• Features

    Digital Art for Kids

    Art isn’t just about paper and paints, in this day and age we mustn’t neglect that newest of art forms – digital art.  It’ll be interesting to see whether the arrival of the computer in the late 20th century turns out to have a similar effect as that of the arrival of photography on artists in the 19th century.  Then, arguably, it helped to kick-start the arrival of abstract art – after all, who could compete with a camera when it came to representation.  Artists had to paint something else, something that a camera, concerned only with surface reality, could not achieve – inner truths, emotions, etc.  Even in representational…

  • Display,  Storage

    Art Photobooks

    As the stack of artwork created by my children increases, I’ve been trying to devise ways of keeping and displaying the best, while being a little more ruthless about discarding the rest.  I’ve already mentioned the Art Portfolio posters which were one response to this, but another approach I’ve taken is to have some made up into Art photobooks – one for each child.  The idea being that every couple of years or so I have another made.  I love photobooks, they’re a wonderful way of displaying your photos at their best, and many companies offer lots of creative opportunities to personalise them further with colours, backgrounds, frames and of…

  • Features

    Interpreting your Child’s Artwork

    Children’s drawings, doodles and sketches have been the subject of study now for over a hundred years, and new theories and ideas about what they mean, how they develop, and how they can be used both educationally and therapeutically, are arising all the time. This week, I’m going to look at whether children’s drawings, especially younger children, can give any psychological insights into their character and thinking.  There is a school of thought that believes that children’s scribbles and doodles are in fact deeply revealing of intelligence, personality and emotional state, in the same way graphologists believe that handwriting is for adults.  Analysts will look at how the drawing sits…

  • Features

    Art & Creativity for Boys

    I feel the need to get on my soapbox again – it doesn’t happen very often, but increasingly, as the mother of 2 boys, I feel the need to defend their right to be creative, though it seems a little ridiculous that I should feel that way.  Over the Christmas holidays, we took a family visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MOSI).  It’s a wonderful free resource, full of steam engines, trains, planes, cars and other bits of technology, and they also have an interactive hands on science gallery specially for kids.  Being the holiday period it was busy, with lots of boys and girls.  While…

  • Features

    Learning to Draw

    This week I thought I’d take a look at how children’s artwork develops from their earliest scribbles and daubs, through to about the age of 11 or 12.  Although all children will show the same broad developmental stages, the age at which they are reached may vary a little from child to child.  In spite of this, within each stage every child will have their own particular style and characteristics which reflect their personality.  The terminology used for the different stages, does appear to vary somewhat according to the author you read, but broadly the development is as follows:   Stage 1: Beginnings The earliest stage, which begins at around…

  • Christmas,  Features

    Using Kids Artwork

    Today I was having a conversation with an acquaintance about children’s artwork and the service that Artful Kids provides. Many people comment that the finished result makes a good gift idea for grandparents, and she announced on hearing this that she didn’t think her parents would appreciate it because they have ‘proper art’ on their walls. I was genuinely shocked at this attitude, which may or may not have reflected the attitude of her parents, and thought that it was actually quite sad and insulting to children. Why is children’s artwork not considered to be ‘proper art’? Surely it is the way it is presented or regarded that determines how…