Kid Crafts: so your kids are home, what to.....?


painting by a 7 year old


Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso

I love teaching children. I've taught in public schools, parochial schools, summer camps, and even at a greenhouse for an art and science course, teaching children to become better observers by drawing their natural environment.  Given that I love working with children and see what inspires them to make, it should come as no surprise that I've developed a Pinterest board that now has 22,000+ followers. (Holy Moly and thank you!)  I bring it up now as there are many ideas on it for children to make and do over the holiday break, to calm the worst of  the antsy pantsys. And who knows they may become inspire to make a present for Santa???  

Finger knitting is a great one for the car while not the way to the grandparents.  I had some yarn in my bag as I traveled to Chicago by Amtrak.  One little 6 year old was bored in the worst way.  Some yarn and some fingers can make magic.  To learn how, take a look at my directions on how to finger knit a blanket



Get them ready for the spring, here is an easy one to make while you upcycle old magazines and caltalogs with buttons from the button box.

Let them make their own thank you notes for gifts received. This is an article I wrote for Illustration Friday.

As a basic bak up, print out a few of these mandalas and allow them to color.




video love :: how to make your own photo flip book


What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.  --  Karl Lagerfeld

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Classes :: St. Louis - Cork Crafts

I always seem to have a stash of corks.  Do you?  Let's make some trivets, bulletin boards and more with them!

Cork Crafts - $25.00 Class

Are you a wine enthusiast? Do you have a collection of corks from memorable vintages and events and want to do something special with them? This class is for you! We will spend the evening crafting with a wine theme. Projects will include cork magnets, a cork trivet, and of course a cork bulletin board. Crafters of all levels are welcome. Bring a friend along and split a bottle of wine from the extensive collection at our host site Parker’s Table. You can then of course use the cork in one of the projects.

Monday, Sep 23 2013
06:00:00 PM
Price: $25.00

For More Class information or to Sign Up -

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Classes :: St. Louis - Beginning Knitting

I am so excited to bring this class to my new home town of St. Louis!  Knit and sip, what could be better? 

Beginning Knitting - $35.00 Class

Knitting is a creative and relaxing outlet. Join me for an evening of knitting.  Learn all the basics you will need to get started. Students will learn to cast on and bind off, sew in ends and the two most versatile of stitches – garter and stockinette. Tips and techniques will cover tension, how to read a yarn label and what to do when you drop a stitch. Students will leave with the know-how to confidently start their first project. This class is for beginners. Bring a friend along and split a bottle of wine from the extensive collection at our host site Parker’s Table in St. Louis.

Monday, Sep 16 2013
06:00:00 PM
Price: $35.00

For More Class information or to Sign Up -

Thank you to Sandi Gunnett for the photo of the yarn!

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video love :: primary colors


"I only use three primaries, so the nice thing is that I can't have favorite colors." -- Chuck Close

I absolutely love this video by Jeff Turick for Sesame Street!  It's a great introduction to color for a children's art class, though trust me, I am going to show it to my college students too.   Take a moment and then pull out your tempera paint and prove to yourself if yellow and blue make green.  

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A Garden + Children + Paint = Magic

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project
"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist
once we grow up."  --  Pablo Picasso

Can you imagine a more magical place than a garden filled with sunflowers that reach the sky? Every where you look there is a new to explore.  

This fall I've been teaching a children's drawing and painting workshop at the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse.  We are ready to begin our culminating mural that will educate visitors to the wonders of this place.  We've studied how leaves come in different shapes and sizes, wondered at the patterns of a butterfly wing and have been awed by a seed sprouting.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project

The joy in teaching comes from watching their excitement as they discover how to use watercolor pencils or see tiny hairs on the surface of a stem.  They are becoming keen observers of their environement and want to share what they are learning.  The mural will be unveiled in February, a perfect time to look forward to spring.  

"This project is supported by a Neighborhood Arts Program grant
 from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events."

Illustration Friday - Blog Contributor

"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist
once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso


Happy Fall!  So many new projects are in the works.  I am excited to share with you that I am a new blog contributor over at Illustration Friday.  If you haven't swung by this website, you must.  Every week a new prompt is given and artists from around the globe send in their finished ideas based on that prompt.  It's full of oodles of inspiration as there are no limitations on medium, so you could see the same prompt illustrated in graphite, watercolor, collage or even mixed media.  The sky is the limit.  There are also artist interviews, book releases and a new kids section.  Started by Penelope Dullaghan, the website was a way to meet others in the field and further develop her portfolio.  Little did she expect it to become the powerhouse it is today.  

Twenty years of teaching art to children is being brought to you in the form of projects on a twice weekly basis.  I am having a blast covering techniques I haven't explored in years.  Check out my first two posts and sign up over at IF to get blog updates sent direct to your mailbox.   

here come the clowns!-circus-themed art camp

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Circus Poster by 10 year old

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
~Lewis Carroll

The circus has come to town!  Each summer for the past decade I've been teaching camp at the Evanston Art Center.  They are a time when as a teacher I can pull out the stops and let my imagination run with the kids.  We have a blast!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Clown Costumes

This year the theme was the circus.  Every circus must have a few clowns.  We  tie-dyed t-shirt costumes with paper hats, egg carton red noses and coffee filter bow ties.  I love doing tie-dye with children. They get into the alchemy of it, full of wonder on how the color appears.  Magic! I Love to Create's kit made it especially easy to do.  Everything was mixed ready to go. I just added water, a few t-shirts, some children and voilà!

Collagraphs are equally fun, easy to make and cheap to do.  A few old file folders, some glue, a couple of water-soluable printing inks, a brayer and you are good to go.  (A post will soon follow on how to make them, so keep your eyes open for it.)  The bold, graphic combo of the collagraph with the construction paper in this poster is gorgeous. 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer collagraph collage poster by 10 year old
Naturally, we had to make sock doll lions, clowns, dogs, and elephants.  They were so proud of their new creations and excited to go home and keep sewing. 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Sock Doll lion by a 10 year old

Here is Mr. Leo.  He is followed by Ellie the Elephant with of her colorful friends. 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Sock Doll Elephant by a 7 year old   ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer sock doll clowns by 7 year olds

The children wouldn't part with their dolls and costumes, but you can see more great art from this camp at the Evanston Library (main branch).  The opening reception with the young artists is from 6-8pm on August 30th.  The show continues through September 30th.

storytelling: a talk with Pon Angara of Barkada Circle


"We remember best through stories." -- Pon Angara


The arts providing tools for nonprofit businesses to grow?!  As I read about branding and listen to all the balu about social media, I find the need for experience-based marketing to be  ever more relevant. I recently caught up with Pon Angara, creative director and principal of Barkada Creative to discuss his launch of Barkada Circle.  Barkada Circle provides educational arts-based programs that help participants discover and harness the transformative power of the visual arts, music, theatre and more to spark creativity in telling their organization's stories, stories that fully engage people.


What made you launch Barkada Cicle?
After years of years of working with nonprofits on branding, visual communication and marketing, it became apparent that a critical piece of the message was missing.  This lack of message prevents a nonprofit from taking it to next level.  I kept thinking, “Your story isn’t compelling. Why should I care?  Why should I want to be conncted to this organization?" To effectively help my clients, I realized that I had to help them tell their story.

Isn't a story the same as a mission statement?
No, a mission statement is just a statement of purpose.  One statement of why a business exists. That's it.  A story goes deeper.  It involves the emotions, relating the struggles and successes of a nonprofit, its people and its consituency. It can take many more forms than a statement.  It may be told in different mediums - word, image, sound, etc.  The key thing is the emotional part.  We remember stories because we remember the emotions running through them. 

Give me an example.  
The mission of Barkada Circle is to give nonprofits a creative forum in order to develop different ways to craft their own stories using techniques in the arts that is usable on their website, in their brochures, etc.   

One story of Barkada Circle is in why I launched it. Immersing myself in the activities of a nonprofit organization, I had the opportunity to experience the same struggles they were having in trying to get a compelling message across. Some nonprofits were more successful than others, but the challenges were there nonetheless.

I'm reading a lot these days about the use of storytelling in branding.  How is Barkada Circle different?
The Barkada Circle approach differs from the others in that the focus is on a multi-sensory experience using the arts, whether the visual arts, theater, music, writing or cooking.   The best way to really embody a story is for the storyteller to engage as many of his/her senses as possible in creating the story, so that telling it engages multiple senses for the listener. This approach was inspired by the book The Experience Economy:  Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage by James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine.  

Barkada Circle, Fall 2011 Workshop
Why have your targeted nonprofits for your program?
In my book, they are the ones that deal the most with complex emotions, concepts, ideas, and challenges.  They deal heavily with humans, not just products for humans.  It’s all about the people.  Nonprofits generally have direct impact on issues that affect the quality of life in our communities. It has become my personal choice to share in this mission.

If teaching artists are interested in working with you, what’s the best way to contact you and what will they need in terms of experience?
They have to be skilled in their craft, but also have a personal mission for educating others about it. They need a minimum of 5 years of teaching experience with adults, sharing and demonstrating their passion.  I am willing to talk to new artists after June to see what they have to offer. It's best if they read through the website and then leave of comment expressing their interest on the Our Artists page. 


I'm honored to have been working with Pon on this venture since its inception.  My workshop for Barkada Circle, The Power of Symbols, looks at the way symbols have inspired change throughout history.  It's an amazing experience to work with directors from small and large nonprofits, helping them to better understand and harness the storytelling potential of their organization's visual symbols.