Framed Shame

This post was inspired by Amber at Strocel (if I knew how to do the no-doubt-extremely-simple link thing those words would be a different colour and clicking on them would, you know, do stuff. But I don't) posting about her daughter's art.

By the time Eve was one and a half, according to various former teaching professionals she was holding a pencil 'correctly'. It should be noted that several of these former teaching professionals were related to her, and convinced that she was gifted, advanced and prodigiously talented in several areas, so bias should be assumed. Still, it was impressive -- she covered page after page with clouds of tiny circles, with single-minded fervour. My husband's uncle is an artist and teaches art students in B.C., and he took one to use as a teaching aid, to convince his students they didn't always have to draw 'horses, with pretty eyes'. Her second Christmas, Eve opened a huge pack of coloured pencils first, then lay on her tummy drawing for the rest of the day, ignoring the remaining pile of presents.
photo credit
creative commons license

It's been really fun watching her go through the developmental stages through her art. When she first started drawing people, everyone had to have belly buttons. She's gone through pencil stages and marker stages (never really took to crayons), and one stage where every drawing had to cover the entire page with no white showing. She draws mostly people or designs -- towering, elaborate, Seussical structures. Occasionally, for a birthday card or a bookmark, she makes these adorable tiny pictures of her and one other person -- the birthday child or Angus or me, usually. I love these tiny little gem-like pictures. So when I was making a framed scrapbook page for her friend Marianna's birthday, I thought it would be a great idea to get her to make one of her and Marianna and paste it on the scrapbook page. Charming, right? Involving her in the making of the gift! Her art would be hung on her best friend's wall forever! Or until the next redecoration! It was fabulous on so many levels.

Ugliest. Picture. Ever.

Apparently the stage she's going through right now is the Everyone Has Enormous Mutant Hands Stage. Also, she tries to draw her friends in the clothes they really like to wear, and Marianna often wears pants and a shirt. This caused problems straight away, as she came upstairs and lamented "I keep drawing the pants upside down!" The secondary effect was that she ended up drawing Marianna, a beautiful, delicate-featured little Greek girl, looking like a lumberjack with a serious glandular problem. AND enormous mutant hands.

Now if I was sticking to my parenting principles, I would have sucked it up and put the damned picture in the frame. I asked for the picture, she produced the picture, the picture was in play. Did I use the picture?

Like hell I did. This scrapbook page was a freaking work of art. It was all gorgeous little faces, heart-warming little girl embraces, beautiful patterned paper and meticulously scalloped edges. There was no place for enormous mutant hands.

We turned the drawing into a birthday card. I think I made the right call. But I feel a little dirty inside.


Anonymous said…
My own child did the bellybutton thing, and is starting on enormous hands. I'm sure it's a step up from NO hands, as she previously used to draw people, but I agree it's less than attractive.

You still used the picture on a card. It didn't go to waste. I wouldn't feel dirty at all. :)
Anonymous said…
good save, i think
alison said…
Rae's people have huge feet, like the Monty Python foot that comes down from the clouds to stomp on people. I think you did the right thing.
Rosemary said…
Aidan loved to paint, especially finger paint. When he was around 3I decided to put a collection of his pictures in a frame. I cut them up to place them in the 5 - 4x6 frame holes. It looked beautiful. He cried for days because I cut his pictures. He couldn't believe I CUT the pictures, he didn't care that I had them on the wall for all the world to see his beautiful art! Dana titled the pictures 'corpses'. So cut to a few months ago. The kid is now 9. Running up the stairs one day I hit the frame and it falls off the wall, the glass shatters and the frame falls apart. Aidan and I talk about how sad it is and that I'll fix it and then he says, 'but still you CUT my pictures and starts crying'.
I'm doomed. The moral of the story - i would get permission before cutting any of Eve's pictures regardless of how big the hands are!

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