A Rainbow House from 31 Years Ago

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Jeans Rainbow House

I just came across this photo of a rainbow house that I drew when I was four. The segmentation and the assortment of colors reminded me of Maia's House of Color (one of my all-time favorites of hers). It's interesting to see the parallels in our artwork.

Here's a post with a few more of my childhood drawings.

I loved to draw and paint as a child. I didn't have access to the sheer variety of art supplies that my daughters take for granted, though. No glitter glue, washi tape, or crayon rocks. No twenty kinds of paint.

But I happily created with the basic materials we had in our house—crayons, Cray-Pas, markers, paint, and paper. I had everything I needed. A full imagination, time and freedom to create, and a few simple materials.

How about you? What art materials did you use when you were growing up? Any favorite childhood art memories?

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  1. says

    I think about this alot, Jean, as I attempt to overwhelm Juniper with cool media.
    Here’s what I had: worn out markers that I had to lick to get to mark, carpenter’s pencils, charcoal sticks, big box of crayolas (the color on paper NEVER looked as good as it did in the crayon), and my mom’s acrylic paints and brushes (she let me use them when I was old enough to know how to screw the caps back on after use.) Oh, and my dad brought home reams of old test papers (he was a chemistry teacher) on whose backs I was allowed to draw. I didn’t draw on a white piece of paper (blank on both sides???!!!) until I was a highschool student.
    And I was drawing ALL THE TIME.
    Seems to me the urge to create, for some, is irrepressible. The tools are just an aside. And I also have a theory that the more humble your materials are, the more impressive your skills become. Thanks for asking.

  2. says

    I love this Jean! I’ll have to dig out whatever my mom saved when I am home next time, I’m sure the kids would get a kick out of seeing it. We had the same situation with minimal supplies – but I remember the thrill of a brand new pack of crayons/markers, still whole/not yet dried up or paper that was clean on BOTH sides! I was always drawing – my close friend and I would make catalogs of figure skating dresses during class in 4th and 5th grade and pass them to each other instead of notes (now those would be a treasure if I could find them). One thing that I do remember is making papier mache with my mom, we always used to make pinatas out of balloons for birthdays, or maybe I’m just remembering the “always” – it might have only been one time!

  3. says

    This is brilliant, I wish my parents had kept some of my old drawings. I was very much a wax crayon and pencil artist as a child. And I loved drawing with candle sticks and then scribing over it with wax crayon. Such fun times!

  4. rachel says

    oh that is super interesting meg!!!
    jean- the resemblance b/t your house and maia’s is huge!
    r

  5. katie says

    pastels… i can remember drawing on the sidewalk with them!!! and homemade play doh… and homemade crayons… my mom was mighty crafty “back then”… glad its rubbed off!!!

  6. anne says

    Wow, this reminds me of a chalk pastel drawing I did when I was in 3rd or 4th grade called “House of Many Colors” that was this same patchwork-quilt kind of idea. Amazingly close to your drawing! I was living in St. Louis at the time. The drawing was chosen for a St. Louis children’s art exhibit and eventually hung at the St. Louis Art Museum in their annual children’s show. Sadly, the drawing has not survived.

  7. says

    I was rumaging around my dads attic after he died and I came across a few drawing and paintings I had done while at primary school. It actually brought tears to my eyes, one for the fact my dad had actually kept them all that time, but also because of their innasence.

  8. Nancy says

    My 8 yr old son has been drawing images that are very similar to what I used to draw when I was a kid, which I find interesting because it is not like he has been exposed to the image repeatedly. I would constantly draw the little house from Margaret Wise Brown’s book of the same name and I can’t remember if I told him that, or if he has seen one of my drawings, but if he has, it has only been once. I should check the book out of the library and see if he notices the similarity.
    The book resonated with me and was somewhat fortelling as my Grandparents house looked quite similar to that of the story and it was located in the countryside as well. By the time I was a young adult, it was torn down when the suburbs grew up around it.

  9. mary says

    I don’t remember having any of my own materials, other than crayons. I recall making lots of collages using junk mail. (Remember those Publisher’s Clearinghouse gummed labels?)
    I was surprised that the rainbow house image reminded me being asked to color in cathedral windows with markers, perhaps as a Christmas project, in kindergarten. I had a terrible assortment of markers I’d gathered from around the house, and many of them were nearly dry. My teacher was very critical of the way my project looked, and my bag of markers. I can vividly recall being so ashamed that I didn’t have normal markers. I think your post gave me some insight into the reason I really want my own daughter to be able to express herself with art!
    Thanks again for such an inspirational blog!

  10. says

    I personally don’t remember using any art materials at home. In school it was only the typical coloring book kind of art and when I went to graduate school for early childhood ed, I literally ate up the art in the art for teachers class. I gravitated towards the painting area every day while everyone else did other stuff but I couldn’t get enough of painting. (20 years too late)