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15. Keep your children’s drawings and paintings. Put the best on in frames.

Urs Truly doesn’t have children, so I am bereft of such works of art. All my brothers followed this advice that their kitchens and offices are full up with objects d’art from the early periods of their children’s artistry. These are usually done in the genera of crayon or magic maker: they are framed or tacked up onto activity boards. Overall I prefer The Old Masters. To my untrained mind, all kiddie-art looks alike, resembling ersatz Pollacks but done in primary or neon colors. How one goes about determining ‘the best’ must a tough one. The House Manager at work seems to have avoided this task by putting everything up; her office is covered in her children’s drawings.

I imagine parents regularly receive the bounty of their child’s oeuvre and what to do with it all must be a challenge. I suppose one cannot become an art critique and tell Junior you’d hoped the monster works would have been a limited series and you shouldn’t waste your talent but move on and let’s throw this one out shall we. Rotating the works, like they do in the art museums, is an option as kitchen wall space is limited.

I don’t recall my late Mother putting up my early works, but discovered she kept several of my drawings which she put in an accordion file which I got when she died. I have memories of drawing only some of them. I am not sure what to do with these. Out of whimsy, I thought to put a few up on the fridge or at the Mesa office, but they are painful to look at; after all no artist likes to look back on his or her early works. “Did your children do them?” I hear patients asking me, which is a dumb question really as who else but a parent would do such a thing? I would have to explain I don’t have children but I drew them in kindergarten which would probably get odds looks and serves me right. Oh the pain.

What I remember vividly is Mother framed my first attempts at painting, which were done in acrylics. My parents were quite fond of them. In contrast to see them drove me to distraction as the errors in them were blatant and embarrassing. I did keep one of them though. It was attempt to draw some boats and seagulls on a gray foggy day. I suppose it wasn’t bad for a first timer; it was the best of the lot Mother got framed and were still in the house when we closed it. The painting now stands in the Phoenix office on top of the bookshelf, far enough away I can’t see the awful details. I suppose this is as close as I am going to get to the mentioned advice ‘put the best in frames’. It has slightly improved my life to do so. Mother certainly improved me life slightly to keep these early Spo works. Would any one like one? I have heaps.

Spo-fans with children in their lives: do you put up their artwork, and where?

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