Art Foundations Intensives: Year One wrap up

This was our first year of Art Foundations Intensives, an invite-only full-year course for the serious art student. The AFI students worked for 33 weeks on drawings, paintings, and sculptures, all the while learning about the philosophies behind great art.  We even had a field trip to the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ earlier this month. Some of our AFI students are mentors in a Chagalls class with students ages 3-5, sharing their love of art and helping out a younger generation.

We have three different AFI levels, with students grouped by age. Each level had a unique final project assignment.

Our youngest students, in AFI 1, were tasked with creating a vessel from clay that pertained to one of the five senses. The students got very creative in interpreting this assignment.

One artist focused on touch, creating a vase that was half smooth and half textured. She also painted it to enhance these qualities, using one flat color on the smooth side and speckled paint on the textured class and party kids new jersey

Two students concentrated on taste and decided candy should be theme to express that sense. One created a fluted candy container with a trapdoor. The other also made a candy vessel of clay slabs and painted it with striped paints.

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Two students also chose smell. One made a vessel for holding a fragrant flowered plant and painted it to represent flowers – pink for the roses, black drips representing soil, and inside, forest green to reflect foliage. The other “smell” project was 4 star-shaped candle holders, one holder for each unique scent. She chose the colors first and then let that determine the scents: blueberry, green apple, black cherry and cran-orange.

new jersey art studio for kids nj art class and party for childrenAFI 2 students had to choose a fruit and divide an image of it into three parts: one drawn in charcoal, one in acrylic paint and one art classes and parties north jersey nj fine art class for kidsAFI 3 students had a choice of three projects:

  • A series of 3 drawings that share a common element and tell a story
  • A still life painting that utilizes three objects that symbolized the artist
  • A tabletop version of a fruit sculpture from our Artist Harvest series.

Here are a few of their projects:new jersey art class for kids toddlers tweens messy artist art class for children fine art class camp and parties in nj

To wrap up the year, we had an art show displaying the Art Foundations Intensives final projects, as well as a site-specific string art piece created by the students before the show. Photos of that will be in our blog post next week!



hello body drawings!

This has been a great project to end up our spring session! Its positivity and individuality appeal to the kids while creating them – and to everyone who sees them when they are finished. They are a wonderful document of a slice of time in our students’ lives, both physical and camp party class for kids new jersey

To make these body drawings, we first cut large (about 4-5 foot) pieces of paper from a roll of black craft/butcher paper.

We had the kids pair up and trace each other’s outline on the paper with silver or gold sharpie.nj fine art class for children toddlers elementary school

Next they filled in the outline of their body with all kinds of words that they came up with to describe themselves, written in different colors of chalk pastel.morris county nj messy artist art classes for kids

This can take a while, and is a fantastic exercise for the kids to stretch their self-awareness and vocabulary. They can use adjectives, activities they like to do, quotes – anything that helps complete the picture of how they “fill” art parties and classes new jersey new jersey kids art class

The next step was to work on the background, filling it in with metallic paint.the messy artist fine art class for kids best art class party camp for kids summer 2014 new jersey

These took a few sessions to complete, and it was great to see each student’s piece come out as unique as they are.messy artist body drawing art class and party nj childrens art studio nj

What words would you use to describe yourself on your body portrait?

hello Goop!

nj art class and partyOne of our most beloved materials here at The Messy Artist is Goop. This stretchy, squishy material also goes by other names (slime, gak, flubber) and is simple to make with white glue and liquid laundry starch. We add color and glitter to add even more interest to this material – but it is lots of fun even without these!

Here’s our recipe – it’s very easy and quick to make.goop recipe with logoBefore class starts, we like to spread it out all over the table in fun patterns so that when kids enter the room they are immediately intrigued. This encourages play as a group activity as the kids jump right studio for kids with classes and parties nj goop project for kidsFor birthday parties, kids love it when we spell out their names.fine art class children morris county nj

best art class new jersey kidsGoop is very stretchy and as it warms from use, gets even more pliable. Some of our staff are experts at stretching it across large areas, as well as making bubbles out of the stretched out goop.childrens art studio nj art partes and classes for kdis nj new jersey art parites for kidsWe also do a “make your own goop” activity, where the kids get to do their own mixing and kneading to create their very own personal sized serving of goop. We package it up so they can take it home and continue the using it there.goop kids art project kids fun goop art classes and parties north jerseyOne caveat with Goop: since it is made of glue, it will stick when placed on porous materials. This includes clothing and hair. But if this does happen (and since we work with kids age 18 months and up, we’ve seen it happen!) clothing can be soaked to loosen the goop, and then washed. Oil (vegetable or other) or peanut butter can be used on the hair to release the goop from it.

Goop encourages social interaction and is wonderful for both large and small muscle development in the fingers and hands. The children become scientists, investigating the properties of this unique substance, testing its textures, stretchiness and bounciness. Of course, the kids don’t realize all the learning and growing they are doing – they just think it is a blast!art class for toddlers tweens elementray school kids nj glue and laundry starch goop gak flubber new jersey art class for kids


10 Ways to Explore Texture and Art with Toddlers

Getting our youngest artists to explore all kinds of textures is an important component to our art education; we introduce them to a large variety of tactile experiences and give them the vocabulary to describe it.

Here are 10 ways we get kids excited and immersed in the wonderful word of texture:

Getting our youngest artists to explore all kinds of textures is an important component to our art education; we introduce them to a large variety of tactile experiences and give them the vocabulary to describe it.

Here are 10 ways we get kids excited and immersed in the wonderful word of texture:

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1. glittery jiggly gelatin

new jersey kids art class and party 2. shaving cream on a mirror

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3. finger paint on bubble wrap

best art class children morris county4. bumpy stampers

texture projects for kids5. squishy cool snow dough

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6. soft and fluttery shredded paper

north jersey kids art class7. squishy stretchy goop

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8. collages with hard objects

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9. painting with squishy balls dipped into different color paints, then rolling them around in foil tins

explore art and texture children10. painting with feathers

Each of these stations or projects allows the children to approach textures at their own pace, with the ability to use a stick or other tool for the more cautious child. Open ended and investigational, each station is designed for the children to spend as much or as little time there as they choose.

What are your favorite texture projects and activities for young students?