Where do you put your kids’ art work? On the fridge? In the living room? On their bedroom wall?
Maryland-based contemporary artist and mom Lex Marie, 26, knew exactly where to display her 2-year-old son Aiden’s work: In a Washington, D.C. art gallery.
View this post on Instagram
“I brought Aiden to #TRIPTYCH to experience his first exhibition as an artist (at 2 years old) and baby boy was PROUD! Everyone was asking to take his pic and he was eating it up,” Lex Marie wrote on her Instagram page.
The paintings on display are a collaboration between Aiden and his mommy. Aiden creates an abstract painting, and Lex Marie finds figures within his work and adds them in.
“I can tell he was so proud of himself and of ME and man does anything else matter?!” Lex Marie wrote.
Like many artist moms, Lex Marie tried to get her own work done during Aiden’s bedtime. But Aiden showed “great interest” in painting whenever he saw her working, so she brought out a canvas and paints for him to use.
“It’s a great way for us to work on learning his colors and motor skills so I thought it was a no-brainer,” Lex Marie tells mater mea. “After the first time, he asks pretty much every day to paint with me.”
It was after one of those painting sessions that Lex Marie saw something more in her son’s paintings.
“The first piece Aiden created—Ride—was sitting in my studio,” she recalls. “I was staring at it and the image of a child on a bicycle stood out to me. I honestly was in awe and knew I had to try it again. So [his] next piece, Roll, I looked at it for a length of time and it just so happened I [saw] a stroller.”
Art has been a big part of Lex Marie’s life since she was Aiden’s age; she went on to study art in college and draws inspiration from what’s going on in her life and the lives of others around her. When she was pregnant, she wanted to “paint pregnant women in different settings”; after giving birth, she wanted to paint mothers with their babies.
“My mind is always on mommy mode so I thought it was so interesting that I kept seeing images that related to Aiden and I so perfectly… Motherhood is priority number one in my life; it’s my job that never ends and it’s really impossible for me not to be inspired by what my life is consumed [by]. ”
When Lex Marie had the opportunity to show her work at the #TRIPTYCH art show on September 14 along with 20 other artists, she knew she had to include her work with Aiden, and his original prints.
“I noticed the response from those who [saw] the first collaboration piece Aiden and I did and how much people really felt connected to the work. Even before that, this series was so special to me because it was a bonding experience between Aiden and I,” she tells mater mea. “So as we began creating more pieces, I really wanted more people to be able to experience/see them as well.
“I also wanted him to see his work up and to know how very special what he did was and how special he is,” she says.
Not only does their mom-and-son series teach Aiden how special he is—it also teaches him the value of his creativity and hard work, while setting him up for a bright future: “100% of the profit of all collaborations with Aiden and I goes to his savings,” Lex Marie says. (You can purchase originals and prints on her site.)
This duo are an inspiration to creative parents everywhere. What advice would Lex Marie give to other artist moms out there?
“Take time out for yourself, you have to,” she says. “Whether it be nap time or painting with your child, it is totally possible to still have art in your life as a mother.”
(h/t Embracing Black Culture)