As a mother or a father, we see a lot of art projects come through the house.
The minute kids start school, the paintings and drawings start coming and before you know it, you’ve got more art masterpieces than than you know what to do with.
You suddenly find yourself in the midst of a dilemma.
Do you keep it all?
Or do you throw some of it away?
Robin from Farewell Stranger is here today to tell you her story about art work.
Becoming Art Smart
My fridge is starting to look like an art gallery. As long as you consider construction paper, glue, and glitter to be art, that is.
The only issue with the recent art explosion is that I do consider these things art, because my son made them. He started preschool about a month ago – 3 half-days a week. I’m amazed at how many “pictures” he manages to create in that time and, like most moms with their first kid’s first art, I’m reluctant to throw these things out.
I “aw”ed when he brought home an elephant made out of a paper plate. The paper-bag frog acted as a pretty good distraction for a while. And his first crafts for Thanksgiving (which was last week up here in Canada) involved turkeys in several forms, all of them beautifully feathered.
Several months ago I bought a memory box. A large memory box. It was intended to hold the usual mementos – tiny baby things, special cards, the hat the nurses put on his head right after he was born. Those things are in there, but they’re buried below colored sheets of paper with all kinds of things stuck to them and very soon there won’t be room for anything else.
How many memory boxes jam-packed with art do you think exist out there? Do other mothers ditch the sentimentality along with the bulk of their children’s creations? If I continue to keep as much as I do now I’m going to have to rent a storage unit by the time he’s in Grade 1.
Actually, I’m not emotionally attached to all his art. We’ve been painting for ages and my collection could easily include hundreds of his canvases covered in mostly monochrome “paintings.” I do have several, but I’ve started being choosy about which ones I keep.
Last week we were at my parents’ house for dinner and my son wanted to paint. My mom got out the watercolors and a bunch of 5×7-sized paper and they painted. Little guy loved the colors. Bold primary colors covered the pages as fast as his little hands could swish them on there. Then he insisted on doing a black picture (maybe my shiny, happy boy is actually going to turn out to be emo).
We left the pictures to dry and the next day he asked Grandma to bring his “Chinese food art” when she came over (we had ordered Chinese for dinner – my dad’s choice on his birthday). So she did. All 12 or so of the little pieces of paper. I chose a couple of the more colorful ones to keep and put the rest in the recycling when my son wasn’t looking.
I guess that’s the secret to becoming art smart, isn’t it? Keep selectively and hope your kids don’t notice when you toss the rest out.
I guess I had better stop letting him help take the recycling to the curb.