Summer Art_Art in Nature

Welcome back! This week's class was called Art in Nature. The classes focused on creating projects with objects that are found in nature. This meant searching for art everywhere! Let me show you what I mean!


Beets are one of the most annoying vegetables - they stain everything! But the beautiful purple magenta pigment it gives off looks even sweeter on paper. Our students cut the beets into different shapes to stamp and paint with. Our instructor also brewed a dark pot of coffee for the brown stain and when the brown was too light, our students mixed the coffee and beet juice with soy sauce for an even deeper hue. Potatoes were carved into different shapes and dipped into paint to make potato stamps. The students shared their stamps to create an even more colorful work of art.The classroom smelled... interesting... but anything for art, huh?



We had originally planned for our students to go out to the park for two days, but the weather really wasn't in our favor. The rain also brought out a ton of mosquitos so it really wasn't ideal to take our kids out. For those who were able to explore outdoors, we picked up a lot of rocks, branches, bark, leaves and acorns for our future projects this week. While we were out there, we created land art and hatchets out of stones and branches. A mini history lesson was given about the use and invention of hatchets. The stones and acorns were brought back to the studio for our land art project. The students made an arrangement on a canvas and then glued down. The simple yet sophisticated designs were super impressive!

The other materials like branches and leaves were then incorporated with clay twine to create 3-dimensional dolls. This was actually fascinating to watch. The kids got the stones to balance the branches so the branches have support standing up on the platform. It was incredible watching the kids combine the branches with clay to create their sculptures. Some students even took the rough surface of the stones to make an imprint onto the clay. I have no idea how they think of this stuff!



The final project was a box created from recyclable materials and all of the leftover objects from the park. The students were told to create a box that will store their memories and secrets. They layered paper to create a strong hinge and the stones as knobs. One student folded a paper airplane in memory of their most recent vacation while other filled the box with more objects found in nature to create another sculpture at home. 


FALL 2018

Our summer program only has two weeks left! Super crazy how fast this past month went. For those of you interested in our fall semester, keep yourselves updated with our blog - there will be an announcement very soon!


Hello again! AAAAaaaaaaand we're back with another update of this year's summer program! 
So this week was a bit different from our past two classes. The first two weeks we focused on a single skill and developed it throughout the week in forms of projects. This week we exposed our students to a variety of materials and had our students experiment (yeah, that's where we got the title of this week) with these new materials. Let me show you what they did because I can't wait any longer!


Air dry clay is hard to work with because it's so stiff, but you can see our students work little by little to mold and attach the different "body" parts to their creations. The students worked with different tools to engrave and cut the clay as well as use water to smooth out the surface and help the clay stick to each other. Look how detailed and intricate their sculptures are! 


Now we had to make these clay creatures come to life with a little bit of paint so we had our students apply their knowledge from Summer Art_PAINTING to this week! Our students once again mixed their primary colors into secondary colors and tertiary colors to add personality to their sculptures. These tiny sculptures will come in handy later on in the week (which means..keep reading!)


The next project was creating their own dice with left over cardboard and paper. We painted scrap paper to make our own colored paper and wrapped it around cardboard to create a cube. 


So if you haven't already guessed, all these mini projects were for our board game! Our students painted on a large piece of canvas to create their own board game. The tiny sculptures were their pieces for the game and they used their dice to roll! Check it out! The kids even made cards with "moves" written on them. It was so much fun watching the students play their own board game. After class, Ms. Nikol (our instructor) and I were talking about how grateful we were to have students come to art class during their summer vacation and experience different materials and art work. Going to a water park is fun, but being able to work with other students and share an interest is just simply amazing.


The last day of class was probably my favorite. The students used waxy pastels to create a colorful pattern and then used black oil pastel to cover it all up. It's interesting to see how the black doesn't blend all the colors together, but instead just creates a second layer. The students then took toothpicks to scratch a design to reveal the colors underneath. Some of our students just drew a picture while others got super creative and drew an abstract work of art.

Next week's class will be Art In Nature where our students will use objects found in nature to create their projects! Thanks again for keeping up with us; we will be back with another post next week.

Summer Art_DRAWING

Take two! So I had just finished writing about this wonderful week our students had learning all the skills and techniques of drawing until my computer shut down and POOF! Everything was gone! 


This was week was just too good to not show everyone. Why, you ask? Well because our students were introduced to new drawing instruments and discovered their newfound talents!


Blind contour drawing is when you would contour draw (outline) an object by only looking at your object and not look down at your paper. It's super tough because you have to fight the urge to look down. Our students struggled, but found it funny when they saw how their work turned out. Can you see how quickly they picked it up though? You can see how they kept their pencil on the paper so they can get a better sense of proportion.


After we learned the most difficult yet important skill of the week, our instructor introduced a new instrument to the students. The students learned the different parts of the pen and then taught them how to dip their pens into a well of ink and then draw! They learned how before ballpoint and felt tip pens came to be, this was how people used pens - they found this fascinating! The mini history lesson transitioned into a lesson of different pen skills such as cross hatching. Can you see how the students applied cross hatching to show depth and value?


Pen drawings are cool, but painting with ink just makes everything even better! That's why on the third day our students learned how to add even more depth to their pen drawings by using water, brushes, and ink. The students learned how to control the tones of the ink by add more or less water in their palettes. This could have been a great lesson on its own, but it got super intense when we started adding color. The techniques for ink and watercolor are quite similar, so the students picked it up super quick.


Just as we learned about abstract painting last week, we tied it all in with one last project that incorporated everything we learned from Day One to Day Three. Some students did a pen drawing and added watercolor, while others did abstract pencil drawings. 

"I feel like I've struck gold! Everyone has their own style that they search for and I really think she found hers - she found that one think she's really good at. I have chills down my spine."
- Ms. Nikol

Thanks for catching up with us again! I will have another post about another beautiful week at our studio last this week. Enjoy the sun!


Have you heard of the painter Wassily Kandinsky?


Kandinsky is a Russian painter famous for his amazing abstract pieces. The first week of our summer program focuses on learning about different painters and painting styles.

Our children started the week off learning the concept of color theory, mixing primary colors into secondary colors. They were then able to mix different colors to create their own abstract paintings. 

They then learned what a still life was and painted real fruits from different angles. Our students not only learned how to draw and paint the objects, but they learned how to critique their own work as well as their peers'. 

We ended this week with self portraits in watercolor paint. Watercolor paint was a different medium the children learned. They learned how to mix the paint with water and apply it in layers.

We are so grateful that our first week started off with a blast. It's amazing how much the children can absorb in a short amount of time. 

Stay tuned for our next post! We are going into DRAWING! 


Welcome back! This past week the winners of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition were announced and I have some great news.

Congratulations to our students Jabez L. and Leah P.! Jabez was given THIRD PLACE in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition and Leah was given the HONORABLE MENTION award this year.


Congratulations to Olivia N., Emma B., and Fareen K. for also receiving their Certificates of Appreciation!

The Duck Stamp Competition is a good break from all the fun projects where our students can take away a lot in terms of skill during this time. The competition requires a lot of observation and focus for our students to paint a duck from the list which is provided. Young students learn to pay attention to detail as well as absorb intense painting skills. I don't know about you, but I'm extremely proud of these young students. It isn't easy to sit down and paint for a good hour at this age - but they did it, and look at the results. 

Our spring semester has come to an end and we finished it off with such joyful news. NOW IT'S TIME FOR OUR SUMMER PROGRAM! Stay updated for our summer projects. Enjoy the rest of the school year!

Illustration by Diorama

We try our best to get our students put their 100% into their projects. This week we read a classic storybook that is loved by our children called, Where The Wild Things Are

"That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around"

Watching our students excited about each scenes was just too cute! Our teacher asked the students to create what they imagined while the story was being read into a three-dimensional diorama. Some students painted grass, some students painted a river, and some students got super creative and painted a world of their own. 

When we took a storybook that the children were already familiar with and incorporated it into an art project, we were all able to see the story in a new perspective.


Annual Exhibition_SPECTRUM OF EMOTION 2018

When was the first time you went to a gallery? Or what about the first time you took your kids to their first gallery exhibition? Our students were able to experience their very own gallery opening this past Sunday June 3rd, 2018 which exhibited their art work from the past few weeks. Each little artist stood in front of his or her work with joy and pride, explaining their each brush stroke to their friends and family.

You know I watch these children run into class eager to get their hands on new material each week. They leave class with this goofy smile reaching for their parents' hand, dragging them inside to show them what they worked on. After each class, I ask how their project went and what they learned that day. It amazes me every time when I see a four year old who can't even tie her own shoe laces explain the way she portrayed cubism in her painting that day. 

These young children come to class expecting to have fun and they allow their minds to wander into the world of creativity. When these kids saw their projects hanging on the wall of a gallery, a new purpose was embedded in their artistic minds. They reached out their hand to parents, teachers, and friends, with newfound pride.

We hope that this day remains in their memory for a very long time. (Or until next year!)

Thanks to everyone who stopped by.


Little Ashcan Art will be hosting their first gallery exhibition at Gallery MadisonPark. Our opening reception will take place Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 from 1:00pm-3:00pm. Feel free to bring your friends and family to share the excitement with our young artists. 

Contact us for more information about our membership opportunities.


Spectrum of Emotion_CURIOSITY

'Spectrum of Emotion' is the title of our 2018 Little Ashcan Annual Exhibition. This project incorporated a storytelling session along with a series of projects to spark our students' curiosity. Each child was able to imagine what the characters would look like after taking a feel in our Mystery Box. 


River of Words

River of Words is a competition that celebrates the local watershed environment. Much of our wildlife depend on the waterways in Long Island and we had our students convey this message through their artwork. Our students learned watercolor techniques to paint the animals of their choice. Congratulations to Ethan K. on being a finalist in this year's competition.


Recycled Sculpture

One of the more difficult aspects in art is group work. Combining two completely different perspectives into a single work of art is a challenge our students had to face in this project. Our young students learned to work with one another while understanding the concept of recycling and reusing.