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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

last September class: I AM

We had a great class yesterday.  In between bouts of play, we completed a lot of work.

This was the last class of September with the topic, I AM.  The children referenced the mirror to create their block/three dimensional portraits, while drawing the features of their face.  They also created self portrait prints and painted their favorite toys.  We continued the practice of mandala making, incorporating their photograph as the centerpiece.  Tucker received some special attention too.

Oh...the masks!  Some of the children were also inspired to create masks.  I almost forgot to mention this because it wasn't part of my curriculum for the day.  The book, Meet the Artist!  Pablo Picasso by Patricia Geis (check out this link and scroll down to view images of pages from this interactive book) is very popular in the Create Everyday Classroom.  The masks were inspired by this particular page.

Thank you, Parents, for enrolling your children in these classes (especially during such an unexpected flurry of exceptional weather on Sundays).

Stay tuned for announcements regarding October classes, 
the books of Byrd Baylor
WEEKDAY WORKSHOPS over MEA week and Halloween and...

I am excited to announce the theme for November classes: 
the art of GEOMETRY

Happy Art Making!  Have a GREAT week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

a horse is a horse

pretty in pink

Recently, I've been exploring the idea of painting horses.

I love the challenge of painting their anatomy.  It is SO DIFFERENT from a cow's.

I can't figure out the background on this one

The horse seems to meet my need for painting more abstractly too - something I can't ever settle into while painting a cow.  With a cow, it's so important for me to express her personality.


Monday, September 22, 2014

#notatechie ! #notatechie !

I need a power point presentation TODAY.  This is the sort of project that stalls out my creativity and works me into an unnecessary frenzy.  It's the sort of thing I usually hire someone to do.  No matter how much I have tried, I just don't speak the language.  I may be one of the very few who still doesn't use a computer program to balance my checkbook (paper and pencil do just fine).  I figured out how to "create" a slideshow with proper timings (insert the cheerleading squad here) but I specifically need something ELSE.

Here is what I have so far.

On a much brighter side, the completion of this project is necessary for something that is right around the corner: I have been asked to be a part of a panel at an upcoming conference titled "SPEAK! The quality of connection between humans and animals" hosted by Jean Larson at the University of Minnesota.  

Luckily, I've had a bit more practice at the bio part....

Kari Maxwell is a visual artist, educator and creative coach.  She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she works in her home studio applying her motto of creating everyday. Kari is represented by galleries in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin. Encouraging and supporting the creative process for individuals is one of Kari's favorite things. In the spring of 2014, she founded The Create Everyday Classroom where she teaches exploratory art making for children, teens and adults. Although she currently lives on the plains, her heart sings when exploring the shores of large bodies of water or while climbing mountain tops.  For more information, visit Kari's website at or check out her blog titled, "create everyday".  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

sequence of events 1 + 2

sequence 1

August 3.  I am uninspired.
August 4.  I remember when I get like this, it's good to begin a creative commitment.  I start.
August 15.  I make a gallery delivery of three paintings.
August 16.  I teach an art + music workshop with Caitlyn in the Create Everyday Classroom.  She wears her Watership Down t-shirt in my honor (yep, it's a favorite book of mine).

August 18.  I paint a rabbit.  I paint another and another.
August 19.  I paint more rabbits.
August 20.  And more.
August 21.  Guess what?  More rabbits!
August 22.  And more.
August 23.  We head out for one of our last camping trips of the season at our favorite place.  I take photos of cows along the way.

August 24.  We head home.
August 25.  I join my husband and rise early and paint cows.
August 26.  I paint more cows.
August 27.  I paint more cows.
August 28.  Repeat.
August 29.  Repeat. By the way, I've spent the entire week painting cows in my studio (just like the olden days)!  Peter and I go see Boyhood, feeling tired and grateful for a full week of work.


sequence 2

August 15.  I apply for a new job.
August 18.  I interview.
August 19.  I am hired.
August 22.  I put in my notice for my current job.
August 30.  My parents visit through September 7.
Sept 3.  I start training for my new job.
Sept 4.  More training.
Sept 5.  And more training.
Sept 8.  More training.
Sept 9.  And more training.
Sept 10.  More.
Sept 11.  And a little more.
Sept 13.  I work my last day at my "current job".
Sept 14.  I work my new job.
Sept 15.  I train some more for my new job.
Sept 16.  More training.
Sept 17.  A little more.

And I am wondering why I feel worn out?


This is what I choose to do on my day off:
I drink coffee.
I read.
I paint.
I do laundry.
I hang my laundry on the line.
I sit in the sun.
I read some more.
I get ideas.
I take notes.
I check my email.
I read some more.
I ride my bike to the co op.
I sit in the sun some more.
I talk to a prospective account.
I talk to Peter.
I check my email again.
More reading (I LOVE the novel I am reading right now)!
I need to motivate to do dishes and start dinner.
I turn on Prince and turn up the volume.  This helps.
I find myself here, at the computer.
It was a GOOD day.  I feel SO MUCH better.
I am watching Sixteen Candles.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I AM: paper doll portraits, pinch pots and secret wishes

We needed a little ice breaker before class yesterday.  I read one of my favorite books, My Life With The Wave, written by Catherine Cowan and illustrated by Mark Buehner.  This did the trick and the children started chatting (and humming) while working on their paper doll portraits.

we also made pinch pots
While the students were pinching their pots, I read another book with a direct connection to our monthly theme: I Think, I Am!, written by Louise Hay and illustrated by Manuela Schwarz.  This book discusses small and daily challenging scenarios children might experience and empowers them to use these opportunities to shift the challenges to positive thoughts and possibilities.

We created our own secret wish boxes, 
a place where the children can place their secret wishes for the year.

There was also more mandala making.  

Read about the positive effects of mandala making here.

Other examples of the students' work:


this student loves Joan Miro

 I have two more seats available in both of these sessions for October!

View a variety of photographs and read more about children's art classes here.

If you're on facebook, follow The Create Everyday Classroom!

Monday, September 8, 2014

I AM : mandalas, story boards and more


We started class by discussing the art of mandalas.  Mandala means “sacred circle”. The circle is a symbol of wholeness, connection, and the cycle of life.  Circles appear in nature (flowers, snowflakes, sun, moon).   In various spiritual traditions, mandalas are used to facilitate meditation because circles are also believed to help individuals focus inward. We discussed the option of using mandala making as a tool when we feel our brain needs a rest, if we are feeling nervous or worried about something or as a form of celebration.

In this particular mandala making exercise, students used their favorite color to print circles on paper.  After allowing these to dry, the children added repetitive markings, starting from the center of the mandala and moving outward.

other examples of mandala making

We also created story boards as a warm up, using a favorite book as a reference.  The children shared why they chose this particular book and what makes it their favorite.  I mentioned that it will be interesting to see if they have any new favorite books at the end of this new school year.

After a snack while listening to folk songs (spontaneous singing was in full force), 
students started working on painting a portrait of a grandparent.  
I loved hearing stories about grandparents! 

self portrait with grandparent

And sometimes an artist needs to create an elaborate drawing too.  
(Almost) Anything is possible in art class.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ART news

It always comes and goes in cycles.  The crucial part is being able to pay attention, listen and show up when it's on it's way.  Here's what's been moving in lately...

THE COWS.  the two on the left are untitled (for now).  On the left, 24X30 and in the middle, 30X40.  I finally finished the one on the far right, Bold and Beautiful (in Brown), 24X36

As many of you know, we lost both our 16+ year old dog and our 21 year old cat in the last year.  One year ago, we found a dwarf rabbit and named him Tucker.  These are inspired by one of my favorite books, Watership Down, as well as the only animal inhabitant of our household (at this time).  On the left, what fiver says matters (to someone), 12X12, in the middle, fun trouble, 24X18 and on the right, storyteller (Dandelion has a story to tell and Pipkin is all ears), 12X12

my favorite from my recent creative commitment: fox crossing

These gals were delivered to the Grand Hand last week.
From left to right, eye to eye, 24X20, gentle giant, 20X20 and brown eyed gal, 36X24

The last of the original birds are making their way to a new retail location next week!

so are these!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

art + music workshop

The first artist who was introduced yesterday was the Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky.  Kandinsky was known to be the first painter to create abstract works.  He was extremely passionate about music.  Kandinsky wanted to create paintings that were a visual representation and had a similar ability to communicate emotions (as music did).

We listened to Benjamin Britten's, A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and Henry Purcell's orchestra theme.  The children used watercolors to paint while listening to variations by different sections of the orchestra: woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion.  

At the end of this lesson, the children painted a large watercolor while listening to Purcell's theme in it's entirety.

We took a watermelon snack break and listened to the song, Light Rail, by Jeremy Messersmith.  Caitlyn taught us the lyrics while playing her ukelele.

The second artist that was introduced was Picasso.  We specifically discussed his guitar period and viewed a collection of these works.  Picasso was the first to create a sculpture out of cardboard and call it art.  The children used card stock and pastels to create their own interpretations.  While they were working on their pieces, we listened to a variety of music.  The Pete Seeger songs were the favorites.  We were able to sing a few of these along with Caitlyn.

Thank you for enrolling your children in this workshop.  I thought it was a beautiful and fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning (and it was so much fun to be reunited)!

There are three more SUNDAY AFTERNOON classes this month and there is one more WEEKDAY WORKSHOP approaching this week.

In addition to Sunday afternoon classes,
there will also be Saturday morning classes available in the fall!

I have created a page on facebook titled The Create Everyday Classroom.  
Please like and share if you feel so inclined. 

Enjoy the weekend!  Happy Art Making!