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Kids: Paint How You Feel

June 23rd Kids Creativity Sesh!


Our second Kids Creativity sesh for 9 to 13 year old kids, is all about abstract painting and mark-making. It’s about breaking out of the urge to paint like a photograph, or realistically. It’s about expressing the feelings we have, or the feeling of a thing. It’s one way to get away from, “I-can’t-draw-horses-that-look-like-horses-so-I’m-giving-up,” to “Oh! I love riding horses (riding my skateboard/climbing trees/swimming …) and I know how that feels! I can paint the way it feels!”


Creative. Expressive. Fun. Outside-the-box! Cool. Energetic. Productive. Summer-Awesomeness!

This class is a followup to the Making Our Own Brushes class, but, we will have plenty of cool and weird brushes for other students to use, and lots of papers with squiggly marks all over them to use in the collages, so even if you did not come to last week’s class you are totally welcome at this one! Really!

Mark-making with handmade brushes of natural and not-so-natural found materials


We’re going to make abstract art that really has emotion. We’ll let loose and get playful with our brushes and paints and huge pieces of paper. We’ll finish up with a large canvas for each student. Instead of trying to paint a horse that looks exactly like a horse — or a tree that looks exactly like a tree — we’ll paint the way it feels to ride a horse on a stormy day, or how it feels to climb a huge willow tree, or to look up through branches what the sunlight and shade FEEL like!

Black paint on white paper, marks created with handmade brushes by Ema. Next she added stroke of color, chose which section of her painting to frame, then cropped it down.


Do you know what makes abstract art — Art? Have you ever seen an abstract painting and thought to yourself, “Oh, I could SO do that in 5 minutes.” Or, “Geez, my 3-year old could make a painting like that!”

Welp, You and your 3 year old can definitely make abstract art!

Abstract painting: … brush strokes … colors … shapes … dots and jabs and squiggles … making marks that feel like our very own!


But … what makes a splash of color, form and line — Art — instead of just a splash of color, form and line? Sometimes it’s just that the artist had a strong emotion and connection, with whatever he/she painted. So .. how do you get that feeling onto a piece of paper? How do we get past the urge to paint realistically all the time — and maybe failing to make it look like a photograph, we sometimes give up?

I encourage young people to get in touch with what’s wanting to burst out of them, in whatever way feels good and right to them. I help them tease that stuff out. Going outside the lines is a good thing. Painting a landscape upside down with purple and orange is a good thing. Painting with music, using a brush that’s a squiggly stick 2 feet long is a good thing.

Let’s play with good things.

teeny detail from a much larger abstract piece.

Sign up by clicking the button below. Hurry. We only have 6 spaces (to give more individual attention.) If the class you want is already full, check back on our Events page for other classes.

Call 406.431.9931 for information or more details, and come in to the gallery to see the studio space if you want! You can either pay for the classes at the gallery or online. Our address is 434 N. Last Chance Gulch, Helena Montana. See you on June 23rd!


PS to all kids who take 4 or more Kids Creativity Classes with us: your abstract paintings may be part of a student-exhibit at the gallery in October! Have your art hanging in a professional gallery with great lighting and an opening reception! Learn behind-the-scenes tasks of curating and hanging a fine art exhibit in our last class of the series.


leftover paint on my palette … looks pretty cool