My Paintings Were Influenced by Kids Before I Had Kids

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There’s something magical about artwork made by children. Simple, unpretentious, natural. And usually pretty surreal. These are qualities that can be hard to achieve as an adult artist, because when we grow up we become all self-critical and fussy.

kid drawingssource: antiparrot

 

When I graduated from art school with a degree in Ceramics, I had a feeling I wouldn’t do much ceramics, but I had no idea I would gravitate to painting like I did. I painted for years and as my style evolved, it became increasingly simple, childlike and, well, weird.

Still I Will be Merry | Jeanette Nyberg

Still I Will be Merry, acrylic on board, 1998

 

I was drawn to these aspects of children’s art and when I was deep in the zone of making a painting I could tap into my inner 5 year old. I got wrapped up in pushing the paint around on the surface. I was delighted when I felt my subject matter effectively conveyed that mix of curiosity and unease that children can juggle around. Does that make sense? Maybe surreal is a better word than unease- kids are surreal. They say funny things and they are bizarre and those little imaginations are absolute perfection.

all too common | Jeanette Nyberg

All Too Common, acrylic on board, 1997

 

When my stepson was about 5 or 6, Christian and I would come up with things for him to draw, because we knew he would slay us with his awesome graphic little Sharpie drawings. We printed t-shirts and cards from some of his drawings, and we still have them tucked away. He’ll appreciate them when he’s a little older.

I can’t wait for Beckett to get to that stage- he’ll be my own little personal factory of cool drawings. I’m going to write a post soon on the stages of drawing that kids go through; it’s fascinating. I’m kind of babbling here, but I think you get the point that I like kids’ art.

Do you have a favorite kid drawing you just can’t part with? I wish we could have turned our kids’ artwork into books a few years ago- love these ideas for keeping your kids’ drawings around without having to keep all that bulky artwork.

doodle pendantYour kid’s artwork on a Doodle Tag from Mommytags.com

 

kid art book

 Kid artwork book made at Shutterfly. Image from Kayewinieckidesigns.com

 

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7 Comments

  1. 08/18/2012 / 7:47 am

    These ideas are so neat! I’ve bookmarked this post to come back to when my daughter is a little older 🙂

    • 08/19/2012 / 1:57 pm

      Yes, I guess if people are asking you if you’re breastfeeding, your daughter isn’t quite ready for a big art project yet. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  2. 08/19/2012 / 1:17 pm

    My 5 year old is very into all things drawing and arts and crafts right now. He absolutely loves it and creates these intricate drawings – mostly of maps and other buildings or the like. It’s pretty interesting to watch him recreate things that he’s seen only once or twice. Our art painting/drawing drawer is overflowing and I’m trying to figure out a way to contain it all! Or at least how best to preserve some of it. I love the idea of making a photo book!

    • 08/19/2012 / 2:00 pm

      Oh my- I love when kids get all into drawing intricate things. That’s so cool- if you feel like it, email me a map drawing of his and I’ll Facebook it. I’m dying to see them. As for the organization thing- I’ve even done posts on organizing art supplies, yet our house looks like someone vomited crayons and paper and paints everywhere. Sigh.

  3. 08/20/2012 / 10:07 am

    Love your painting! They really do capture the magic of childhood!!!

    Love kids art too and the stages. My son recently drew a picture of Spongebob that I love. I posted on FB! It is like my fav drawing ever!

  4. 09/02/2012 / 11:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of your work! Love it!

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