Even if your child can’t tell the difference between a Jackson Pollock and refrigerator art, it’s fun to brighten their rooms with paintings and prints, or give one to a parent as a gift. These are nine ideas and artists for inspiration and all budgets.
1-Kristiana Pärn: This Prospect Heights artist creates adorable paintings of animals, often resting, nibbling or cuddling on branches. Her original paintings are done on wood panels, which echo her treetop settings, and she also makes prints on matte fine art paper and fiber panels. You can find her work at local shops like Pink Olive and Urban Alchemist, or order them via her Etsy shop, where prices range from $20 to $50 for prints, and $100-125 for a painting.
2-Jane Mount: Using gouache and ink, Jane Mount will paint a custom portrait of your child’s books, so even as their copies of Eloise and Knuffle Bunny take a beating, this print will always remind you of their favorite bedtime stories. The cost is $100 to $250 for a custom portrait, or you can purchase a $25 print on her Etsy shop, or buy one of the remaining editions left in her series for 20×200, where they are selling for $20-$250. Mount also offers gift certificates, so you can give the gift of a custom portrait.
3-John Murphy creates bold, cast resin 5×7 frames that will make any small print or photograph pop. They’re normally $55, but at the Brooklyn Flea, where you can find him Sundays in Dumbo, and at the Gifted market, he sometimes sells sample ones for $25. You can also pair a custom frame with one of his colorful flora and fauna photographs, or his animal collages ($35). (The Dwell Studio catalog actually features one of his collages in their model nurseries.)
4-Claudia Pearson, an illustrator and a mom, makes sweet prints of Brownstone Brooklyn and this poster of the Roy Ayres song, “We Live in Brooklyn, Baby!” so you can start instilling local pride in your child early (the photographer Jen Altman has it in her girl’s room). Pearson is also a Brooklyn Flea regular, and has an Etsy shop that sells her prints for $18 to $24.
5-Cavallini Paper: Before even seeing this post, I bought a $4 sheet of Butterfly Cavallini Wrapping paper at Spacecraft, which unfortunately doesn’t carry it anymore. Moon River Chattel carries this Alphabet one; you can ask if they’ll stock the butterfly one as well, or order it from Amazon. The paper is thin, but pop it into a $20 Ikea Ribba frame (19 3/4 x 271/2) and you have a nice-sized piece of wall art for less than $30. I recommend buying your own wire and hangers because Ikea’s solution is pretty shoddy.
6-Coral and Tusk: As a child, Stephanie Housley cherished the handmade objects and toys made by the women in her family; she feels they helped develop and influence her senses. As an adult, she now makes sweet embroidered animals through her line of textile art, crafts and home goods, Coral and Tusk, and each panel makes for an original, textural piece of art. Each comes framed and is available online for $60 to $90.
7-Foxy and Winston: Illustrator Jane Buck, who sells onesies, bibs, cards and prints at the Brooklyn Flea, her own Red Hook shop, and her site, makes screen prints of adorable animals in rich colors like tangerine, turquoise and tomato red. You can purchase one framed for $75, or get a $25 print and fit it in a $10 album frame, available at Target.
8-Exquisite Prints: Many of the talented illustrators, painters, designers and comic artists (including Claudia Pearson, mentioned above, and Takishi Iwasaki, pictured) who contributed to The Exquisite Book–a play on the parlor game The Exquisite Corpse–also made prints of their contributions, which are mounted onto an easy-to-hang, bamboo frame called Plywerk. They’re sale for $60 apiece online, but you’ll be tempted to buy a few to hang side-by-side.
9-Wayne Pate, an illustrator in Park Slope, is influenced by Fernand Leger, David Hockney, and Paul Rand, among others, and you can see traces of their work in his stylish silkscreen prints. Many would work well in any kids room, particularly Sammy the Seagull, Family of Hoots, and Brighton. All prints are 16×20, and available on his website for $55 apiece.