Art Take Over!

It’s Sunday and I really needed to have a break and be in my own head-space. Dan has been out all day with the girls and it’s been so peaceful. But I’m never alone. There are always delightful surprises carefully placed around the home to remind me of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband and loving daughters. Of course, some surprises aren’t quite so pleasurable; long forgotten apple cores under the sofa and smelly socks tucked in an obscure corner. A part of me thought I should take the day to relax; but in many ways simply being in my home alone is good for the soul – even when I am cleaning! I don’t find cleaning a chore when I’m free to start and finish a task without interruption. Free to make a cup of tea when I want it and actually have the time to enjoy it slowly (as opposed to a rushed consumption when it’s far too hot; or forgetting about it entirely and then remembering it when it’s stone cold).

When I did take a break today and opened the book I’m currently reading I was greeted with a beautiful surprise. Where I’d turned over the corner of the page there was a beautiful bookmark, which Charlotte had lovingly penned and cut out in a perfect rectangle and secretly placed between the pages! The other photograph is of some paper coasters she’d made and placed on our bedside tables. There were four each (because she’s four!). She’d even left four in Sophie’s room. These are the things she does at bedtime, unbeknown to us, when we think the light’s off for the night!

And last night she placed little ‘stick person’ drawings on the wall either side of where we sleep, along with some other surprises. She’d also put one on her bedroom door and Sophie’s door – but instead of the letters ‘D and M’ (for Daddy and Mummy) there are the letters S and C (for Sophie and Charlotte).

Later today, as I continued with my cleaning and pottered around the house I smiled at every corner. Artwork is rapidly taking over every possible wall-space. And it’s the best art work of its kind; that which is made with love and the carefree expression of children. I frequently leave the house covered in paint smears on my clothes, hands and even in my hair. People ask if I am an artist and I reply, “More of a facilitator and cleaner”. I used to dabble in some amateur artwork before the children arrived and would love to take some courses in a few year’s, but for now I’m happy to provide and clean-up!

I struggle to find a home for the volume of artwork that’s being created and have started sending some to family and friends. It would be lovely to keep a few pieces for the girls to look back on in years to come – but at this rate I’ll need to hire a container to store it all in! Taking photographs of their work and keeping a record on this blog will also help. Here are some other of Charlotte’s creations:

Below is a drum she made for me and a lovely necklace with wool and a shell she found on the beach:

Sophie, who will be two-and-a-half at the end of June also loves to paint. She loves textures and layering the paints. With a pen she now sits and pretends to write letters to people. As she draws circles and lines she reads out a story of what she’s been doing recently. I should really record her doing it one day as it’s so delightful to listen to.

Here are a couple of Sophie’s pieces (I love the coral reef like painting – she got lucky with the way the acrylic paint responded to the canvas and used lots of water too!):

And finally, the artists at work (and one of Sophie getting some inspiration at Te Papa!):