BLOOMINGTON – Mason Caraway loves to paint and his mother, Karen, believes the time has come to let him explore the hobby as much as he can.

With that in mind, the two showed up Sunday to the Paint With Me class, a two-hour program at Miller Park sponsored by Bloomington Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Inside Out Accessible Art of Bloomington.

“He really likes art and this is a chance for him to paint and get some instruction,” Karen Caraway said.

The class was limited to 50 people, half of which were kids, said program manager Jill Eichholz.

“It’s been a great partnership with Inside Out and the kids love it, and it is very popular,” she said. “We have a great setting here at Miller Park and we always get some great pictures.”

Inside Out is an art cooperative non-profit organization which maintains an art sales gallery and provides art instruction, events and services to the community through the arts, said Mary Jo Johnson, who led Sunday’s program.

“I really enjoy doing it,” Johnson said. “It’s working with art and working with kids and so we can learn and have a good time in the process.”

Normal resident Patrick Bertsche, 5, and his mother, Katie, attended the workshop.

“We thought it would be a fun activity we could do together,” said Katie.

The artists can draw anything they want, but Johnson showed them how to paint a picture with a blue sky and water in the foreground, much like the lake visible from the classroom.

“Mine is not going to be very pretty,” said Lily Martens of Bloomington. “But, it will be cool and that’s what I like.”

The program is open to children ages 4 to 12 and the fee is $35 for a parent and child and $20 for each additional child. The children paint on an 11X14 canvass and all supplies, snacks and drinks are provided.

Artists are encouraged to wear a smock or older clothes due to the acrylic paint that is used. The schedule of classes and all Bloomington Parks programs are available at

Beginners are encouraged to attend, Johnson said.

"It doesn't matter the skill level, because all that really matters in the end is that the kids painted something that they get to keep and be proud of," she said.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow