Alcohol Ink Birdhouse Gourd

Kids shouldn’t have all the fun in the summer. Our adult workshops on Alcohol Ink and Cannonball Gourd Lanterns were so much fun, we had to squeeze in one more workshop.

Alcohol Ink Birdhouse Gourd

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Time: 6:30-8:30
  • Registration Deadline: Friday, July 12, 2019
  • Cost: $40

Transform a dried gourd into a stunning garden birdhouse through the magic of alcohol inks. Learn new techniques, experiment with favorite color palettes and watch the stunning colors transform a plain gourd into a work of art. Watch the inks drip and slide across the surface to create a stone like appearance and add luminous highlights with metallic inks for pizazz. Take home* an exquisite birdhouse for the birds to enjoy.

*Due to time restraints, please leave the bird house overnight to be sealed then pick up the following day.

Reminder: There is still time to register for the Harry Potter adult workshop on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

General information: All workshops will be held at Art First, Inc. (728 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, DE 19707, 1-302-239-3544) All supplies will be provided. Wear old clothes that will be improved by paint smears and blobs. Harry Potter costumes will “disappear” when the paint “flies”. Come prepared for a creative adventure.

This is a nut free facility. Nut free snacks and beverages are welcomed. In order to keep our young artists safe during the week, please do not bring any snacks or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts or are processed in a facility with peanuts or tree nuts.

Adult Evening Art Workshops, Summer 2019

Our young artists have so much fun during the summer that we decided to spread the fun around!  Come join us for three evenings of art and fun…just for adults.  Learn about alcohol inks, create gourd lanterns, and spend the evening with Harry Potter and all the magic that abounds there!  Join us for one or all of the evening workshops and bring a friend along.

Alcohol Ink Fun

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date: Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Time:  6:00-9:00 pm
  • Registration deadline: Friday, June 14, 2019
  • Cost:  $50

Come play with alcohol inks!  Explore the magic of this medium and learn new techniques for painting with this unpredictable medium.  Create two tile paintings and a painting on Yupo paper*.  Don’t miss out on the fun! 

*Due to time restraints, artists will receive instructions on how to seal the works of art at home.

Cannonball Gourd Lantern

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date:  Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Time:  6:00-9:00 pm
  • Registration deadline: Friday, June 21, 2019
  • Cost:  $65 for small gourd/ $70 for larger hanging gourd

Use a Dremel to turn a plain gourd into a work of art!  Plan a design and transform a cannonball gourd into a light display that bathes a room with spectacular patterns of light*.  Stunning and fun!

*Plug in light cord will be provided.  Larger gourds meant to hang can be purchased for an additional $5 dollars.  Please indicate choice when registering.

Harry Potter

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date:  Thursday, August 1. 2019
  • Time:  6:00-9:00 pm
  • Registration deadline: Friday July 26, 2019
  • Cost:  $50

Attention Harry Potter Fans!  Tonight is for adult fans only!  Wear your costume and come prepared for magical thrills.  Watch the Sorting Hat at work and begin the adventure.  First stop:  “The Art of Paint”.  Cast a spell on a paint brush to create an enchanting magical owl that Hedwig would be proud to have in the owl post.  Next stop: “Disappearance of Socks” class.  With a flick of the wand conjure up a “Free Dobby” laundry helper to cast a spell on socks that magically lose their mate.  Discover fortunes, take pics in front of Platform Nine and Three Quarters and have a ball.  Who knows what will happen on this magical evening!  Better brush up on the Harry Potter trivia!  Hurry to Platform Nine and Three Quarters and join the fun!

Sign up early and join us!  We can’t wait for our adult artists to “wow” us!

General Information:   All workshops will be held at Art First, Inc.  (728 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, DE |302-239-3544).  All supplies will be provided.  A light dinner of snacks and beverages will be served.  Wear old clothes that will be improved by paint smears and blobs. Harry Potter costumes will “disappear” when the paint flies. Come prepared for a creative adventure.

Workshop fees include tuition and a materials fee.  Refunds are given if the request is made 15 days prior to the scheduled date of the workshop.  Refunds for withdrawal less than 15 days prior to the scheduled workshop will be issued only if the slot is filled.  No walk-ins are accepted.  Registrations will close a week before the workshop to ensure needed supplies are available. 

This is a nut free facility.  In order to keep our young artists safe during the week, please do not bring any snacks or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts.

P.S.  Please let us know what other workshops we can provide that will inspire your inner artist! 

The Tale of the Tower

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE

The lonely board was begging for color….

So – color is what happened…

Layers and layers of it: Clear Gesso, Black Gesso, NeoColor II Crayons, Acrylic Inks, paint pens in fluorescent and metallic hues, and metallic paints.

Brushes were not the instrument for painting…oh, no!

The vibrant colors were: Scraped, dripped, smeared and swirled.

Art marks took flight and dots, dashes, spirals, swirls and squiggle writing added to the layers of color. Stencils sporting circles of all shapes and sizes added elegant black to the surface. Happy accidents appeared.  No worries!  Just more fun!

White pens and metallic markers created “zing” and upholstery tacks gave finished elegance.

The result: A tower of color, layers and layers of it…sad no more with lots of tales to tell!

What more can be added?  Come join us and see!

Wire, metal, copper enameling…anything goes! 

Just don’t leave the lonely board plain! 

Join us for “The Tale of the Tower”, Ages 8-14, Week 4, July 1,2,3

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE

Sweet Dreams Café

Spend the week having fun at the Art First “Sweet Dreams Café”. Grab a chef’s hat and an apron and join this “culinary” adventure!

Fill the café with…
A kitchen for preparing delicious “confections” and tables decorated with hand painted tableware and illustrated menus

Create and “bake” …
Giant “cookies, fruits of all shapes and sizes, and mini cupcakes with spectacular icing…all from clay

Expand the menu…
Design edible art bouquets and fashion decorative garnishes…for another special celebration at the café. Shh…it’s a secret!

Don’t forget the monstrous classroom “cake” …
Decorate it with brilliant colors. Add pom poms, glitter and “sprinkles” of all colors and sizes. Stand back and admire the skilled handiwork!

Celebrate on Friday…
Bring a favorite stuffed bear or animal to dine at the café. Serve these favorite customers the custom-made “delicacies”. Then join in the fun for a delicious spread in the café. Who knows what the specialty of the day will be?????

Continue the adventure…
Gather up the clay creations and props for more fun and creative play at home. What will the name of that café be?

Register now for Sweet Dreams Café, Ages 4-5 and 6-7, Week 7, July 22-26

Adventures in 3-D

Boxes and boxes to stack. How high can they go?
Mounds and mounds of wood…piled high, overlapped, glued.
Handfuls of pom poms of all colors and sizes…glittery ones too.
Jars of buttons in every shape, color and size
Glittering jewels sparkling
Yards of yarn in the colors of the rainbow…

What can be created with all these goodies????

Imaginary playgrounds sporting vivid watercolor and oil pastel finishes
Warm and cool canvases adorned with squiggles of yarn, glitter glue, buttons galore, translucent glitter, pom poms and more!
Wire sculptures twisting and turning
And – 3-D collages fun of color and fun!

Join the fun during “Adventures in 3-D”, Week 1, June 10-14, Ages 4-5 and 6-7.

Amazing Landscapes and Vibrant Villages


Cabinet doors transformed with the vibrant colors of Unicorn SPiT – blue, teal, purple and a tinge of white.


Bowls of sea glass, rocks, buttons, glass cabochons, marbles, pearls, seed beads, shells, colored wooden matchsticks, mirror tiles, pearls, old jewelry …bowls and bowls of ephemera just waiting to become part of a masterpiece.


Creating a cliffside village with collected driftwood anchoring whimsical cottages – all made from cut wooden spools.

Imagine the fun…

Creating swirls of beads, bridges of stones, path of pearls, moons hanging from rhinestones, and suns sparkling with gleaming beads and shiny buttons.

Imagine…just imagine…

Creating the perfect place to dwell…

Our young artists did just that in 2018 and they were spectacular…just spectacular!! 

Photos: “A Perfect Place to Dwell” Camp, July, 2018

Don’t miss the fun this summer….

The Unicorn SPiT, cabinet doors, and bowls of ephemera will be back again in 2019.  This summer our artists will be creating horizontal assemblages of villages nestled in the rolling hills of the countryside as well as painting acrylic landscapes.

Amazing Landscapes and Vibrant Villages, Week 5, July 8-12, Ages 8-10 and 11-14

Painting Self Portraits

Are we creative?
Do our artists create amazing masterpieces?
Do our artists have fun!
Perfect example: Self-portraits using a glue technique.
Our artists created masterpieces of themselves…colorful, large, abstract!
They used simple supplies… photographs, transparencies, an overhead projector, large stretched canvases, pencils, glue, acrylic paints…and… vivid imaginations thinking in brilliant color.
Voila! Striking works of art!

Photos: “The Great Pour” Camp, Ages 8-14, June, 2018

Creativity Abounds Here!

Young artists create, inspire us all, and have fun at Art First Inc.!!!  Colors pop and imagination rules!

Paint brushes brim with vibrant colors, fingers swirl in paint, spray bottles create luscious designs, and masterpieces are painted on our beloved easel that has layers of colors telling the story of many young artists.

Clay is shaped between fingers and morphed into clay frogs flying on lily pads (Tuesday by David Wiesner), arctic polar bears, or miniature worlds brimming with flowers, dragons, rainbows and pure imagination.

Whimsical animals come alive with the stroke of a brush dipped in bright neon paint. Brightly patterned fish and world-like pods emerge from layers of color sporting unique marks, and creative animals are collaged and sewn on burlap canvases.


Self-portraits, Picasso style are painted – with a twist, Mondrian canvases are cooperatively created in bright primary colors and Van Gogh sunflowers are designed…but not with paint!

“Spies” stealthfully navigate a laser beam maze, pirates decked out in regalia hunt for gold and walk the plank, and mermaid tails glisten with jewels and glitter.

Tricycles peddle through paint, elephant toothpaste explodes and soft “Cat in the Hat” pillows are designed by young artists for hours of snuggle time.


Faerie houses sport New York City skylines, chic shops, modern apartments and lush rooftop gardens.

Rolling Monsters are given personality and pizazz with papier mache and plaster, blob monsters appear, and scribble monsters too.

Gourds are transformed into bowls sporting shimmering alcohol inks and unique gourd birds with attitude, showy feathers and majestic colors flirt on the front lawn.


Beads galore are turned into necklaces and Gelli plates are the vehicle for colorful monoprints. Even faces are painted on see-through plexiglass and then printed for a unique portrait. (shown above)

Sewing machines whirr – aprons and pillowcases appear, fleece mermaid blankets or shark tails are designed and flip flops take on colorful embellishments.

Prisms sparkle, light boxes glow, water beads swell, and rainbows appear.


It is an amazing summer at Art First. Our young artists continue to delight! Come see the creativity, tour the classrooms, and take part in the creative joy that fills our building! Summer is magical here!!

Action! Art! Take Two!

Imagine…peddling through paint on a tricycle…wheels covered in dripping paint and track marks that sport the colors of the rainbow.
Imagine…dancing away to the beat of music while creating a “smooshed” masterpiece just from amazing dance moves.
Imagine…working with a partner to swirl, swing and shake “paint bags” dangling from a long, slender stick. Hint: There’s a hole in the paint bags…😊
Imagine…swinging like a pendulum while paint creates abstract designs.
Imagine…dipping Slinkys in paint and bouncing them up and down on a canvas – “boing”, “boing”, “boing”.
Imagine…squirting paint at paper, painting with feet, popping paint balloons, chasing paint filled bubbles for popping art and more!

Action! Art! Take Two! is going to be a week of rip-roaring fun! Leave the good clothes at home. Wear old clothes that would love new paint designs and join the adventure. Don’t worry – we’ll have buckets of soapy water for those colorful hands and feet. That’s fun too!  Hmmm – sounds like soapy bubble prints could happen also!
Action! Art! Take Two! Week 5, July 9-13, Ages 4-5, 6-7.
Instructor: Colleen Loughlin

Camp Starts June 12!

Three weeks! Three weeks until the creative fun begins! WOW! It will be here in a heartbeat…which means I am busy, busy, busy!
My days are filled with…

lists, lists, lists

compiling, double checking, marking off

Shopping, shopping, shopping

Ordering and ordering



Art First Summer Camp For Kids Hockessin DE

I go through teacher supply lists, consolidate by stores and catalogs, compare prices and gather coupon codes and coupons. Then the ordering begins…new student grade non-toxic acrylics, more BioColor (our favorite!!!), books, beads, glues, glitter, special papers, inks, clay, banners, mirrors, feathers, Dr. Seuss top hats, pirates’ hats and monocles, boas, journals, stencils, paint markers, a new type of felt, special crochet thread to make sewing easier for little hands, huge eyelashes for rolling monsters, prisms, brushes, a clay cart and so much more!

Then, off to favorite stores!. Things jump out…

“How can we use this in a different way?
“What if we did this?”
“This is perfect!”

Art First Summer Camp For Kids Hockessin DEI find pool toys…we can print with them. Magnetic blocks…we can mix colors with them. Color changing eggs…what if we put them in the freezer…outside on the sidewalk? Monstrous fuzzy sticks…they could be amazing soft sculptures.

Art First Summer Camp For Kids Hockessin DEI find Dr. Seuss bags (Hurray!) Pirates’ chests, rocks of all sizes, shapes and colors, frames, flashlights, patriotic sunglasses, ping pong balls, moss topiaries for the faeries’ roof top gardens, spaghetti and spiked balls – we are going to paint with these, flashlights, boxes of wood pieces, hand held mirrors, fairy wings, sand toys, foam sheets, glitter, jewels, bubbles, and more! My dining room and upstairs bedroom are full of goodies!

Wood is purchased by my woodworker extraordinaire. After sawing, nailing, and sanding it will become the canvases for art projects, surprise outdoor fun, and of course, faerie houses – amid the skyscrapers of New York City!

Art First Summer Camp For Kids Hockessin DEI dig out the stored goodies purchased throughout the winter: gourds just waiting to be transformed into paisley chickens, gorgeous bowls, and small fairy cottages; baskets snagged after Easter that will become the home for a magical fairy land; stretched canvases for whimsical creatures and toy cars and trucks whose destiny is to become a rolling monster. What else is waiting to be rediscovered in those basement bins?

It’s a creative time, an exciting time and a hectic time…all rolled together. How can I only have three weeks left??????

But…  Time doesn’t stand still and we aren’t either. I’m planning, organizing, shopping…making sure everything is in order for the summer. Our amazing teachers are dreaming up new ideas and methods, planning, experimenting and prepping. It’s all coming together!

Join us this summer.

We’re working hard to make it the best creative time ever!
Week 1 starts June 12th. It’s going to be great!Art First Summer Camp For Kids Hockessin DE

Art First Summer Camp For Kids Hockessin DE

Toy trucks, destined to be Rolling Monsters (week 8: July 31-Aug 4)