This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Free and Amazing Modern Art

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free and Amazing Modern Art

Looking for amazing and affordable modern art? If you have kids then you're in luck, as you'll have access to some of the best, most pure and free modern art ever! And if you don't have kids, you could ask your nieces/nephews or your friends kids if they'd make some drawings for you.  Still free!  Well...might cost you a sucker or two.

Now like most moms I face the dilemma of what artwork to keep and what artwork to throw away when it comes from my mini art geniuses. A while back I shared my system that works for us which includes making a digital art portfolio. But I also like hanging some of my kids more special work around the house. In fact in our living room gallery wall we have PSP's beloved flower above the ocean painting from preschool when she was 3 years old as seen below (far left).

Yesterday I finally framed these 3 pieces by Lamp and I love them! I love the pages filled with scribbles on a white background, with white mattes, in white frames on a white wall. Luckily these pieces made it through the move as these were done sometime in San Antonio when Lamp was 3.

The process of course was very easy. 1. Measure your child's art and 2. Go to Ikea (where I got my frames) or a similar store and buy the right size frame. Also, I LOVE using Command hanging strips to hang pictures around the home. No drills, no holes, no regrets. Seriously I just keep these on hand all the time now.

In regards to age, I think 2.5-3 years old happens to be the best age for amazing, free flowing, unique "modern" art. By 3 they have learned how to control their drawing instruments better, but they are still very unencumbered by rules or even drawing norms like houses, trees and stick figures. Don't get me wrong, I love those too! And find even though there is a commonality amongst them, they are still vastly unique. But there is something about the 3 year old mind that churns out really great art. And if you're one of those people whose not sure their kids scribbles count as art, you should check out the work of Cy Twombly. I love his work and these 3 pieces above totally remind me of Twombly--ha!

Now this is a more formal way to hang children's art, but thats what I love about it.  Putting a frame around these pieces instantly elevates them and they're right at home among other pieces of art and family photos.  However, I'm also wanting to create a place for them to hang art they like a little more freely, like a cork board gallery wall.

PSP had some of the most amazing, intricate drawings of roller coasters from when she was 3 and just last night I was KICKING myself again for not having her draw a roller coaster on one of my canvases as I had the idea of doing a collaboration. Sigh. That's some serious art regret there. I hope you're saving and treasuring these art pieces of your little ones--they're amazing as art, but also beautiful little time capsules around your home. And if you have an idea like me, act on it!  The time will be gone before you know it and you can't get it back. Tear drop.  Also, I think this is another way to let children know you value them and their work.  As an artist I know it would have meant the world to me if my parents had hung some of my work around the house.  But even if they don't grow up to be artists, or if it doesn't really boost their self esteem, I'd still hang it up simply because I love it.

How do you display your children art around the home--or do you?  Do you have a system for preserving their art?  Ever have any regrets over throwing art out or not enjoying it more at the time?  


  1. Hi Miggy, I love this post! I have an almost-2 year old who brings home copious amounts of 'art' from daycare. I feel guilty tossing any of it, but have learned to filter. We hung wires in a corner of her playroom, near her coloring table, and I clip her school art and things she does at home on the wires. We appreciate it for awhile and then move on. And she likes to hang things up, and then get them down to keep 'working' on them. Some items are just so endearing (the pumpkin she made at Halloween with all the face pieces in the wrong place!) that I've framed them for long-term appreciation. Thanks for the post, these are great ideas for saving kid's artwork (and great motivation to encourage their creativity).

    1. Jennifer--Thanks! And I like the idea of the wire--a place for the pieces you can't part with just yet, but don't want to keep forever. Perfect! And yes, I think encouraging children can go a long way.

  2. hi Miggy! Love that you do this with your kids art! I took my kids "art" to a local print shop and had them laminated...then used them as place mats at meal times! The kids loved choosing which one they wanted and during the meal there were always stories invented about the pictures. I still have the art placemats and my kids turn 20 in a week! Hoping someday to use them with the grandkids and tell them all about how their daddy made it...

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