Displaying Children’s Art
Children are so creative aren’t they? Give any 7 year-old a paintbrush and some paint and they’ll have no problem attempting a masterpiece. But what do you do with said masterpiece when they bring it home and proudly present it to you? To display or not to display, that is the question!
All my kids (being very talented little wonders) have at some stage during their education, brought home their own works of art. What have I done with them?
Well the best of them I’ve framed and hung in carefully chosen places. It’s amazing how much a quality frame can transform a child’s naïve painting into what might appear to be a modern abstract!
Single pictures, especially large ones, can literally act as a starting point. My daughter had several large canvases that she painted for her A Level Art course. One of them now takes pride of place in my kitchen – the black and white colourway being the inspiration for the colour of the walls and tiling.
But just like any other picture or accessory which you place in your home it should, in my opinion, reflect the colour and styleof the room.
I used one of my daughter’s plasticine collages (that she did at an arts and crafts summer school when she was 10) to add a certain ‘focus’ to my study. The furniture and soft furnishings are rather plain and business-like, so the collage seems to draw you to the desk like a target board. I picked out a purple colour in one of the circles and reflected it in a feature wall.
But if you have difficulty throwing away any of the masterpieces lovingly created by children, it’s better to group them together as a unit.
There’s always the ‘ pegging on the line’ technique which can look quite attractive if you manage to make it look random, yet interesting. Again the trick is to keep a colour theme and link it in some way to the colour scheme of the room or the surrounding features.
But the traditional way of grouping – by mounting together in one space, undoubtedly has its style advantages.
This great way of ‘grouping’ using clipboards is so versatile. Think how many permutations you could have in a year!
A collection of different sized and coloured frames arranged on a green wall is complemented with bright white chairs and table. The link between the yellow vase and the yellow frame ties the design together.
My favourite example of grouping though has to be this lovely room. Children’s paintings (of people and cats) have been mounted in small, white, square frames and hung closely together to form one large rectangle. Your eye is drawn to the delightful pictures and then it takes in the co-ordinating fabrics of the cushions and rug. And what a clever choice is the delicate, layered lampshade, mirroring the square frames but opposing their symmetry with a clump-like design!