It is no secret, kids love to make art. I absolutely think they should be encouraged and praised for the self expression... but what do you DO with it all? I have a couple of walls in my house with arrays of inexpensive frames from Ikea that fit a regular piece of paper, with minor trimming, easily. That is where a lot of it goes. I have a few noteworthy pieces from school art class framed and matted in "real" frames. I have discovered another use for certain types of art... I have used certain kinds of art to make very modern looking black cards (for mailing as 'Thank You's etc). We had attended an "art in the park" experience and the boys were introduced to modern art and invited to splatter, swipe, roll and smack paint onto the backs of donated posters. They turned out great, but they were huge and some areas were more expressive than others. So, after storing them behind a bookshelf for a couple of years, I came up with this idea. I cut them up, somewhat at random, somewhat by eyeing what the best compositions would be and chose card stock paper to compliment the colors in the painting as narrow mats. With a little ink on the edges and some torn edges in a few cases to add interest they came out looking like something you might purchase at the gift shop in the art museum. These are just a couple of examples.
On a nice white card with rub on letters as greeting if appropriate they make smashing cards that are a far cry from the ordinary. And each one is an original work of art! I have since encouraged them to make this sort of thing for specific purposes. One Valentines Day I gave my 18 month old daughter pink, purple, yellow and red water color pencils and a sheet of watercolor paper. She had a great time scribbling. Then I gave her a wet kid's paintbrush and she 'enhanced' her art work. When the whole thing was dry I cut out freehand hearts from the paper, inked the edges, mounted them on cards and added stamped letters... Valentines for the grandmothers and great grandmothers from their favorite baby girl!
I think a lot of kids art work could be treated this way with great results. It might even teach the kids that sometimes it is OK, even preferred to send a snail mail greeting to a loved one rather than an email or a text. And don't even get me started on the need to remind them about the importance of thank you notes!
I have one more art/card idea to share, and then I will get back to the regularly scheduled programming of quilting and zentangling!
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