Kaaren Pixton

Children's Illustrator and Art Educator


The imagination of a child is a wonder.  It has been a joy to hatch ideas with children in school communities and create murals on their walls, in their courtyards and gardens, in their entryways, on fences - wherever! Together we have created over 110 permanent mural installations in the Portland area over the last twenty years.

We have also created individual take-home art: collages, mosaics, sculptures.

I love the instruction time when the children gather around my large table, where all the materials are laid out.  We create something right there with their ideas and my hands.  By the time they go to their seats they are confident and raring to go.

The principles that are important to me in teaching children creative skills are:

  1. Listen to them and let them lead the ideas.
  2. The rule is to have fun.
  3. The ideas are inside us.
  4. Teach the skills they need to make what they have in mind.
  5. Parent help is invaluable.
  6. Grownups need to resist the urge to hover and impose their ideas.  Our job is to ask questions, encourage and help make the class flow.  Kids are natural creators.
  7. Celebrate their creations when they are done.


I have engaged with many educators by leading teacher workshops in various art forms - many at grade schools and also through Portland State University, Lewis and Clark College and Marylhurst University.  My focus is on empowering teachers by making the process simple and enjoyable.

Contact me for teacher workshops or school visits.