do it. create. walk and see. cut and paste. scratch and sniff.
do whatever you have to do to feed your soul.
this is my commitment.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

to make+be merry ART sale

the FIRST annual to make+be merry ART SALE is 
this Saturday, November 21, 9am-5pm
at the Create Everyday Classroom
2605 2nd Ave South  ::  Minneapolis

Everything pictured here will be available for sale in addition to much more.

there will also be COWS

Fine Art Print Sale!
Place your order in person at to make+be merry
and receive 20% off

view more options for art prints here

Four other artists Cami Applequist, Savita Bettaglio, Lisa Erickson, Heather Lawrenz
will be joining me for this event.  
Visit this event page on facebook for more information.

This event also coincides with the MCAD Art Sale which is right across the street!

contact me if you'd like a sneak peek 
on Friday night, November 20 between 6-8pm

*although there will be a cash box, payment via checks and credit cards preferred

Monday, November 9, 2015

art that lights up the night

As we enter the winter months with shorter days, 
I thought it appropriate and celebratory to create art that lights up the night.  

The children's art warm up consisted of drawing on strips of tracing paper with permanent marker.

After cutting out their drawings (for some, it was more appropriate to wrap the jar with their drawing), the children used modge podge to adhere their illustrations to their jars.

When our votives were complete, we ate our snack with the lights off.

We read the book, Tommaso and the Missing Line by Mattio Pericoli.

When creating our houses, the children chose from different shoe boxes.  They decided which direction they'd like their houses to face, drawing doors and windows, while I used my xacto knife to cut them out.

Students referenced magazine images, found papers and tissue paper to add images, pattern and color to the outside.  Some of the children spontaneously added to the inside as well.  

We added battery operated votives to our houses in another attempt to light up the night.

UPCOMING DATES (click on the blue text for more information):

ALL DAY Saturday, November 21: to make+be merry art exhibit/sale/party
5 participating artists//door prizes for kiddos//bubbly for adults//juice+snacks

WEEKDAY WORKSHOPS: art class + trips to the MIA over Thanksgiving school closures
Mon-Wed, Nov. 23 - 25, 8:30am-1pm

Saturday, November 28: schedule an outing on eat street or visit Estrella's open house// reserve a one hour art class between 10am - 2pm  $20

Saturday, December 12: field trip to Glam Donuts (right down the street from the Create Everyday Classroom) + Wayne Thiebauld art, 1:30 - 4:30

Sunday, December 13, 1:30 -4:30: design your own gift tags and wrapping paper for the holidays

See The Create Everyday Classroom for all class listings

I was traveling last week and didn't keep up with my email.  My apologies!  Please note that I also receive emails from if you should have trouble in the future.

As always, Thank you for your enthusiastic support!  Happy November!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

the art of rabbits

We started class by observing Tucker and attempting to look at him as certain shapes.  The children were able to identify ellipses, half circles, circles and rectangles.  After taking a bit of time to stroke our live model and feel his soft fur, we set to work practicing putting shapes together to create a whole.  The children practiced drawing several rabbits on a large piece of paper using this method.

We used charcoal and paper to practice proportional drawing.  I had the children fold their paper reserving the smaller portion for where they would draw the head (allowing enough room for the ears) and the larger part for the body (allowing enough room for the tail).  The children practiced this method twice, each time changing the direction of their paper from portrait to landscape (or vice versa).  There is one example of this on the top left of the photo collage above.

The children also cut out felt shapes, creating their own rabbits!

At this point we also viewed a variety of rabbits in art.  We referenced work from Albrecht Durer, Lucian Freud, Jeff Koons and Marc Chagall.

After applying a base color to our canvases, we took a break for snack and read both The Velveteen Rabbit and Peter Rabbit.

The children decided what would influence their rabbit paintings. Some were inspired by the artists we had viewed while others were inspired by the stories we had read.  They used soft pastels to sketch out their ideas on their canvas before applying paint and texture.

We practiced a few other activities with rabbits as subject.  The children carved their own rabbit stamps and used them to make prints (on black paper).  They also used the tip of a protea plant (similar to a large pussy willow) to print a texture on paper, representing fur.  They applied white paint to the negative space, revealing a rabbit shape (see an example on middle left in first photo collage above).

Thankfully, parents sent me these images of their children's paintings on canvas.

Peter Rabbit escaping under the fence

It was Picasso's birthday on Sunday!  Here are a few examples of the children's work over the past year when Picasso was our inspiration.

I have one more seat available in the "Light of the Night" Sunday, November 8 class.  Beginning in November, classes will begin at 1:30 and end at 4:30 to accommodate the time change.  View more November class dates here.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Our drawing warm up on Thursday involved leaves and symmetry in art.  The children cut leaves in half, glued them on their drawing paper and used a graphite pencil to complete the second half, later adding watercolor paint.

On our way to the MIA, we sang songs about leaves, pumpkins and witches.  
We stopped by the light exhibit at MCAD.

Our artist of study was Paul Klee.  I had the children view his painting titled Beginning of a Poem (primarily a composition of letters).  On our visit to the MIA, we made note of any letters we saw in art.  

As a side note: The children seem to always stop (and drop) next to "Flight of Night"/Paul Manship (the sculpture on the top left of the above image) and this piece has moved several times over the course of our visits.  This past Thursday, I witnessed some of the children spontaneously acting this sculpture out with their bodies after they had finished sketching.  SO FUN!  And there was a lot of room to do this, too, considering we seemed to have the MIA to ourselves this particular day.

We had a snack picnic on the MCAD campus and read the book, Max's Words by Kate Banks.  When we returned to the classroom, the children randomly chose words (one noun and one adjective) to be used as a prompt for their soft pastel drawing.

On Friday, we continued our study of Paul Klee.  This time we viewed "Cat and Bird".  The children used watercolor crayon to draw their cats and birds, finishing them with paint.

We had snack in the classroom and read the book, A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow.  It was SO MUCH colder on our walk to the MIA on Friday but enthusiasm was high.

 We spent our time looking for cats and tigers when visiting the MIA.  

The children created their own tiger masks too.

For those of you who have been sending your children to my classes for awhile, you know how sentimental I can get.  I am so moved that I am able to spend time with your children.  Thank you for sharing these unbelievable individuals with me.  I will never forget those of you who encouraged me to have classes over school closure days either.  Thank you.  

UPCOMING DATES to keep in mind:

I am looking for young artists who want to light up the night on Sunday, November 8 from 1:30-4:30. We are going to be building small houses as well as creating art for votive candles.  $55

The next WEEKDAY WORKSHOPS are scheduled for November 23 - 25 (8:30am- 1pm).  These classes are similar in format to the MEA Weekday Workshops.  I only have one more seat available on the 25th but have a few more on November 23/24.  Please reserve your seat ASAP.

There are TWO special events in November that involve parents and friends of parents.
Check these out here.

LAST YEAR at this time:

View photos from last year's MEA Weekday Workshops here

Follow the Create Everyday Classroom on facebook

Monday, October 12, 2015

Notes on Creativity/ Ferran Adria at the MIA

With 80 degree temperatures on October 11, we left the classroom immediately to work outside.

At a picnic table on the MCAD campus, we began our art warm up.  We used soft pastels on black paper and referenced onions, beets, squash and carrots as our subjects.  Some of the children experimented with blending and writing.

When we arrived at the exhibit, the children sat down immediately to sketch on their own.  There were five different parts of this exhibit that captured their attention (four are pictured clockwise from the top left):
  1. The colorful, crayon sketches (most of these illustrated food origins, the food itself or the cooking process)
  2. The minimal black/white symbols used to create a form of organization in the kitchen
  3. Recipes
  4. Plate presentation

The children were also captivated by the display case of these clay molds.  These were used as a model to represent portion and shape of the food when presented on a plate.

After reading Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert and eating snack outside on the MIA grounds, we returned to the classroom.  The children chose a white piece of paper (that would later correspond to an orange frame) while referencing their sketches and painted their interpretations.  They chose "recipes" to paint on recipe cards and created plate presentations of their own (mixed media).

Parents - You will receive your child's painting in their orange frame during their next class.  I needed to touch the frames up a bit before sending these pieces home!

I have two more seats available in this class on Sunday, October 25!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

the responsibility to be authentic

I am a proud introvert as many of you know.  It took me a long time to stand on this soapbox with my introvert superhero cape.  There are SO MANY misconceptions about this "label".   I feel grateful to have a continued, energetic passion to work in education because I feel that many times (still, to this day), introverts get overlooked in the classroom and I feel I have what is needed to engage, captivate and find ways for EVERYONE to participate and grow in a fruitful learning environment.

One of my revelations as an introvert AND a highly creative being is that I thrive on ideas.  And ideas don't "arrive" unless I am alone.

I love love love people (especially those individuals who let me know who they truly are) and especially children (the "cloud" of our culture and all that goes with this hasn't started following them around yet) but, ideas don't flow until I find my equilibrium and quiet time once again.  And, mind you, I am an idea junkie.  If I've spent day in and day out with a group of people, there comes a time where I hit a breaking point.  Not because I don't like people but because I can't hear myself think (and this exhausts me).

The downside of being an introvert AND a creative is that sometimes (a lot of the times), I am left with my own thoughts that aren't as healthy.  These can be loud and completely disruptive to my process and once they start, it's hard to get them to stop.  These are old beliefs or ideas that I don't think I ever initially had but that I chose to take on from somewhere else.

Recently, the term "responsibility" has been coming up within me.  Old (ancient) ideas of responsibility look something like this: Get a degree that will get you a job, that will pay you a salary,  provide health insurance and contribute to your retirement.  As an artist and small business owner, this old belief can crush me (in an instant).

What was especially inspiring about yesterday was that, during a coaching session with a client, I heard myself stand up for another version of responsibility - the one I really believe.  What if responsibility is actually being authentic and true to yourself?  Having this belief is one thing but to keep on showing up and acting on this belief everyday is an entirely different GIANT endeavor.  It takes SO MUCH COURAGE.  It can feel SO VULNERABLE.

Where can you step outside of an old (ancient) belief you have today?  Try it for 5 minutes somewhere.  How can you acknowledge or support someone today who is practicing being courageous?

Creating this board on pinterest is a way I can begin to spread more positive messages (as well as humor) about introverts.

I recently found this video on courage and creativity by Tiffany Shlain inspiring (ooops!  but one could possibly interpret a negative association to introverts here - watch out!)

Tiffany recommends celebrating the breakthroughs.  I LOVE CELEBRATING.  In fact, call on me for any minor accomplishment towards your vision and I will literally jump for joy.  I am celebrating the breakthrough of my creative online curriculum (it's been THREE years!) and offering a special.  Get 5 days of creativity for $25.  You can view ALL the details here.

You can also follow my ideas and creations here: instagram, facebook, flickr and etsy.

For more posts on being an introvert, visit these:
me, the INFJ
an introvert's guide to holidays: here and here
quiet influence, a quiz

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dinosaur ART

Why not have a class on the topic of a favorite childhood subject?

We used a large dinosaur figurine and paint to print dinosaur footprints onto rolls of paper, creating our own wrapping paper.  Some of the children added more details after the footprints had dried.

We created our own dinosaur stationery.

And painted our own dinosaur figurines.

During our snack, we read the books, Prehistoric Actual Size and If the Dinosaurs Came Back.

We finished up class with painting glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs on canvas. 
I'd love to hear if these dinosaurs did, indeed, glow!

In less than two weeks, Sunday classes resume again!  

I still have two seats in my MEA (Oct 15 + 16) Weekday Workshops too.

If you are interested in participating in a parent workshop on the subject of healthy approaches to creating along with your children, please let me know via email (as well as specific week nights/times that might work for you).  

Friday, September 25, 2015

for my Montana friends (and friends of their friends)

Bated Breath, 11x14 fine art print on 100% cotton, archival paper

First of all, most of you know I LOVE MONTANA.  I spent many o' years living in Billings and Bozeman and also spent a short stint in Missoula.  My husband and I were actually considering a move back a couple of years ago and, after a difficult time weighing the ins and outs of this decision, decided to remain in Minneapolis. I also try to visit there once a year (at least).

Second of all, I feel fortunate to be represented by a gallery in Bozeman, Montana. This gallery is located on Main Street (2 West Main Street, to be more specific). The gallery's name is Cello and there is even a BETTER story attached: I used to teach the owner's daughter and have had a fond, sentimental connection to this family for over 20 years (I also share a birthday date with their daughter).  The owner's name is Nelda.  You may not always be able to catch Nelda at Cello but just knowing this, I think, is important.  I feel it important to know people's story and connections.

Third of all (and lastly).  Nelda has been a dear soul and a very encouraging person to me and my work (both as a teacher AND as an artist).  She asked me to partner with her back in 2010 and because of other circumstances, I was unable to work with her then.  When the time and space opened up last year for this possibility, I contacted her and she welcomed me with open arms.  SO COOL.  And it's been a great year with her but so many people still don't know that they can find my work in Montana so here's my best attempt at spreading the word...

Here's the contest or game.  Ready?

If you live in or near the Bozeman area (if you don't, jump down to the bottom of this post), here's how to enter:

1. Visit the physical space, Cello.  Take a photo of one of my paintings there (a cow).  Don't worry about having to explain yourself to the staff there.  I have informed them that you may be coming.

2. Post the photo on your facebook page referencing my artist facebook page, Kari Maxwell, visual artist, the title of the piece, Cello and where Cello is located.  This may sound complicated but can be as easy as this:

"I just happened to stop by Cello at 2 West Main Street in Bozeman and see (title of work) by Kari Maxwell", insert visual artist f/b link.  Post photo and tag me."

If you want to invite any of your friends to play along, feel free to pass this along to them too!

3. When I notice this post (via the tag), I will hold your name near and dear to my heart and save it on a list where I will enter your name for a drawing (done via randomizer) to receive a fine art print on archival, 100% cotton paper 11x14/12x12 or 16x20 in size (you can see one of these pictured above).  If you "win", you do NOT have to choose a cow (although you can see over 100 of them here).  I also sell prints of my other work (some examples of other work can be seen here).   Please note NOT every image I referenced here is available but many of them are.  My point here is "You will be able to find and choose an image that speaks to you."  Also, if you "win", this would make a generous holiday gift for someone.  This is a $70 - $100 value and shipping will be free.

4.  The winner will be chosen during the week of November 9, 2015

That's it.  Happy Playing Along!  Wish I could be at Cello to see you!  Sending a cyber smooch, though, in the meantime.

If you don't live in or near Bozeman but have roots or connections to this place, you can play too!  There will be a separate drawing for you.  Contact me here and I will send you an image of a piece of my work at Cello.  You can follow the same protocol as above.  The winner (chosen via randomizer) from this group will receive an 8x8/8x10 fine art print (a $35 - $40 value) of their choice.

Of course, if you just want to share this post on your page, too, that would be wonderful.  I am trying to think of a prize for this one...

Here's a hint of what to look for.  I grabbed this photo off of Cello's website.  If you look closely on the top left of this pic, you can see Bernadette.  Go see her in person!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

the benefits of art making for your team or staff

Yesterday, I felt fortunate to facilitate a team building/ staff development day for a local institution. It just so happens that this particular group of people have a large dose of one thing in common: crisis management.

I opened up our time together by starting a discussion of different ways each individual cares for themselves when not at their workplace.  Even though this particular staff knew what the "right" answers were to this question, there is always the topic of time and logistics.  When they leave their workplace, it's off to the grocery store, time to pick up the children, create stability in my home so that the next day can go as planned, etc. etc. (you know the drill).  In other words, there is no time (unless we consciously take it) to allow the adrenalin to find it's equilibrium once again.

I discussed the positive and negative effects of adrenalin on our physical (as well as emotional) bodies.  We all need adrenalin.  It gives us that extra boost when needing to get from point A to B.  Unfortunately, when our life's work involves highly stressful situations everyday, our adrenalin levels are less likely to find equilibrium (even after we leave our workplace).  This can naturally lead to anxiety, depression, sleep problems, memory loss, and digestive problems (just to mention a few).

There has also been a lot a research that emphasizes the importance of incorporating both hemispheres of our brain.  In our culture, using the left side of the brain is encouraged and expected. It hasn't been until recently where companies are learning that it is just as important to give their employees opportunities to engage the right side of the brain as well.

::::: By the way, did you know that children naturally know how to bridge the two hemispheres of the brain?  One way they do this is by humming.  The next time you observe a child humming (or better yet, when you catch yourself humming!), take some time to think about how incredible this is :::::::::

And here is where the simple (we'll talk about this later) act of art making can enter.  Art making is a natural way to give our adrenalin time to slow down (just look at the market for adult coloring books right now).  Art making is a beautiful way to let the right brain put in some valuable time.

Before designing a curriculum for a team building event, I need to do my research.  What does your group hope to gain from this event?  What are some challenges you share?  If you need support, what does this look like for each individual or the group?

In this particular case, my curriculum involved teaching simple ways to play with everyday materials (items that could be easily found in your home or at your local grocery store).   By the way, the act of "play" can have the same, healing effects as art making.  Why not pair the two?

I introduced several ways this group could incorporate creative play into their lives, ways that would only require a ten minute recess from the remaining demands of life.

This particular group played with children's watercolors, markers and colored pencils.  We explored working with our non-dominant hands.  We talked about the benefits of blind contour drawing.  We discussed and explored ways to just "start" (this can be difficult for many - looking at a blank, white page and wondering where to start).  I gave this particular staff ideas of how kitchen items could be a starting point (as well as other everyday, household materials).  I also encouraged these adults to create beside children (if there were children in their household) and how to do this.

More importantly, each individual was able to experience their inner critic turning off (I give helpful hints of how to do this over the course of our time together) and every person was able to spontaneously express how relaxing and therapeutic the experience was.

Would you like for me to design a team building or staff development day for your staff?
View this link for more information and contact information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

maintaining the inner momentum

It's the start that stops most people but for me, it's the on-going, repetitive steps that stop me.  The start is always full of momentum and possibility but when the momentum starts to wane, I start to stop stop stop.  It's at this time that I get distracted and derailed.  It's at this time that I lose faith and self doubt takes over.  And with one thought of self doubt comes one million more.

I recently read the book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin.  I realized that I "score" really well when I apply these strengths to my creative life, however, where I fail (and where I continue to fail - this is where failure goes awry) is with the last (number 13): They Don't Expect Immediate Results.  This is a tricky one because I really don't expect immediate results (I wish I expected more, actually) but, after two years of effort without a significant, giant (undefinable, monumental, lightning bolt) jump, I second guess myself.  And this is where those negative thoughts attack.  This is where I meet my crossroad.  Again.

Today, I am committing to not making this same mistake over and over again (number 8).  Today I want to have strength in the midst of, what I feel, is a lack of external momentum.  Today it is even more important that I find my momentum from within.  What is powerful, here, is what I choose to think.  I can either say it's not enough and let this thought system develop and grow or I can continue to do the best I can do with what I have at this very moment.

If I take what I have and "start" from here, I may actually break this repetitive pattern in my life.

Today, I am staking the other path at this particular crossroads.

I am in the process of receiving recommendations for a creative coach.  I am interested in working with someone who can support me through my inner, belief-bound behaviors and assist me in committing to myself, my vision and my day to day path.  Similar to how I coach others, I believe the more leaps we take from within, the more that is able to manifest without.