Here’s a little project I’ve been working on this week. I wish I could remember where I saw this originally, but it’s been so long that I can’t. It was in an article or a post on unique ways to archive and display kids artwork, and I remember thinking that I should do something like that with E’s work (and now F’s). My artwork storage solution to date is a long Rubbermaid tub for each girl. I don’t keep everything, but I do try and keep things that are unique or that show something new, a new concept they are trying out, or a new way of looking at objects or materials or a medium. And of course, I keep those gifts and cards made over the years. I scan all those items before I put them in the bin, and keep them in a separate folder. As the pile in the box gets closer and closer to the top, I take them out, look through them again (which is always fun to do), and sort out some that seem to be pretty well represented in the box, like the twenty or so Magic House paintings that we have, all done with the same type brushes and the same four colors. I don’t feel so bad about recycling some of this stuff because a.) I have a copy scanned, and b.) I don’t do it front of the girls. That’s never a good idea!
I’ve gone through E’s artwork file and selected forty-two pieces that cover a range of ages from nine months to the present. I’ve resized them down to 2.25 inches square and arranged them on a template in Photoshop and printed them out onto high gloss photo paper.
I laid out fifty-four squares on 24″ x 36″ archival mat board, and cut them out with an x-acto blade. This part is not fun, but doesn’t take too long once you get into it. Great care was taken, particularly at the end, not to slip with the knife and mess up on one of the last squares. I would have been much more annoyed to screw up the work than having to shell out another $16 for the mat.
The small thumbnail sketches were cut out and arranged randomly on the mat, affixed to the back with photo tape. This was as far as I got last night. I’ll wrap it up tonight and show you the results, plus tell you about the frame. The idea is that this is a changing collection (and will, over time, include more from F), so being able to disassemble and reassemble easily is a must. So far, I think it’s working out well…