“I knew and admired Beth as an artist and human being for years before sending my 8-year-old daughter to her Dancing Paintbrush Studio Art Camp for the past few summers. Beth is an extraordinarily gifted professional artist (she’s a painter, photographer and videographer) who is also, amazingly, a really gifted, inspiring, generous and loving teacher of children.  She loves teaching kids, and it shows.  (She once volunteered to come to my daughter’s after-school garden class to instruct them in painting pictures of sunflowers, just for fun – a measure of her generous spirit.)  She has taught art at the Crowden School and elsewhere and knows how to provide the right combination of structure, inspiration, great materials, helpful bits of art history, and celebrating and enabling kids’ individual vision.  She has been travelling the world the past 2 years, working on an extraordinary art project that she can tell you about (!) and she comes home I think with even more inspiration and delight in the kids. Her studio is cozy and light-filled, and her sweet and mellow golden retriever, Chessie, provides fun companionship for the kids (she is also a very tolerant live model for their paintings!). My daughter loves art-making and loves her camp.  I feel blessed to have Beth Hird and Dancing Paintbrush in our lives.”
~ Lori M.

My (now 9 year old) daughter has attended Dancing Paintbrush Summer Camp for the last 2 years (several sessions each summer) and she will be there again this year. The studio is warm and welcoming and the days are structured to support focused attention on art. The wonderful director, Beth, is a lifelong artist, a parent, and she cares about teaching art and making the days enjoyable for the students. This is a serious art immersion experience, not a typical arts and crafts camp.

I asked my daughter what she would like to say about Dancing Paintbrush and she said “It is a place where you can sit and relax and paint and not worry about other things. There aren’t very many rules, Beth is nice, they serve snacks including strawberries, and there is a dog named Chessie you can pet.”

~ Jill D.

“Both of my sons had a blast at Dancing Paintbrush Studio last summer. Beth Hird, the instructor, is an extremely talented artist and a wonderful, warm teacher. She has been teaching a wide variety of art forms for many years. She has a special way with children and my younger son has continued to sketch and paint in his free time during the past year thanks to his experience at Dancing Paintbrush Studio. My sons look forward to joining the camp again this summer.”
~ Tara

“Beth Hird is wonderful with kids and teens – calm, cheerful, and with a sense of humor, she has them engaged in all sorts of activities in a studio off Gilman. For those who love to paint, draw and create in a dedicated environment. My daughter has loved the freedom as well as the expert instruction and it’s a nice, relaxed scene.”
~ Jenny
“My daughter has  loved Dancing Paintbrush Art Camp for the last 3 summers – she is 8 years old now and usually goes for 2-3 weeks each summer. The studio is on Gilman right off I-80, so it’s easy to get to. Beth is a wonderful art teacher and is one of those people that kids gravitate to. The atmosphere is relaxed, with not more that 7-8 kids per day, all ages together, age 5 to 14 or so. My daughter has learned so much even without a super obvious structure, just lots of ideas and freedom to explore all the art supplies! They do outings to the vivarium, parks, and other active spots, but most of the focus is on art (and rolling around with the sweet golden retriever!). It’s really a beautiful sunny place, and I’m so glad to know that my daughter is being taught and inspired in a setting that still preserves that ‘summer-time feeling’.”
~ Lisa
Private Lessons:
“I studied with Beth Hird for 4 months. We met on weekends at her very charming studio on Gilman next to the tracks. I came into the lessons having drawn since I was a child but with no real painting experience. Beth’s lessons provided a solid introduction to the fundamentals of working with color and handling paint, from choosing colors to mixing techniques to brushwork and beyond.When I started with Beth I was preparing to enter my first year of college art education. I would have been sorely underprepared for classes dealing with color had I not worked with Beth. I feel that after spending a little over a summer with Beth I was at no disadvantage keeping up in my color theory and design classes compared with students who had been painting for years.

More importantly, time spent with Beth allowed me to form a social relationship with a professional artist. Beth and I spent many sessions exploring what art meant to us through her lessons and in conversation, and she had a constant stream of useful, insightful and meaningful ideas and experiences to share with me. Beth is not just a professional painter and highly educated fine artist; she is a traveled, down-to-earth, knowledgeable, insightful, caring person.

Beth is for real. I would recommend college to someone who wants to (try and) make money off of their work. I would recommend Beth Hird to someone wanting to nurture and develop a truly loving connection to their art in the presence of one who has dedicated their life to such a passion. I hope to work with Beth every time I return to the Bay Area.”

~ Mitchell Wood (college student)