Thursday, September 30, 2010


If you squint your eyes and tilt your head just right, you can see art contributions from every member of the family.

Mine is the one scribbled out at the top; our shortest kid likes to do that. He did, however, re-create my kid-as-godzilla artwork right below mine.

Next is our oldest, with Scooter pointing at the dropped ice cream cone.

Next, a rarity for this blog -- a contribution (and a mooing one) from Mom.

Last but not least, our middle child, drawing a nice little lion for us.

We're all so talented. I've got something in my eye . . .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mountains of Danger

I'm not exactly sure where this comes from. It can't be from The Goonies, because my kids are still too scared of Sloth to watch that film. It might be from an old Popeye cartoon, but I can't be sure on that. Equally unsure am I to know if this came from a VeggieTales episode. Needless to say, it probably doesn't matter where the inspiration came from, as long as it came to create this wonderful map.

I, too, drew lots of maps when I was a kid. I probably should have held on to a couple of them. That's why I'm doing this for my kids. Maybe I don't keep the paper copies, but at least I'm preserving the images in perpetuity. As long as we have electricity, we will have these memories.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A-Camping We Will Go, Part II

About a month ago, we took a trip to Idaho's Meadow Lake (see some photos from our trip here). The vacation, with our camper and our Honda Pilot, loomed large in our six-year-old's memory for many days afterward.

Thus at church, to keep him entertained, we worked on a series of camping-themed pictures. I particularly like that he drew a Rod Blagojevich-like character roasting marshmallows.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

All You Can Eat

"I drew this picture because when I grow up I want to work in a restaurant. Usually I like to draw because it's just so fun imagining that you're like somewhere and like doing something. But this is really what I really want to have. If you like I'm serving my mom and dad even though I'm far away from home. I'll have a lot of money when I'm done and it'll be so fun. I will pay for my childrens' college and other things for them to do."

So says our middle child, who had me type this because I'm a faster "typer" and she likes to watch me type.

This is Mom and Dad at the restaurant, by the way. We're eating Brussels sprouts, our favorite.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Nerd

Anyone need a good stock drawing of a nerd? Here it is.

This is from our oldest, who, a few days ago, was stewing about what he was going to do when he's grown up. After he got the standard lecture of "you've got time to think about this; just concentrate on good grades and such" and an aside from Dad "hey, I didn't want to be a technical writer when I was a kid, now look at me" (That may actually be a good reason to plan ahead, come to think of it). mom mentioned "Be a cartoonist. You're good at it."

He got a big smile on his fifth-grader face. "I like that," he said. "But I can't draw Garfield."

"Don't draw Garfield," we said.

Nevertheless, Jim Davis' venerable comic strip is a deep source of inspiration for our son. That's where "The Nerd" comes from. I know Jon Arbuckle doesn't have the buck teeth, but he certainly does dress like this on occasion.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cooties and Rabies

To the feminists who may be reading this blog, in my defense we've never told our boys that girls have "cooties" or "rabies" or anything like that. They may have seen me acting rabid or cootie-infested when I was trying to get them to bed, however, and just latched onto the idea and transmitted it to the ladies to protect their bumpkin of a father.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Greetings, O Bearded One

This man had a loong beard; so long that he had to tie it in a bow. Or was it a tie?

Thus is our oldest child's explanation for this bearded individual he drew in his church book. And it's not helping that I just read a book by Isaac Bahsevis Singer and have old-fashioned bearded Jews on my mind. Maybe I'll just leave it at that.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our Fine Four-Fendered Friend

Ah, to have influence over your children before they become teenagers and thus alienated with the world in general.

I love the film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," and thus, by extension, so do my kids. They don't love every film I do; they're all still too scared to watch "The Goonies" with me; they can't get past seeing Sloth in the restaurant basement for the first time. But they like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, even though the Child-Catcher is scary. He scared the hell out of me when I was their age. Our daughter still is a bit scared of him, but the boys think he's funny.

I just think it's funny the actor's name is Robert Helpmann. That's irony if I've ever seen it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Instructor's Corner

My daughter sat me down tonight and said she was going to teach me how to draw a horse. She's been heavily into horses for a very long time now (it's a genetic thing; I don't know why little girls are so attracted to horses. Nobody else in the family likes them much. I know I don't.). Anyway, she gave me the instructions.

Here's how her horse turned out:

Not bad. The legs make the horse look like a cross between a horse and an ostrich, but that's okay.

Here's mine:

She didn't much care for the goofy eyes. Or the donkey ears. Or the buck teeth. Or the bow tie or the Harlem Globetrotter shorts. Everyone's a critic.

Man's Image

One of the stores on Main Street in "the city" (as the local kids call nearby Rexburg, Idaho, population a whopping 26,000) is called The Man's Image. They sell suits, Scout paraphernalia and other stuff.

It's apparently made an impact on our oldest. Behold:

This character, by the way, is named Scooter, and you'll see him as a repeated theme throughout our oldest son's art. He looks pretty prep, standing there all casual in front of the store's windowfront tie display. Gad, he's a handsome rogue.

I have no idea what's up with the "Wanted" poster. We only see those at the post office and at City Hall -- rarely do we see them at clothing stores. Maybe it's an advertisement.


Today we see the first in a series of drawings taken from our oldest son's church notebook. We let them take notebooks to church so they can draw and scribble away during the boring bits. Evidently, church has been pretty boring this year.

Behold, The Burper:

More later.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Farewell to Summer

The kids are back in school and I anticipate a flood of school-generated art to come home soon.

Today, however, I present one of the last of their summer drawings: Flowers. A fitting subject, given the end of summer. We do still have a few flowers blooming outside. I don't know their names. I'm such a slouch at flowers. But they're still there. Hardy ones that come up in the spring and refuse to die even after the first snows of winter arrive. I love them for that.

And I love this drawing, because I know I can pull it out and look at it all winter long, when there's too much white outside.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Toilet Help

Sometimes, I just post them. I don't explain them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Do Not Look Directly Into the Art

At the Eastern Idaho State Fair, one of our traditions is to stop at the Kid Fun Zone and let them play. One of the activities they have there is a little art project that lets them put a bit of paper on a spinning wheel, then apply markers to the paper, thus making nice little hypnotic swirls. The one above belongs to the youngest.

This one, to our middle child:

And the final one to my wife. Why should the kids have all the fun?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Winter Someone

The format and layout of this drawing will, of course, look familiar to MR afficionados. Our oldest, of course, drew something like this, from which our middle child takes her inspiration. She takes the format in a different direction, however. Rather than focusing on emotions, she's focusing on a certain something else that can best be summed up by the third drawing in the third column.

I love how she draws her animals. I'm sure she's getting some pre-formed arty notions on how to draw these critters at school, but it's fun to see her put her own twist on them. Lest I think she's only copying her schoolmates or art coaches, I present this drawing:

which shows she's also copying Hollywood. Or at least 1960s Rankin-Bass Hollywood:

Weiner dogs, by the way, play a significant part in our middle child's art. We did at one point have a weenie dog, but she broke her back and died two years ago this Thanksgiving -- an event which certainly taints the holiday for us. So this little weenie dog shows up a lot in her art, as an homage. I love it. And I love that the creators of Yukon Cornelius also had weenie dogs on the mind.