Since Clare Maleeny was 5 (now 10), and Helen Maleeny was 4(now 6), they have been enthusiastically taking Chris Babcock Art Lessons here in San Francisco, California. So I’m not surprised at all that when the Maleeny girls moved with their parents to New York last year, they took on the project of displaying their art work with the same enthusiasm they had for Chris Babcock art lessons; matting, framing and hanging a total of 18 adorable paintings throughout their kitchen and playroom.
I asked Clare and Helen’s mom Kathryn Maleeny to answer a few questions about this displaying adventure she and her girls went on together.
Chris: I see you used lots of different colored matts for the art work. Tell me more about that decision and if you chose to use readymade or custom framing.
Kathryn:We have white (or cream colored) walls in many parts of our house so we chose the colored mats to help brighten up the room and make it kid-friendly. The girls picked the color matt they thought would look best with their painting. We actually bought prefab frames….to save on the cost of framing…when they were on sale. Since many of the pieces are roughly the same size it worked out fine.”
Chris: Why did you choose to to put the time and effort into this huge display of Clare and Helen’s artwork?
Kathryn: I love having the pictures framed and up where I can see them. I canʼt walk by them and not smile. They remind me that my kids will only be little for a while and I have to enjoy every minute. They also remind me of how much potential kids have. Not that theyʼre the next Picasso or anything, but that they are creative people who still have the confidence to try anything!
Chris: Tell me a couple of reactions you have gotten when friends or relatives see this colorful home art display.
Kathryn: One visiting friend said, “I like the paintings, but what I really like is the fact that you framed them. How cool is that for the kids!”
And my brother-in-law (who works with coffee) asked if we would give him the coffee painting of Clareʼs for his 60th birthday. I would do just about anything for him, but that, Iʼm going to have to think about!”
Chris: What do the girls say about seeing all their paintings in this grand way?
Kathryn: Helen says, “All those pictures we made? I feel so awesome because I canʼt believe I made this!”
And Clare says: “When my friends come over, they always ask “Whoa, did you paint those paintings?! “ and I say “Yes, I did, at a really great art class in San Francisco with Chris Babcock.” And they ask, “Which one is your favorite?” and I say “The pig!”
The Maleeny family will move to Manhattan this summer, but still plan on adding to their Home Art Display by coming back once every summer to take a four hour Chris Babcock Art Lesson with all of their San Francisco friends. I am truly honored to have such dedicated art students as Clare and Helen Maleeny.