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Meet Lana Köhn: Intro to Oil Painting on 4/10-11

We are excited to have Lana Köhn come to the LPP Workshop to teach an intro to oil painting class. The two day workshop will be from 4/10 to 4/11. We have a few more spots! Go to our online shop to sign up!


A half Norwegian and half Mexican American born and raised in San Diego, CA, Lana grew up among paints and pencils. Once she realized this was her passion, she obtained a bachelors degree in the Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting and printmaking from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA.

Having always been fascinated by the human form, she is constantly exploring the figure in her work. Primarily using in oil paints, she often works in black and white to emphasize light and shadow within the human body. In her series, “Muse”, she simplifies the body to line work while still capturing the gesture of the form.  

Her latest series delves into a much more conceptual and experimental style as it consists of work on found bones. ”The Bone Series” began as an exploration of anatomical drawings which then evolved into actual bones being used as the primary medium. Each piece combines elements of geometric shapes, forms and color palettes found in nature in order to illustrate concepts of life and death simultaneously. The series aims to serve as a reminder of the density of life we are constantly surrounded by as well as its cyclical nature on both macro and micro levels. By reconstructing the bones within a frame, Lana asks the viewer to explore the figure’s relationship to bones that create it and the universe it which it resides. 

While working in many facets of the creative world, she continues to explore within her own artwork through painting, printmaking, photography, modeling and creative design.

LPP’s Dylan Johnson asked Lana a few questions about her inspiration and process within her paintings!


What was your first inspiration to start using bones as a medium?

I was sorting through old work from when I was still in school and came across all my old anatomy studies. I remembered how much I enjoyed drawing bones and skeletons so I started experimenting with incorporating them into my current work. One day my mom gave me a sacrum bone she had found while hiking in Half Moon Bay and I just thought it was so beautiful. It had been perfectly cleaned and bleach from the sun. Suddenly I had the idea of creating artwork on bones directly and the series took off from there.


Most of you earlier work uses a very limited color palette of black and white. Did your Bone series start of black and white or did you know you wanted to use color with this series?

I still find myself very inclined towards black and white in my artwork. I feel it captures light and form in a way that would otherwise be distracting if portrayed in color. However, with the Bone Series, I knew I wanted to contrast the bare, raw and minimal characteristics of the bones with imagery that felt dense, organic and full life. As such, bright color palettes seemed inherent to the concept.


You seem to reference space/galaxies throughout your series. Is astrology something you’re interested in or is it just a happy accident?

What drew me to the idea of incorporating galaxies and space to my work, was not so much its relation to astrology but rather the idea of portraying something both literally and conceptually so large on something so small and intrinsic to life itself. Bones are the infrastructure and when it comes down to it, the bare essentials of what makes up our bodies so contrasting that against cosmic imagery presents this idea of “life” in micro and macro forms.



What is your process when starting a new series of work?

Starting new work is always the biggest challenge for me. I think I spend the most time brainstorming and staring at blank canvases than the actual painting itself! I like to collect imagery and other sources of inspiration until I find an idea or medium that speaks to me.

Your Jellyfish series is beautiful. What drew you to the jellyfish and to juxtapose it to the female figure?

Thank you! The Jellyfish Series has been an ongoing body of work that started when I was in school. I’ve always been drawn to the fluidity and organic nature of jellyfish. There is something so captivating about their movement that also reminds me of the human form, specifically the female. To me they echo one another in the shapes they create so it only made sense to put them together in my artwork. Whenever I feel stuck or am in between other works, I return to this series as it remains a constant source of inspiration.



Session 2, Week 3!



Yay! Ski Week is over and everyone was back in class… It was so nice to have the whole gang back together, making the class feel lively and back to normal! This week we explored the work of Kenesha Sneed. She is an incredible painter and ceramist, hitting both last week’s project and this week’s. The kids seemed to take an instant interest in her work, excited to talk about what they saw in the pieces we presented. To check out some of her work yourself, click here.

This week’s design element was ‘texture’ and the project was constructing coil pots! As we already know from last session, the kids’ favorite medium to work in is definitely clay. The excitement was palpable. There was a definite difference in the capabilities from the younger kids to the bigger kids. The younger kids had a bit of trouble constructing the pots with the coils in a way they would stay… We helped and a lot of the end results look great! Most of the bigger kids had the advantage of having made coil pots before. They all surged ahead and had competitions of ‘biggest coil’ and ‘tallest pot’. We gave them the option of glazing their pieces, and surprisingly, a lot of the kids opted out and wanted to leave their pieces the color of the clay – Which I thought was pretty cool.

We are firing the pieces this weekend, I cannot wait to see what the final pieces look like. It’s as exciting for us to see as it for the kiddos to see!

We have session 3 listed, as well as all the summer camps! Click here to check them out – Early bird discount is still available! We also have a discounted price to siblings and friends if they sign up together. Email us with any questions!

Session 2, Week 2!


This week was a funny week. A lot of the kiddos’ schools were on vacation, so our classes were much smaller than normal. We got to work one on one with the kids and really chat with each one about art, life, goofy things. We started off by painting the plaster pieces they created last week. They used the knowledge they gained from learning about mixing colors to create the color schemes for their pieces. We only supplied primary colors, black and white… They made all of the others with their color guides by their sides to reference.

Next, we talked about the work of Jenni Rope and her company Napa Books. Jenni’s work tied into our plaster pieces, we showed some of her installations that had similar vibes. Our next project was to have the kiddos create their own flip books, so it was really great to show some of Napa Books’ examples to get them excited. If you want check out Jenni’s work, click here. And to check out Napa Books, click here.

The kids were very excited over creating their own flip books. They are certainly time consuming, so we will be working on them little by little at the beginning and end of the coming classes. I will upload some videos of final products.

Kelly and I look forward to welcoming back all the vacationing kids next week, so we can catch them up and move on to working with all of their favorite medium: clay!

In the meantime, we have posted session 3, still have an early bird discount on summer camps, and have a lot of GREAT adult workshops coming up (use code ARTARTART for a 20% discount this weekend only! – Click here to check it all out!

Kid’s Session 2, Week 1


We kicked off our second after-school session at LPP this week! We were so excited to learn that every kiddo from the first session will be continuing into our second, plus a few new faces. Both the Tuesday and Thursday classes have all grown comfortable and close to each other, so Kelly and I were happy to continue together.

This week, the kids were taught about the works of  Amy Sherald and, specifically, her use of color. Amy has an original way of incorporating colors into her portraits, using colorful flat backgrounds to create a bold contrast. To check out some of her works, including her amazing depiction of Michelle Obama, click here.

After talking about Amy’s work, we led the kiddos into an introductory look at color theory. Everyone had a palette with primary paints, red, yellow and blue. Together, we mixed secondary, tertiary and practiced shades and tints.

Next, the kids started the first of what will be a two-class project. We constructed shapes out of cardboard, some kids went with themes, some a bit more abstract. They then covered their shapes with plaster strips. Those pieces will dry and next week they will use their paint-mixing lesson to create their own range of colors to paint them with. They will then construct the shapes into a mobile to hang. We are excited how they take these shapes to the next level, next week!

We still have spots available in our summer camps. Click here for more information and to sign up!

Week 4 and Wrap-Up of Session 1!

Wow! We cannot believe our first 5 week session has already completed!

This week was our exhibition week, the previous week the kids worked on learning about block printing.


Last week we taught the kiddos about block printing through the works of Jen Hewitt. Jen is a local print maker, Little Paper Planes have been a big fan of hers for years. To check out her amazing works, click here. Jen works on textiles mainly, so it was fun to show the kiddos how some of the clothing they see every day was created through the very art they were learning that evening.

We taught the kids how to block print through drawing and carving on foam sheets, rather than carving lithograph blocks (safety). The kids took right to it, but had some difficulty finding the balance of too much ink/not enough/how to get their image printed the way they wanted. The littler kids were excited to see the results no matter how they looked. The bigger kids felt a bit of frustration with how many iterations it took to get it exactly how they had envisioned it. It was fun to work with them on the problem solving and adaptations they had to make each round. Overall, both kids created pieces they were happy with, some even adapting the project into one completely unique to themselves.


This week was our exhibition week! The kiddos presented all of their art to the friends and family in a gallery set up. But before parents arrived, the kids were asked to paint their favorite piece they had created over the session. This was fun to chat with each student while they reflected on what they learned, experienced and created over the past 5 weeks! When parents arrived, the kids each took a moment to talk about what medium they liked working with the most and why. It was nice to see each one gather enough confidence to have a moment in the spotlight.

Our next session starts next week with all of the kids from session 1 plus a few new faces! We are doing an entirely new curriculum and we are so excited to see what our little artists create in the coming weeks! Our presidents day camp and our next after-school session is full, but we have lots of availability in our summer camps.

Click here to check out all the options!


Kid’s After-School Program, Week 3



This was the third week of our after-school program. The kids learned about contemporary artist Nikki Maloof and her uses of space and composition. Through Nikki’s example, the kiddos made their own tapestry wall hangings. First creating a space, later adding a figure to create a unique composition. They used fabric markers and oil pastels on canvas. Kelly will later sew a dowel into the finished canvas pieces, ensuring a presentable piece for our gallery night!

The kids were the most creative we have seen them, thus far. They made pieces featuring women in history, flying nachos in space, turtle astronauts, dinosaurs, and a whole lot of cats. The goofy chatter and friendship connections continued from the previous week. It’s hard to tell who is having more fun, the kiddos or Kelly and I.

We are super excited for next week, as we will be working on block printing with the kids. It will also be our last week creating before our 5th week gallery night.

To check out this week’s artist, Nikki Maloof, click here. And don’t forget to check out the second session of the after-school program, president’s day camp, spring break and a heap of summer camps! You can see them all by clicking here.

Meet Bridget Watson Payne: Publishing for Creatives Workshop on 2/10

 We are excited to have Bridget Watson Payne come to the LPP Workshop to teach a Creatives in Publishing workshop. The workshop is 2/10 from 3-5. We have a few more spots! Go to our online shop to sign up!


Bridget Watson Payne is a writer, artist, and art book editor. She is the author of the books How Art Can Make You Happy, The Secret Art of Being a Grown-Up, This is Happening: Life Through the Lens of Instagram, and New York Jackie: Pictures from Her Life in the City, all from Chronicle Books. With fifteen years of experience in the publishing industry, she has collaborated as an editor with hundreds of authors and artists to make their book ideas a beautiful reality. She has taught at Makeshift Society, the ICON Illustration Conference, and Sketchbook Skool; spoken at the Book Manufacturer’s Institute, California Library Association, California Writer’s Club, Photo Alliance, California College of the Arts, ARLIS NorCal, APA SF, ASMP NorCal, and RayKo Photo Center; reviewed portfolios at PhotoNOLA, Photolucida, and Review Santa Fe; and served on juries for the Society of Illustrators, Critical Mass, Something Personal, and the Lucie Awards. Bridget has been featured on KTVU Mornings on 2, KATU TV Portland, Minnesota Public Radio, Prairie Public Radio, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, Publisher’s Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Design Crush, Swiss Miss, and Women Who Draw, among others. She is currently preparing for her first art show which will be held at San Francisco’s Rare Device in early 2018, and working on two new books to be released in 2019. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter.

LPP’s Dylan Johnson asked Bridget a few questions about her life in publishing and her creative practice!

Did you ever think you’d end up in the world of publishing?

When I was little I always wanted to be an artist. Then as a teenager I became a theater nerd and wanted to be an actress for a while. Only in my twenties did I start to realize that my career path needed to follow my deep love of books. I toyed briefly with the idea of academia, and about the same time that I realized becoming an English professor wasn’t for me I also realized I wanted to get into book publishing. In truth, I had no idea what that really meant, at the time. I just knew that where they made the books I loved was where I wanted to be.


What inspired your latest show Everyday Objects?

I feel really strongly that there is magic and beauty around us all the time if we just open up our eyes and look. People tend to say that sort of thing about the natural world, but I think it’s just as true of the manmade. The mundane day-to-day things we surround ourselves with—household objects, bits of the city—can shine for us if we let them. For me, drawing is one kind of close-looking that allows me to glimpse some fragments of that wonder.

How do you balance your work life and creative life?

Very carefully. I am meticulous about my time. Over the past several years I’ve methodically carved out very specific days of the week and hours of the day when I do my creative work. I have certain standing weekly and biweekly appointments with myself for writing and drawing that (barring big important exceptions like vacations and whatnot) I do not miss. I also hold myself to a strict schedule at the office and rarely bring home work from my job on weekends or evenings. The amount of scheduling and structure I use wouldn’t work for everyone, but it works for me.


What are some of your favorite art books you’ve collected throughout the years?

Oh god! There are so many! So hard to choose. Ok, a few faves:

Golden Gate Bridge by Richard Misrach

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957 by Helen Anne Molesworth

Collect Raindrops by Nikki McClure

Inside the Live Reptile Tent by Jeff Brouws

Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (In That Order) by Bridget Quinn

Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajasthan by Franck Andre Jamme

Lorna Simpson Collages by Lorna Simpson (ok, so this one’s not out yet, but man oh man it’s going to be good!)


Do you find your creative process for writing and painting similar or different?

I find writing both easier and more daunting. That may not make sense at first, but if you drill down a bit, it actually does. Part of what I really enjoy about drawing and painting is the challenge – I’m often not confident that my technical skills are up to the task of achieving what I want to achieve, so the whole thing becomes like this thrilling high-wire act to see if I can do it. Whereas I’m much more secure in my writing abilities– I’ve been writing forever, I know how to make a sentence. But, as nearly every writer will tell you, there’s just something about writing that breeds a certain quality of dread and procrastination. Even if you enjoy writing and find it relatively painless, which I do, there is still some weird perverse part of you that dreads sitting down at the desk to do it—that would rather be doing just about anything else. It’s weird. Making art feels risky and weird and joyful for me, making sentences feels more like work. Enjoyable work, but still work.

Kid’s After-School Program, Week 2!


This week was the second of our kiddos after-school program. This week we looked at form and texture through the works of Anna Valdez. Anna is an artist that is based in Oakland, Ca. She works on large scale, creating paintings that depict colorful architecture with botanical accents. She creates dreamy settings, making you want to pack your bags and escape there immediately. To see more of her work, click here.

Inspired by Anna’s use of flora and fauna in her paintings, Kelly created a series of sculptures of potted plants. Both classes of had fun with their own interpretations and creations. Majority created something different from the example, and we love that! Because at the end of the day we just want to foster their creativity. It’s never been about having them copy what we do, we want them to find their own voice and they all seem to be doing just that. We had a wide range of animals (lots of bunnies), abstract pieces, and even some nachos.

This week was even better than the last. Students were way more comfortable with each other, and us as teachers. This lead to goofy conversation and a more free feeling while creating. They were even help each other create bowties for turtles, plates for nachos and other things they were rushing to do before parent-pickup. Its all wonderful to witness and assist. We cant wait for next week!

We now have a President’s Day Camp, Spring Break Camp, and a ton of Summer Camps posted and ready for signups, click here for more information!

Our Kid’s After-School Art Program has begun!


This week was our first week of our FIRST EVER kids after-school art program! This has been the culmination of so much anticipation, and it absolutely was everything we had hoped for and imagined. Watching the kids learn and create with such enthusiasm re-inspired both Kelly and myself to create in our own art practices.

Each after-school program will consist of five week sessions. Four weeks of learning about contemporary artists and creating a project inspired by that artist. The final week will be a gallery night, where the kids get to present their creations from the previous four weeks. They can invite friends and family, showing off what they have learned. We have age 5 – 8 year olds on Tuesday evenings, 9 – 13 year olds on Thursday evenings.

This week the kids learned about shape and color through the works of Alice Tippit. Alice is an artist based in Chicago, her works perfectly illustrate how you can use shape and color in both bold and subtle ways. To learn more about Alice and to see more of her works, click here.

The kid’s project this week was to create a paper mache bowl. Layering tissue paper and glue on a balloon, created the foundation of the bowl. They then cut shapes  our of construction paper and adorned them to the bowl, followed by one last layer of glue. For the shapes, our suggestion was to trace and cut out the shape of their hands. Many of the little kids did just this, the older kids branched off and created whatever shapes they wanted. It was so fun to see their ideas  transform from conception to reality. When the kids come in next week, they will pop the balloons (creating a LOT of excitement) and cut off the top of their bowls to make it a smooth top.

This first week was a dream, and we are so excited to see what the kids create next week when we work with clay! If you are interested in having your kiddos a part of our after-school program, or if you are wondering if we will be doing summer camps (we will!!!), we will be posting information about all of that within the next week! You can also join our mailing list via our website to be the first to know!