Sunday, March 21, 2010

Found Art

I found this scrap -- obviously a map to some kind of treasure -- stuffed inside one of my Terry Pratchett books (Monstrous Regiment, in case you're wondering.) It's possible I used it as a bookmark on one idle night. More likely, however, some kid just stuffed it in the book out of mischief. As soon as I had it scanned, they reclaimed it and went on a treasure hunt. They never did tell me what they found. Probably another one of my books.

School o' Art

I have long, fond memories -- among the fondest, in fact -- of day dreaming in elementary school, idly drawing (in slack time, of course, teachers were sticklers for those who daydreamed during, say, math) away with a pencil on a loose piece of paper or in one of those spiral notebooks. Being a boy, I drew lots of boy things: skyscrapers, submarines, underwater bases built into those comical desert islands with the one palm tree, the tree serving as the tube for the periscope. And rockets. Lots of rockets.

So to see my kids doing the same things at school is wonderful. The drawing here, from the middle child, came home on the back of a homework assignment. Sigh. Takes me back . . . even though it is a girly picture.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What Would it Look Like Real?

I'm sure every parent out there, in looking at art his or her kid has created, has wondered, "Wow. I wonder what that thing would look like if it were real?" Well, Dave Devries stopped wondering and did something about it.

Over at The Monster Engine, you can see his imaginings of what kids' pictures might look like in "real" life. Or, alternately, what kids' pictures might look like if they still drew as they did as kids when they were older, but with much more sophistication.

Kinda puts the work of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso in perspective, doesn't it? Maybe they never lost the vivid imagination of childhood.

Sorting Things Out

Our oldest son likes putting things in order.

Check that. Our oldest son likes putting things in order on paper. Stuff in his room, however, is in anything but order. His Legos, clothing, books, papers, socks, underwear and other assorted clothes are all over the place.

But on paper, he likes order. He likes to see how things can be grouped together. Take today's drawing: Animals. I think this was drawn in a Primary class discussion on Noah's Ark, these being the kinds of animals our son would take on the ark with him. So a lot of sea creatures. I think there's something on the whole ark concept that he's not quite understood.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We're in the Army Now

We don't have broadcast, satellite or cable TV at the house, primarily because we're too cheap to buy it, secondarily because when we do get to watch TV at, say my in-laws' house, there's never anything good on TV to watch.

But we do watch a lot of TV, mostly in the form of movies and recorded TV shows. We have several DVD collections, including the complete episodes of MASH and Hogan's Heroes.

You can see where this is going, giving the blog title and the nature of this blog. Meet our oldest child's recruits:

Note the presence of some MASH alumni, clad inexplicably in what looks like German WW II uniforms, right down to Col. Klink's ceremonial Kaiser hat.

Yes, some are repeats, but there are enough differences to keep them entertaining.

And, of course, when you have a pencil-on-paper army, they have to have an army base. Here it is. It's a bit hard to see given the blue pencil (I don't know why he chose that color, perhaps he was thinking blueprint) so click on the image to embiggen.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Suit, Part II

Wouldn't you know it, just a day after I post our youngest's suit drawings, he presents me with this one, which he did entirely by himself. He's gone a bit overboard with the buttons, but the lapels look great. In fact, this suit looks like the suits that were popular when I was living in France in the early 1990s.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Suit

Children, when they really get interested in art, go for themes. With the girls (and I have to say, even though this is a stereotype, it holds true no matter the culture of art ability of the child or parent) go for the cutesy: Ponies, pretty ladies, et cetera.

Our youngest goes for the suit.

He had a suit he wears to church on Sundays. Or at least had a suit until he grew out of it. We're too cheap to buy another -- the one he had was a hand-me-down -- and since he's far too small for the next one in line, he's currently suitless. He tried to make us feel guilty and buy him a new suit by wearing the vest from the suit as part of his pajama ensemble for a few weeks, but we didn't fall for it.

So he draws lots of pictures with him in a suit. Except he can't quite draw the lapels, so we have to help him (I think he's going to grow up to be an Ankh-Morpork wizard; he INSISTS on lapels).

Captain Caveman

Our oldest, a fourth-grader, is prone to using his art to shame or punish his parents for catching him on some indiscretion he's committed. So on occasion we get some really funny art/chastisement from him. Such as this:

And this:

Technically, he was mad at Mom, but also mad at me for backing Mom up. But since he has to try to get back into Mom's good graces before any punishment is lifted, he tends to soften his pictures of her. Hence the smiling cavewoman. She does match, though, whereas I do not. But since I'm the enforcer, I'm still portrayed as an almost equal to a snarling, unshaven Neanderthal which is, of course, fitting, since in true life I am a snarling, unshaven Neanderthal.

Such is the life of parents.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First Outside Contribution (Sniff . . . )

Hey, how about that lion, eh? This, my friends, is a fine crayon on paper rendition of a lion done by my niece Molly, earlier this year. And since her mother allowed me to rip it from her Facebook album, I'm calling this one the first outside contribution to the My Refrigerator Blog. Remember, if you've got kids and they've got art, send them (the art, not the kids; I've got three already and that's plenty) along and I'll post them here.

I love how animals almost always look happy in kids' drawings. This lion, for instance, has such as sweet, innocent smile, belying the fact that it likely stalked and at a springboek earlier in the day. I think that happiness shows that kids generally have a pretty optimistic outlook on life, or at least on wildlife.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Tonight, bits of "found art," mainly a palimpset of doodles on top of my own doodles.

I take a lot of notes. Important notes. Like the notes you see here, denoting the episodes of Jonny Quest I've moved to the iPod Touch. But because I leave notes like this and pens lying around my desk where the children can get them, I often get their own doodles along with my own. For example:

A dog and a bunny, this time in Bic blue ballpoint pen ink, from my daughter. And also this:

Of course, the companion animal of choice, a cat.

Not to be outdone, my oldest son also made this contribution:

The joy of found art like this is I never have to wonder where Gary Larson and the like found their inspiration. It's got to have been all around them. All they had to do was open their eyes and look. Or at least look at the papers they leave on their desks.