Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery

Basically, our kids destroying the house, one installation at a time, while we're not looking.
I'd love it if you were to send me any examples from your collection if you don't mind them featuring in the Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery.

Which is your favourite?

Toddler Art #1 - SPRINKLES

This was going to be called: “Can you put that down. Please. No. You can't have any hundreds and.”


Caribbean Green Crayola crayon on Lilac Echo Dulux Light and Space Matt Finish.

This bold piece is possibly one of the first works created by The Artist.

The space covered by this lively expression is the full-arms reach of the Toddler prodigy.

Un-inhibition is what drives this work.

The flow of continuous, unpredictable, curves is set against the impact of contrasting green attacking a backdrop of hinted purple.

These could be said to be gathered in nine epicentres of energy split across two implied rows. With a signature atop.

A signoff, if you will, that almost says “Ha.”

Its location next to the sofa - the traditional seat of relaxation - is of course ironic.


Black permanent marker pen on Lilac Echo Matt Dulux emulsion.

This simple statement is, we think, the Artist's first recorded use of black permanent marker pen.

(We have no idea where the pens come from, having attempted to lock up, hide or burn any inked instrument in the house).

Funnily enough, The Artist has chosen to site “Fence Behind Your Head” on our attempt to paint out a previous more complex work rendered in red permanent marker pen.

Is this deliberate? Who knows.

If it is, then perhaps it's significant that the fence appears to be broken.


This is a very rare sighting of one of The Artists captured next to one of their pop-up works.

They prefer to work in anonymity.

We should stress, again, that no pens or art materials are provided to The Artist, which perhaps makes the works more of an event when they appear.

Red Permanent Marker Pen on Dry-Wipe Whiteboard.

We like the pose with the toy hammer.

A provocative visual statement of denial.


Graphite 5B Pencil (we think) on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion

Interesting that the artist has chosen pencil for this work.

(No pencils are made available to The Artist.
We have no idea where it came from or where it went).

A mocking echo of the decorative willow sticks behind which the work appears.

We think this says (with temporary impudence) that the sticks may be contained, but my freeflowing lines are not.


Graphite 5B Pencil (we think) and Nutella (we think) on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion

A temporary pre-dirty protest.


Graphite 5B Pencil (we think) and Nutella (we think) on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion

We think this is a companion piece to "Pencil Food".

It appeared on the opposite side of the same wall.

There looks like an "O" and even possibly an "E" in a nod to the identity of The Artist.

Or maybe it's a sigh. 

We think it's a sigh.


Standard Bic Biro (black) on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion

At first glance this is a simple design, but if we look closer we'll see The Artists have arranged a playful vignette of a Doctor's Desk scenario to call the work out into a third dimension.

"Maybe the doctor was waming up a pen. Maybe the doctor got bored and wanted to see what this does. It's a biro and it works."

The clinical lines give a level of restraint and even order to this work which should be commended.


It's very rare for us to see a work from The Artists on the same eye-line as an adult.

(Which makes dating the works a near impossible task).

5B graphite pencil (we think) on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion

When one like this appears, you have to marvel at the ingenuity that has gone into even getting the work there.

Again, as ever, no drawing materials are provided to The Artists, and yet they can still finagle a way to get the work up and be away before anyone has the chance to notice or challenge them.

This work is a more complex development from, say, "Two Lines from my Doctor's Desk":-

It says "We're passionate about food and eating."

But it also marks out only one of the dining positions.

Exalting this chair above all the others around the table.

This place is special, now.


Blue Crayola Crayon on Crown Pure Brilliant White Premium Matt emulsion for interior walls & ceilings

This is one of the many works by The Artists which could be put in their category of "Blink and you'll miss it".

And maybe that is the point of this work.

Maybe it's a play on the concept of grass roots communication.

A simple line next to a landline socket that no longer works.

A termination point.

And we'll only see it if we're looking for it.

Who knows how many more of these we'll find around the house.

#11 - Hand Traffic Brown

Brown Crayola Crayon, or Nutella, or Marmite on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion

We have no idea what substance is used for the brown pigment on this work.

The Artists have managed to give this work a sense of urgency.

The effect might even have been created over a number of sittings, building up this blur of energy that hugs the corner of this supporting wall.

You are left with the impression that The Artists are there, even when they have long since gone.


Felt pens, red, green, and... blue

The red/blue side by side is a theme in the work of one of the contributing Artists.

His obsession with 3-D sitting underneath a cloud of green.

This is called 'Artist with "Red Green Blue Hallway You"'.
(He only uses The Dummy to protect the anonymity of his Street Art).


Charcoal on Dulux Emulsion, Lilac Echo

Are these letters?

Clues spelling out the authorship of this piece?

Or is it meant to evoke kerning without actually saying anything?

#14 - Behind The Door...

#15 - Marks Behind Bars

#16 - Marks On The Bars

#17 - Flat Wall or 3-D?

#18 - Green Around The Whiteboard

#19 - Brooklyn Bridge In Red
- New York In Red

#20 - Lines Ajar

#21 - Biro On Sofa

#22 - Sunset Media Horizon

But there's more...

Above, to introduce a third dimension, The Artist has placed a parting shot.

#23 - Crayon Mirror

In the absence of conventional artistic materials, The Artist not only comments on this through the use of a candle... but also eschews his favourite canvas of the wall, to introduce the dining room mirror as a backdrop.

Literally reflecting his work on whomever wants to view.
(It was also nearly impossible to capture this work on camera).

#24 - Hand Food Wall

This work creates and capitalises on negative space.

#25 - Pencil No Food

Almost as an answer to "Pencil Food", after the inevitable repainting The Artist embarked on "Pencil No Food".

Perhaps conveying a frustration or a dissatisfaction with the destruction of the earlier piece.

#26 - Hand Wall Food

Developing the themes of "Hand Food Wall", came this. "Hand Wall Food"

#27 - Artist with biro swirl

#28 - Mirror Green Bum

#29 - Whirlee Kills

Pink ASDA Chunky Chalks Chalk on Red plastic Whirlee
Think it's obvious which one of the two (boy, girl) Artists is responsible with this.

It's almost reminiscent of the 'kills' scorecard on a World War II fighter aircraft.

Perhaps it's a count of new artworks delivered around the house from the Artist.

#30 - Sugar and Spice and All Things LINES

5B Graphite Pencil on Pink Mothercare changing mat

We think this might be a work by the female Artist.

If so, it could be seen as a commentary on pre-determined gender roles.

Or maybe it's just a warming up of the pencil used in "PENCIL RAMPAGE"


5B Pencil on B&Q Value Brilliant White Matt Emulsion

This is Pencil Rampage.

It's a rampage. With a Pencil.

Across most of the landing.

It might also have taken in the baby changing mat (see "Sugar And Spice And All Things LINES") as part of this work.

We cannot be sure.

#32 - Pink Lines Chair

Candy Pink ASDA Play chalk on beige IKEA chair cover fabric

We like the temporary medium provided by the chair.

The fleeting definite lines draw your eye to the seat.

It's like an invitation to look, but not sit.

The singular direction of the marks is broken by a lone line that refuses to conform.

Maybe this mark is a parting shot: the chalk floats the possibility of not fitting in.


Coloured pencil (Red, Orange, Purple, Pink, Yellow, Brown, Dark Blue, Light Blue) on B&Q White Matt Brilliant White Value Emulsion

This is a nice one - a lot of work has gone into this.

More work, obviously, than went into hiding all the coloured pencils in the house.

Almost as if to make the point that our hiding is ineffectual, the biggest variety pencils possible has been deployed to form this: a damaged rainbow.

Or coloured rain.

Yet for all the exuberance of the colour choice, the size of happy vandalism has been contained within a relatively small surface area.


Black crayon on white matt emulsion

This artwork just keeps going.

And going - into the corner...

Right up behind the first object it hits.

It's a clever subversion of the clearly marked out blackboard wall - a negative space cut into by the background colour of the permitted creative area.

Why it doesn't stop, we don't know.

Here's a video. You can probably detect the sheer excitement and appreciation in my voice for this new non-chalk-based piece.


Pink crayon on white matt emulsion


Nivea SPF50 Kids Sun Cream on plain mirrored glass.

Hurried hands used to ironically apply sun block, and literally block our reflection.

It could be seen as an effort to make the transparent, more opaque.


HB Staedtler pencil, black on various

In an echo of "PENCIL RAMPAGE", more random pencil works have been found around the house.

This speaks to some of the problems of curating the Toddler Art Gallery: We cannot be sure if these were created at the same time as the original work, or if this is a new work in its own right.

Either way, these works are now catalogued under this new title of "More Pencil Rampage".


Rimmel London Lasting Finish lipstick on Howdens Cream Gloss kitchen cupboard door

A simple monocolour piece.

A potentially post-feminist commentary situated on the door of the kitchen plate cupboard under the oven.


Coloured pencil, various, on B&Q Matt Brilliant White emulsion

This colourful protest is designed to draw attention to itself.

It deliberately, wilfully almost, works against the preponderance of white.


Uniball Gel Impact 1.0m, black, on B&Q Matt Brilliant White emulsion

This celebrates two colours, black and white, and one dimension, up and down.

Just like Column of Coloured Pencil... It deliberately, wilfully almost, works against the preponderance of white.

A message, or presence, on your journey to the garden.


Rimmel London Red Lipstick on Dulux Brilliant White Vinyl Matt emulsion

A switch to an oil-based medium.

Shocking red, in contrast to the monochromatic background.

Sprite-like finger-worked kanji of joy and movement.


Crayola Pink Crayon on Matt Brilliant White Emulsion

We can't stress how hard we work to banish every single potential weapon of art from around our house.

And yet some slip through.

And the boldness and the size of the work, probably reflects the triumph of the find.

Here we have concentric circles - although they look continuous - and an almost mouth-like centre line.

That speaks to us in the loudest voice.


Pink IKEA MÅLA chalk on Brilliant White B&Q Value Matt emulsion

This is a time-sensitive festive installation.

Maybe this is meant to evoke 'the star' the Wise Men followed.

Either way, the colour chosen is almost certainly intentional, to clash with the green/red/silver palette.

A garish reminder that it sits amongst the temporarily endorsed art on our walls.

I'd love it if you were to send me any examples from your collection if you don't mind them featuring in the Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery.
("And I'm sorry that we cannot return any of the art that you send in to us.")


Uniball Gel Impact 0.7 pen, blue, on Dulux 'Light & Space' Matt Emulsion for Walls and Ceilings, Lilac Echo

This is a very simple yet precise work.

The reversal of cornering mocks the parallel lines it apes.

It defies the very frame it is aimed to detract from.


PAPERMATE NON-STOP HB pencil on Sofa Workshop couch, lilac

The 'pen' left by the artist at the scene of this crime is a deliberate, almost cruel, distraction.

This work was created in pencil.

The number of lines, and the energy behind them is interesting - and begs the question, at what point do you stop?

It's as if the arm is being 'coloured-in'. By a weapon with no colour.


Substance unknown, on Dulux Matt Brilliant White

We have no idea how this was made.

It was splayed up the stairs with what might be a dark red liquid substance, in a method with what might be called hands.


Crayola crayon, blue on Farrow & Ball Matt Emulsion, Savage Ground

The hardest aspect of the Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery, apart from hiding the pens, pencils, crayons, and all potential artistic instruments... is actually capturing them for the blog.

So it usually starts off with a photograph that shows the artwork is real, in a real room, and to give a true impression of the the kind of scale of size.

But the problem with being so far back is that it often doesn't do the work justice or show the detail of the piece. So the next one goes closer.

But even here, the detail is indistinct, so here is the close up of today's example.

A single blue cross (is the colour deliberately linked to the blue one might associate with bathroom hygene products?), with another echoed cross above it.

Or is it a target?

An alternate focal point to the obvious toilet that would otherwise draw your eye?

Either way, it's two crosses for one.


Peppa Pig Strawberry Fromage Frais, Pink, on IKEA Drona canvas storage box, black

The height of this piece is impressive, even if the damage to our Expedit storage shelf system isn't.

In fact the Artist's reach is what this is about. Repeated hand motions are used to emphasise this.

Indeed The Artist may well have been high in more ways than one while creating this.

The second ingredient of the 'Fromage Frais' is sugar.

By the way, you've gotta love how this is explained:
"No artificial colours or sweeteners"
"No fruit bits" (Yay! No bits of fruit! Whoop!)
"Free from artificial sweetners" (That sugar is totally real.)


Human vomit, colours various, on Maxi-Cosi Tobi car seat, brown

With our hiding of all artistic and creative materials in the home, The Artists find new ways to make a mark.
In new locations. And with new mixed media.

Creating a display, and in many ways a scene, in a pop-up gallery for the Tesco 'Hoover Building' carpark, Greenford.


"SuckUK Drumstick Pencil, Black on B&Q Matt Brilliant White Emulsion

This is a clever one - we heard the 'swissshhhh swissssshhhh swissshhhhh' of the pencil, but arrived too late to find these:

Four concentric circles with a final fifth circle in the centre.


Cans of food, various.

We just happened upon this.

It's like some kind of crop circle.

But the crops have been harvested.

And canned.

And then arranged into some kind of two-level ship situation.


Homebase Richmond MDF Radiator Cover, White

My cousin Ben this week kindly and tentatively asked if the Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery was real.

You know, was it something we encourage - an effort to make our kids more creative.

No. It's real. But we hide everyting that could possibly be used or even connected to an artistic endeavour.
(Except for the much reminded Blackboard area).

The trouble is, when artworks appear... like Banksy... often they come to notice long after they have been perpetrated. We don't encourage it, and scold where effective. But over time, new ones emerge.

Like this one:

Anger or mishap has been used to create a greater negative space than the brain or the heart predicts.

Something tells you that something bad has happened here.

Because it has.

But it is in the past now.
And must be repaired.


Cowshed Cow Pat Moisturising Hand Cream with essential oils of grapefruit and coriander, white, on Anglian uPVC windows, white

Not much to say on this one.

Think this speaks for itself.

It might be a fanciful reminder of Winter's past, or an attempt to obliterate the reality of life outside.

A call-to-action for a focus on the home.
Family even.

We hide all crayons, pens, pencils, paint, ink, inking devices, ballpoints, highlighters, felt-tips, and markers.

And now moisturising fluids and creams.

At least we can identify The Artist using fingerprint analysis.

And checking for lovely soft hands.


Crayola felt-tip pens, various. Model's own hands.

A literal interpretation of the frequently reminded rule "don't draw on the walls".

Or a foretaste of the inevitable tattoos to come.

Monochrome on the left.

Five colours (an intentional number) for the digits on the right.

#55 - J

Crayola felt-tip, purple on B&Q Value White Matt Emulsion for walls and ceilings, white

It's just a J.


V-Tech Push and Ride Alphabet Train letter blocks, colours various

I think we’re nearly coming to the end of curating these pop-up art works.

Either The Artists are losing heart in the process, or we are getting better at hiding the writing and drawing instruments.

But still they keep coming, like this one.


Andrex, white, on Ikea Losjon toilet roll holder, green

Here’s how our toilet roll looks most of the time in our house.

It’s an active, living work of art.

Andrex should just cut out the middle man and sell it pre-spiralled.


Glass, clear - broken

This piece reminds us of our fragility.

It's an exit wound on our family's entrance.

It's also a reminder that if you throw a marble to see if you can "hit the white thing at the top", the result may be surprising.

#59 CHALKY WHITE BLACK AND WHITE FLOOR - Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery

This is clever on a number of levels.

It emulates the talc that frequently decorates the floor - so why not vandalise the floor as a deliberate act of artistic endeavour, to much the same effect?

The fact that the chalk used is white, isn’t coincidental.

The piece is a colouring-in of the squares that are black.

A monochromatic riot - with free expression used as a disruption of the ordered grid.

#60 BETTER PLASTIC BOOK ILLUSTRATIN' - Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery

uni-ball GEL IMPACT 1.0mm, Black on Fisher Price Musical Chair, Pink

It’s sad, but this might be the last new entry for our Friday Night Gallery of Toddler Art.

Work from The Artists around the house seems to have been drying up.

Which is either a sign that our yelling and hiding of drawing instruments is finally working, or that we’re in for some more select or better-hidden pieces.

Time to wake up.

I love the sheer anger of this work.

Violent black lines are slashed across the “safe” world underneath.

It’s breakfast time. Cakes! Hooray!

Could the drawing be seen as ‘joining in’ with the legitimate art... or mocking in stark contradiction.

Maybe it’s some kind of rudimentary healthy eating message.

Time to sleep.

#61 FIVE CIRCLE HALLWAY SQUIGGLE PART TWO - Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery

"SuckUK" Drumstick Pencil, Black on B&Q Matt Brilliant White Emulsion

So we completely finished the with the Toddler Art.

But then I walked past this.

It's been there for ages now - We hadn't cleaned or erased it off yet.


We re-checked Five Circle Hallway Squiggle online.

It ain't Five Circle Hallway Squiggle any more.

It's now somehow magically transformed into Five Circle Hallway Squiggle Part Two.

Maybe the first artwork was incomplete. Or work-in-progress.

We're now watching out for art upon art.

#62 BAKUGAN FIREPLACE - Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery

Bakugan, various on fireplace surround, cast iron

I don't know if the plural of Bakugan is Bakugan.

But there's a load of them on the fireplace.

I think the collective noun is an 'invasion'.


LG Nexus 5, focal Length 1.23mm, exposure 1/15, f/2.9, ISO 783

We put the artist to bed.

I checked my phone to put a picture onto the blog.

The settings had all changed and a 3 second timer had been added.

I went into “Gallery”

Here are some of the others

There’s a timeline in here, and if I had the patience, I would turn it into a video cut to the music from Tony Hart’s Take Hart gallery. The clarinet-ty tune, not the vibraphone one.


Disney Enterprises Inc.® W.I.T.C.H.™ HB pencil, black, on prestige twist oatmeal carpet.

I think we're coming out of the intentional attention seeking of the random hidden pop-up art that appears around our house.

Many still ask - "Why do you let them do it?/ Why don't you just tell them off?/ Why aren't you beating them senseless?" (and variants within)

We do.

Almost as if our yelling/punishments become a golden reward of our attention for this activity.

But the art is very, very rarely created in front of us. (Almost as if the yelling/punishmentsa are effective in conveying that it's wrong.)

This was delivered during an exuberant drawing "of a girl" on the back of an envelope (pictured: see - we do provide correct artistic materials). The energy of depicting "the girl's" hair overflowing onto the floor.

Because she could not and would not be contained by Navigator Office Paper Solutions size "DL".
The "DL" now stands for Don't Look.


Rubber stamp, ink, red and blue, on B&Q Value Matt Emulsion, Brilliant White

Honestly, we keep thinking we're going to shut this down.

"This will be the last piece of spontaneous pop-up art."

See how there is no rubber stamp or ink pad in sight.

And yet if you look closer...

Red and blue.

It's in perfect 3-D.

#66 WHICH WAY UP? - Friday Night Grandy Art Gallery

Paint, various, on wood, source unknown.

This is our first piece of "Grandy" art.

Any ideas? Which way up is your favourite?

We were tipping out an old workbench - used continuously by The Artists' Grandy.

And, to us, we just couldn't look away from it.

Those paint rings. Those notches.

He did that.

Trouble is, we have no idea which way up it should go.


Loom Twister HGL Loom Bands, Red, Black, Yellow, Orange; with Tesco Picnic Fork; on Focus DIY (R.I.P.) Wooden Toilet Seat, Antique Pine

This was the new medium this year.

It's hard to tell if the even scattering of Loom Bands around the house is intentional or accidental.

This is the first work that can be confirmed as deliberate.

And its unfinished state reinforces the sense of irony we've come to expect from The Artists.


Please send me your pictures of toddler art, I would love to share them here.

Finally - the first ever submission from the real world for our Friday Night Toddler Art Gallery!

Got this tweet from @GazHumphries

So proud.

So here it is:


And added proudly to the full gallery of toddler art here... Thanks @GazHumphries!

Please feel free to send me your examples too.

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