Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guest artist: Joan's German folk art

This guest artist is my beautiful and dear friend Joan. I'll never forget the day we met. It was at a church luncheon about twenty-two years ago. Joan introduced herself to me and said, "I really like your lipstick. Would you like a cup of coffee?" Back in the day, I was a fan of black turtlenecks and blood red lipstick--O the drama. Joan remembers that day and that she offered me a cup of coffee. I remembered the lipstick comment (because I'm vain like that; it sealed the deal on our friendship). Our families have shared many wonderful years together, and I'm blessed to have met this most talented artist. Here's a description of her work in her own words:

"I’ve always been drawn to the simple designs, color, and history of folk art. I remember gasping when I saw for the first time the beautiful painted PA German trunks and Fraktur at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA.

I enjoy interpreting PA German folk designs and painting them on wooden pieces with casein tempera. Commonly known as milk paint, casein is the protein part of milk (buttermilk) which is used as a binder for dry pigments very much like the yolk in egg tempera. Tempera is Latin for “to mix.”

I love executing historic designs with a historic medium. I feel wonderfully connected to the past and happy to be keeping part of our American heritage alive, yet I feel able to express myself personally in the designs.

A college freshman that we’ve known through home schooling recently voiced the mystery of folk art to me beautifully: 'Though folk art is simple enough to be rendered by the untrained and often the uneducated, it represents a synthesis of the skills and heart of a whole people, and therefore it is elegant and refined in a unique way.' ”

Joan's studio - if you enlarge the picture, you will see some beautifully painted pencil boxes at the lower right

gorgeous - my photography doesn't do her work justice

This striking matchbox holder( pun intended )sits proudly on our fireplace mantle

a Joan original - since this is what we've always called our home

Thank you Joan for letting me share a few of the amazing things you have created


Joan said...

The lipstick allowed me to see a kindred soul right before me whom I wasn't about to miss meeting. She was surrounded by two of her gorgeous little ones with another on the way, and her husband, almost double her height, all of whom further revealed that this person, was my friend.
It was on one our first visits with Jodi, Mike, and Company that we were converted to home schooling, though our only daughter, at the time, was 9 months old. Alex's drawings of the Bayeux Tapestry and Zach engaging in intelligent conversations with all of us adults (at age six) were more powerful than any need for words.
Thank you for your friendship, dear Jodi!

Terra said...

This is lovely folk art work. I have a new friend who is in her 80s, who also does folk art painting on objects, and her home is full of beauty.
I added your vote for The Road to my list I am compiling, and I will show the "final" results tomorrow on my blog. The Road is the winner with 3 recommendations.

Jodi said...

Thanks, Terra. My friend Joan's home is filled with beauty as well--not only the objects, but the family that lives there. The Road is a good read. My son saw the movie and said not only was it good, but it was the first movie he had ever seen that stuck to the book.

Niamh said...

When Joan made us the utensil tray she had painted with her milk tempera paints, we loved how elegantly she painted the folk designs. The people who keep these folk traditions alive are amazing...think of how many artistic techniques we have lost due to the fact that they just fell out of vogue and weren't appreciated enough to keep alive. Keeping in touch with the artisans of the past is truely a gift. The worker leaves us, but his tools are picked up by those appointed to carry on his work - that is a special phenomenon to be a part of whatever the worker's skill.

Jodi said...

Niamh, amen!

Zach said...

I don't think I can say it any better than Niamh. Joan's work (whatever the medium) is spectacularly beautiful. We are very spoiled to have one of her pieces gracing our home.

Joy said...

I agree with Zach and Niamh; what a great guest artist. I love how PA German art is kept alive through her artwork. I have to confess, one of the exciting parts of getting enagaged/married was the hope that I would get a Joan original :D Lucky me, I got a Joan and Mary Original. Now we can't wait to have a house to display them in!

To Curious Acorn: hahaha black turtle necks and scarlet lipstick...were you smoking a blue cigarette as well? ;D Great post by the way.

Jodi said...

well actually...and remember the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


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