Posts Tagged ‘Candler Arts’

I was thinking about what to write today and was having a hard time in not going into a rant decrying the dysfunction of those in our government as is being brought to light by the failure of the so-called  Super Committee.  I was also having a hard time not screaming about the obnxoiuos Grover Norquist and the power he wields over these boobs, all in the hopes of returning our government  to the size it was in the good old days of 1900. 

But it was making me much too angry.  I became angry just typing out the paragraph above.  So I thought I had better look elsewhere and I checked out the Candler Arts blog.  The first thing I saw was this oil painting that was for sale on eBay.  It looks to be a piece from sometime in the 1800’s of two fluffy pups and a couple of black birds at the same feeding bowl.

How could I stay mad?

Of course, it could be a faked piece, one made to look like it was much older than it is in reality. That is not out of the question in the field of antique paintings.  These deceivers use old canvas, old nails and old wood — anything to make the work look as though it came from an earlier time.  I guess that kind of deceit would go hand in hand with what’s going on in our capital at the moment.  They do set the example for our nation or at least reflect it, after all.

But you know what?  I don’t care if this is a fake.  It’s still better than thinking about the puppets of power this morning.  And if it’s not a fake, even better.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been pretty busy as of late so there are some websites that I like to check out regularly that I haven’t visited recently.  One of my favorites is Candler Arts, a site out of the Atlanta area that features American folk art, oddities and eccentricities.  Along with their accompanying blog, they always have something that really is quite interesting and often quite beautiful as well.  I finally stopped in yesterday and found a couple of folk paintings that really clicked with me.

The one above is signed by a Laura Doyle, a name that I couldn’t find anything about with a quick check.  This piece really has a certain sense of rightness and rhythm, one that really captures my fancy.  I like the depth into the picture frame that the moon and horizon create here.  The bony trees and gray skies make it feel like a darker, colder version of the Peanuts comic strip’s world.  It really works.  Someone recognized this as it has sold.

The other painting is this piece from the 1890’s of a young man with a huge slice of watermelon.  It’s not a great painting but it has a certain flair in the way the boy’s grinning face is painted .  He reminds me a bit of Alfred E. Neuman, the mascot of Mad Magazine.  With the preoccupation of that big slab of melon I can imagine him uttering Neuman’s  “What? Me worry?” catchphrase with ease.  Just kind of a neat piece.  Still available for sale, too.

Check out Candler Art or their blog sometime.  There’s always something to pique your interest.

Now, back to work.

Read Full Post »

I came across this on  Candler Arts , website that features an eclectic collection of American folk art available for purchase.  I wrote a couple weeks ago about one of their paintings, a nativity scene from Jimmy Lee Sudduth painted with mud and housepaint.  When I saw this piece I gave a chuckle and thought about the reactions it would bring hanging in a shop or gallery. 

It is probably an advertising piece for a monument maker, probably in the first half of the 20th century, probably in a rural region.  Advertising pieces through the last century or so have provided us with some great folk art.  Think of the large cigar store figures.  Paul D’Ambrosio, who writes the vastly informative blog, American Folk Art @ Cooperstown, has written a number of times about the handmade signs and figures that once graced the counters of small shops and stores in earlier America.  Many are a bit rough, like this sign, but all are simply trying to communicate with their customers and did so with a sort of grace that we can still see in them today. 

One of my favorites from Paul’s blog is a piece from the Fenimore Art Museum collection believed to be from a freed slave named Job from around 1825.  It is an African-American cigar store figure and is a sensitive depiction of such a figure for the time. A female figure holding out a bundle of cigars, it is not a harsh caricature one often would see at that time.  But is still an eye-catching figure which was the purpose of these pieces, to attract customers into the shops. 

 I would definitely stop and take a serious look today if I saw a carving like this outside a shop.  And maybe I would even ask about their layaway plan.

Read Full Post »

I am always fascinated with the need for self expression displayed by many folk or outsider artists.  There is a great purity in it,  a direct line to the artist’s inner drive and self that can’t be replicated with all the craftmanship available to the most trained of artists.  It’s just real.

I was reminded of this when I came across the painting shown here for sale on the Candler Arts website.  It’s a wonderful  nativity scene painted by the late Jimmy Lee Sudduth, a self-taught artist from rural Alabama who died in 2007 at the age of 97.  His drive to express himself started at an early age and, despite having few if any resources, was able to create paintings with pigments with the red and grey muds of his home soil.  In later years he used house paints and finally acrylic paints as his fame (he was fortunate enough to have his work discovered by the larger outside world) peaked.  But his lack of supplies or training provided no obstacles for his need to create. 

Probably a lesson there for us all.

I was immediately struck by this painting.  There’s a real sense of rightness about it that really resonates with me.  I don’t know if this is a mud painting or whether he was using house paints here but it doesn’t matter.  It’s simply a raw and real expession, something I wish that more us could capture with our own works.  To put aside craft and technique, or at least make them secondary to the expression of something deeper pulled from within.

Then we might be on to something truly special.  Like Jimmy Lee Sudduth.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: