Anna Ryan Expressive Arts
Artist. Teacher. Seeker of Play!

About Anna

Anna Ryan Expressive Arts offers group, private, and semi-private art classes for children and adults in Novato, CA, Marin County. Mixed media abstract paintings are for sale in the shop in both high quality fine art prints and original paintings – Whimsical, playful, and energetic artwork for children and adults. 

Anna Ryan Expressive Arts, Novato, CA. Art classes for children and adults. Mixed media art shop. Art and yoga, Process art, Art education.


Anna Ryan Expressive Arts, Novato, CA. Art classes for children and adults. Mixed media art shop. Art and yoga, Process art, Art education.

I received my Masters in Art Education at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. I have since been inspired by children and families all across the country: from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where I designed and taught museum-based workshops; to a therapeutic high school in Massachusetts, where I created art curricula to connect my students to art, community and a deeper sense of personal strength. After becoming a mother, I began teaching parent-toddler and preschool art classes in Northern California where I fell in love with art-making all over again. My young students’ fearless creativity rekindled my passion and dedication to the creative process and left me asking the questions, "where does this effortless creativity go as we age, and how can we access it again?" I have been determined ever since to create openings for my students to access their inner creators, courageously playing with art once again. 

I grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, with diversity right on my front stoop. With the freedom to explore on my own at a young age, my map of “normal” and everyday life expanded significantly. Religious, cultural, and socio-economic differences were woven into my understanding of the world through games of tag and meals at my neighbors’ houses. When I was eight years-old, my parents took my family to a spiritual center in India where I witnessed both the intense poverty and breathtaking beauty of a world that felt completely different from my own. My eyes widened and my heart filled. Throughout my adventures in childhood and then into adulthood my eyes continued to widen, and it became clear to me that creativity was a universal language. Whether it was food, art, movement, music or games- creativity and play provided a meeting point for every body and every voice. Becoming an artist and art teacher was not only a continuation of my personal love of art, but also a continuation of my hunt for these meeting points, these middle grounds where it is safe and celebrated to show up and share your story.

Anna Ryan Expressive Arts, Novato, CA. Art classes for children and adults. Mixed media art shop. Art and yoga, Process art, Art education.

My Teaching Style and Philosophy

I provide a fun and supportive space free of assessment and “right” answers, and offer an invitation for individuals to recover and preserve their natural instinct to play, invent and gain trust in their creative intuition. By focussing on the process of art, rather than the product, my students have an opportunity to reclaim their territory of personal expression and to ignite the parts of themselves that often get buried beneath the to-do lists of everyday life.

I welcome children who have been led to believe that they are not “good enough” to make art. I invite tweens and teens who crave a creative outlet to express themselves and are searching for a space to connect with peers. I encourage adults who are ready to uncover their creative passions yet feel paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. I offer you an opportunity to bring inspiration into your creative work and to dive deep into the aliveness of your creative process!

With over twenty years of teaching, I have filled my apron pockets with a rich collection of experiences and tools. I carefully prepare classes and workshops, mindfully choosing themes and materials specific to my students’ needs, hopes and dreams. My classes and workshops incorporate nature, movement, writing and storytelling. I create alongside my students, making “mistakes” and discoveries along the way, introducing numerous and untraditional tools to keep the process fun and surprising. I am dedicated to breaking the rules of how art “should” be made and pushing the boundary of what art “should” look like.