Friday, September 26, 2014

"Art On The Line"

We have a family clothesline art show and sale at least once each year. For several reasons. First is the art educator's obvious position. Every person has something to say, and for many, a drawing, painting or sculpture is the way it is said best. Public recognition and appreciation for one's efforts affirms those expressions, born in abundance at grandma's house where a bounty of art supplies is always available. Here, grandchildren enjoy open invitation to finger paint for the first time at age one or culminate six years of practiced experience in a carefully detailed mixed media masterpiece. These works - all of them - are carefully signed, dated and stored away for the next show. And yes. I am aware of the accusation by some that these days "little Johnny" is excessively praised for the faintest academic effort. I think they're crazy. Excessive? Mind your own business! Over here, grandma and grandpa swoon over every little squiggle and finger painted wiggle and pay big sticker prices for them too. We're grandparents. And that's our job. (DUH!)

Family art shows introduce entrepreneurship too. When little artists observe family members gobbling up their contributions, they recognize that productivity has value. They see, too, that a successful event requires careful planning and cooperative preparation.

At ages four and six, my oldest grandchildren are not too young to offer suggestions on invitations, traffic flow and set up. They show up early to fill popcorn bags and sort and clip artwork for display.

It's not a good idea to sell a food product unless you've tasted it yourself. We handle this task with competent vigor!

When parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents arrive, kids serve as gracious hosts, selling refreshments and seeing to the needs of their patrons with an enthusiasm that is an art form in itself! At show's conclusion, their kid sized wallets bulge with cash to count and save for spending and donating in appropriate percentages. That's important lifelong learning too!

Kaylee, at age one, does not take well to being left out. That's age discrimination! She does a brisk business renting shopping baskets and finding buyers for her original finger paintings.

Scrapbook paper makes excellent framing for a child's artwork. Use purchased mat board frames as templates or cut custom sizes using a quilter's rotary wheel and cutting board. Attach small photos of artists in action too, for a special touch.

Within moments of opening, our clothesline is picked clean, baskets brim with fine art in a wide range of media, and patrons and artists alike report nothing but satisfaction!

And Angeline? Have you any comment on your first family art show experience?

"Sure, grandma! I came. I shopped. I bagged my own purchase!"

And, like the rest of the event, darn if it didn't end up being a perfect fit!

See how much we've grown! Here's where you'll find the story of our very first Clothesline Art Show, Sale and Auction in 2012.


  1. A fun project, and yes, grandparents are required to gush.

  2. Having 2 new artist to join the exhibition made this the best one yet! I still can't get over how much they have grown! You are such a good Grandma!

  3. I love every How wonderful!
    For me, children's art work is priceless.

    Truly inspiring post. :)

  4. Looks like the fabulous looking show was a great success, and I love how you mounted the art on colourful, patterned paper. I also love the quality control part for the food. I'm seeing definite enthusiasm in the photo!

  5. " Mind your own business" ha ha you crack me UP!

    Kids all look adorable, love their sweet little pieces of art and the only trouble I have with this post is that here I am eating a tomato sandwich for lunch and absolutely craving popcorn now...

  6. I love that idea of a family art show! When I was a nanny we had an art wall, and I would hang up all of their art work, changing the seasonal things out from time to time. I hope I can have a family art show someday!

  7. If I had only had just one person in my family who had half the artistic talent you have maybe I could draw a straight line without a ruler and then it is crooked. This is such an absolutely wonderful event for the little and big children in your family. I thought the family carnival was the absolute best but I think it may be tied with this event. I love this artistic, financial, and charitable opportunity you create for your grandchildren. My hat is off to you again. :-)

  8. What a great idea, and carried out with such panache!

  9. My goodness - how they have grown. I love the idea of lavish praise - if nothing else it is a good example to our kids/grandkids of a way to show appreciation to others for work well done. They see us giving compliments and learn to give them to others. The most wonderful compliment I ever received was from my grandson, while we were baking cookies and he was tasting the dough and he said "You are really good at being my Grammy" - my heart melted!!!

    I love the artist cookies from the other show too - what a clever idea. Everyone looks like they had an ideal art show - fun, some good hard work and at the end the praise and cash for their hard work - you've taught good lessons all around.

    It warms my heart whenever I read your blog - it is like snuggling into a warm blanket on a chilly winter day - happiness and joy spread around in a family. Memories that will last forever and be passed down through the years.

  10. My mother has always said: what goes on at grandmas, stays at grandmas. I guess parents are loosing a battle here. LOL. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  11. How much fun! I can't wait to visit my g kids I wish they were closer. Thanks for sharing at the party this week @DearCreatives Theresa

  12. Your grandchildren are adorable and I love how pretty the scrapbook framed artwork looks!

  13. What a fun event.. for the grownups and the children.. I love all the artwork, they must be so proud to sell their art.. Your grandchildren are all adorable. Cute post. Have a happy new week! BTW, thanks for the visit to my blog..

  14. You make every day special! And this art will be saved for years to come! Sweet hugs, Diane

  15. Hilarious as usual! Oh my gosh, I need to have a FUNd raiser for my Kids Club. This would be a great I need time to pull it off!