Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Self-Portrait as A Blowfish

I don't quite have an explanation for this one. Just fodder so my kids don't think I only poke fun at their art.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Yet another contribution from our oldest, who wants to quantify EVERYTHING. Beginning to think we might have to start calling him "Numbers" Riktor, a Terry Pratchett character who thought you could count everything.

Anyway, today we're quantifying moods. The following is a "Mood Chart" that we have on the refrigerator. Almost every day, it's adjusted by the children (the oldest drives this) so we know, at all times, what mood everyone in the house is in. We all have our own individual magnets; mine is a block of magnetite.

I'm just grateful this is still the kid version, because I hear tell that the teenage model comes only in "surly" and "noncommunicative."

On this chart, my favorite is the "Uh Sure" block (lower left corner). The character's eyebrows are very expressive. "Smug," (first row, second from right) with the repeated raised eyebrows, is also a show-stopper.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Want to Be A Missionary Now

Because we're members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we hear a lot about missionary work. It's customary for young men in the church to serve for two years, starting at age 19, as a missionary, and for young women to serve for a year and a half, starting at age 21. I served for two years in France, at the same time my sister was in France as well. Other family members have served in Hungary, England, Argentina, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and other places. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Our oldest child, now 10, drew this missionary picture. I like that he notes "tied shoes" are a good prerequisite for missionaries. This is significant, as he holds tied Sunday shoes in low regard right now. The same goes for combed hair. Sigh.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reality Drawing

Took my kids to the St. Anthony Sand Dunes today because, well, the idiots with the ATVs have chased all the snow geese from the Egin Lakes. It still turned out good, though. We had a lot of fun climbing the dunes, poking around among the junipers, digging the sand and dodging other ATV folks who can't just bebother the Egin Lakes and have to roam all over the place anyway.

After the trip, the kids were on the post-trip "I Don't Know What To Do, Daddy" thing. I encouraged them to draw pictures of their experience. Our daughter did so, with a vengeance. This is one of the more detailed drawings she's ever produced. That guy wandering off over the dunes? That's me. There's a shovel on the ground behind me because I found a little kid sand shovel that I carried forever because I assumed it belonged to my daughter. It did not. So, if anyone out there is missing a purple sand shovel, let me know and we'll return it.

In the lower right, that's our daughter playing with her sand toys, including the sand scoop that looks like a hippo. And yet, that on the left if one of those dad-ratted ATV drivers. I love the detail on the helmet and in the machine, since we've never taken them to see one of these things up close and we only saw these today from a distance and for about twenty seconds.

And in the upper right quadrant, there's something that looks like a sculpted rock. It's actually a drawing of the cab of a pickup truck somebody dragged out into the dunes so they'd have something to shoot at. She would have drawn the bullet holes except she didn't want to get that close.

Here's a closeup of her sand toy setup. She does look like an angel with wings because she drew herself making sand angels.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicken and the Beast

Once in a while, one of my kids will ask me, "Daddy, what should I draw?" I love it when that question is posed, because it not only allows me a chance to interact with their art, but also to occasionally encourage flights of fancy on their part. That's where today's art examples come into play.

First, we see ehre a drawing my middle child did of her acting as "The Beast" from Beauty and the Beast. The drool, I think, is most becoming, and the best effect I could have asked for, though the hunch and the scary teeth and eyes are also entertaining. She got the inspration for this drawing through playing a game of charades the day before. Asking her to draw herself as the beast was easy, as she'd already imagined it.

Next, something more mundane. A chicken:

This is an example of art that can be produced by a child who says "But I don't know how to draw a chicken!" All I had to do was say: "Well, give it a try." And she did. Now, I grew up with chickens, so maybe it was easier for me to draw them, since I knew their habits and behavior and how they liked to poop all over the landscape. She has not had that distinct advantage, but I think she did rather well in capturing the essence of all that is chicken: The goofy stance, the over-the-shoulder look from that beady eye, et cetera.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Be Careful With Criticism

One thing I've learned as a parent and a kid art critic is that it never pays to be too harsh. Kids want honesty to a point, but mistake one horsey for a rocket ship and you pay for it the rest of your life. Kinda like this: