Studio Stories

Illuminating Our Lives Through Art

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Studio Stories, Illuminating Our Lives through Art, relates the deeply personal journeys of ordinary women who are drawn together by a common yearning to express themselves through art, but discover that the creative path also leads deep within – to hidden thoughts, buried memories, and dramatic life changes.

Alongside the women’s stories from the studio, I offer my own gleanings from a lifetime of teaching and artistry. I share my philosophy of creativity as birthright, and through poetic “river lessons” that precede each chapter, I take the reader along on my daily walks by the Potomac, where nature offers artistic inspiration and lessons for life.

Part manifesto, part meditation, Studio Stories is most of all a celebration of the creative spirit in us all.

also available from Shanti Arts

“Lauren’s gentle coaching brought back to life the artist in me that I long ago extinguished.  This book can help do that for so many others too. It’s beautiful, poetic, and inspiring.

– Cecilia Capuzzi Simon, contributing writer, The New York Times

Praise for Studio Stories

“Studio Stories runs deep. It offers readers close encounters with art-making and its persistent power to help us see who we are and might yet become.”

-Michael Roth, president, Wesleyan University; former president,
California College of the Arts

“Lauren’s gentle coaching brought back to life the artist in me that I long ago extinguished.  This book can help do that for so many others too.  It is beautiful, poetic, and inspiring.”

-Cecilia Capuzzi Simon, contributing writer, The New York Times

“Studio Stories reminds us that creative expression is the birthright of every human being. It inspires and uplifts.  A must-read!”

-Flora Bowley, artist, author of Brave Intuitive Painting

“Studio Stories will remind you to stop and notice the beauty all around and within you.  If you’re a teacher, you’ll get ideas about materials and themes to inspire creativity. If you’re an art therapist, you’ll marvel at Lauren’s natural gift of using the transformative properties inherent in the creative process.”

-Karen Wise, former clinical director, Boston Institute for Arts Therapy

“Whether art is an important part of your life or not, this book – a piece of art in every right –will inspire you to face your fears and find and surrender to your true, best self. Every page is a powerful inspiration – every story a message to live by.  One of the most genuinely beautiful, elegant, and powerful reads I’ve come across.  I am in love with this book and implore you to get a copy for yourself and for all who matter in your life.”

-Umaimah Mendhro, Founder and CEO, VIDA

“Studio Stories is eloquent, inviting, and beautifully designed. Rader’s narrative provides a real sense of the breakthroughs and ‘aha’ moments, as well as the struggles, inherent in the creative process.  A thought-provoking and delightful read.”

-Nancy Collamer, author of Second-Act Careers; founder, MyLifestyleCareer.com

“Studio Stories is a deeply insightful book that conveys through powerful real-life stories the wise ancient philosophy that art has the ability to awaken a soul. A must-read book for every educator, therapist, counselor and art activist.”

-Maye Torres, artist, Taos, NM

“Lauren generously shares stories of how art-making creates openings, realizations and sometimes profound healing for the women she has worked with. This book will be inspirational and validating to everyone, whether you already make art or you would like to. Studio Stories will abundantly support that journey.”

-Arla Patch, author of A Body Story and Finding Ground: Girls and Women in Recovery.

Studio Stories has uniformly 5-star Amazon Reviews! Here are a few:

This book is a wonderful meditation on the power of art…

This book is a wonderful meditation on the power of art to calm the mind and open the heart. Through stories of the women she helped to empower, author Lauren Rader shares her lessons for reviving the curiosity of childhood, casting aside fear, and creating an environment to foster the making of art that touches one’s soul. In her classes Lauren typically opens these doors to six women at a time. In Studio Stories she allows all of us to share in the magic of her wisdom and experience. This is a must-keep book to read again and again and be inspired by every day.

This is a beautifully written, easy to read book about the power of stepping out of our own…

This is a beautifully written, easy to read book about the power of stepping out of our own insecurities and expressing ourselves without the burden of our own critique. Lauren’s book, in intriguing vignettes, demonstrates that through the ancient instinct of creating art, we recreate ourselves and can conquer demons we didn’t even know we were battling every day. Lauren shows us how art, when we do it without judging the results, creates beauty and in the world and can open a flow self-understanding that we didn’t know was possible.

A Wonderful Read

I’m taking a deep sigh of gratitude as I finish the last page of this wonderful book. Full of powerful wisdom and graceful storytelling, this book illuminates the very real ways in which art can change people’s lives. My only wish is that I had the chance to sit in on one of Lauren’s art classes.
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