Working Artist Side Hustle: Painting with Kiddos

A demo on mixed media paint techniques

The past month and half has included quite a few transitions, a lot of them work-related. As you can see, it's kept me busy and away from the computer, which is kind of nice and also kind of a problem for blog and Instagram upkeep. My apologies for letting it all fall by the wayside. I'm hoping that by summer things will start to even out again. Or... maybe not. I'll just have to do my best to keep my many hats on all at the same time.

One of the newest hats in my collection is children's art teacher.

This past weekend I taught a mini class for a birthday party at the Mainline Art Center, which was a fun new adventure for me. The birthday child loves horses, so I had the group of 10 and 8-year-olds paint some horses with lots of TEXTURE. I'll tell you about our project so that anyone in need of some creative expression can play around at home.

Glue (Elmer's is fine)
Acrylic paint and brushes
Paper, cardboard, magazine clippings


We started out by tracing some horse-shaped stencils I whipped up at home. In the space around the house, we glued down paper and pieces of cardboard, and then painted on top.

This student used cardboard strips to make a grassy texture
Next, we painted in the horse shape. Some were realistic colors, and some were fantasy colors. We added more paper cutouts on top of the areas we'd painted. I suggested using strips to make a mane or tail. Others made eyes, sunglasses and other details.

For my last trick, I showed them how to use bubble wrap as a stamp.

I loved this opportunity to get really, really messy with paint for the first time in a long while. I was nervous about time management and the kids having fun, but once we had paint on the canvas everything flowed smoothly.

I'm officially a teaching artist!

During the summer, I'll be participating in The Main Line Art Center's general summer camp program most mornings. Each week has a theme, starting in ancient times and moving forward into the modern era. I'm excited to dream up some fun projects for each week.

Paying my bills by teaching art makes me feel both like a Real Adult Artist, but it also definitely takes away time from making my own art. The side hustle struggle saga continues. For now, it's a great, fun way to make a living. 

Sometime soon I'll be sharing about some of the commissions I've been working on and my other new crafty creator job -- stay tuned!


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