I don't remember how long it's been, but I would have to say for the last 3-4 years we've been going to an art studio in Carrabassett Valley once or twice a month. This is our "messy art" place. Karen, of KC's Kreativity Center, is fantastic with our kids. She gives them minimal instruction and then let's them have at it. She's always there to encourage and help as needed. I have to admit the moms tend to congregate - especially now that our kids are older - and have us some "mom talk" time. It's nice.
Before we moved, KC's was only about a 40 minute drive. This is Maine and I lived in the boonies. That was a pretty decent drive. Now that we live further south, it's just over an hour to get there. It's still worth it in my book to head north twice a month for the kids to get their hands dirty and create.
The "drawing" class is just that - pencil drawing. The gentleman that teaches my two younger boys piano is also an artist. He teaches art classes every Monday at our local library. We go twice a month. The interest was so large that the group was split in two. We are on the first and third Monday rotation. Since starting this class, I have discovered that my youngest has some talent in the area. I'm glad we can encourage him.
Neither of the classes are costly. Neither of the classes are time consuming. The best part? The mess and instruction is elsewhere. What can I say...I've never been a "messy art mom."
I haven't snapped any photos yet (shame on me!) during their drawing class, but I have some from their messy art class. So far this year they have created masks, lots and lots of pottery (this is one of Karen's biggest focuses so typically during our first class of the month the kids create pottery and then the second class they glaze it and do something else), wire sculptures, and paper paste painting. We will be finishing up the year soon with glazing the pottery tree spirit faces they made and doing a class on watercolor.
Here are some photos of this year's creations.
These all get spray painted at the end. Karen uses a plumbing glue to coat cardboard and paper. It will then stick only to itself. This is the second time the boys have made these. This time we scaled them down drastically. Last time they completely covered their heads!
He created this to hold one of his many plane creations. This one was made of Legos.
Pottery Class using the Wheel
Our class was small this day so they were able to use the wheel. My boys have used them with instruction. Karen will oftentimes have a helper come in on days when there are a lot of kids and and activity like this. Since they have used them before with help, this time they were able to try it out from start to finish on their own. Don't let the expression on my oldest son's face fool you, he does have fun at class too.
Paper Paste Class
I honestly don't quite remember or understand what they did here. I know it was a think paste/paint type mixture and they used different things (including their hands! - remember messy art at it's finest!). My oldest used a plastic fork to put a pattern in his paint. My youngest really got in to this class. We brought home 4-5 big sheets of paper with his creations on it.
That is one thing I really love about the class. We have two hours, pay a flat fee, and the kids have pretty much unlimited supplies to create as much as they would like. We have lots and lots of pottery as a result. LOTS!