Your view of artwork in art museums changes as you go through phases of your life. A teenager might love the rebellious artwork. An art major will develop a growing appreciation for art history. A twenty-something adult living on their own in the city might develop an appreciation for Edward Hopper.
As a parent of a toddler and kindergartener, my view of fine art has been transformed in a way I would have not foreseen. Take this artwork, “At the Pont Sully” by Louis Auguste Lepère.
This artwork randomly appeared in my browser, thanks to the Art Institute of Chicago’s ArtTab Chrome extension. (I love this daily stream of serendipity art. It’s amazing how much this helps me make connections with random pieces of artwork.)
Whenever I encounter line-based artwork like this, I immediately think:
“This would make a great coloring page for the kids! I wonder how they would color it.”
Over the past months I’ve been collecting JPGs of artwork, and printing them for my kids to color. One of these days I’ll make a page on spudart.org that aggregates a list of artwork that is suitable to color.
Perhaps I’ll also include scans of how my kids colored the artwork. For now I just wanted to share this simple observation of how prints and sketches in a museum’s collection has extra life for a parent of kids that love to color. You don’t even have to be a parent. You can be the person who loves to color random artwork that was never meant to be colored.