Creative Writing

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Feb 20: Open Mic, Seneca Valley High School Senior Micheala Petruso

Posted on 20 February 2016 (0)

The Bottlebrush Gallery hosted a Poetry Slam Open Mic on February 20 from 1-3pm for Seneca Valley senior Micheala Petruso. Thanks to musicians Bryan Fazio of the band Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors, and Slippery Rock University’s Jared Negley for accompanying the readings. Prizes were awarded for best performance. Congratulations to Micheala!

Feb 20: Poetry Slam Open Mic!

Posted on 22 January 2016 (0)

The Bottlebrush Gallery is proud to host a Poetry Slam Open Mic on February 20 from 1-3pm for Seneca Valley senior Micheala Petruso. Free admission, food and drink. All ages and poetry forms welcome! If you’re interested in reading your poetry for the event, please contact Micheala at to be added to the schedule. Bryan Fazio of the band Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors will drum for the slam, and Slippery Rock University’s Jared Negley will accompany the readings on his upright bass. Prizes awarded for best performance. Don’t miss it!


Jan 25-Feb 29: Writing Workshop, The Creative’s Way

Posted on 18 January 2016 (0)


The Creative’s Way Workshop – Jan 25-Feb 29, 2016

Posted on 23 November 2015 (0)


The Creative’s Way Workshop

When:  Mondays, January 25 through February 29, choose your time: 1-2:30pm OR 7-8:30pm

Facilitator: J. Sandy Ferrainola


Cost and Registration:

Workshop fee is $120, due at first session January 25th.  Additional $25 fee for one play date and supplies TBD. Register: call or email Sandy to sign up with a $20 deposit: 724-766-0674 or Minimum of 5 participants. Group size is limited to 8.


Participants will “out” the creativity inside of them to fulfill a lifetime passion or perhaps, find a new one.  Join this Creative Circle of peer support to discover or recover your creative life and– in a gallery and center for arts filled with inspiration! Using Julia Cameron’s book as a guide and Sandy’s facilitated process, you will complete tasks in 12 chapters to break through the surface of your resistance in order to experience art and creating in its many forms. A commitment to consciously regard others in the group with respect and without fear of criticism, judgment or competition is expected from all participants.

Sandy’s experience with Ms. Cameron’s course and added informational hand-outs will get you “flowing” in creative and inspirational ideas to express yourself. A personal commitment to complete this six-week workshop will most likely change your outlook on self-expression, and life, if practiced with a sincere desire to confront your inner censors. The spiritual aspect is not referring to religion but the enlightenment one finds flowing through creative energy. An outline of weekly sessions available upon request.

Required book additional:

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron, A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (purchase on-line or Barnes & Nobles approx. $12.00 for paperback edition ISBN#0-87477-694-5 or 9781101156889) This is not the “workbook” which is a companion to The Artist’s Way.  ALSO: Two spiral composition notebooks required before 1st session but at least one will be used immediately.

About Your Workshop Leader:

Sandy Ferrainola is an essayist, novelist and above all, CREATIVE!  Her writing experience spans 50 years with published essays in literary journals, articles in magazines, and horoscope columns in addition to artistic endeavors in photography with a photo poster on display at the Bottlebrush Gallery.  Even with a dozen rejection slips from book publishers for her young adult novel series, Sandy understands there may be dozens more!

As a member of the international Stencil Artisan’s League for 19 years as well as a Board member, Sandy gained insight into group learning and class instruction across America. Her interest in a variety of arts and handcrafts including oil and acrylic painting, collage, decorative arts, fabric arts, ceramics, drawing as well as perennial gardening and “upcycling junk” has led to new discoveries in creativity.  An advocate of Julia Cameron’s many book titles, she anticipates Julia’s upcoming release in April, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Creativity in the Golden Years. Sandy’s favorites: in art, Andy Warhol; in music; David Bowie; in movies; Elf; in colors,  turquoise!  Currently studying Psychology at Butler County Community College, Sandy serves on several local community committees and holds a Pennsylvania license in real estate.

Nov 27: Booksigning by Pat Galbreath!

Posted on 19 November 2015 (0)


Just in time for holiday giving! The Bottlebrush is proud to host local author Patricia Galbreath at a booksigning Friday, Nov 27, from noon-2pm. No charge.

In addition to Pat’s Merry Mouse Church Mouse book series, we also have t-shirts, small mouse toys and stuffed animals for the kids. Come on by and meet this popular and *local* author in person!

About Patricia Galbreath:
Author and great-grandmother Pat Galbreath lives in Western Pennsylvania and is the author of the Merry Mouse Church Mouse book series.

Harmony Ink Speaker, Valentine J. Brkich

Posted on 29 September 2014 (0)

brkichsmHarmony Ink Writing Class Special Guest:

Valentine J. Brkich, professional freelance writer, humorist and author advisor, presenting on the topic: “Find Your Success in Writing.”

A graduate of Westminster College, Brkich’s work experience includes Senior Writer at Robert Morris University, PR Writer at Heritage Valley Health System, and Editor of the Beaver Borough Newsletter. He was the recipient of the 2013 Rochester Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.


Professional publications include:

  • Bridgewater: A Narrative History of a Pennsylvania River Town
  • Cageball, Poker and the Atomic Wedgie: And Other Tales of Catholic School Mischief
  • Get Yourself An Inflatable Baby Sitter And Other Survival Tips for First-Time Dads
  • Achieving Mediocrity: Surefire Strategies for a Lackluster Life

Blog: Small-Town Dad (, chronicles his many misadventures as a writer and the father of two young children in small-town USA

Refreshments provided. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Limited seating! RSVP to 724.452.0539. More about Valentine J. Brkich here:

August 8 – House Concert: Eric Taylor (Texas) with special guest Paul Bauer

Posted on 28 June 2014 (0)

erictaylorEric Taylor learned his  intricate blues guitar stylings from music legends Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. He developed his own unique guitar picking style that would be imitated by many of his contemporaries from the early Houston days such as Guy  Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and  Nanci Griffith.

Taylor has headlined the prestigious  Newport Folk Festival, played National Public Radio’s “Mountain  Stage” and has appeared on both “Late Night With David Letterman” and “Austin City Limits”… and now he’s playing at the Bottlebrush Gallery in Harmony. Don’t miss this blues legend!

Friday, August 8, 2014  6:30pm with special guest Paul Bauer. $20 Admission. BYOB. Snacks available. RSVP to the Gallery, 724.452.0539. Open seating.

Art in the Summer: Classes are open now!

Posted on 21 May 2014 (0)

It’s that time again! Our art classes are open for children (including preschool!), youth and teens for weeks June 23-26 and June 30-July 3. Click on the children/teens classes tab at the top of this page. More classes will be added for July, including a water-themed group project to be displayed at Harmony’s 10 Year Flood Commemoration event in September.

This year’s classes include handbuilt pottery, jewelry, painting and drawing, photography, drumming, creative writing, stage and auditioning skills.

To reserve a seat in our art classes:  email us at  bottlebrushgallery @  A Gallery representative will contact you to confirm/complete registration and process payment, which is required at the time of registration.  Parents must complete a parental consent form for their child upon registration or at the class meeting time.

After paying the artists and for supplies, the remainder of the registration money goes towards our mini-grant program ART MATTERS, established to fund art classes for disadvantaged children and youth. We get many calls from local groups and organizations asking for classes to help their clients, so we decided to do something about it. Thank you for helping us to help them!

Spring Classes at the Gallery

Posted on 15 February 2014 (0)

We’ve been busy adding art and spiritual improvement classes to our calendar for both adults and children/youth. Art classes include Mixed Media Techniques and “Twisted Lines,” artist Susan Walker’s take on zen doodles.

We’re also offering drumming classes. Bryan Fazio is teaching his Conga Drumming course, in addition to his popular one-evening Drum~Write~Draw.  Jim Donovan returns to the Bottlebrush this spring, presenting his Spring Renewal and Rejuvenation Series, 5 weeks of spiritual and creative refreshment using drums. Check out the full description on our Adult Classes page.

Other ongoing favorites include our Songwriters in Harmony workshop, “Time for Me” A Women’s Creative Circle, Debbie Smith Wagner’s Bottlebrush Improv and Acting class for ages 9-15 with Auditioning activities added–  and the return of Harmony Ink, a monthly creative writing workshop.

Click on the links Children/Teen Classes and Adult Classes above to see everything that’s new, and be sure to check back as we add more classes regularly.

To sign up for our classes, contact the Gallery either by email bottlebrushgallery @ or call us, 724.452.0539. Please note, to sign up for Jim Donovan’s Spring Renewal series, follow the link provided in the description.

ATTENTION: PARENTS … our third annual Summer Art Class Schedule for children and teens is under development with some cool, new additions this year!

Harmony Ink Creative Writing Group Meeting – Wednesday, 5/8, 6pm

Posted on 06 May 2013 (0)

The Harmony Ink creative writing group resumes meeting this week on Wednesday, May 8, beginning at 6pm!

Harmony Ink: Creative Writing Group Like to write? Join our creative writing group for teens and adults. Harmony Ink isn’t a formal class– just a way to be inspired and share your work with others in small groups. Harmony Ink meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6pm. Drop-ins are always welcome! FREE. Instructor: Stacie Bonetti . Meeting dates for 2013: May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11.