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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Susan Schwake's Monster Mash Workshop

Just in time for Halloween, the Art Studio came alive with creepy, crawly, hairy, spiky creations in yesterday afternoon's Special Sunday Monster Mash Workshop.   We were very excited to host artist, educator and author Susan Schwake for the day in the back of the Studio, where she lead the workshop and signed guests' copies of her amazing new book, Art Lab For Kids  (available for sale in The Carle Bookshop).

Susan runs a gallery/studio/art academy called Artstream Studios in Rochester, New Hampshire, where she's been teaching art to children and adults since 1993.  She describes the book as a collection of all the successful art lessons she's taught over the years.

Artist and Author, Susan Schwake

The Texture Monster activity is just one of many drawing, painting, printmaking, paper and mixed media lessons featured in the book.  Susan's husband, Rainer Schwake took the beautiful photographs of the step-by-step process of each lesson.  It would make a great gift for the young artist in your life and I highly recommend it for any parent or educator looking for fresh ideas.

If you'd like to make your own Texture Monsters like the ones we made in yesterday's workshop, you'll need cover weight paper (we used 11"x17" white) and wax crayons or oil pastels in different colors for doing the rubbings.  You could use store-bought or homemade rubbing plates for this part.

Next, use watercolors to fill in the paper with areas of color.  The wax or oil will resist the watercolor paint, creating a neat effect.  Allow the paper to dry completely before cutting or tearing out shapes for your monsters.

Use a large sheet of sturdy paper a the support for your texture monster collage.  We used 12"x18" sheets of construction paper and guests chose from black, pink, yellow or blue as the backgrounds.  Use your imagination to arrange your shapes to make friendly (or scary) monster characters.  Making monsters is great activity for a family Halloween party or and would make festive home or classroom decorations.  Art Lab For Kids suggests taking this activity a step further by making monster birthday or get well cards.

Susan has a few more books in the works which sound pretty exciting and we look forward to having her back for another fun workshop in the future!  You can follow Susan Schwake on her blog Art Esprit , her website and purchase a signed copy of her book in the Carle Bookshop or here.  

Photo credit: Studio Intern, Gabby Rosenberg



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



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