Music Portraits

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This is a great project for any age and any time frame! It’s a good way to let your little artist’s (and your inner artist’s) creativity¬† go wild!


Stereo with a variety of music (Classical is recommended, but go nuts with anything!)





1. Put on the music and listen for a minute. (It really does help if you can close your eyes and focus.)

2. (Open your eyes) Begin to paint, it can be squiggles and sweeping motions or pictures that the music suggests to you. Whatever the music feel like to you and your child–that is what you put down on paper.

3. Label the back with the date and the piece of music that you are portraying.


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emily and meg on a hammockI know, I have fallen off the blogging horse! I have been working on sifting through a ridiculous number of pictures for a new blog about my cakes (and party ideas). You can see it at have your cake parties. My husband is a fabulous amateur photographer. So, there are his photos to go through….it was about as tedious as reading this must be.

Anyhow, I know I need to get things up and going. As long as I am talking about parties and cakes; I am getting geared up for Megan’s 3rd birthday. (Not until August, but I am excited.) I could totally use some input. I am thinking about doing a messy art party where the kids paint and do a clay project, then decorate their own megan on hammockcupcakes. Another idea is a farm or jungle party. Which would have the usual party type games. I was also thinking about doing a Dora the Explorer party. I think that no matter what we do, she is going to have a ball. I realize at the age the whole theme thing is more about me wanting to do it than her really caring. I just keep getting ideas, maybe a bubble party, where we experiment with bubble and do bubble art. Am I going overboard? I don’t know. Am I having fun? YES!

Summer Art Classes

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I am way excited that I have finally gotten my act together to offer some day camps this summer. These are always so much fun because we have time to really get into a project. I am so excited to play with my students again. Since I don’t really have the old art class site up, I thought I would post my schedule. Here it is:

Artist Study: Alexander Calder
7/18 10:00-3:30 $65
Calder is one of the funnest artist in history. Take a look at his work from wire art and miniature circuses to giant metal sculptures. Then try your hand at some wirework too. We will make wire portraits and construct our own Calder-esque mobiles. Location: Miss Shan’s classroom

Artist Study: Claude Monet
7/23 10:00-3:30 $65
Monet chased light and was a quick draw. (Well, painter anyway) Look into the Impressionists’ philosophy on painting and s pend a day painting like Monet. Meet at Keersten’s then find a shady spot to paint a canvas board and draw (with pastels) your own Monet landscapes.

Become a Children’s Book Illustrator
7/25 10:00-3:30 $65
A take a look at some great illustrators and discuss what makes their art great. Then get to work creating your own hardcover book, where students will illustrate a favorite story or write their own. Location: Miss Shan’s classroom

Color Usage
7/30 10:00-3:30 $65
Ever wonder why certain colors are used in paintings? Color is key in developing the emotion and feel of a piece. It is also often used to symbolize ideas. Learn the process an artist uses to decide which colors to use in their work and explore it on your own. As well as how to mix colors and color theory. We will create our own painting on canvas board. Location: Miss Shan’s classroom

8/8 10:00-3:30 $70
This class is recommended for artists age 9+ . We will take a look at various influential sculptors and the techniques they used. Then we will create our own works with base relief and armature/structural techniques. Location: Miss Shan’s classroom

Study of Animals
8/10 10:00-4:00 $70
Learn the techniques to quickly and realistically capture animals; then spend the day sketching and painting with Sumi brushes at Hoogle Zoo. Meet at Keersten’s house

Play with Clay
8/13 10:00-3:30 $65
This class is recommended for artists age 4-8 . We will take a look at various influential sculptors and the techniques they used. Then we will create our own works, focusing on creating mini animals and will create our own small scene. Location: Miss Shan’s classroom

the Big Messy Movement
8/15 10:00-3:30 $65
This class is all about exploring art and having fun. Wear old clothes and be ready to get dirty! Recommended for younger artists, we will study some really messy artist throughout history and try out techniques like prehistoric hand painting and Jackson Pollack painting. Location: Keersten’s house

Landscapes (traditional)
8/17 10:00-3:30 $65
Look into the techniques necessary to to create wonderful landscapes; such as perspective, atmospheric perspective and color gradients. We will meet at Keersten’s and then walk to a couple of close-by vistas to draw our own landscapes. The primary media for this class will be charcoal and pastel.

Expressionist and Abstract Landscapes
8/21 10:00-3:30 $65
This is a great follow-up to the traditional landscape class. Students will learn to look at their surroundings with new eyes and focus on creating an emotional statement more than representing reality. We will look at the work of artists such as Georges Seurat and Salvidor Dali to see just how crazy landscapes can be; we will then create our own painting on canvas board. Meet at Keersten’s and walk to painting locations.

Most classes are based more on interest and experience than age. All classes include supplies and lunch. Schedule is subject to change based on class size.

Contact Keersten to register or for more information

10 Things I have learned about doing art with kids

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Megan painting1. It is more fun (for both of you) when you leave your expectations behind. Kids come up with some really great and creative stuff when we don’t force our ideas on them.

2. It is also more fun if you do it too. Your child will love spending this time working along side you and you’ll get to let your “inner child” out a little

3. Don’t always offer instructions. Enjoy sitting back and watching your child explore. (This is how I learned that you can sculpt with glue.)

4. Do what you want them to do. Referred to as modeling, it is often more effective to carefully dip your own paintbrush and lightly stroke it along the paper rather than nag her to stop mashing the bristles into her painting.

5. Mix media– have fun and get creative. Chances are if you think it might be fun…it will be. paintings

6. Paint and clay remain the most popular activities for a reason. (Sure they are both messy, but the are both always fun.)

7. It doesn’t have to be a big production (or a masterpiece for that matter.) There is something to be said for quick crafts as well as doodling.

8. Saying “Tell me about your drawing.” fosters creativity better than “What is it?” (It doesn’t have to be anything.)

9. Don’t over compliment. Kids can sense disingenuity. Instead try using neutral factual statements. (You used red, yellow, and black.)

10. Always remember that art is about self-expression and having fun. When you keep that in mind, it will be a great experience.