Urban Retreat: Expressive Painting

New Dates Just Released Today! Register today to secure your spot and join us for an inspiring, playful, and transformative weekend. http://www.expressivejourneysarttherapy.com/workshopsretreats/


2017 Urban Retreats: Expressive Painting

Explore expressive painting and mixed media in an intuitive and process focused way that is healing, playful, and transformative.


Winter Retreat 1: January 28+29 (an amazing time to find yourself settling in to the new year and focusing in on wishes and intentions for the year to come).

Winter Retreat 2: February 25+26

Spring Retreat 3: March 18+19


Saturday 3-7:30pm

Sunday 10-5pm


Come let go and explore your inner canvas. The Urban Retreat will take place at Circle of Art Studios located in the Magnolia neighborhood in Seattle, WA. Filling the studio with our expressive journeys, connecting with our inner canvas and collaborating with each other will transform and help you to reconnect with your creative spirit.

We will spend time painting in silence and listening to music. Building layer upon layer. Scraping and carving away at previous layers. Processing and sifting through inherent metaphors that are brought to light. Be prepared to let go and invite the unexpected to emerge during this rich and restorative workshop.


About the Retreat:

We will awaken our inner canvas painting throughout the workshop on a 24x24 canvas as well as create a soulful and intentional collage. The process of creating is in and of itself therapeutic. The process of painting from within can be transformative for many, often bringing to light parallel issues from what is coming up for them in their painting and what is happening in their everyday life. Perhaps feeling stuck and afraid to move forward or make mistakes on a canvas speaks volumes to how one experiences life on a day-to-day basis. This type of painting allows for one to try on new ways of being, explore, play, make mistakes, and take new risks. A beneficial practice for professional artists as well as those who haven't used art supplies since childhood. We will also be integrating mindfulness through witness writing to create a deeper connection to the process.

All materials will be included. At the end of the retreat you will have created two pieces that are filled with emotional content as well as a new approach to your art making experience. You will also have the opportunity to create an intention setting (motivate, tension release, joyful, balance, etc) essential oil mist and rollerball to take home, bringing the experience along with you. Saturday night we will end our session at a nearby Puget Sound beach releasing our fears and letting go of what is holding us back (driving access and beach parking make it accessible for everyone).

Some thoughtful words I have recently received about my classes

Kayla's studio is cheerful and welcoming, and she brings so much positive energy to class. I joined her Intuitive/Expressive Painting Series as a total novice; her encouragement to be curious and experiment with an open mind made it such a fantastic experience. Definitely recommended!


I so enjoy working with Kayla! I am on my 3rd intuitive painting class and I love the atmosphere and the setting and the freedom and encouragement to step out of my comfort zone in the world of painting.


Every time I leave Kayla’s studio I feel lighter on my feet.


Registration & Payment

Cost: Includes all materials and a nutritious snack each day. $350

A payment plan is available for the retreat. The final payment is due prior to the start of the retreat. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at time of registration to secure your spot. Space is limited so register today to secure your spot.

Expressive Journeys Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling

Kayla Helenske, MA, LMHCA is co-owner of Circle of Art Studios where she teaches art classes and operates her art therapy and mental health counseling practice, Expressive Journeys.  Helenske’s practice is unique to the area being the only mixed media and pottery studio for kids and adults to also include art therapy and mental health counseling services.

Helenske supports individuals in moving forward and growing healthier lives and relationships through holistic and creative processes. For over 15 years Kayla has been weaving her love of art, healing and community through her own art process, teaching art, facilitating art therapy groups and meeting with individual clients and families. Helenske focuses her practice in working primarily with children, teens and women with a multitude of presenting symptoms such as anxiety, depression, loss and grief, emotional regulation, life transitions, self-esteem and social skills.

Art therapy is a means of utilizing art materials to allow thoughts and feelings to move as you dialogue with your inner canvas through lines, shapes and colors giving image to what the experience feels and looks like in your body. The art allows the maker to capture a moment- a tactile representation of thoughts, feelings, as well as further connect and reflect upon what is working, not working or perhaps missing from their life. The process of creating also allows for a cathartic experience, expelling built up stress, anger and/or grief. The actual feelings of anger, sadness and grief are emotions experienced by everyone. Withholding these feelings and suppressing them can impact our physical and mental health, as well as relationships with others. As a client centered and strength based therapist, Helenske also intertwines mindfulness in her practice guiding clients to note how they feel before, during and after art making which is often accompanied with witness writing their thoughts. 

Along with meeting with individual clients, Helenske offers group work including Women’s Identity and Stress Reduction, Intuitive Painting Classes and The Art of Friendship: A Social Skills Group for kids. Friends and families can also schedule private sessions to come together to process loss and grief, transitions or reconnect as a family through art making.

Circle of Art Studios offers a multitude of services including mixed media and pottery classes for kids and adults, art+wine events, raku parties, team-building events and birthday parties. If you are looking to reconnect with your friends and family, let Circle of Art Studios help you host your next gathering. Please visit www.CircleofArtStudios.com for more information.

You can learn more about Kayla Helenske and her practice, Expressive Journeys at www.ExpressiveJourneysArtTherapy.com and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.