Primitive, Contemporary Folk Art for the Stout Heart

by Margaret

When your home has to stand out in a crowd, out in the woods we rely on primitive art, folk art, and contemporary art that is weather ready!

Primitive Art from the Woods!

Contemporary Art meets Primitive Art

One of the first things a city slicker notices about living in the woods is the amazing and funny contemporary art and primitive art that is seemingly everywhere!

Just when you least expect it, driving down a road and BAM!   THERE is a piece of folk art of some sort, ready for you to take notice.

Living out in the woods takes a special type of people.  Here we have renegades, fugitives from the demands of city life, misfits, sportsmen, and hardy folk.  Amongst this crowd are folks who use art to denote their location, identify their property, and basically give visitors and friends a unique landmark to find them by.

The most important requirement of these primitive folk art creations is that they are sturdy in all weather.  

Primitive Art can be a Sign!

Multi-Use Folk Art!

The best folk art is actually contemporary art in disguise!  Practical and frugal woodsmen get double duty from anything they can.  Not only did this guy use the vehicles that provided body parts, he also gets to use it as a sign for current activities or a roadside invitation!  The theme for these contemporary artists is reuse, reuse, reuse and THEN recycle.  As near as I can tell, they don't throw away ANYTHING that might find another life in a primitive folk art form!

Primitive Art Mosquito

Folk Art is Everyday
Margaret Schaut

Folk Artists Combine Symbols

No sense in wasting a good symbol!

Folk artists manage to combine symbols in a memorable way!  Not only is this Big Boy identified by a REALLY BIG MOOSE,  the artist actually dressed this moose like Big Boy!  Folk artists, here in the woods, are a practical people. And now we know that a tail WILL fit in those baggy checkered pants!

Everyday Creatures are Folk Art

When you spend time with them, they DO become Folk Art!

Folk Art CraneVery primitive folk art, and yet contemporary art, is often taken from the everyday life of woods folk.  Fishermen in this area know that cranes and egrets are frequent fishing companions. These fabulous birds will sit next to a fisherman all day, waiting to have some 'throw-away' fish tossed their way for a free and effortless meal.

Pity the poor fisherman with a bad catch.  The birds will use their pointy beaks to break into the protective buckets and steal the good fish, if the fisherman can't provide them a sufficient meal.

Traditional Folk Art or Contemporary?

Natives provide inspiration too!

Much of the folk art is a contemporary version of traditional native folk art.  For example, we are all acquainted with the native American bears.  

Since bears are pretty popular and still hard to find in this 'neck of the woods', it is no surprise that on occasion a contemporary version of the bear 'marks the spot.'

Folk Art Moose

An admirable folk art subject!

folk art mooseWhile the moose above is funny and even ridiculous, the successful reintroduction of moose in this area is a celebrated success. 

Those who have a special affinity for the moose often use them in their primitive folk art to personalize their cabins, their businesses, their property.

Updated: 08/29/2011, Margaret
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Michey on 09/04/2011

The folk art is without limit, inventive, expressive. I like your post and I think the contemporary folk art has its roots in native folk art, with a local twist.

traveller27 on 09/01/2011

I enjoy folk art - nice article. Welcome to Wizzley!

Guest on 09/01/2011

i think primitive art is one of the original art forms and not appreciated enough.
having a large sculpture on the front lawn in a suburban neighborhood is dangerous for some..LOL

Spook on 08/30/2011

Delighted to see you here and great stuff as is always the case. Lovely to find the Moose has been reintroduced to your area. I've actually never seen one live and would love that.

ohcaroline on 08/29/2011

I like folk art of all kinds. I especially prefer the primitive kind. Good article. Welcome to Wizzley.

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