Art attack

Some colourful pencils.

As you may have seen in the news, the new wing of the Tate Modern opened this week. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that, between them, Dylan and Xander have produced enough artwork to fill it. We are being subjected to an art attack!

While I’m obviously happy that they’re exploring their creative sides through the medium of art and spending at least a small amount of time away from screens, it’s starting to get on my nerves.

Not a day goes by without several new masterpieces being proudly presented. They both love to immortalise their favourite characters from LEGO Dimensions, Ninjago and Star Wars in felt tip while Xander regularly brings home pieces of paper festooned in scraps of material from pre school.

Yesterday was a case in point. At pre school, Xander drew so many pictures of Lord of the Rings characters – who he knows via the aforementioned video game, rather than bedtime reading – that they were glued together into a book. A full-on sequel to Tolkien’s epic trilogy in under four hours!

My once-tidy desk has become an unwitting piece of installation art on its own. Similarly, the fridge is so densely populated with drawings that, if I’ve had a particularly bad night of sleep thanks to Amelie, it can take me a moment to find the bloody thing!

The other problem is the waste. Apparently, the reverse side of the A4 printouts we get with our groceries every week are not good enough and hinder my young artists’ visions for what they want to produce.

Only the expensive stuff we buy for the printer – and, curiously, the back of our annual mortgage statement – will do. I have to keep hiding it. Although not in my desk; that’s already groaning under the weight of their handiwork.

Of course, we subtly recycle a few of their works now and then and also manage to offload some on extended family when they call round, but it raises the question of what to keep and what to let go. I’m well aware of the fact that I’m too soft, but what if I discard a priceless work of art?

What is your approach to kiddy art? How do you strike the balance between nurturing creativity and being swamped by drawings of Yoda? What ratio of it should I keep and is it wrong to tell the boys, should they ask, that their ‘missing’ pictures have gone to live on a farm?


  1. Iris Tilley

    I have a folder full of them especially for my daughter who’s 28 now lol but i guess you could just take piccys now and upload them (can’t beat a paper drawing)

  2. Leslie / Messy Blog

    I have a ring binder I keep odd pieces in like maybe one or 2 every month or so but those are usually things that show a skill that’s been learn or something educational like if he’s been matching shapes at preschool or even if its a piece i just like because I like it. With those I normally date them and write a comment on the back or something so we can look back on it one day.
    Like you I also offload odd pieces onto family members and visitors too.
    However a lot of it sits in a pile on the table and then when I have a proper tidy (not just the daily 5 min tidy) I’ll pick through what I like and sneakily bin/recycle the rest.
    Just for heavens sake don’t get caught doing it!!!

  3. Rosemary

    Just wait til they get started on 3D models. House is still full of papier mache work – and they’re both at uni now:) One day we will have a cull:)

  4. Pingback: Four times my kids parodied me via the medium of art | Diary of the Dad

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