My Artistic Son

This is a picture of him thinking about pirates and how much he loves them.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a naked piece of paper at my house. Nearly 99.9 percent of all pages in our home have at least one doodle somewhere across their surface – especially if they are notebook bound.

This is a bleeding shark. Notice the frame? Yes, we had to make it a paper frame.

You see my four-year-old son has transformed into a full-blown artist, drawing for hours each day on anything he can get his hands on.

It is also difficult to find a working pen at our house. That’s my son’s true medium of choice – pen and hand-held notebook. He’ll draw for hours with a small book in hand, ripping each page out and handing it to me when it is “finished.”

What’s wrong with him drawing so much? I love my little artist but it’s nearly impossible to get him to do anything when

This is a whale shark eating tiny fish or plankton.

He found out I loved unicorns and so he went through a unicorn phase.

he’s drawing. He tunes the world out and focuses on his work. Forget about him coming to dinner and you can kiss cleaning his room goodbye. He always seems to be “almost finished” with each picture when I ask him to come. It’s been a major frustration for me at our house lately.

Honestly I am glad that he has found something creative and inspiring that he enjoys – it beats throwing rock at windows,

chasing me with muddy worms or beating up his 2-year-old brother. Who knows, maybe in 10 years I will beg him to draw instead of getting into trouble as a mischievous teenager.

This is a tracing from a toy gun. Notice the heart. He told me that means he loves guns.

But there is another problem with his new hobby. I am running out of display room in my home for his finished pieces. Normally I hang them up for a few days on our crowded fridge front. Then I save some of my favorites and toss the rest. I wish I could save more but we’re talking about dozens of pages each day.

I bet if you pieced together each of his drawings end to end, they’d reach halfway to China – mostly because he refuses to draw on the “back” of pages. He has to have a clean, fresh canvas for his masterpieces.

These are humans being eaten by sharks. Notice the blood?

I worry that one of these days he’ll see some of his work in the trash and it will crush him. I also worry that I will regret getting rid of his work. Maybe one day he’ll be famous like Van Gogh or Monet and I’ll want to show off his early shark-dinosaur-monster period.

Seriously, it has been fun to look at his drawings from six months ago and see how much he has grown as an artist. He’s getting really good. I’m amazed at his creativity and attention to detail. I love that his drawings allow me to see what goes through his preschool mind.

I particularly love how he depicts me – normally with angry eyebrows. Maybe I should let up on him a little and be happy that he has found something innocent that he truly loves.

This is one of his pictures of me. Notice the angry eyebrows and teeth?

This is another one of my favorites.

This is one of my favorites. It's a cat.

This picture is of a whale and three hammerhead sharks.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Joy Petersen
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 08:45:14

    He has real talent! He is going to have such fun if he pursues and cultivates his talent in school.

    I feel the same way about the work that Asher and Abbie (mostly Abbie) create. I started to take a picture of each piece. I am going to put them together in a shutterfly notebook.

    When they are old enough to understand why I would be throwing it away, I would tell them I was taking a picture and saving it, then recycling their paper so that more can be made for them to draw on.


  2. Amanda
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 15:30:39

    I’m totally stealth at throwing things away, but I have boxes for each kid of things I do save for them. I’m to the point now where when it gets overwhelming, I have THEM decide which ONE (or maybe two) to save and they know the rest get thrown out. If he’s having a really hard time with it, buy him a “special” notebook and explain that if he wants to keep his picture, he has to leave it in the book and not rip it out, then at least everything will be in one place! Good luck! I have a little artist here too and it’s fun to see what’s going on in her little mind!


  3. Christie
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 21:18:08

    Oh how this post rings so many bells….the artistic kid, the angry eyes….although it was two different children. And be glad you are throwing some out now, because once he gets older, you can never toss things from his younger years. Trust me.


    • Natalie
      Apr 01, 2011 @ 07:39:26

      Yeah, I figure I need to stay on top of it or I’ll have a bigger problem on my hands in the future. I love his stuff but it’s hard when it comes in mass quantities!


  4. jac
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 15:11:24

    I am laughing out loud at the angry eyebrows! Claire used to draw our family and then scribble me out. Every time. That was a good stage. You think she was trying to tell me something? Now it’s all kitties and hearts and rainbows and her name and “I lvoe Mom.” Much better.

    I do love that he’s a boy and still feels good about having hearts on his drawings. Fun post!


    • Natalie
      Apr 02, 2011 @ 22:17:59

      That is so funny that Claire would cross you out in photos. Kids are so funny. I love that I can be the angry mom to my four-year-old but when he needs comfort for anything he comes running to me. He definitely is in touch with his feminine side. His favorite color used to be pink 🙂


  5. Alissa
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 05:01:29

    Natalie. this was my favorite post to read so far while in China. please make a trail of his pictures so that i can receive them over here! You can always send them to me, i hang them on my bare walls and everyone loves looking at them. you should do the box thing like mom did with our stuff. i laugh so hard when i go through and see all of the pictures i had drawn. i know there was a million things that mom had to throw away, but i cant remember them now and im sure in the future he wont remember certain drawings either!


  6. Annette Cutler
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 14:37:18

    When Ryan was little, he did this, too. And, I had the hardest time parting with most of them. So I scanned them into the computer and saved them all. He especially liked it when I would put them on “Slide Show” and be able to see all of his masterpieces. ^_^


  7. Jennifer
    Apr 15, 2011 @ 15:50:39

    why not just scan the pictures on a scanner and make a disk or dvd rom to save them to? then years down the road, you can print them off if you want.


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