Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fingerprint Friday - Wildflower "Weed"

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of G
So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?
To participate in Fingerprint Friday find your own photograph that demonstrates where you see God's fingerprint then visit the blog PamperingBeki's Fingerprint Friday post and read the instructions. Be sure to visit all of the blogs that are participating and I'm sure they will return the favor.

In early July, I planted some scraps of plantable wildflower paper in a large barrel in my container garden.
It first sprouted in early August, I almost pulled it up because it looked a bit like a weed but a pretty weed.
By early September it had grown to about 5 feet and was beginning to look pretty bad around the bottom.
One night when I couldn't sleep, I was making a mental check list of things I needed to do. One of the things was to cut down "the weed."
Imagine my surprise the next morning when I went out to find that "the weed" had turned into a beautiful wildflower with these gorgeous lavendar blooms and lots of little buds. Needless to say, I didn't cut it down.
I don't know what it is but have seen them planted in the median along the highway. I am hoping that it is a perennial so that it will appear again next year. I am collecting seeds in case it's not.
If anyone can identify this most beautiful wildflower, please leave a comment or email me and let me know. I just call it the beautiful wildflower weed and a lovely Fingerprint of God!
Happy Fingerprint Friday!

Beautiful in rain....

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or the sun...
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Autumn Nostagia and American Folk Art Paintings

If you know me, you know that I love art of all kinds. I love making it, studying it and writing about it! However, when it comes to my favorite artist or genre or period of art, I fear that I am far too fickle to narrow my love down to only one or even two or three favorites. My favorites change with the seasons, with the discovery of something new or with revisiting old favorites and then bouncing back again to the new....constantly updating my brain with the art "flavor" of the day, month, year!

My favorite art genre of this particular day is folk art. Specifically, I am passionate about American folk art paintings done in the naive or primitive tradition where traditional rules of proportion and perspective are not used or are slightly askew. My favorite paintings of the moment are works done in the style or tradition of Charles Wisocki or Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as "Grandma Moses" (because she started her prolific painting career at age 73. When she died at age 101, I believe, she had painted over 3,000 paintings.) This uniquely American style of folk art paintings portray what appears to be a simple and uncomplicated life of tranquility, joy, community and faith complete with rolling hills, fertile farmland, colorful quilts, livestock, a quaint little Main Street, watering holes and/or lovely old houses and always with luminous color.

These paintings evoke in me a nostalgia for a place or time that I may have experienced only in books, movies and paintings. They elicit a familiarity with a place of which I have no distinct personal memory. They create a desire to step into the painting and become a part of the scene; to visit the quaint little toy maker's shop on the corner, sit on the picnic blanket by the stream, talk with the blacksmith, share a bit of news at a quilting bee, ride to market in a horse drawn carriage or stand with the town folk and watch the lighting of the community's Christmas tree on the town square.

My passion for these paintings usually arrives along with the first chill of autumn air. There is something in this season that calls forth a nostalgia for something like a dream. A sort of homesickness or longing for a place that I have never been but seem to know quite well. A memory, perhaps, just a bit out of my reach? Simply stated in my little rhyme:

Sometimes in the fall
When the leaves have changed their hue,
I long for times long past and
People I never knew.

It's the kind of place where a cool breeze drifts through an open kitchen window where the heavenly aroma of a just baked apple pie is rapidly spreading throughout the house. The woman of the house is sweeping fallen leaves from the front porch steps, as she looks up to see her neighbors riding by in their horse drawn carriage. Their heads turn in the direction of the wonderful fragrance of the cooling pie and they call out a greeting and wave. Kids are playing in the side yard after a morning of helping to bring in the fall harvest. A long shadow from the old oak tree is stretching across the yard from the sun that now sits in the southern sky. Everything is frozen in time and that momentary glimpse into the life of a family, a street, a farm, a community is captured and all is perfect and innocent and right with the world.

This is my art passion of the moment. I hope the lovely art that follows, evokes in you, a bit of that nostalgia of which I speak. These are just a few of the amazing folk art paintings and prints available from the many talented folk artists who have shops at Take time to savor the moment captured in each of these delightful paintings...let your senses take you away to each lovely and wistful moment in time....can you feel the breeze...smell the pie...?

Pumpkin Apple Village Autumn Artist:Cheryl Bartley (used with permission of the artist)
Cheryl lives and works in New England where she has her own gallery and studio. You can view and purchase Cheryl's beautiful artwork at her Etsy shop, Folk Art Spirit, and at her website, Cheryl Bartley Designs.

Hometown America by Catherine Holman (used with permission of the artist)
Catherine's beautiful work can be viewed and purchased at her Etsy shop, Catherine Holman. For more information about Catherine and her work, please visit her blog, Catherine Holman Folk Art. Be sure to check out her lovely cupcake paintings when you visit!

Autumn Fun by Wendy Presseisen (used with permission of artist.)
Wendy's whimsical paintings of cats, animals, landscapes and portraits are delightful. You can view, purchase and learn more about her work at her Etsy shop, Pop Art Cafe, or at her website, Wendy Presseisen.

Here are a few of the many folk artists whose work can be be viewed and purchased at the following Etsy shops:

I also put together an Etsy treasury at Treasury West as a tribute to some of these artists, the treasury expires October 20, 2009 at 9 p.m. You can see it here until that time.