Friday, November 16, 2007

Kids' Art Wall

Lyle and I finished a fun "surprise" project last night while the big kids were at a late-night play practice. I know I'm biased, but I think our kids are pretty talented artists. I don't save much, but some things are really special and just beg to be framed.

We had an empty 9 foot wall upstairs that I decided would be a great spot for a kids' art wall. I found a quote by Pablo Picasso that I really liked that said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." I had the quote made into an 8 foot long vinyl sticker and Lyle and I put it up last night.

I first thought I'd just hang the pictures, but I saw some neat "picture ledges" in a Pottery Barn catalogue and thought that they'd give me more flexibility to move things around and update pictures. Also, with the ledge, I could display some of my kids' ceramics projects.

Of course, I didn't buy the Pottery Barn variety. Lyle took one quick glance at the picture, got some supplies, went to the garage, and in probably an hour, I had shelves!

I wish my camera could capture the whole wall. The first picture in this group is a hilarious cartoon character that Adam has created called Marvin (star of "Marvin's Minnions"). The next two were done a few years ago by Madeline. Not bad for an 8 year-old.

In the middle section we have a fun picture from "The Hobbit", done by Adam (of course). The next picture is one that Adam did in an art class a few years ago. The last one is colorful jungle lizard created by Madeline. At the very end is a sculpture of Gollum, by guess who.

The last shelf has a picture of an old car, done by Madeline and a geometric watercolor by Adam.

Unfortunately, I don't have any Abby artwork. I knew she'd want to be included, so I put up her purple ceramic lion. When she saw it, she got the biggest smile on her face and looked very proud.

This wall is the first thing I see when I walk out of my room every morning. I absolutely love it. I figure there's not much reason to spend money on expensive artwork when I have talented artists right here at home!

It's nice that there's also still plenty of wall space to hang some things too. I think this wall will be very used through the years!

The kids' play practice went to 11:30 last night (the play starts in only 6 days!) and they had no idea we'd been planning this project. Adam went straight to the shower and didn't see the wall right away. Lyle and I sat in our room, waiting for Madeline to come upstairs and see it.

I so wish I'd had a video camera rolling because her reaction was great. She didn't even see us watching her, which added to the fun. She turned the corner at the top of the stairs, went about midway down the hall and then jumped and let out a little gasp. She stood back and stared at everything with her mouth hanging open. When I finally went out to the hall, I saw that she had tears in her eyes. She said she'd forgotten many of those pictures and loved that we'd hung them up. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction.

Adam came out of the bathroom, wrapped up in a towel, and let out a loud, "HUH?!" He was also very appreciative and thought it looked great. He loved that we'd framed his cartoon character Marvin. I think it was a self-esteem boost for the kids to know that we love their artwork enough to put it on display, and also I think they were surprised at how really professional it looks!