Tuesday, December 5, 2017

art classes for children

nurturing the spirit of the child through creativity

adrian meg photography

an open-ended, engaging, intuitive art making experience
 for children ages 4 -9 years

josh kohanek photography

I offer a unique art making experience where the focus is placed on the process of art making and the exploration of materials. My students experience a limitless opportunity for intuitive and spontaneous self expression.

Art classes are unlimited regarding subject or topic of study.  
Class sizes are small and intimate.  
Students have the opportunity and freedom 
to work with and explore materials.

interested in a Create Everyday birthday party?  click here

for further questions or to register:

Kari is a practicing, professional visual artist as well as a creativity coach and consultant.  She was a Montessori Children's House educator for over thirteen years.  Encouraging and supporting the creative process for people of all ages is one of her absolute favorite things.    

For more information visit

view 200+ photographs of the children's work here

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Monday, December 4, 2017

sketching at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Sometimes, I think, the children's sketchbooks are their most important work. Even though, by the time they go home, the children usually can't remember what sight or thought was the catalyst for which mark, shape or scribble.

This student has filled a handful of sketchbooks in my classes. There have been many pages that have gone home empty too. Somehow, without any inhibition, though, this (not quite) six year old captured movement. Just like that. There is also something else about these sketches that amaze me. This very young person already understands a certain benefit of creating several sketches on the same sight (or idea). AND this young person was obviously quite comfortable continuing an idea across the course of a sketchbook binding and consuming both pages.   WOW.

Friday, September 22, 2017

beautiful oops

Our warm up consisted of mark making using five different drawing mediums (copic markers, crayons, charcoal, oil pastels and colored pencils) on paper.  Ideas for mark making (see my notes posted below) were written on the chalkboard.  Students chose one form of mark making to use with each medium, creating a white page full of "random" mediums and marks.

We used the turn your paper, draw over and paint over techniques with our second activity.  Students used one medium (black watercolor crayons) to create an initial drawing of their own choice.  After completing our drawings, we all turned our papers in different directions, trying to "see" how we might transform these initial drawings into something else.  The children chose one color of soft pastel to draw over in addition to white paint, eliminating part of the initial drawing that was no longer necessary.  Some of the students continued to paint, adding color, once the white paint had dried.

Our third activity consisted of ripping up our warm up paper with all of our mark making on it, finding one piece that spoke to us and incorporating it into another collage/drawing.

Our fourth activity was a far stretch from beautiful oops but I knew the students would have so much fun with this (and it did involve folding ?).  
I still heard exclaimations like, "Look! I created a beautiful oops here." while working on their "Roooooooooooaaaaar" pieces.

 Beautiful Oops  written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg

If you are not familiar with this book, I  highly recommend THIS VIDEO (under one minute thirty seconds)

Some of the students have been begging me for outside time during our Sunday classes in order to use the sidewalk chalk.  We took 15 minutes outside yesterday towards the end of class.  One student spontaneously demonstrated the concept of beautiful oops.  

We'll see some of you for our annual Glamdoll Donuts class on Saturday, December 16 from 1 - 5
or for Watership Down character drawing and story boards, December 17 from 1:30 - 4:30

I still have seats available during the December 26 - 29 winter camp.  Pick and choose days for $65 or choose four days for $200.  The January 2 - 5 winter camp is full.  

So far, in the very short history of winter camps at The Create Everyday Classroom, we have started a tradition where we read what have been noted as the best children's books of the year.  Often we create work inspired by these books.  Here are some examples from previous camps:

student drawing inspired by the book, Flashlight written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd

sea scapes, relief art inspired by the book Float, illustrated by Daniel Miyates

mixed media work inspired by the book Fox's Garden illustrated by Princesse Camcam

Thursday, September 21, 2017

a beautiful testimonial

This student (an eleven year old at the time) wrote about her experience while enrolled in private art lessons at the Create Everyday Classroom.  I cannot think of a better testimonial.

The door clicks shut behind me, blocking out a gentle swirl of snow. Art lines the wall, watercolor, drawings, collages. I step into the small room and look around. Calm music plays and small candles illuminate the colorful, painted tablecloth. Pieces of artwork are hung up on the wall, and three tables are set up around the room. An eager Ms.Kari greets us with a smile on her face and an apron around her neck. I hug my dad goodbye, and hang my coat on a hook attached to the door.
  ”So today instead of a blind contour, i'm thinking we could do a different warm up.” Ms.Kari says. I nod, knowing that whatever Ms.Kari has in store for me, it will be great! I have been coming to Ms.Kari’s art class for a while, and a blind contour is one of my favorite warm ups. A blind contour is when I pick a portrait from a book Ms.Kari has, and look only at the portrait not at what i’m drawing as I copy the lines onto another piece of paper. The object of this is to slow down your eyes, and hand as they follow the lines. Even though I love blind contours, I am excited to try a new warm up.
   I am slightly puzzled when Ms.Kari sets down five rather small pieces of canvas and paper. Each one is unique, one has been painted red, some are rough, some darker in color. Then she pulls out a big, thick book with a beautiful painting on the front.
  "I love the painting on the cover." I say, running my fingers along the brushstrokes.
  "I know isn't it great!" Ms.Kari replies enthusiastically. "You can look through this book, and mark the paintings you like" she tells me, handing me some light green sticky notes."I am going to give you five minutes" she says, as I begin to flip through the pages. I mark a page with a girls face, one of an old man with a long beard, another of a woman that has been painted with bold brush strokes. I have marked four pages when the timer goes off.
   "I didn't get five yet" I explain looking up from the book.
   "It's okay" she reassures me "we'll just use the ones you have".
  After lots of anticipation, she finally explains what the warm up will be. "You are going to draw one of these portraits, but I am only going to give you two minutes." I look at her, a giant smile on my face, exited for the new challenge. "Which portrait do you want to use first?" Ms.Kari asks me. I go with the first one I marked, a pretty little girl dressed in finery. "Which paper do you want to use first?" she asks. I pause for a moment, considering this. I end up choosing a light tan colored paper, with a rough texture.
   "May I start?"I ask.
   "Yes, go ahead." Ms,Kari answers. I start with the girls head. I follow the bumps on her hair, do the hair line, the eyes, nose, mouth. All the while going fairly fast. The timer goes of, and I stop, taking a minute to look at how my picture turned out. You can tell it is done fast but with detail in some places.
   "Wow" she breathes from behind me.
   "I like it" I say, setting it aside so I will have room to make more. I make four more, choosing one last painting to copy for the last one, and set them all in front of me. Some are unfinished. One is missing eyes, another is missing a mouth, but they all look great despite the fact that they were rushed.
   "I love them" she says "now I am going to have you paint one with the techniques we've been practicing.
   "Okay" I answer.
   "Remember don't overthink it, just paint."she reminds me as she squirts paint onto a paper plate. "Now which drawing do you want to paint?" she asks me. I take a minute to look at my drawings. Each one is unique. They are all a wonderful piece of art in their own way, which makes my desicion a hard one. Yet one catches my eye. It has no eyes, but their is something about it that I just love.
   "That one" I say pointing to it.
   "Okay go ahead" Ms.Kari tells me, setting the drawing in front of me. I pick up a rather small paintbrush, and dip it in a light tan. Taking a deep breath, I blot the page with color. Adding pink to the cheeks, and white to the forehead, and nose where the light is reflecting off. My brush is a blur as it mixes colors, strokes the page, and adds life to the page.Soon the face is done. With uneven skin tones, ands splotchy skin, the person is coming out of the paper. "Oh Paige, look at that" she exclaims, holding up my painting for me to see. I beam at it proud of my achievement. "Are you ready to work on the painting of you, and your grandpa?" I nod, eager to use the skills I'd just learned. I had been working on a picture of me, and my grandpa for weeks. Today I am going to work on painting my grandpa. Ms.Kari squirts more paint onto the paper plate. I watch as the thick acrylic paint oozes out of the bottle. Ms.Kari sets my painting and a few brushes in front of me. I select a small flat brush, and dip it in paint. I mix colors till I get a nice skin color. I cover most of my grandpas face with this, and then add color to the cheeks with red, and pink. "Why don't you add some white to the forehead, and chin" she instructs me. I obey, dipping my brush in white, and dabbing some on the forehead, then chin. "All right" Ms.Kari continues "now let's make some brown to use for your grandpas hair, instead of using the dried out brown paint.
   "Okay, how will I make brown? I ask.
   "Mix together red, and green." she answers. I dip my brush in red, then green, and swirl them around on the paper plate till I have a nice brown. Then I take my brush out of the brown, and start to paint my grandpas hair. I run my brush along the hairline, and fill in the rest of the hair with long smooth brush strokes.Ms.Kari was quietly observing me while I did this, and when when I finished she said "now, can you make some of your features more distinct since you have that dark color on your brush." I do so, outlining the nose, a little around the mouth, and an outline of the eyes. Once that is done, I blend the brown into the face to make it look more natural a technique Ms.Kari had taught me in a previous class. "Okay, add light to the bridge of the nose." Ms.Kari instructs, right as my dad walks into the room. I stand up, my paintbrush still clutched in my hand.
   "Hi!" I say, setting my paintbrush down, and starting to untie my apron. My dad walks over and peers down at my painting.
   "That's really good Paige's" he compliments me. I blush, proud of my painting, even though it was unfinished.Ms.Kari holds up my painting for me to look at one last time before she put it away. I beam at it, and just before she puts it away I thought I saw my grandpa smile right back.
   Now I realize how much Ms.Kari has inspired me. She taught me how to not be critical of my work, a very valuable lesson that I will hold on to for a long time. She taught me all these techniques that I will continuously use. She unleashed the artist in me.  

- Paige Yanny 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

the invisible bucket

Excerpts from a class discussion during the last session of Summer ART Camp on August 25, 2017:

Did you know that you and me and every other living being carries around an invisible bucket all of the time?
You didn't?
Well, they do!

Do you know what's different about this special bucket?
It's lighter when it's full and it's heavier when it's empty.
And, you really don't know you're carrying it.
Isn't that funny?

Can I give you an example of how someone might fill their bucket?

Well, right now we are eating lunch and I see so much yummy and healthy food.  When you eat this food, how does your body feel?

Do you think assisting your body in this way empties or fills your bucket?

What are other ways that you think you can fill your bucket?

Who played leap frog with Keri yesterday?  Did that fill your bucket?  How about yours?  And yours? How do you think it filled your bucket?
Can I tell you something else about your buckets?  When you play with others like that you not only fill your buckets but you fill their buckets too!  Everybody gets to have full buckets!

I know many of you are getting really excited about starting school and riding the bus.  How many buckets do you fill when you say "Good Morning" to the bus driver or "Thanks for the ride!"?Althou

Child: "When I play baseball in the backyard with my Dad, I fill my bucket and his bucket!"

So what are ways we can fill our buckets and other people's buckets? <SO MUCH DISCUSSION HAPPENED HERE!>

Another child: "Every time we go to bed, does our bucket empty?"
I don't think so.  There are sometimes that I go to bed and I feel really good or really tired because I know I have had made the best of the day that I could and I go to sleep feeling my bucket is full.  There are other times when I might go to bed worrying about something and forget about all the other good things.  And those times, I feel my bucket emptying a bit.  In the morning, though, my worries don't seem as important, though, and then my bucket feels like it's fuller again.  Do you ever go to bed worrying? What do you do about worrying? <more discussion>

Based on the children's book titled, Have You Filled your Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.
I think it's important to note that, although I think this concept is brilliant, I DO NOT ENDORSE this book.  The illustrations are dangerous and send a message of superiority and prejudice.  I believe the illustrations reinforce stereotypes that no one should have tolerance for (let alone educators).  

honoring transitions: journal prompts for your children

journal entry by Milo, 4 years (now he's in 4th grade!)

With summer coming to an end AND with a new academic year approaching, we can all experience a wide variety of emotions.  It's so exciting for some of us to relish in the anticipation of a new year and yet, this can also, naturally, bring about anxiety.

It's helpful, especially during times of transition, to set aside some extra time for activities that are grounding.  For some of us, one of these activities can be creating.  I have found that children are naturally grounded while they can be creative.  You may observe this when you catch them humming or singing to themselves while they are drawing.

By the way, did you know that the physical act of humming has been physiologically proven to connect the right and left hemispheres of the brain?

If your children have attended a handful of my classes, my guess is they have a sketchbook around the house that has a few empty pages.  Here are a few prompts to choose from if your child needs a bit of structure or direction before sitting down to draw or create.

  • my favorite things to see, smell, hear, and taste in summer (4 different prompts)
  • all the things I learned this summer
  • my favorite fruit/vegetable
  • my favorite joke
  • if I could pack a picnic basket all by myself, what would I bring?
  • what was I doing on the 4th of July?
  • my three favorite flavors of ice cream
  • draw a map of somewhere I went this summer
  • my favorite activity at the playground
  • my favorite song
  • my favorite party I attended this summer
  • my favorite book, topic to read about or character
  • the best surprise this summer
  • my favorite summer memory

Some children may want to rush through journal prompts and quickly fill empty pages.  If your child has a tendency to do this, try to encourage them to elaborate more on the same topic/page.  Perhaps they can add words to their drawings or clippings from magazines.

Wishing you all much joy and ease as you transition into a new school year.

To read more about the benefits of journaling for children, visit this link.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Summer ART Camps


June 19 - 23
artists through the eyes of children's books
Study the artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Yayoi Kusama and Agnes Martin through the eye of children's books .  Create work inspired by these artists.

July 10 -14 
animal, vegetable or mineral?
Study animals, vegetables and minerals in art while creating work inspired by these subjects. Participate in a scavenger hunt for these items at the MIA during both of our visits.

July 24-28 
drawing and painting
Fine tune your drawing skills and painting technique while studying artists,
Milton Avery, Chuck Close, Helen Frakenthaler, Lee Krasner and Kara Walker

August 7 - 11 
perceiving Picasso
Explore Pablo Picasso's wide range of style within his work.  We'll learn the simplicity of line drawings, the complexities of cubism, create guitar sculptures and more.

August 21 - 25 
the museum of me
Based on the children's book written by Emma Lewis, students will come to learn what specific images, places and experiences they identify with while creating a symbolic museum of their own.

Camps are Monday through Friday, 8:30 - 1
children ages 4 - 12  years

we visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art with sketchbooks (provided) on two different days during each session

outdoor play and picnic lunches at the MCAD sculpture garden or on the Mia grounds

Please pack a mid morning snack and a sack lunch
each camp session 250./week

to inquire or REGISTER,  email  Kari at   createeverydayclassroom@gmail.com

To view videos from 2016 Summer ART Camps, see THIS LINK

To follow us on facebook, see The Create Everyday Classroom

Find us @thecreateeverydayclassroom on instagram