Interpretive art
by Karla ° Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When it comes to decorating, Mark and I sometimes see eye to eye, and sometimes we, and by we, I mean me, just go ahead and buy stuff and then discreetly place said “stuff” somewhere in the house and wait for Mark to notice. Which may or may not ever happen. This tactic usually works well, except for the time that I brought home 17 new picture frames that required a laser level, another level, a protractor, the Patience of Job and the intervention of a divorce lawyer to get them hung.

So the other day I came across this:

It’s a 36x46” canvas that I bought for Nate’s bedroom. Mark doesn’t like it because it’s not an accurate representation of the world. He thinks the artist is a bigot for labelling Canada and the Unites States as countries but then portraying everything else in the world as a continent. Except for the random representation of the state of Alaska. He could not understand how one state warranted so much canvas space and then made me check to make sure this painting was not endorsed as part of Sarah Palin’s election campaign.

And because I perpetually have my head in the clouds and live in a land of ribbons and puppy dog tails and toddler speak and never-ending pails of poop-filled diapers, I got defensive and was like, “Um Um? But look at all the pretty colours! And cute little Australian koala bear. Oh, and dude, how can you not love the giant fish that is larger than the entire country of the Unites States of America?

So what say you Internet? Fun art for a kid’s bedroom? Or, gross misrepresentation of the world that will eternally mess up my child’s sense of geography so bad that one day he will travel to China in search of gargantuan containers filled with take-out food?

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personally, I love it. I think it is very colorful and come on..he's almost 2. He doesn't even get geography yet..why confuse him? I say put it's not time for him to be that serious about art and it's accurate depiction!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 19, 2008

Shem...I think you ought to put it up...even if it's just out of spite.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 19, 2008

I LOVE it! Is is a keeper for sure. You could always follow up later with a globe or something more accurate. My 4 year old LOVES globes. Of course he mostly spins it with such speed it makes the dog dizzy, but hey, I am exposing him to geography right?
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 19, 2008

so so so cute! i like it so much i want to know where you got it!
Posted by Blogger joyce :  November 19, 2008

I say go for it, by the time Nate would notice the countries it probably won't even be hanging in his room any longer.
Posted by Blogger TBG :  November 19, 2008

Did Mexico take over all of Central America? It is cute and colorful. I see both sides but your child will learn from this and it depends if you want him to think Alaska, Canada, and Africa are equivalents. (State, Country, Continent) Funny though.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 19, 2008

Awe put it up, by the time he old really understand that stuff he won't even notice it on the wall. And soon enough it will be replaced with the calender girls.

:) Hang it - funny
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 19, 2008

Awe put it up, by the time he old really understand that stuff he won't even notice it on the wall. And soon enough it will be replaced with the calender girls.

:) Hang it - funny
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 19, 2008

Very cute...I say it stays.
Posted by Blogger Finelly :  November 20, 2008

I love it and I am sure that Nate will too ~ it is really colourful and fun ~ so I say hang it on that wall straight away (Mark will get used to it ha ha !!)
Love and hugs Tabitha XXXXX
Posted by Blogger Tabitha :  November 20, 2008

Eh, I don't think it will cause Nate any problems, but it would bug the heck out of me for the reasons Mark listed.

Having a husband from Nigeria, I can't tell you how many people really don't get that there are MANY DIFFERENT countries in Africa. It's not a country unto itself.
Posted by Blogger Olivia :  November 20, 2008

russia, mexico and the middle east are not continents either. =P i like it and would put it up in my kids' room.
Posted by Blogger Keri :  November 20, 2008

Oh my goodness Keri, I'm such a pylon. I swear passed grade school geography.
Posted by Blogger karla :  November 20, 2008

Oh no! Japan disappeared before I ever got a chance to go there!

I like the's cute. You can always buy Nate an actual map of the world to put up on his wall when he gets a bit older. Just make sure it's not a Mercator projection map!
Posted by Blogger Mary Lynn :  November 20, 2008

I think that piece is adorable. Hang it proudly Karla. Nate will love it.
Posted by Anonymous Susan :  November 20, 2008

I would, without a doubt, hand that in MY OWN bedroom, it's so awesome. I'm with you on this one.
Posted by Blogger Georgia :  November 20, 2008

I would love this for my kids bedroom. I don't care about the continent/county issues at all. The colors are bright and beautiful and the animals are fun. A real map can come later, this is just plain neat.
Posted by Blogger Brandy :  November 20, 2008

Was this painted by a child? I hope you didn't spend a lot of money on it with all of its inaccuracies.
It's is very vibrant and colorful. I'm sure Nate would enjoy having it hung in his room.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 20, 2008

well i kinda agree with both. i see marks point yet as nate has yet to read or get geography, i think it is mute for the moment.

and i think it could be fair to have the continent that you live in as being represented into 3 different countries, seems fair since you live there, however, should it not also be labelled north america??

i think fun for now and that when older, maybe could be replaced with a globe that mark buys for an xmas gift or something

it is kinda like how my husband has strong feelings about curious george not being allowed in the house b/c bad message. that a man in a yellow hat travels and "steals" a child and then indoctrinates said child as his boy slave.....ha. promotes bad things.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 20, 2008

I think it is bright, fun and perfect for a little boys bedroom.
But i don't think i see the U.K on the map hahaha!!!!
Hang it up right now, Mark will get used to it!
Amanda x
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  November 20, 2008

Sell it at the yard sale.. Laughing.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 20, 2008

Well, it is definitely not accurate, but it is art. It's not supposed to be educational really, it's just a fun painting that someone came up with, I say put it up! Plus, as Nate gets older you can have a globe etc and teach him about geography. Lots of artists omit things or put body parts in the wrong places or not to scale etc.

it's art, not a real map.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 20, 2008

because of a similar painting that hung in my room for AGES... I always thought that Hawaii and Alaska were continents very close to one another. And when I was in college, a friend stated that we could just drive to Alaska...
I guffawed and said oh of course!! Right!! Drive to Alaska!! What?? Over the big "bridge to Alaska??"
Funny one Matt...Tell us another...

Dead Silence...

Great story to tell at parties, but oh my the horror back then. And to think, I was one of the "smart kids".

Posted by Blogger Jessica :  November 20, 2008

To me it's ugly and scary. Quite unpleasant to look at.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 21, 2008

def a misreprese tatrion - it doesn't even have New Zealand -although maybe Nz is meant to be the red blob just to the left of Australia?
Posted by Anonymous annamay :  November 21, 2008

I think it's cool, and very colourful. From a teacher perspective, I think it's a good thing to have kids thinking about how the world looks in a lot of different ways, not just how it looks on a globe or a map.

HOWEVER, where the F*$& is Tasmania!? When I come to Canada and hijack you as my personal photographer for one whole day, I am going to perhaps accidentally spill a blob of red nail polish on the bottom of the east coast of my beautiful land. :)

Other than that, very cool.

And, I have spend the past 3 days perfecting my Sarah Palin impression. Maverick!
Posted by Blogger Alison :  November 21, 2008

BLAH! not appealing at all
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 21, 2008

Hey Karla, as a homeschooling Mom and graphic artist, I love the inaccuracies. It's ART. It's subjective. The artist probably put their heart and soul into this piece, and obviously wanted it to be fun. Why does everything have to perfectly represent? Teach Nate to think outside the box!

You can never be sure. My grandson has known forever that he lives in 'Tesas' and I live in Washington state. But those were just terms to him. Then he was 4 1/2 and they gave him a map of the US. He learned all the names of the states and their shapes in two days and began working on the state capitals. He would only put it together freeform on the floor rather than in the tray. I assumed it was similar to knowing your abc's but not understanding what they were. Then I spoke to him on the phone and he told me all about his map with great excitement. I said 'And you know that grandma-g lives in Washington!' There was a little pause when you could almost hear teeth in cogs meshing into place and he shouted' 'Grandm-g! You're on top of Oregon!' He has gone on to maps of Europe, and the world and started on flags. He responds to the mention of Brazil by noting that it is in South America.

Every child seems to find some window on the world while they are four that enthralls them and it is never certain what that passion will be. Since anything on a kid's wall cannot possibly go away or the walls of the house will collapse, I would find something just as lovely but different.

Gillian (sorry this is so long)
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 22, 2008

'When it come to things like pictures, it is always just someone's opinion, isn't it?'

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 23, 2008

Nice Folk Art, I say hang it!!!!
Posted by Anonymous Barclay :  November 25, 2008

Well...I'm afraid I have to agree with you both. I wont get into specifics because everyone else covered those....but I say hang er on up :) Cheers!
Posted by Anonymous Charlieisboredinwhitby :  December 08, 2008


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