Thursday, February 19, 2009

Folk Art Paintings Redux

I had to share this lovely folk art landscape I came across on Ruby Lane. Seller Yesterday's Treasures offers this gem (circa 1919) for quite a reasonable price, too:

I adore the naive style and the attention to detail -- note the stars on the barn!

At the other end of the price scale, Jeff Bridgman Antiques offers this outrageous folk art portrait of a prize bull:

I love the simple composition and that cerulean blue sky. And nothing pleases me more than seeing a primitive-style painting framed in gold leaf!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Scherenschnitte, Old and New

Scherenschnitte. Kind of sounds like a Germanic cuss-word. As in: "Scherenschnitte! We're out of milk again!"

But scherenschnitte is the intricate Pennsylvania-Dutch (or Swiss, or German) art of paper-cutting. And trust me, when I say paper-cutting, I mean something far more sophisticated than those construction-paper snowflakes you used to snip as a kid.

For instance:

This German example from New Hope Antiques has everything I want in a paper-cutting: an intricate symmetrical motif, set off by a killer antique frame.

Not impressed? Then check out this jaw-droppingly detailed scherenschnitte from Peggy McClard Antiques:

When I first saw this, I swore it was fine embroidery work. But it's paper -- cut in a basket weave on the edges. According to Ms. McClard, the swans you see in the picture are a mere 1/8" tall! Do yourself a favor and go to her site to view the close-ups, as they are ASTOUNDING.

Lucky for us, a new generation of scherenschnitte artists are keeping the technique alive and breathing new life into the form, like Pam Hults from Praying Mantis Folk Art.

I love the calligraphy details she adds to her pieces!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Sally Patchin Basket

Lately, I've encountered some fabulous tole-painted wicker baskets by the late folk artist Sally Patchin. Apparently, Patchin lived in upstate New York and painted these treasures throughout the first half of the 20th Century.

This Patchin "suitcase" basket from Ruby Lane seller The Purple Doorknob caught my eye:

I like the unusual shape, not to mention the folksy painted details.

Seller New Hope Antiques offers this Patchin log basket:

Again, the thoughtful hand-painted details lend a lot of charm to an everyday, utilitarian object.

This next is not a Patchin, but I like the tole details on the wood panels that frame this basket from A Bridge To The Past:

Can't you just imagine some Arnold Print Works critters sitting cozy in there?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When Crafts Take Over

It's time to pull the plug on my crafting. Or seriouly cut back, at the very least.

Why? The little clay critters keep multiplying and crowding up my closets. First there was Hattie . . .

. . . and then there was Fred . . .

. . . followed shortly thereafter by Phyllis.

The latest is this birdie on a vintage spool:

All things said and done, I enjoy the process and I'm even half-way pleased with the results. I'm slowly learning how to work with paperclay and build a decent composition. But learning requires creating, and creating requires more shelf space.

We just might have to move to a bigger house.

You can keep track of my crafty progress on etsy.