Turning Your Peanut Into a Picasso

5 Steps to Turn Your Child's Art Into Masterpieces

A little background first.

I had a three year stint as a stay-at-home mother during which some of my inner talents and loves suddenly came to life. After an entire lifetime in hiding, I a pin board has been transformed into bright burgundy with multiple white stars in a repeating pattern. On it is pinned a flyer for 'Three Teaspoons of Vintage', on which there are various photos of refinished pieces.experienced a powerful explosion of self-discovery. Among those loves was the ability to salvage the old, the vintage, the antique, and to turn them into pieces worthy of hanging on the walls in my home. For photos and inspiration from this period in my life, read Three Teaspoons of Vintage: Appreciating Beauty in the Old

Making Old Things New Again

I still, to this day, once outside of the medical office, love colors, art and design.

It never leaves me. It’s part of who I am, once I was acquainted with my passion. I even think it heightened my senses inside of the office, as a practitioner, and helped me to better connect with my patients.

Does Art Equal Better Doctoring?

Does my right-brained exploration make me a better physician?

I searched the topic and found some interesting takes on that view point. An interesting read was a Forbes article titled Can Studying Art Help Medical Students Become Better Doctors?, which stated that “it seems that students with more ‘right brain’ qualities–related to imagery, visual and drawing skills–have begun to emerge as more successful in today’s digital, image-based world of medicine.” Eureka

(to the right is a creation I made as a child, recreating and reinterpreting a famous Picasso work) 

Another source wrote on the focus on art in medicine by stating that a “[small but growing number of medical professors] argue that education in the humanities and the arts is the best antidote to the kind of tunnel vision that can lead to misdiagnosis and the lack of empathy that is eroding the doctor-patient relationship.” The article, How Arts Education Can Help Create Better Doctors, was posted in the Globe and Mail.

On a regular basis, I like to feel inspired to come up with new, unique ways to not only enjoy myself out with my husband, my children, my friends (there are so many ways of exploring art and uniqueness in a single night out. I recently wrote a blog post named The Queen of Hearts Brandishes a Knife about a few of these fantastic nights), but also to surround myself with inspirational things.

You May Be Looking Down on that Word, THINGS.

When I think of the word ‘things’, I picture clutter.

It’s a word that’s often looked down on, as in the ‘accumulation of things in one’s possession’, and the negatives that arise from its connotation give even me the chills. However, I’d like to share some of the beautiful things that I’ve chosen to hold on to and that have become near and dear to my heart.

Some of these things include work that my kids have dabbled in. Their artwork, to me, can be inspirational, and so can yours. Our children love to doodle and chicken scratch. Sure, they’re known to make some gasp-worthy works, tucked away in their memory bin, only to be sorted through later and thrown into the trash. Oh, but not by me. *gulp*

Hidden amongst the piles of ABC’s and color polka dots, I find works that, when looked at from the right angle, are masterpiece-worthy.

Here are some samples of our household’s ‘masterpieces’:

A colorful painting framed in black, showing a bright blue river flanked by green grass, with a bridge across the page. Under the bridge nd over the water are many flowers of various colors: pink, purple, red.


Hidden amongst the piles of ABC’s and color polka dots, are works that, when looked at from the right angle, are masterpiece-worthy.


Three eggs laying next to one another are drawn in oil pastels, each with appropriate shading, against a background of many colors. It is signed Adam Corriel at bottom right, and sits framed in its white frame, atop my mantle, next to a display of flowers


My Advice

My advice is to comb through the countless pieces of art projects the little guys bring home from school, their friend’s house, or afternoon activities. Or simply hand them a paper and markers, or crayons, or pastels. Even washable paints will work.

They’ll be on the road to success because you’ve handed them the tools.

Once that one piece, the one you want to display, is selected, choose an affordable frame, from your local discount store or even Ikea or Home Goods (here’s a nice black one from Amazon), or simply go to your local garage sale and pick up an old painting with a gorgeous frame. Reframe your masterpiece inside or even paste it on the front. You can even have some fun and paint the frame, or spray it a different color. Here is yet another option: a versatile way of hanging little cards, pictures, wise words on a stretched twine with clothespin can be purchased here.

Innovation is key.

Some Pointers For Salvaging Children’s Artwork


Set art aside

When they come home from school with a finished project, create a pile for storage to go through later. Then, when you have the time and patience (and feel inspired), take the time to go through the work slowly.

Consider each piece.

Look at each piece and think not just of the classic art periods, but also of modern ones. It’s ok if it doesn’t look exactly like something. That’s the whole point of art. In fact, I personally like those pictures better. Don’t forget that Warhol put together cans of Campbell soup. And Pollock dripped-and-splashed.


Once you’ve chosen the art piece, choose a complimentary frame to display it in. You have several options here: new, used (garage or estate sale), or recycled (your own that you no longer have hanging up). Change it up at your leisure.


Choose a place that fits the picture. Don’t be scared to mix it up with famous works, or, as I have running up my stairs, within pictures of the fam.

Child involvement.

Involve your child. Have them help decorate to the frame or decide where it’s best to hang up the picture.

Encourage your child to draw- you never know what work of art he'll create!


Your child’s face will now glow with pride as you fill your home with things they have made. You may even get a few extra squeezes tonight, and we all know that’s what matters most.


Oil pastel on canvas of a lonely brown barn, amidst a field of different shaded greens, with the setting sun in the background, yellow, red and pink.

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