Wednesday, June 7, 2023

2023/2024 academic year: classes + workshops


We make art year round in the classroom

Our '23/'24 calendar is as follows:

MEA week: October 18, 19 + 20, 2023
Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday, 9 am - 1pm

slideshow from previous MEAs

MEA 2023 single days ($75 ea) or all three days ($195)
venmo @Kari-Maxwell (include dates in memo)

If you are new to the classroom, please email your child's name and age

Thanksgiving workshop: Wed, November 22, 2023, 9am - 1pm

slideshow from previous Thanksgiving workshops

Thanksgiving workshop $75
venmo @Kari-Maxwell 

If you are new to the classroom, please email your child's name and age

Winter Break 2023: December 19 - 22, 9am -1pm

Museum Day slideshow 2022

view more winter break slideshows here

2023 Winter Break Camp $295
venmo @Kari-Maxwell 

If you are new to the classroom, please email your child's name and age

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr! workshop
Monday, January 15, 2024  9am - 1pm

slideshow from previous MLK workshops

MLK workshop $75
venmo @Kari-Maxwell 

If you are new to the classroom, please email your child's name and age

Presidents' Day workshop
Monday, February 19, 2024 9am - 1pm

slideshow from previous Presidents' Day workshops

Presidents' Day workshop $75
venmo @Kari-Maxwell 

If you are new to the classroom, please email your child's name and age

Spring Break Art Camp 2024
April 1 - 5, 9am - 1pm

museum day slideshow 2023

view more spring break slideshows here

2024 Spring Break Camp $295
venmo @Kari-Maxwell 

If you are new to the classroom, please email your child's name and age

Mother's Day classes, Saturday, May 11 
time slots TBA

First Session of 2024 Summer Camp, June 17 - 21
view this link for 2024 summer camp details

follow along on instagram and facebook

Friday, January 6, 2023

2023 Summer ART Camps

If you are new to The Create Everyday Classroom Summer ART Camps, please scroll down to familiarize yourself by reading GENERAL CAMP INFORMATION at the bottom of this post.

JUNE 19 - 23 ::::::::::: Artists and Their Animal Companions 

So many artists had animal companions they've written books on the subject.  Study classics such as Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and current artists, Miroco Machiko and Kara Kramer

We will draw, paint, print, collage and use mixed media methods, creating our own interpretations of these artists' works in addition to developing favorite animal subjects of our own.

Thank you. 


JULY 17 - 21 :::::::::::::::::::::::: PLORK!

Corita Kent saw art everywhere and taught her students to look at their immediate surroundings as such.  This camp will involve daily walks with view finders and sketchbooks where we will find art in every day experiences.  

In the classroom, we will practice Corita Kent's approach to art making while practicing some of Kara Kramer's art making methods with painting, collage, hand lettering, mark making and simple animation.

* Corita Kent thought of play as work.  She believed work should also involve play. 
With this conviction, the word "plork" was born.


AUGUST 21 - 25 ::::::::::::::::: BEST OF 

Picasso guitars, carp kites, yarn/textile art, Miroco Machiko's vegetables, Wayne Thiebaud's sweets (donuts) and more. 

Revisit or be introduced to the classroom's favorite lessons while forming, painting, building, and creating textile art.

Registration is closed
for August’s camp. 
Thank you!



With eight years of SUMMER CAMP at The Create Everyday Classroom, rituals have been created that returning students look forward to every year.  In addition to visiting the museum (on Thursdays),  there is silly walk day (view videos here), water balloon day, balloons in the museum courtyard and popsicle day.

The Create Everyday Classroom Summer ART Camps are Monday through Friday, 9am - 1pm  Because of small class sizes, variations on lessons are easily provided when taking into consideration age, interest, and skill.  Camp sizes are small (10 participants) with an age range in each of 4 to 10 years.

Each camp is $295 per week.  A non refundable $150 deposit secures your child's seat with a balance of $145 due the Monday of summer camp week.  
Seat reservations may be made via venmo ( @Kari-Maxwell).  
If this is your first time enrolling, in addition to your payment, please email with the full name and age of your child(ren).

Students come prepared with their own mid morning snack, water bottle and lunch. We have daily picnics on the MCAD campus or in the Mia courtyard (weather permitting).

You can take a peek into Summer ART Camps at The Create Everyday Classroom by visiting + viewing these slideshows.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

a word from the founder

When I am not painting in my studio, I am developing curriculum or teaching at my tiny little art school in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis.

I get such a charge out of designing curriculum.  Since I founded The Create Everyday Classroom in 2013, I am beginning to collect a wealth of rich lessons.  I still prefer to create and teach new curriculum though.  I love sitting down and figuring out how to puzzle piece together at least two of the following: artist studies, art making methods, children's books and museum visits.  More often than not, I find a common thread between three or four.

My class sizes are small.  I teach an average of ten students per session between the ages of 4 and 10 years.  I have found this number of students allows for a more individual, open ended curriculum which is the most important quality for me.   I want students to always feel the freedom to improvise, make adaptions and experiment while having the support they need to do this.

Having been a Montessori teacher for over fifteen years, I am a firm believer that there be a significant age range in each class.  One element of my curriculum design involves creating variations within each lesson so that all students will feel challenged and engaged.  Under this paradigm, students have the  ability to absorb the layers and complexities involved in making art.

To peruse classes and workshops through December, visit THIS LINK

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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

our favorite art materials

It's the season for gift giving!  

If you feel inspired to gift the young artist in your life with art materials, I have recommendations.


Canson XL mixed media pad, 9x12 in white.  I wish they sold this paper in reams.  I will rip each individual page out/off the spiral for student use.  This is how much I love this paper.  

For avid white charcoal, colored pencils and pastel users, I highly recommend this same brand in the color black


Strathmore 300 series tape bound watercolor paper.  I always buy the 11x15 paper but I am always re-sizing with our paper cutter, too.  I think it's safe to go with the 9x12 option.  By the way, we use tempera and acrylic paints on this paper too!
acrylic + watercolor landscapes on strathmore watercolor 300 series

Another FAVORITE paper for SO MANY things!

more paper: manilla 12x18 cardstock

CANVAS: ANY canvas you find will do.  


Hands down, over and over again, I cannot recommend Tempera brand by Tri Art enough.  More than likely you will have to order this online.  I used to be able to purchase it locally.  Student grade tempera paint by Dick Blick is a good runner up.  I have talked to Art Materials (on Lyndale) and they have recommended their chroma tempera paint as a proper replacement for the tri art brand.  I haven't tried this brand but would recommend starting here, if need be, rather than trying another.  

Instead of purchasing a set, I highly recommend creating your own set (the primary colors -  red, yellow + blue, add white and black). This encourages color mixing and self discovery.  And the mixing of colors creates more depth in a painting, let's face it.  If you want to add one more color to your set, add a magenta (when mixed with blue, the color creates a better blend of purple).  

Upon receiving these paints, students will want to use them right away.  Add a roll of kraft packaging paper so that your young artist has protection for the surface he or she will be working on.   You might as well be prepared.

Tri Art Tempera paint on large Canson XL mixed media paper

We only use liquid watercolors in the classroom and there are many reasons why I wouldn't recommend these for home use.  A regular set of crayola watercolors will work just fine (just promise me you'll throw away the brush first).

graphite pencil, sharpee and liquid watercolors on Canson XL mixed media paper

india ink : higgins

india ink on manilla cardstock


I am just going to attach the exact items here because brushes are so expensive and so overwhelming at first and brushes are SO IMPORTANT.  Hands down, over and over again, I cannot recommend these enough - white taklon by craft smart and golden taklon by craft smart.  These brushes are inexpensive and so durable. They work for ALL mediums.  I cannot emphasize enough what a priority these are. Include both of these packages with your gift.

brush prints on drop cloth

writing, mark making, drawing:

graphite pencils (primsacolor ebony pencil)

pencil sharpener (mobius ruppert brass wedge)

eraser (staedtler mars plastic)

graphite pencil in sketchbook

white charcoal pencils (general's charcoal white pencils)

white charcoal pencil on black Canson XL paper

Lyra watercolor crayons!  We use the black ones for (almost) every class. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a place where I can purchase them as singles or in bulk. I have confidence this small set will be enjoyed. 

nibs: (manga cartoon comic drawing painting kit tool)
india ink and nib pen on canson XL mixed media paper

markers:  These are a pretty penny and for the more advanced artist.  If you'd like to start collecting, you can purchase them in singles.  Perhaps supply the young artist with a shade of their favorite color.  These markers are magic and are a beautiful embellishment to dried watercolor paintings.  I really like the copic ciao.

watercolor + copic marker on canson XL mixed media paper

NOTHING brings absolute delight to a child more than a brand new set of crayola markers.  I cannot emphasize enough that these markers be broad (vs fine).  I always have these in the classroom and when I bring in new boxes, the students' expressions are priceless.  Just know they have a very short life.

crayola markers, broad line, skin tones set

COLORED PENCILS: hands down, over and over again THESE - koh-l-noor progresso woodless colored pencils

PASTELS: I don't have any easy recommendations here.  You must pay for quality, in this department. I find it best to go to an art store and create your own set, purchasing one at a time.  Best to choose the cylinder shape (rather than prisms). Start your soft pastel collection as you might with paints or choose a shade of the child's favorite color and add two more.  Include wet wipes with these as children's hands will become quickly stained from blending (a very good thing)!

grid drawing portrait, soft pastels


ALWAYS a favorite

We had a clay camp where we experimented with all types of air dry and oven bake clay.  The vote was  unanimous for Crayola Air Dry in white (not in terra cotta).   The students' creations will crumble over time (but their creations will last for a good 6 mos).  The joy exchanged in the interim is all that matters. There is so much joy in clay.  This brand is easy to paint too!

crayola air dry clay in white, painted with student grade Dick Blick tempera

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

art-based conversation starters for family fun

Jean-Michel Basquiat first attracted attention for his street mural work under the name "SAMO" in New York City.  He also is well known for using the symbol of a crown in his work.

If you could choose one nickname (3-5 letters) and one symbol to represent you, what would your name and symbol be?

Deborah Butterfield creates life size horse sculptures using a variety of materials.  Initially, she constructed these sculptures using only natural materials, but in 1979, she started using found steel and scrap metal.

If you could pick one subject (anything at all - living or non living) to reference as inspiration for a life size sculpture of your own what would it be?

Ezra Jack Keats is best known for introducing multiculturalism into mainstream American children's literature.  He was one of the first children's book authors to introduce an urban setting for his stories and he developed the use of collage as a medium for illustration.  Although Keats published so many children's book, he is best known for his book, The Snowy Day.

What would be the seasonal backdrop for a children's book of your own?  Come up with a quick story line, celebrating this season.

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation.  Kusama is fascinated by the concept of infinity and, at first, used polka dots in her installations to portray this idea.

What is your favorite number?  What would be a way for you to make others aware of this without specifically naming the number itself?

George Morrison was an American landscape painter and sculptor.  His native name was Wah Wah Teh Go Nay Ga Bo  (Standing in the Northern Lights).  Morrison created collage landscapes out of found wood.

If you had to roam the world for one type of found item, what would it be?  What places would you visit to start your collection?

George Rodrigue was an American artist from Louisiana who received worldwide fame for his Blue Dog paintings.  This character was inspired by a Cajun legend called Loup-garou (or werewolf).

Do you have a favorite story or legend in your family or culture?

In 1955, Andy Warhol created a blotted line ink drawing of many butterflies that he titled "Happy Butterfly Day".  This was a significant piece of work because it was the start of Warhol creating a repetitive image, over and over.

If you were given a large piece of paper and were asked to draw the same thing over and over again, what would you choose to draw?


Monday, January 2, 2023

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