Karen Johnston

Contact Karen Karen is available for bookings in your area.

Karen Johnston

Author, Illustrator
Oshawa, ON

Karen Johnston, RECE 

Karen Johnston is an Early Childhood Educator, Mosaic Artist and Author/Illustrator of two children&;s books, Six Owls and A Party (also available in a bilingual version, Six hiboux et une fête) and Mr. Bob&;s Magic Ride in the Sky

Karen was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia for 5 1/2 years, Kitchener, Ontario for 4 years and now calls Oshawa, Ontario home. Schooled at OCAD (1984-1988) Karen started out working in advertising as a layout artist and an art director. From there her passion for design grew. She worked for many years as a freelance graphic designer before turning her creative energy to mosaics. In 2005 she established Mosaicworks.ca. 

Mosaicworks.ca is a small design studio that celebrates the ancient art of mosaics while giving a style called Picassiette a fresh and contemporary spin. Picassiette is a popular style of mosaicing that uses recycled or shards of broken china, glass, ceramic tiles, pottery, porcelain and whatever else the artist&;s imagination envisions to create rich tangible works of art that are functional as well as decorative. 

Six Owls and A Party combines Karen&;s love and passion for mosaics with her life long love of books (especially children&;s books) - it doesn&;t get any better!



Inquire about this presentation

The Magic of Mosaics

Karen is available for readings of Six Owls and A Party + mosaic workshops.

Class presentations (10-30 children) can be done in morning and/or afternoon sessions.

What&;s involved ~​

  • 1. Author reading of Six Owls and A Party
  • 2. Discussing the art of mosaics, artistic process and materials used
  • 3. The kids create their own mosaic 

Schools and Libraries, in Ontario, that I have visited ~ Children&;s House Montessori School (Port Perry), Dr. S. J. Phillips PS (Oshawa), Sawmill Valley PS (Mississauga), Ormiston PS (Whitby), John McCrae PS (Guelph), Saint Mary Elementary School (Brampton), Cardinal Newman Catholic Elementary School (Brampton), Armour Heights Public School (Peterborough), Queen Victoria Public School (Lindsay), Saint Bernadette Elementary School (Mississauga), Fernforest Public School (Brampton), Terry Fox Public School (Brampton), Humbervale Montessori School (Etobicoke), McLaughlin Public Library (Oshawa), Trafalgar Castle School (Whitby), Ryerson Public School (Cambridge), Transfiguration of Our Lord Catholic School (Toronto), Devins Drive Public School, (Aurora), Our Lady of Victory School (Toronto), St. Pius X (Toronto), Hewson Public School (Brampton)


My small upper elementary class were delighted to meet a "real artist and author". Karen used her children&;s book, Six Owls and A Party, to invite the children into the world of mosaics. My students really enjoyed seeing some of Karen&;s mosaic pieces firsthand. It inspired the children to work on a collaborative piece using mosaics. Karen lead the work with patience and clarity. Afterwards many of my students remarked that they would like to author children&;s books some day. I would highly recommend Karen Johnston&;s "Magic of Mosaics" workshop for your class. Erika Lacey (teacher at Children&;s House Montessori School, Port Perry)

I was thrilled to have Karen Johnston join my busy Kindergarten class. Karen read her children&;s book Six Owls and a Party as a read aloud and inspiration for the children to make their own mosaic art. The students were engaged and worked to develop new skills as artists that Karen had demonstrated to them. Karen was organized and lead the students through every step as they completed their mosaics. The students can&;t wait to get their own copy of "Artist Karen&;s" book. Cheryl Corby (FDK Teacher at Dr. S. J. Phillips PS, Oshawa)

Our grade 1s and grade 2s were fortunate to have artist/author Karen Johnston visit over a two day span. She captured their attention with a reading of her book, Six Owls and a Party, and engaged them with her mosaic pieces. They loved seeing how she made the pages in the book -- the tools, the glass pieces, the buttons and jewels, and the process from beginning to end. Karen then encouraged the students to give mosaics a try using coloured paper. Each student attempted this challenge differently and the results were so unique. When we returned to the classroom, all the students were motivated to continue their art.  They wanted to quickly complete their other work in order to get back to their owls. Thank you, Karen, for introducing a new form of art to our students that showcases creativity. Joyce Tam (Grade 2 teacher, Sawmill Valley PS, Mississauga)

Karen Johnston inspired our kindergarten and grade 1 classes with her Magic of Mosaics presentation. Students enjoyed listening to Six Owls and A Party while gazing first hand at the mosaics used in her book. Students loved the experience of looking at Karen’s artwork, the highlight however was learning about mosaics through touch. The ability for students to touch Karen&;s designs and feel the various textures created by the many types of tesserae used in her creations provided students with a truly unique and memorable experience. Thank you Karen for making the long drive and sharing your talents with us; we had a wonderful time! Patty Horack (teacher, John McCrae PS, Guelph) 

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: To be discussed (note: all mosaic materials will be supplied and included in the fee).