Friday, April 30, 2010

Folky hunting painting



The painter of this naive hunting scene obviously loved nature's abundance. An owl in a tree, a flying squirrel, a bear, a grouse, a bird of prey -- they're all there. Surprisingly, this painting, which I would guesstimate is c. 1950, is unsigned. If I had created this wonderful scene, I certainly would have put my name to it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Classical style folk carving


This 10.6-inch tall wood carving looks almost like a model for a much larger stone piece. She's bare breasted and carved with sensuous grace. At one time the price was 50 cents.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Curious mask


A small aluminum or tin mask, child-size really, with a riveted nose. The ears have holes for an elastic band.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Derek Webster


This past weekend I received my Folk Art Messenger and read Michael Noland's rememberance of Derek Webster, the Chicago artist who died in December. Michael wrote, "Derek Webster may very well have been the nicest person I have ever met." I couldn't agree more. I visited Derek just once but I was struck by what a gentleman he was. No pressure to buy his artwork. He just seemed genuinely happy to have visitors. When I was there he had a bunch of plates decorated with used items most of us throw away. I bought a few of those and figured the next time I visit I'll get something different. But years went by and I never made it back to his home. The sculpture I bought on the secondary market before visiting Derek. To this day I enjoy including his art in my life.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Circus horse bank


Made of iron. Even the beads are iron. Glitter paint decoration.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mechanical football kicker



At one time there was a football with this fellow. But what matters more to me is the paint surface. I think it's great, transforming this somewhat interesting toy into a strong decorative object. c. 1940.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Totem poles


Traditional totem poles are connected to the spirit life. Not so with these examples. The first three were made by Boy Scouts before WWII and the fourth one is an old tourist item from British Columbia. Nonetheless, they are all distinctive, which is good enough for me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Clara Ann's yard show


In November I posted a blog about a yard show I stumbled onto while driving around east Atlanta and Decatur, Ga. At the time, the homeowner was not there. The sign in the front yard said the Earls, so I assumed it was a family with the last name Earl. Turns out, the homeowner is a single woman, Clara Ann Earls. I saw her Saturday and learned her yard show is threatened. A neighbor complained to code enforcement the yard was "nasty, junky, full of paper," so the government paid a visit and informed Ms. Earls the display must be scaled down, she says. She vows to fight to keep it intact. The yard is decorated with "motivational items" targeted at unmoored youth who get in trouble, Ms. Earls says. She works Falcons games, patting down football fans as they enter the stadium, so a number of the items show Falcons players because they've achieved great success through sports. Soccer balls lined up in the yard are intended to send the same message about sports being an avenue to success. President Obama's family is featured. On the trees in Ms. Earls' yard hang teddy bears, companions to the very young. Ms. Earls ministers to the homeless and substitute teaches. That woman who complained about her yard doesn't even go to church, she says. I understand the neighbors' concern that a yard show might be an eyesore, but I'd hate to see the creative output of a good-hearted person squashed.