Angel of Music (Artist: Linda Hardy “mampainter”)
I believe I first became aware of the term ‘folk art’ in the mid 1980’s when visited Canada and saw the carved woodworks and handmade jewellery of native americans. And then again when I visited Jamaica in 1990 – hand carved wooden sculptures, brightly coloured paintings depicting daily scenes and so forth. I came across folk art again, when I discovered salt dough modelling. I used to go to quite a few craft fairs and exhibitions and would see hand made items such as beautifully machine or handstitched quilts, shaker style furniture and also salt dough models and scupltures – all described as ‘folk art’. As I developed my passion for salt dough modelling, I too labelled some of them, the more rustic looking ones, as folk art!
But what exactly is folk art and how do you define it? Well, I’ve come across quite a few definitions on the web. One that I like states that folk art is a result of ordinary people expressing themselves through their creation and construction of utilitarian objects that convey meaning and value to themselves or others within their culture. Typically the patterns, motifs, techniques and materials have special significance and can reveal a great deal about a cultural society (source: http://arts.factexpert.com/502-folk-art.php).
To me, folk art is produced from the heart and soul and expresses the world and life experience as the artist sees and feels it and wishes to convey through whatever medium he/she feels will best express their ‘message/experience’ (think Frida Kahlo or Myrtice West).
Friend’s Valentine – Heart Art (Artistt: Linda Hardy ‘mamapainter’)
Not sure if I am making sense here, but perhaps you will understand better when you look at the spiritually nourishing and uplifiting work of Linda Hardy shown here and at her Etsy shop (mamapainter):
2 Birds in a Tree (Artist: Linda Hardy ‘mamapainter’)
Linda is a disabled mother of two daughters and has found inner strength through her art. She says it soothes her soul and calms her fears of the future.