Alyson Thiel has a background in fine art, painting, art education, and art therapy. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She has studied plein-air painting at the Marchutz School of Drawing and Painting in Aix-en-Provence, France, and Transpersonal Art Therapy at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Alyson has taught children's art classes for over ten years, including Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago and Louisville's Virginia Chance School. In addition to painting and showing her work, she makes and sells paper flowers through her small business, Papillon Originals.

What do you hope your students take away from your class? 

I want my students to come away with a greater sense of confidence in their artmaking and belief in themselves as young artists. I hope to hear more "I can"s and less "I can't"s. This will come from lots and lots of drawing, studying color, practicing technical skills, and letting go and having fun!

What is your favorite thing to teach and why? 

I love going between open-ended abstract work like drip-paintings and more structured work like perspective and proportion drawing. It really demonstrates how vast creating art is - that making a thoughtful, beautifully vibrant and energetic expressionistic painting is just as valid as creating a meticulous and realistic charcoal drawing. I also really love collages from recycled materials because I love seeing the different results!