Kids Make Art

Here we go again with the proud father routine. I can’t help being fascinated by the art that my kids create. It’s such a clear indicator of their development that I look in awe as their little drawings and paintings and sculptures become more mature and sophisticated as they get older. Somewhere along the way, they’ll probably stop creating visual art, just as 99 percent of current adults have done. But for now I’ll revel in these manifestations of their imaginations.

Lucia was particularly proud of this circle drawing when she completed it a few months ago:


Benjamin named this next drawing The Heart Machine, “because it’s a machine that makes hearts.”

heart machine

This one is more of an abstract piece, but I like the detail. Ben sometimes gets absorbed in the minutiae of his projects.

lots of dots

My friend’s 8-year-old son Earl drew this picture of George W. Bush. In case you can’t read the caption, it says, “See the Lier lier pants on fier Bush.”

lier lier pants on fire bush

Art like this deserves a wide audience, don’t you think?

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4 Responses to Kids Make Art

  1. Aunt Ginny says:

    I am a big fan of kid’s art, especially after years of teaching art and parenting. The heart machine totally rocks and is reminiscent of Ben’s maze phase. Fun to see Lucia’s art coming into its own (a smiling circle with a turquoise tummy?)! And as for Earl(!), I support him in whatever political role he’d like to pursue. The kid knows where it’s at!
    As for when they stop drawing, let me get out my soapbox. Ahem. If we taught reading and math the way we teach art in this country, 99% of the people would be illiterate instead of whatever statistic happens to be currently true. Most people don’t value kid’s art and when children approach 3rd grade and get frustrated by trying to learn to draw more realistically, they are surrounded by adults who say they “can’t draw a straight line with a ruler” or ‘were never very good at art’ or their Uncle Charley teaches them to draw stick figures because they’re easy. Then before you know the kids are aping the comments and behavior they have had modeled for them and saying they are no good at art and they lose all that inventiveness by trying to get in line with their peers. If you make fun of your own work before others can mock you for your drawings, you’re safe.
    I’ve seen that scenario played out in mid elementary school. People think that art is a magical gift and you either have it or you don’t. I disagree. Like anything else, if you don’t use it and hone your skills, you can’t develop.
    My colleague Nancy Clouse and I co-produced a video when I was at GRCC about the stages of art in young children and we named it “From Marks to Meaning”. It’s amazing to see how the unconscious marks tiny kids make become the way they can communicate wonderful deep and sweet and sometimes political thoughts!!
    I’m getting off my soapbox now.

  2. kevin says:

    ‘The Heart Machine’ is fantastic! It’s so imaginative – machinery connecting with humanity.
    I hope you’ve been well – say ‘hi’ to Sara and the kids for me.

  3. Drew MacDougall says:

    Hi Karl,
    I love ‘The Heart Machine’. Therein lies the beginning of a clever children’s story (which you should write) or at least a cool album cover for an indie rock band!

  4. Debbi says:

    I love the artwork! I love looking at what the kids are focused on. So many times their art shows things that we overlook. Right now Dylan is forever putting nostrils on the noses of his people. Why? most likely because he is well-aware that his exist– his fingers are always exploring them! Ben’s art is exactly what I think he is– precise and detailed.

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