Thursday, August 10, 2017

Folk Art Fun!

This past weekend Dave and I headed back into the Adirondacks for a Syracuse University Alumni event. We go every year during the first weekend in August. Usually our speaker for the weekend is someone from campus who talks about their education programs or topics of central New York interest. Sports marketing, Civil Engineering, the Erie Canal, Healthcare, for example.

This year, our speaker was Warren Kimble, graduate of the class of ’57 and former member of the football cheerleading squad! His tagline from his website is “America’s Best Known Living Folk Artist.”

Warren shared his experiences creating and licensing his artwork. this is one of the pieces typical of his work that we got to see up close and in person.

Warren always include three clouds in each of his painting. It’s a trademark. And his paintings of animals notably have human-like eyes.

Here’s Warren. For 82 years young, Warren is quite the achiever. His start on the cheerleading squad seems to have left a mark on his life. Warren is a huge community advocate for his hometown of Brandon, Vermont.

“Widows of War” is a study of the Iraq war and its toll on those left behind when soldiers leave home to fight. This is one of the paintings in that recent series of artworks.

A close up of this canvas on canvas painting. It's really pretty amazing! See the torn and raveled edges of the canvas pieces?

Next came the fun part. As a hands-on option, we each had the opportunity to create our own piece of folk art with Warren’s guidance. Our mission: painting leaf transfers onto wooden boxes. We cheated a bit, with concerns over a potential time-crunch, Warren painted each box with a black gesso base coat.

I added a layer of splashy blue with ordinary Saran wrap, crinkled up and dipped in paint, then applied onto the box.

Since the forecast for the weekend included quite a bit of rain, Warren collected bunches and bunches of leaves for us. Then things got a little messy (and very fun), painting, the leaves, then transferring the leaf shape to the wooden box.

TaDa! I used leaves and sticks for my painted shapes. Then I added bright reds and yellows to loosely interpret wild columbine flowers. Dave said I missed the mark on the columbines, but he opted out of the project, so he doesn't get an opinion. I like it!

Everyone (who participated - ahem!) had a great time creating! Look at all these painted boxes and baskets!

I think I’ll use mine to store embroidery threads, or maybe all that sock yarn that I’m collecting for a rainy day!

Happy Stitching!

Joan Ford

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