Nurture the Knack is founded on the belief that art is essential to children's development and the enjoyment of adults. We celebrate individualism and recognize that everyone has a knack for something. We encourage creativity to nurture it. It applies to me as a business owner as well as children who are learning to express themselves through art. Children can grow into their individualism and creative imagination with a little help and guidance.  
 

I designed my logo to reflect my Canadian Heritage (pine trees), "Nurture the Knack" is inspired by my Grandmother, who always encouraged my creative ventures and supported me with her teachings. She was a master seamstress, incredible musician, an excellent home chef and had the best art and craft room that was fully stocked with paints and any creative creation you could think of, she was painting, teaching and creating well into her 80's until we lost her in 2019. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful role model and mentor in my life and I can pass on all these teachings to my students.

Nurture the Knack is a family business that has been operation for 2 years. I teach art classes in the Brisbane Western Suburbs. Located in The Gap with close proximity to Payne Road State School.  Our values are built on a strong passion for children to develop their individualism, get creative and use their imagination  in a safe, fun and creative environment. 

Blue card certified, small classroom sizes.
COVID-19 safe plan

Why Nurture The Knack?

"Ashley has been conducting Nurture the Knack art classes for our Kindy children for the past year. Each lesson has been specifically designed with our children and their interests in mind.  The children have been thoroughly engaged in the art classes each week and are developing a love of art.  Ashley is wonderful with the children and considers their individual abilities when conducting the lessons. We are seeing artistic talent emerging from the children that was not apparent before.  Nurture the Knack art classes have become an important aspect of our Kindergarten Program and we highly recommend Ashley and Nurture the Knack classes to people of all ages".

 

Sherry Hammond, Nominated Supervisor

The Gap Early Childhood Centre

CHILDREN'S ART CLASSES

Art is essential to kids development, our Brisbane art classes are designed to include a broad range of techniques using a variety of art mediums. Children are encouraged to use their imagination as an individual but mostly to just have fun creating each masterpiece. 

Each child will have the opportunity to learn about all Elements of Art: Line, Shape, Colour, Space, Form, Value and Texture.

We always start with a little art game or for the younger ones, a story, to break-the-ice and get our minds into creative mode. We listen to music and generally just have a good time creating!​

Lessons are designed to accommodate different age groups, with small classroom sizes. 

Pre-Kindy - Year 8

Wine & Canvas

Art is not just for kids! I offer Wine & Canvas for the adults, it is like a Paint and Sip, but with a big difference!
Enjoy Painting and Wine? Or how about Wine and Painting?
My Brisbane Paint & Sip studio offers a unique experience because not only do I teach a guided painting, I teach you about wine! Click
here for more info.

"My kids loved the art classes online and were very proud of the work they did, so much so, we posted the artwork back to their grandparents in Ireland for their enjoyment!"
Thank you,

Seodhna.

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Kids Art Classes

Kindy Curriculum. After School Art Club. Workshops

Lessons are designed to include age appropriate art / crafts so we don't have a 12 year old participating in an activity aimed at a 4 year old. Each group will still focus on the Elements of Art but tailored to that age group.

 

KINDY CURRICULUM

Get in touch if you are a Brisbane Western Suburb Kindy Teacher.

KINDY TO YEAR 1

Focusing on Fun and Creativity.

Kindy, Prep and 1st years love to create! They can use a paintbrush effectively, identify colours, understand line and shape, love to mix paint and enjoy doing details in collages and drawings. I focus on lessons that will cater to all of the above while encouraging their individual expressions.

Many of the classes in this level will include a book prior to the lesson for inspiration and to view many different kinds of illustration and artwork.

YEAR 2 TO  YEAR 4

Learning new techniques and styles.

Children in this age group can mix primary colors to make secondary and tertiary colors, understand what warm and cool colors are, can draw from observation with simple images, motor skills are improving to cut more intricate shapes from paper and weave, and starting to draw more realistic things like buildings, animals and landscapes.

Lessons in this age group really start to give children more confidence with art and what they are capable of - their individual touch starts to show.

YEAR 5 TO YEAR 6

Honing in on techniques.

In this age group, children love to draw with new techniques and mediums including; charcoal, oil and soft pastels, learning how to shade and create perspective, learning to do more detailed line work and can start to move from tempura and watercolor paints to acrylics.

Lessons in this age group engage everything they have learned so far and hone in and practice the techniques, usually in more detail.  Some of the lessons will have a project that requires a few sessions to complete.


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MY STORY

Hello - I'm Ashley;  a devoted wife, a working mum of an energetic and creative little girl and a caretaker of a German Shepherd, 2 fish and 5 chickens! I love to create works of art in all kinds of media. My favorite media includes acrylic paint and drawing with mixed media (ink, pencil, pencil crayon) but I love experimenting with different media and discovering new techniques and encourage my students to do the same. I believe art is a form of therapy and a great mindfulness exercise, but most of all it is fun! I am originally from Canada but have settled in Australia in The Gap, QLD. 

 

I think my love of art and general creative thinking came from my genetics, I am fortunate to come from a long line of artists and creatives; my great-grandfather was a sign writer and my family suspects he could have started it all.
My Dad and his brother are both wonderful artists; personally and professionally - I would pour over my dads sketchbooks as a kid and would sit in his workshop as a young child, hammering nail and wood and chiseling out a design while watching him make furniture or hand-carved and painted signs.  He would also make replica mail-boxes of peoples homes out of wood and hand paint every shingle, shutter and detail!

While my uncle would draw and paint every Christmas card he sent us - we would marvel at each idea he came up with - it was always something to look forward to. He also works really well with wood and can build almost anything. Recently he has started to cut and sculpt metal, he is always trying new ways to get creative!
 

    Another big influence on my early exposure to art is my Gramma. She worked at a library for 27 years and taught kids art and craft along with story-time as well as including crafts for many years as a leader for Brownies and Guides. I remember she had the most AMAZING arts and crafts room and had no qualms of letting me use her supplies as long as I tidied up after. I would love the days she looked after my brother and I. I would spend hours down in her art room, creating anything I could think of (even before Pinterest inspiration boards!). She also taught me how to sew, play the piano and have a fun sense of humor about life in general.

 

All throughout school, art was a big thing for me. It focused me and inspired me where no other subject could. I loved everything about it - the creative thinking, the process, the inevitable mistakes and how to get creative to make it better. It was a form of therapy whilst navigating those awkward teenage years and I acknowledge this fact and encourage my students to use art to express oneself, I love how individual it is and there is no right way to do something. I love how you can get inspired by nearly anything as long as you are paying attention.

From an early age I always worked with children - as soon as I was old enough I took a baby sitter certification course and couldn't wait to look after kids and best of all - do art with them! We made friendship bracelets, painted rocks, drew with sidewalk chalk, colored and when I could get my hands on paint we would create all kinds of masterpieces.

In college, I dabbled in interior design initially, but decided it was too intense and competitive (Toronto market) so I moved home to my country town and went back to being a nanny for a family of 6 who also owned a winery. Through their encouragement, I developed a passion for the wine industry (living in an area with over 200+ wineries!). I finished a diploma in Oenology and Viticulture and made a great career and tasted some amazing wines! My last stop was a Sommelier gig while living in  Vancouver where I met my now husband - an Aussie.

Fast forward 8 years and here I am. Living a beautiful life in Brisbane and achieving a lifelong dream of working with children in a creative and fun space and combining my love of art with my wine experience to offer a unique
Paint and Sip experience to Brisbane and beyond.

 

Let's do some Art!! 

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