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“The Right to Dream”, a week with Hundertwasser…

My days have been pretty dreamy lately, as I have begun assembling our materials and activities for the June ‘Dream a Little Dream’ classes!  Here’s a sneak peek into one of the artists we will be exploring…

Meet Freidensreich Hundertwasser: 

This man was truly one of a kind.  He viewed the entire world as a platform from which to dream of what could be and then create it… even down to making his own shoes!


tumblr_ktuav5bUBU1qze9l7o1_1280 Belvedere_Hundertwasser_Grosse_Weg










Hundertwasser was a huge dreamer!

He believed so greatly in the power of dreams that he even declared it as one of six additional Human Rights in a series of painted stamps released to the public through the United Nations. This is the stamp, entitled ‘The Right to Dream’, 1983.

His own dreams led to some beautiful developments, which will be an inspiration for the art we will be creating during camp, take a look!…



Hundertwasser was an environmental activist and often created art to help bring awareness to these causes.






Hundertwasser also believed that public housing should be aesthetically inspiring so as to lift the spirits of those living within its walls.

As an environmental activist, another of Hundertwasser’s additional human rights was ‘The Right to a Window’.  He believed deeply that everyone, rich or poor, deserves to live in an environment with windows that open in order to connect with the world and have the ability to grow.

His designs were so unique that he was often commissioned to design additional architecture.  In 1993, he designed Bad Blumau, a spa retreat in the countryside of Styria, Austria.



IMG_4739Spa of Bad Blumau, Austria2313626967_a297d8fdb5In 2012, we went on a trip to Europe and stayed at Blumau following a visit to Vienna, where I had excitedly retraced Hundertwasser’s artistic imprint upon the city… it was a complete dream!  I’m not sure who loved it more, me or Bea!



I love exposing Bea to those who continue to dream as adults, as I want her to follow her dreams forever.  Hundertwasser is a perfect example…  it’s almost impossible to NOT dream when you experience his work!

Hundertwasser has been one of my very favorite artists for several years, and now he is also one of Bea’s.  I love sharing this with her.  And now, this summer, I am really looking forward to the opportunity to explore this incredible artist’s work, and then to create our own, with all of your little dreamers, as well!

Sign your artist up today, here!








there are some super lucky mothers out there!…

IMG_9939Well, the first two Mother’s Day art sessions were a huge success!

I had the privilege to spend the day with ten adorable kiddos who were each so excited to be making a painting for their moms.  Many of the little artists were beside themselves when they realized that they were each going to be able to paint on their own fancy, thick gallery-wrapped canvas!

In the first part of class, I loved watching the children analyze, compare, contrast and discuss each of artist Mary Cassatt’s six provided images and begin to recognize unique elements of her style.

But, absolutely nothing could compare to the children’s adorable (and, occasionally, hysterical) descriptions of and stories about each of their mothers!  I totally got to be the luckiest ‘fly-on-the-wall’ in that room, as I happily scribbled down each artist’s words to transfer onto the back of their artwork!

Tonight, I finished writing each of the stories on the edges and backs of the canvases and sealed them with a high-gloss finish.  I will be delivering to respective dads this week for safe keeping until your big day!

You moms should feel very proud, and also very excited, as each of your children painted one of their favorite memories with you… they could not be any cuter!  Each of you should give yourselves a big pat on the back as you have done something incredibly right to raise such loving children!

But, no photo spoilers here… you will have to wait to be surprised!!


*** For those of you just now realizing that Mother’s Day is right around the corner and want an opportunity for your own children to participate, you still have a bit of time!

Two more classes will be offered next Saturday, May 3.  One class is already full, but there are still some spots open in the second class.  Don’t wait, get your little artist signed up now…

Also, Private Mother’s Day Classes (for individuals or groups) are available to schedule as well if the provided class times do not work for your family.  Contact me to schedule.




happy mother’s day! love, eliza…


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending two hours with a sweet 4-year-old named Eliza.  We spent our time talking about all of the things she loves about her mother, Whitney Simons Fraser, a wonderfully devoted and deserving single mom, and turning her story into a custom Mother’s Day gift for her.





After writing down all of Eliza’s sweet words and stories about her mother, we chose her favorite story to turn into a painting, a sweet image of she and Whitney sitting side by side at the table with their favorite matching game pieces spread out before them!  I happily spent the next hour playing the role of Eliza’s art assistant until she had finished her masterpiece!



After the class was over, I wrote Eliza’s words that she had shared with me of the story which inspired her painting along the sides of the 11 x 14 gallery-wrapped canvas, in what she said was her mother’s favorite color, green!  I also wrote the title and all of Eliza’s words she had told me about her relationship with her mother on the back of the canvas, so Whitney will always have them.




I delivered the painting to them  today and Eliza chose to share the gift with her mother a few weeks early. Whitney loved it and  was so excited to find the perfect place in her home to hang her new treasured masterpiece.  Eliza was so proud of what she had made for her mom and it truly made Whitney’s (early Mother’s) day!



Let your child make one for you too!  Sign your child up for one of the Mother’s Day classes, or email me to schedule a private session.













some special art for some special mothers…

psst, moms, this is for you… pass it on!

IMG_9560We love our mothers, and mothers love their children… and (nearly) everything they create!

This Mother’s Day, give the mothers in your life a gift that will become even more special with each passing year!

I am offering several art classes where children can be dropped off and will be helped to reflect upon some special qualities that they love about their mothers.  They will then be given artist-quality materials and supported as they create a Mary Cassatt-inspired portrait of the two of them, representing the unique relationship that they share.

When they finish, I will help to artistically add the child’s words, which inspired the piece, along the edges of the artwork.  This will absolutely be a colorful keepsake that every mother will swoon over!

Ages: 4 and up, (or younger with a parent/guardian)

Cost per child: $50 (includes materials)   *Gift-wrapping available for an additional $5.

Location: In the inspiring Global Gardens Classroom, located within The Westside Harvest, 2232 S. Nogales Ave.

Available Small Group Sessions:

Saturday, April 19, 10-Noon, CLASS FULL

Saturday, April 19, 1-3pm, CLASS FULL

Saturday May 3, 10-Noon, CLASS FULL

Saturday, May 3, 1-3pm

Private Sessions available as well. Contact me to arrange time.



Select Date
Child’s Name & Age
Parent Name & Phone #

Summer Classes Are Here!…

I am so excited to share two new summer classes with you below!  Both classes have two sessions available, each lasting a week.  Times vary for each session, so make sure to look closely.  If a time is consistently not working into schedules, I may consider altering to accommodate a greater number of families.

I am really excited about the content we will cover in these classes and cannot wait to embark with the kiddos on a month’s worth of passions tapped, friendships made, efforts encouraged, and masterpieces created!  The four, sweet lil’ art shows are just the celebratory icing on the cake!

Please pass along to friends, feel free to be in touch, and hope to see you soon!


ok, here you go!…
Some Summer Classes!…

IMG_9525‘Dream a Little Dream: Making Our Dreams Come True with Chagall and Hundertwasser’

Children are dreaming experts! As we age, very few of us are able to retain this dreamy nature, but of those of us that do, artists generally lead the pack. Rather than settling for what is, they dream of what could be.

For most of us, the dreams that jump to mind first are the ones that we have each night. A step further brings us to our daydreams, and stretching beyond that we have the dreams and memories of our past. But then, if we dare to travel just a little bit further, we reach yet another group of dreams, the most important ones… the dreams we hold for our future. In this class, we will create art to embrace and celebrate each of these dreams!

A personal dream journal, along with the work of two very dreamy artists, will each inspire our own artwork over the course of the week. The first is Russian painter, Marc Chagall, who described himself as ‘a dreamer who never woke up’. It is his collected works of flying people, inventive animals, and upside-down villages, that will inspire us to paint dreams from our pasts, however fanciful and inaccurate they may be! The second is Friedensreich Hundertwasser an Austrian painter, architect, ecologist and visionary, whose wildly imaginative work will inspire us to create art representing the dreams of our futures. On the final day of class, a special opportunity for the artists to showcase their hard work with his/her family and friends will present itself at The Art Show of Our Dreams’, in our classroom! Everyone is welcome!

4 – 8 year olds (If your child is outside of this age range but feel strongly that he/she should join, I would love to hear from you, as well! email me)

Class will be held in the incredibly inspiring Global Gardens Classroom, located within the Harvest Market, next to Eugene Field Elementary School, at 2232 S. Nogales Ave.

Cost of class is $135 (includes cost of canvases, journals, and additional art supplies). Only $75 required to register. Remaining balance due first day of class. Refunds accepted through May 5, 2014.

There will be two sessions offered:

Session One: June 9 – 13, M-F, 3-5pm (Please include your name, phone number, child’s name and age, and the session you are registering for) CLASS FULL

Session Two: June 16 – 20, M-F, 3-5pm (Please include your name, phone number, child’s name and age, and the session you are registering) CLASS FULL

Select Date
Child’s Name & Age
Parent Name & Phone #

IMG_9524‘The Art of Words: Celebrating the Relationship Between Art and Language’

This class is my response to several issues we face today, namely the loss of handwriting in favor of text and email, the dwindling presence of and appreciation for posted letters, and lastly, bullying. Words are supremely important in our lives and this class will be a celebration of all of the good ones, the ones that float out of our hearts and minds and help to bring more beauty into the world!

We will spend the week exploring the use of words as art in the work of Ed Ruscha and Jean-Michel Basquiat and we will create our own pieces in a similar technique and style! We will also explore the artistically inventive and fanciful words of poet Edward Lear and, similarly, invent our own word(s) to use within our own poetic work! And, lastly, we will learn about the genre of Mail Art, receive an ‘ArtPal’ from within our group, and work to create our first ‘mail art’ letter and stamped envelope to be sent through the good ol’ pony express! To show off all of our hard work, The Art Show Worth A Bazillion Words’ and The Little Lears Poetry Reading’ will occur for our friends and family on the final day of class! Words are powerful and an artists’ voice is strong. Let’s learn how we can positively use our creative voices together!

4-8 year olds (If your child is outside of this age range but feel strongly that he/she should join, I would love to hear from you, as well! email me)

Class will be located in the ever-so-inspiring Global Gardens Classroom, located near Eugene Field Elementary School, within the Harvest Market, at 2232 S. Nogales Ave.

Cost of Class: $150 (includes cost of a larger, artist-quality canvas (ready to hang proudly and beautifully in your home!), plus additional canvas boards and supplies) Only 50% of class fee required to register. Remaining balance due first day of class. Refunds accepted through May 5, 2014.

Two sessions of this class will be offered:

Session One: June 23 – June 27, M-F, 3-5p, (Please include your name, phone number, child’s name and age, and the session you are registering for.)
Session Two: July 14 – July 18, M-F, 3-5p, (Please include your name, phone number, child’s name and age, and the session you are registering for.)

Select Date
Child’s Name & Age
Parent Name & Phone #

a bit of artsy buzz…

If you are anything like me, it’s always helpful to hear from other parents when choosing activities for your children.  In case you agree, several parents from the spring break classes wrote to me and/or blogged about their art class experiences. Since I will be announcing the summer art class schedule this Wednesday, I thought I would share their messages with you and hope you will find them helpful!


IMG_8811Heather Hope-Hernandez, Director of Public Relations at HKH Advertising:

‘A last minute change of plans kept us in Tulsa for Spring Break, and I was thrilled to get our four-year-old into Annie’s first spring break art class, titled Around the World in 5 Days: A Celebration of Global Art. And, what a celebration it was. Maggie loved it so much! Two hours every day of fun and plenty of messy art. Annie warned us in advance to send the kids in clothes that could get paint, glue, etc., on them so we were prepared for some good, dirty fun!

 Our daughter came home each day with tales of new countries and explanations of the things she did. When in the classroom at drop-off and pick-up time, I could see the excitement on the kids’ faces—Annie’s too. It was either the look of anticipation for what “travel” and art adventure was to come, or the chance to show Mom or Dad what had been made that day.

 The class culminated with an art show to display the children’s work from the week. Annie said it would be a “sweet, little show.” It was that, and so much more. Maggie proudly ushered her Daddy, her Gay-Gay and me around the room showing us what she’d created. It was so wonderful. Annie also brought in her friend Sasha Martin of Global Table Adventure to create food from the five counties to sample at the art show—solidifying the global adventure for our little ones. They even got to press their own blue corn tortillas which Sasha then cooked on the griddle.

 The children went to five countries on five continents in five days. Each class started with a look at the map to see where they were going, and Annie played music representative of each country so the children could really engage their senses.

 They got to dye yarn in their choice of color as part of their study in North America with the Navajo. (Maggie, who loves all colors, chose rainbow of course.) They learned about India and made mandalas with painted stories about themselves or their lives. They made bowls from yarn and glue to carry “secret gifts,” according to our girl. The bowls from Rwanda on the continent of Africa. They “went” to Russia one day and then made a set of nesting matryoshka dolls. Finally, they “went” to Australia to listen to the didgeridoo.

 What did we love about this class? We loved everything, especially the cultural introduction to five different countries around the world. Maggie has no idea what an armchair traveler is, but she’s just had the wonderful experience of being one—a very active and excited one. Thank you, Annie!’


IMG_8913Briana Hefley-Shepard, the creator of and artist behind Bifftastica, and founder of the Alliday Showwrote a wonderful post on her blog about her week at art camp with her daughter, which can be viewed here…





IMG_9523Austin and Jennifer Bond, Partner at Bond & Gill Law Firm, and Sales Manager for Systems Trucking, respectively, and parents to 3 kiddos under five-years-old!

‘Our daughters came home from art camp last week and told us that they spent the day in Rwanda! For the first time our children had made a concrete connection between learning and fun. Annie Ferris’ passion and talent beams through her students and their amazing art projects and inspires them to seek out the beauty and creativity in the greater world around them.

We are so grateful that we found Annie’s programs and already have places for our girls for in the next class!’


Sasha-Martin-Global-Table-AdventureSasha Martin, founder of the wonderful Global Table Adventure, author, friend, and chef extraordinaire, played a huge role in the Global Art Show, and wrote a post on her blog about the culturally creative pairing, which can be read here…



Thank you to each of the parents who took time to write these reviews.  I am so happy to have connected with each of you!


The Global Art Show!…


Last Friday, all of the little traveling artists, in my class, proudly shared their week’s work with their friends and family at their Global Art Show!

As their teacher and fellow travel companion, I witnessed a week’s worth of excitement in learning new forms of artistic expression, and delight in accomplishing each style.  One of my very favorite parts of the week, was hearing the kiddos refer each day to the previously traveled countries within their vocabulary, references, and play!  Anything circular in shape became referred to as a ‘mandala’, makeshift cradleboards where used to bring along stuffed friends to class, any hats worn or seen became ‘babushkas’, and tops of heads became useful sources of additional storage space when moving from room to room.  Lots of fun and lots of laughs!

I loved this opportunity more than I can adequately describe in this post.  As an educator, most simply put, I believe in children.   I believe in each child’s unique style of learning and the beautiful outcomes that come from finding it.  Because of this, I believe in providing children educational opportunities on many levels, in order to enrich the artistic experience for each individual child and make it more connectable within their own lives.  Through music, literature, cuisine, scents, textures, lively conversations, and of course, art, any combination of these will make the experience much richer.

This process is even more important to me when exploring people of other cultures with children.  Living in a culture which continues to dissect itself into smaller and smaller categories used to define us, I prefer to provide a more broadly inclusive experience in which children can connect to the similarities between themselves and those living across the world.  Each of the components I listed above exist in each culture.  Last week, the children loved exploring them all, and the globally-inspired art that resulted speaks loudly of the celebratory time had by all!

Thank you, endlessly, to all of the kiddos and parents for letting me spend the week alongside you!  Also, thank you Scott, Madge and Zoe for helping make this week happen! And thanks to Global Gardens for the use of the wonderful Eugene Field garden classroom, a work of art in its own right!  And, lastly, thank you so much to Sasha Martin, a dear friend who took a break from working on her upcoming book, a memoir documenting the adventures which led her to begin her blogging masterpiece, Global Table Adventure, and whose delectable global bites at the art show transported our taste buds intercontinentally… you are a culinary genius!

And without further ado, here are some of the photographs from the show! Enjoy and be awed by the talent of these young artists (and that of the kiddos in your life, as well!)…

and ps… i am so happy to announce several new summer classes on Monday of next week!  Keep a lookout here and also check for updates in classes on my website,












what a wonderful world…

We are home from our worldwide adventure and what a memorable trip it was!

Last week, twenty-four kiddos between the ages of eight-months and eight-years-old, three outstanding volunteers, one genius global chef, and myself, spent the week traveling the globe, stopping off in five countries to learn and celebrate the local art.

We started our journey in our own country, in the Four Corners area specifically, where we became inspired by the talented Navajo weavers and dyed our own wool and built our own looms…


















We then continued our trip overseas to India, where we listened to the musical genius of Ravi Shankar and explored the art of mandalas…


















Next, we headed to Rwanda, where we practiced the skill of basket balancing, made our own amazing Rwandan Peace Baskets, and discovered artistic ways to spread peace to each of our friends, during our project…


























On Thursday, we traveled to Russia, where we listened to the ballets of Tchaikovsky, dressed up in babushkas, and made our own Matryoshka Doll sets…


















We ended our trip in Australia, where we explored the culture’s rich history of The Dreaming and Aboriginal designs. We were inspired by these traditions both on paper as well as our own bodies…


















We returned home ready to show off all that we had learned to our family and friends, so we had an art show!

The children’s art was an ENORMOUS success and deserves its own space so I will post The Global Art Show later this week…  Please make sure you check back!

Hope everyone else had as great of a Spring Break as we did!!!


one day in… russia!


IMG_8287Our Spring Break 2014 ‘Around the World in 5 Days‘ classes are quickly approaching!  To help all of our traveling artists prepare, I will announce each stop of our trip over the coming two weeks.

So… get ready, we’re heading to Russia!  A country which has produced a vast amount of unique architecture, literature, music, dance and paintings, the art of this area has spread an indisputable beauty over the country’s epic history.  Following in the wake of all of the Olympic activity in Sochi, let’s spend a day off of the slopes, and celebrate together some of the fantastically colorful and dreamy Art of Russia!

Still need to sign up?  Hurry, there are only two spots left in both the 0-3 yrs and the 4-8 yrs groups!  Book your ticket today!