Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What is Art? (Or Product Endorsement)

In college, I took a philosophy class to fill one of my general education requirements. The midterm paper was 5 pages on "What is Art". I stayed up late the night before and wrote the whole thing. I got an 'A' because I am so good at recognizing art, apparently.

I had an opportunity recently to recognize a form of art that has been around for as long as there have been children and writing utensils.

My sweet children found a pencil and a black permanent marker. There were pencils scribbles all along the walls and inside the closets at about a two-year-old's height level.

There were some marker streaks on the walls, a little on my brand new windowsills, some on the bigger toys in the family room (that's where the two-year-old was caught), there was marker all over the wooden bunk bed. Then, the pièce de résistance... on the bedspread of the lower bunk, was spelled out (in 4-year-old fashion) "dady" and the names of my angel children. The writing was decorated with lots of lines and swirls and scribbles (which I'm guessing were the 2-year-old's addition).

The paint in the affected bedroom was supposed to be a "special" paint that will allow marker to be wiped right off. Apparently "marker" didn't mean permanent marker or pencil. With very little hope, I bought a Magic Eraser. (I actually bought the Target brand, which was about half the price.)

I brought it home and I was very pleased with how well it cleaned the marker off of the wall. Then I thought, what the heck... I might as well try it on the bed too. I was amazed! Three magic erasers (and very sore hands and shoulders) later, the marker is almost completely gone. The bed spread will not come clean, but it is reversible and can be turned over.

I may not know art, but I know what I like.... I like that magic eraser.


M.A. said...

Unfortunately, Magic Eraser had not yet been invented when J. was in his wall art period.

wordsfromhome said...

My most memorable similar even was not so artful. Your oldest sister came to me in Grandma's kitchen while we were taking care of their house. (You were a toddler and she was about seven) She held up the pencil and said please don't get mad, I don't know why I did it, I just had to. We went to the bedroom (Grandma's guest room,) and on the wall, by the bunk bed ladder, was a black, filled in 2" square of pencil. Also came of with a log of scrubbing.
One question- I know you do not want to encourage this particular type of graffitti art, but it sounds like the bedspread has some priceless art on it that should be preserved and left art-side up.

Allie said...

It's funny, I actually have had several people tell me that I ought to have other family members write on it so that it is evenly covered.

I've also had the suggestion to stitch over the writing.

For now it stays on the bed writing side up. With everything else cleaned up, the bedspread doesn't seem as awful as it did originally.

(not that I plan on encouraging more of this sort of decorating)