My art is classified as folk art. One definition I found for folk art is – art done by people who are not trained as artists. I’m not sure all folk artists are untrained, but for me, that is, for the most part, true. I took a few art classes in high school and college, but since then, nothing. I spent most of my life taking care of my children and that precluded creating a lot of art.
Because I can’t paint like Rembrandt (few people can) I’ve been discouraged about my art at times. I love the paintings I’ve done – most of them – but I lack the skill for realism.
I haven’t given up. Using books like Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (a classic) the skill for drawing realistically can be learned.
I saw a painting by Rembrandt many years ago (c. 1970) in an art museum, and was blown away by the detail. I could not get enough of it, and kept going back to it again and again. I finally read the card next to it, which said “Rembrandt,” and I thought, “No wonder this painting looks better than all the rest!”
This is the painting I looked at.
Rembrandt must have had a lot of natural talent, but he spent three years in training, apprenticed to another painter, Jacob van Swanenburg. He was born on July 15, 1606 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic, and his art is classified as Dutch Golden Age art. The realism art movement didn’t start until the 1850’s, in France.
This beautiful painting was lost to art theft in 1990 and has never been recovered.
I will be reading a book about the Gardner art theft … it is on my TBR (to be read) list for the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge. I’m saving this book for Nonfiction November.
My Folk Art
I have been told by people all my life that I should spend more time painting. My father started it when I brought home a finger painting from kindergarten that he thought was so well done, he had it framed. He thought I was very talented. However, I knew I was not. I tried to tell him I didn’t do that finger painting… but he never seemed to believe me because it had been sent home from school with my name on it. The truth was that my teacher was in a hurry to get everyone to paint the same thing, and she erased what I had done and did it herself in exactly the way she wanted it. So every time I passed by that framed painting in my hallway I felt guilty because I knew I wasn’t the one who really painted it, and nobody would believe me.
Despite all that, I did have some artistic talent. My father once asked me to create a poster for his Webelos troop – which was to feature Charlie Brown. I did a good job of it, and surrounded him with sun rays, as I recall it. I also created art when I was a teenager that made my sister think I was a good artist. I was not nearly as impressed with my art as she seemed to be. A friend was impressed with one of my paintings… the only oil painting I’ve ever done. I usually use watercolors, gouache, or acrylics.
Throughout my adult years I have created occasional paintings, but not many. As I mentioned in my Art in Idaho posting, I decided that when my children were all adults, I’d work on art and develop it more. I’m still developing, but don’t have the talent for realism. I’ve been feeling sad that I’ll probably never be able to draw great realistic portraits, but a while back I realized what I do is called folk art, and I looked for more information on the internet about this type of art. I very much like folk art, and am happy to be able to identify myself as a folk artist now. Even if my paintings look rough around the edges, it makes me happy and satisfies that creative urge I’ve had for so long.
I can’t paint like anyone else. I can only paint like me. I might as well enjoy it. This is like making lemonade when life gives you lemons. There’s nothing wrong with lemons. They are one of the healthiest foods in existence.
This cup shows some of my art. I have a collection of similar drawings on coffee cups at Zazzle. One of my daughters has four of them!
To develop this style of art more, to develop more ideas, I studied a book about Zentangle art, and did a video about that in 2015.
I got a few ideas, but rarely use them now. Zentangle is great for some purposes but I don’t like to be constrained by some other person’s idea of art. I like that so many people have enjoyed creating zentangles. It brings meditative art to the table for many people who may have thought they were not capable of producing art.
My New Art/Journaling/Writing YouTube Channel
This year I decided to re-design my Linda Jo Martin YouTube channel, which had practically nothing on it, as a place to post videos about art, journaling and writing. This is in addition to my Book Lady YouTube channel – so now I have two active channels. The Book Lady channel has over 150 videos now – most of them posted within the last six months. Video creation is getting easier for me!
As part of my new development of the “Linda Jo Martin” art/journaling/writing channel, I’ve been creating art vlogs. I’m so happy to say, I’m uploading the second one right now. I haven’t done much vlogging since 2014, when I took my bike ride.
Since I’ve started a channel featuring art, I expect this to be a year of much artistic development, and am starting a new 2018 art journal. This is the vlog about making a title page for the journal.