing House"

“Dancing House”

Since the Expressive Arts helped me in such profound ways, I studied Expressive Arts Therapy.   After my career as a school counselor, I moved to this beautiful forest that soothed my soul, so now I can offer you the experience of the healing capacities of art making and nature.



In the heart of the forest, a space for art & mothers.

In the heart of the forest, a space for art & mothers.

What have you done for yourself as a woman lately? If you want to give HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers a try, check out our Meetup offerings by clicking the link on this page and come join us in these art & dance studios in the forest. This place is here for you in community with mothers, who are seeking their creative expression, so they can be the best moms they can be by becoming more creative women. You can find out more about Soul Art, Sue Ellen and HeARTspace Studios at

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Well-used Broom

Well-used Broom

I saw a documentary about the life of a very creative male artist, who over many years became famous.  His wife was a cartoon artist, when they met.  She was featured in the documentary of her husband’s life and talked about having given up her cartoon-artist self to be a wife and mother,  creating a stable, supportive home life for her children and husband and herself.

She said, “Being a mother is hard!”

After giving her husband the emotional support he needed to flourish as an artist, and giving her two wonderful children the childhood they needed, she got back to her cartoon art later in life. She was glad to have had her life as a mother and wife, and now was enjoying expressing her artist self.  Motherhood IS hard work and motherhood CAN be very creative, but when we become mothers, we may or may not have found our creative outlets yet, so when we put aside our creativity to focus on child-rearing and home-making, our artistic gifts can get lost or forgotten.


Find Your Balance

Mothers need to have both — Our creative selves and our mom selves. We need to find a balance between our personhood and our parenthood, but it’s not always that easy to do. It takes a supportive environment to help us find our way to our creative expression, while we are parenting and after our kids are grown.



Look inside, not outside.

How do you find your creative balance in your life as a mother? Your answers are “not out there” somewhere, they are  “inside of you” and art making can help you find them.  You can come to Soul Art for Mothers Meetup  if you live near Portand  or Scappoose, OR and find the support and art making you need.

You can also go to  and find out more about Soul Art in HeARTspace Forest.


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Remember that Nursery Rhyme?


Momma Cactus

This little cactus on my kitchen window sill seems to be in a similar spot.  I watched as more and more baby cacti grew in her lap.  Some of them even fell to the soil.  Finally the momma cactus started falling backward more and more until she actually had to start changing herself and start  curving forward to keep growing upward.  Today I decided to help her out and staked her in an upright position.


Sun Ring

Light Heart

Sometimes moms need a little boost even if they don’t have as many children as that woman in the shoe.  If you feel like “getting away from it all” for a few hours to find a part of yourself that has been held down or left behind,  art-making can relax you into your imaginative self and reveal ways to reclaim your ignored or lost parts.  This will lift your spirits and soothe your heart and help you be a more satisfied and creative woman and mom.

dancing house

The Dancing House

If you are in the Portland area, check out the latest at, so you can join us and receive the support of other mothers, as you make art in this beautiful forest. We will draw, dance, write, drum, and create our stories dramatically.  This simple, “any-one-can-do-it” art-making will show the way. No experience necessary.