Monday, November 11, 2013

What is Folk Art?

Folk Art is a broad term used to describe a range of artistic expression of the people of a country or region as well as the art of some individuals. Many folk artists are not academically trained. Folk painters are often concerned with recording the ordinary activities of life. Their direct and honest depiction of subjects usually reflects social and cultural characteristics. Simple flat figures and decorative design, bright colors, and unrealistic spatial relationships often characterize folk painting.
 
The term outsider art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for "raw art" or “rough art”, a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane-asylum inmates.
 
While Dubuffet’s term is quite specific, the English term “outsider art” is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or Na├»ve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.
 
 
Outsider art has emerged as a successful art marketing category (an annual Outsider Art Fair has taken place in New York since 1993). The term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people outside the mainstream “art world,” regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.
 
 
I admit it! I am not just an outsider artist, I am an outsider person, too. I never do feel like I fit in. I grew up feeling left out...never fitting in.


I've been an outsider in the working world too.  I never enjoyed being an employee.  I didn't like restrictions on my time and having to follow so many rules and regulations. I always ended up wanting to do things my own way. After getting frustrated working for others, I ended up becoming an entrepreneur, creating my own businesses and doing things my way.


Though I really enjoy people, I am not much of a joiner. I don't seem to be able to stay with anything I join. I love being with people and I also really love being alone. I have discovered both of these sides of myself. After spending time with people, I always feel the need to pull away and spend time alone.


 I like being the outsider person ...doing things my way, living life on my own terms and having lots of space around me with no one to answer to but myself.

 
 
My latest canvas painting.
 
Etienne Basking on the Waves