What Folk Art Means to Me
There’s an innocence in folk art, a simplicity of style and understanding of the world. You don’t need years of training or have specific rules to follow. It’s really all about a heartfelt desire to add beauty to the world, a passion to create. Folk artists and quilters aren’t in it for the glory! And certainly not in it to get rich. They’re part of a time-honored tradition of making something unique and extraordinary out of the materials at hand, often in the face of some pretty harsh surroundings. It’s a labor of love that’s part of who we are, passed down generation to generation.
I’m proud to be part of that tradition. And for the record I come by it honestly. My grandmother was one of the finest folk artists I’ve ever known, a master quilter, tole painter, tatter, embroiderer and wood carver… everything was grist for her mill. I learned most of what I know about art and life from watching her work. Perseverance, attention to detail, a curiosity to see how colors and materials could work together to create something new and different. Things that have served me well. But what made the biggest impression on an aspiring young artist was to see the passion she took to everything she did. There was a joy about it. A sincere love that made each stitch, each paint stroke, each new design something rare and special. That’s really the heart of folk art to me. It’s a quality I always strive for in my own work. And really the way I try to live my life.