Thankful for All Our Little Turkeys!

We love having our little ones in our morning classes and our three to six year old Awesome Artists after school!  It’s such a joy to see them graduate to the next class and become independent young artists which they do fairly quickly since there are a few options once they turn three.  It is especially wonderful watching them grow with their classmates every week. They quickly learn the class schedule and know what to expect next in the routine and their interactions with fellow classmates are so precious too!  They become fast friends and with students coming from all areas of town and walks of life, it’s such a unique opportunity for them to get to know each other.

With Thanksgiving coming up, we thought we’d offer some Pop Up opportunities for those who may not be able to join class regularly!  Our morning classes are all “Grown Up and Me” style classes where the adult stays with the child and assists throughout the class. We have Creative Play on Monday and Mini Makers on Tuesday at 9am (both for 10mo-4yrs).  For those who may be trying it for the first time, Creative Play is FREE for first timers and is a student-led station-based type of class. You can choose which projects to work on or just hang on the sensory play mat - totally up to you!  For Mini Makers, this is a pre-registration class that normally meets each week. For this week, you can sign up for this single class and see how your little artist may do with a more structured class with a teacher led project and activities.

For those creators who are a little older (3-6yrs), we have Mini Camps Monday & Tuesday.  This is the perfect opportunity to drop off your more independent littles! You can knock out some of those to do’s on your list or just get some well deserved quiet time :)

We’ll have more camps & classes during Winter Break (December 27, 28 & January 3 & 4) for even more ages!  Also, if your schedule allows weekly classes in 2019, we’ll have Session III classes available soon along with some major Black Friday deals, so stay tuned!!!

Creating for the Holidays

Who else is confused how it is already November?? October literally flew by, as did September, and here we are on the brink of the holiday season. While it may have snuck up on us, we are ready! We filled our calendar with opportunities for everyone but we’re highlighting our grown ups for this post.  

We often put others first and sometimes forget that handmade gifts can mean more than purchased ones. When we were growing up, we would spend days working on handmade gifts for our friends and family. Leighton once hand collaged wooden hairbrushes for every friend and made paper cards are designed around the personality of each friend. Many of these friends have these little hair brushes today and the reason is obvious, it’s meaningful.

If you’ve been meaning to learn a new skill or if you are looking for a unique activity to spend time with loved ones, our November and December classes are for you! From watercolor to linoleum block printing, you can come and learn about new art making process.  We have an awesome miniature painting class which make a lovely holiday present. You can also join a class with A Village of Flowers to create your own floral arrangement for Thanksgiving or make a wreath to hang proudly on your door for the holidays :)

Ready to get creative this holiday season?  You can learn more about our upcoming adult classes HERE!  We also have lots of special holiday classes coming up for kids and family too!  

Installations in the Park 2018!

Raise a hand if you feel inspired by the cool, crisp air and crunchy leaves?! We know we do. There is something special about Fall (as there is with every season) and we like to celebrate it by celebrating the natural wonders of color that Fall presents us with.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy is a professional at finding beautiful trinkets in nature that he then weaves and integrates together to create temporary installations celebrating the natural world around us.  Brightly colored leaves, rust colored acorns, and metallic stones are some of the tools he uses to create his work. Taking inspiration from him, we venture each year to our adored local park, Fannie Mae Dees Park, to guide artists of all ages collect and create their own unique installation art. We bring blankets and bags for collecting as well as images of Andy Goldsworthy’s work to help spark ideas.

There are countless ways one can take a pile of sticks and transform them into a sculpture or mobile hanging from a tree.  We hope as we host this hour of artmaking, that we inspire others to stop and take in the beauty around them as well as remind people that artmaking doesn’t require a pencil, paper, or paintbrush but rather ingenuity, imagination, and drive.

We hope to see you at the park November 2nd, 3:30-4:30pm!  You can also join us after to creature artwork to take home :)  We’ll be creating with nature in the studio for a Family Friday from 4:30-5:30pm.  Only $5 to complete up to 3 different nature crafts!

Marla Faith and Meditative Art

When thinking about creating art, we usually focus on the end product of what we’re making. In our Meditative Art Class with Marla Faith, the focus is on the act of making and the calming qualities that can be harnessed for a new creative experience. Marla shares more about herself and the Meditative Class in the Q&A below!

What is your favorite medium for art? 

Collage/mixed media first choice! Then pencil and oil paint

What are your personal goals when creating?

To be a vessel for truth and beauty to flow through, to be fully authentic, and to balance color, form, and movement to create an engaging and meaningful composition

How did you come to combine meditation and creating?

 After I meditate, I’m in an open emptied quiet place that’s fresh and pure for creating. When teaching this method, student artists relax and get out of their own way so there is less self judgement and thinking, and they are able to trust their own creating.

How do you encourage others to find their "zen" or point of peace while creating?

Breathing! Gentle music and positive support, turning their work upside down, not being attached to outcome, and allowing oneself to disappear so the work can appear.

What is the end goal of a meditative art class? 

To be in a place of calm centeredness and trust, to create something that feels good to the student artist, to find joy and delight through what one has done, to be able to sustain that magical place in one’s daily life, and to want to do more of it!

** The first Meditative Art Class is OCTOBER 22ND, 1-3PM **

You can join for a class or make it part of your weekly routine to kick of each week with a fresh breath of calm, open-mindedness. Click below to sign up today!

Creating Together Throughout History

Artists are often perceived as lonely and alienated, the madman/woman painting away furiously in their attic studio. The stigma is that they need space to brood up ideas and time alone to make masterpieces. While this can be true to some extent, many if not majority of the greatest artists in history preferred community to isolation while pursuing their artistic endeavors.

Picture Paris in the early 1900’s, many of the most notorious and prolific artists from that time period from Picasso to Marc Chagall lived near each other and frequented many of the same restaurants, salons, and even each others’ studios.  Many documented conversations illustrate the importance of community in artmaking, they needed to bounce ideas off of each other and whether they actually liked each other or fully supported each other’s artmaking is irrelevant, it is the conversation and encouragement that came from these interactions that attributed to each of their successes.

When we began designing our Fall semester at Little Art House, we intentionally decided to include artmaking opportunities for adults that centers around this idea of community and creating together. We wanted to be sure to offer classes for those looking to learn something new and meet like-minded adults or for those looking to meet new people and have a different night out than the usual, a break from everyday life if you will. We are proud of the teachers we have working with us who are enthusiastic about their art and greatly enjoy imparting their wisdom with others.

We hope when you attend a class that you feel supported, relaxed, and that you leave having had fun and making a few connections with others.  Whether you are a beginner or experienced, there are a variety of medium and levels to choose from throughout Fall!

* Adult Classes through December are available as well as Session II Class Packs For Morning & After School Classes *

Proud Teachers :)

As we approach our last week of Session I Class Packs, we are, as always, so impressed with the progress from our students!  

The morning kiddos in music & art classes are so precious and it’s amazing to watch them explore and grow so quickly. Afternoon classes have been a wonderful addition to our weekly schedule with such lovely students.  They have shown amazing growth and joy in creating each week!

After School, our Awesome Artists are so precious with their sweet ideas and focus throughout the structured classes. Portfolio students show their development and hard work constantly. It’s always exciting to see what project they’ll begin next!

Below are some examples of our students so far this year. We can’t wait to see what Session II has in store!

Session II is NOW AVAILABLE! Beginning October 29-December 14 with a make up week December 17-21. We don’t have regular classes the week fo Thanksgiving but we do have Pop Up Morning Classes & Mini Camps Monday and Tuesday! More on those opportunities can be found HERE!

Ideas for Creating At Home

With Fall Break coming up, we wanted to give some fun ideas for projects to do at home!  These are easy, mostly mess-free, and can be done with materials you likely already have at home.

For a quick way to tackle boredom, write ideas for drawings on popsicle sticks (you can even have the kids make some up too)!  Kiddos will have fun selecting one to spark their imaginations. The challenge is to finish all of the various drawings!

Another easy at-home project is inspired by Matisse.  For kids practicing with scissors, you can draw shapes on construction paper that they can cut out.  After coloring or painting the background, kids can glue their shapes to the background to create a collage like Matisse!

For the rainy days when it’s not possible to draw with chalk on the sidewalk, try painting with it on paper!  You can dip and draw with chalk to make it more malleable, or you can color on the paper and use a brush with water to spread it around like paint!  You can even have fun with mixing the colors to see what you get :) This is a great project for kiddos of any age!

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If you try any of these at home, we’d love to see how it goes.  We believe art making and creativity can be one of the best way to bust boredom slumps.  If your kiddos need some fun outside of the house, we have Pop Up Art Classes & Camps for Fall Break as well!  You can see our choices on our Kids Camps page :)

Keeping Young at Heart & Mind

You know that feeling when you accomplish something you didn’t think you could? Even a time when there wasn’t anything you couldn’t do?  As we get older, it seems like opportunities to feel that way are less and less but really we are just choosing to take fewer risks with trying new things.  

We received an email the other day from a lovely lady who was asking about watercolor classes.  She mentioned her age, 70, and jokingly stated that she hopefully wasn’t too old to take a class. The answer is, of course not!  Our grandmother, who is 86, instilled many things in us but one phrase we can never shake from our brains is “never stop learning.”  Every time we talk to grandmother, we learn more about our family and history (she has the most amazing memory), and we also are reminded that we need to intentionally incorporate opportunities to learn as every day and year passes by more quickly.  

There is something so intimidating when thinking about what else you’d like to learn to do in life.  We are always so impressed by the adults who sign up for a class and come in because they are actually doing it, they are intentionally picking something they’d like to learn about and they show up.  It’s inspiring and gives us a little boost of motivation each time.

For both of us, we have a few things on our lists we’d like to learn more about and the more we see other’s taking that risk, watch them make connections and feel successful, the closer we get to tackling something on our list.  Perhaps this year will be the year Leighton actually signs up for tennis lessons and Emma learns how to successfully grow a garden. Better yet, perhaps we jump in on more classes on our schedule to create with you all!

To those who are brave, who sign up and show up, we thank you. For those thinking about it, we are with you.  Maybe like our brave kids attending school every day, we as adults should take on this Fall with a goal of trying something new.

We have offerings for Adults for beginners through intermediate skills and in all mediums, including watercolor, acrylic, printmaking, calligraphy and more! As always, please contact us if you’re looking for something specific that you can’t find on our offerings. We’re always looking for new ideas for classes!

Mrs. Edna Gates

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A few weeks ago, we visited our grandmother, Mrs. Martha Greene Boone - the legendary playdough maker and history teacher we mention in many of our blog posts. Her memory is a lockbox of information filled to the brim with world history, United States history, and, most importantly, our family history. She and our grandfather spent many of their years together searching and identifying our ancestors and visiting many of the places they lived such as Egypt, China, and Turkey.

Grandmother has a magical way of telling their stories in a way that makes them seem real - as if we could chat with them at the next family reunion even though they lived long ago. To give our ancestors credit, they lived incredible lives as missionaries, doctors, teachers, and engineers all over the globe. Many of the women, we are proud to say, were some of the first women to leave home and go to college or travel to be one of the aforementioned missionaries, doctors, and teachers in times when women were rarely allowed much less encouraged to take such risks and perform such duties.

The stories are beautiful and endless but the one that took our breath away recently is the one about the woman in the photo below. We would like to introduce our great, great, great grandmother Mrs. Edna Gates Greene. In this photo from 1895, Edna is in an art class at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. Edna is the student on the right and, for those who know our family, the family resemblance in her profile is uncanny. Edna is the spitting image of our mom and, here, looks like our mom dressed up in 19th century clothing.

We knew that our love for art went back several generations but we hadn’t seen a photo like this where our ancestor was taking an art class in college just like us and our mom. Edna’s work decorates many walls in our family’s homes such as the still life pictured below which was one of her first works. As we build our business and foster our love of art, we hope we are making our previous generations of women proud. We will treasure Edna Gates Greene’s work, these photos, and the stories and hopefully share them with future generations of our family to come as we are sharing with you!

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A Fall Filled with Family Fun

The first semester has always been a favorite.  In addition to a new school year, new students, and renewed energy and excitement, there’s football, holidays, leaves changing and cooler weather.  We have so many opportunities for families to celebrate fall, and we can’t wait to get started!

For our football fans, we’ve got our first Family Friday Fun with Sheri Bailey!   Perfect for a father/daughter night or the whole family! We’ll be painting decorative door hangers, which will include predrilled holes and the jute or wire to hang them. Artist can incorporate colors of their favorite team along with various embellishments like ribbon and more!

Marla Faith will be leading a family class once a month on Fridays for Storytelling & Artmaking.   The series kicks off with The Quiltmaker’s Gift with mandala making on September 28. Next, we will read Golden Goose King and create flying birds on October 19.  We’ll be painting elephants on November 9 after reading The Elephant and 7 Blind Mice.  In the last class in December, we’ll create tissue paper beach collages and read Eric Carle’s A Home for Hermit Crab.

Halloween is just around the corner, and we’re excited for another Funky Pumpkins class! Instead of carving, we’ll be painting, bejeweling, and adding other decorations to our pumpkins to create any type of pumpkin you have in mind!  Also in the spooky spirit, we’ll have another mask-making extravaganza towards the end of October.

Taking full advantage of the seasonal change in nature, we are excited to have our annual Free Creating in the Park inspired by Andy Goldsworthy.  We’ll be meeting in Fannie Mae Park to hunt down natural materials, such as colorful leaves, sticks to create patterns and lines, rocks, acorns, and more!  All of these materials can be manipulated to create an installation in nature to be admired by all who enjoy the park :)

The next few months are filled with family fun and we’ll continue to add more creative opportunities for all throughout this year’s holiday season!  Just head over to our calendar to see what we’re up to each weekend. Some of the classes are pre-register only so be sure to check out our calendar on the website!