Christine Thornton's Art Studio

building skills and nurturing creativity

Frequently Asked Questions

What classes do you offer at your home studio?

During the school year I teach four sessions of multimedia “Art Start” classes to ages 7-14. Art Start classes meet once per week for 8 weeks. On various school holidays and during the summer, I also offer one-time, 90-minute classes. Classes fill up fast! Join my home studio email list below to be notified when registration begins. See current classes here.

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What can I do to encourage my young artist who isn’t old enough for classes yet?

I love this question. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. The short answer is: provide time, space, supplies and support.

Time- When my own art-loving daughter was little, I found that creativity happened best when we were home and having “down time”. If she said she was bored I would make a big deal about how that was a special moment because it meant her creativity was about to kick in. I’d tell her all she had to do was go sit at her art table and see what came to her. She learned to trust her own creative visions this way and became a prolific artist.

Space and Supplies- We had a little plastic table and chairs for an art space. The art materials don’t have to be fancy. Paper, pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, paint and brushes are great. I loved the spill proof water cup you see here. A dedicated space that can get messy gives little ones permission and freedom to create without hassle or worry.

Support- Then when she was done creating, I would have her tell me about her art, and I would write down what she said on the back of the paper. Kids that age have lots of stories happening in their art. Writing down these stories validates their imagination, shows that you care deeply about their creative efforts, and is seriously fun to look back on later. I tried not to praise the quality of the results too much because I didn't want her goal to be to please me with her art. Rather, I would say things like: "Oh, I see you did [blank] over here. And tell me about this part here...” or “Wow! This looks like it was fun to make” and “I love looking at your art." My goal was to get her reflecting and talking about what she made, and to encourage joyful exploration and creating.

And when your child turns 7? My classes are ready and waiting!

Do you teach classes for adults?

Yes! I teach drawing and painting classes for adults and teens at libraries all over Chicagoland. (And for kids too.) The classes are free and all materials are provided. Maybe I’ll be in your town soon! Check my “Upcoming Library Programs” page here.