Drawing Folk Art

Artistic Lines

from Joan Justis

July 2017

Drawing of Wyoming ranch

“Homestead” Wyomin’ Folk Art, Joan Justis, watercolored print

Homestead, Wyomin’ Folk Art is a composite drawing of my life experiences in the Laramie Basin. Having sold several of this print in Wyoming, I brought the rest to our new home in a different state.
I donated them to our local library.

Women on the Frontier Display in Library Glass Case

They were delighted and immediately created a glass case display of books about women on the frontier, decorating it with artifacts and sunflowers. A table was set up offering the free prints, some of which I had painted with watercolor and some ready to color. A new very rewarding home for my creation!

Folk Art is often painted by self-taught artists showing their personal experiences closely related to their culture in subject matter and color. The artist does not usually consider proportion or perspective, but wants to share an image of the surrounding life and community.

Making apple butter in the yard over a fire

Apple Butter Making 1944-47, Grandma Moses

Anne Mary Robertson Moses (1860-1961), a well-known folk artist dubbed Grandma Moses by the press, was a young live-in housekeeper. When her employer noticed her delight in his Currier and Ives prints, he gave her art supplies. Loving art, she took up embroidering her landscapes on fabric.

Checkered House in the year 1845, Grandma Moses (after 1963)

Checkered House in the year 1845, Grandma Moses (after 1963)

However, at the age of 76 she developed arthritis. So she taught herself to paint at 78 and eventually painted 1500 canvases. Her work is a joyful commentary on her life memories.  “I’ll get an inspiration and start painting; then I’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.” As quoted in her obituary in The New York Times (14 December 1961)

Peaceable Kingdom 1844, Edward Hicks

Peaceable Kingdom 1844, Edward Hicks

Edward Hicks (1780-1849), another American folk artist, was also self-taught. He became an art teacher and popular preacher. In his Bible study, he discovered a love for Isaiah and over the years painted at least 60 images of Isaiah 11, which he entitled “Peaceable Kingdom”.  This one he painted in 1844.

The Cornell Farm 1849, Edward Hicks

The Cornell Farm 1849, Edward Hicks

One of his last paintings was the Cornell Farm. He painted it, and wrote in the 69th year of his life, “The Cornell Farm, An Indian Summer View of the Farm and Stock of James C. Cornell of Northampton Bucks County Pennsylvania”. He died soon thereafter at the age of 69.

A limited number of  the “Homestead” print are available. Please contact me on my website.

Find me on Instagram at joanjustisstudios.

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