Friday, August 3, 2012

American Folk Art; Index Card Conclusion

Theorem painting.
Sharpie pen and watercolor
 on an index card.

This index card art was inspired by
theorem painting, a turn of the 19th century
art form that was taught to young ladies in
the New England area of America. Women in
academies and boarding schools were taught
to embroider samplers and paint theorems,
as a way to become 'accomplished ladies.'
A true theorem was created using stencils.
(so my work, above, is not a true theorem,
but inspired by the fruit still life often depicted)
Theorems often featured fruit, flowers, and 
sometimes birds or insects. They were often
painted on velvet, but also on paper or wood.

Folk art flowers
I delight in the varied flower shapes
and leaves on one stem.

Traditional American folk art
would have used primary colors,
but actual antiques would have a
subdued color palette due to their aging.

The angel, above, is created using 
flourishes and a flower.

Trees, flowers and birds would have been
used on family records, award certificates,
and even mourning art.

The bird above, inspired by an
image that was termed a "peacock."
I have modified its design, but the
long, thin shape is true to the colonial art.

"Pop Ten"
The one card on this post that isn't American Folk Art.
Collaged from a root beer soda carton,
 a Chinese calendar image, a postage stamp,
and a scrap of vintage wall paper.

Was the Index Card a Day Challenge
successful for me?
  1.  I didn't make art every single day, but I did keep going for the entire two months, even if I had to make several cards in one day. 
  2. I found myself working "in series," which helped me explore a subject, medium, or style in more depth.
  3. I did more 'drawing from life' on the index cards than I usually do on my art journal pages. I consider that a positive thing.
  4. At first, I spent quite a bit of time visiting other bloggers' sites and commenting on their work. That became time prohibitive, so I was unable to keep it up. Perhaps that is the same situation other artist bloggers found themselves in, because not many visitors commented on my posts after a while. I wonder--were you tired of seeing index cards?
  5. I did stick it out for the whole challenge, and have 61 cards to show for it. Some may become mail art, some will go into art journal pages.  I plan to make something to hold the rest of the cards to keep them together.
  6. I didn't do any acrylic painting. I think time constraints were the reason.
  7. I found that I don't require a "challenge" to make art, but it did give me a "deadline" and a focus. I was more conscious of my commitment to make art. When I go for a few days without drawing or painting, I get that restless feeling, as though I've missed something important. Something as simple as drawing on an index card (or in my art journal) helps me feel happier. A specific deadline brings that need to the fore. A self-imposed deadline could be what is needed.
In the next few months, stop by to see wedding crafts!


  1. hello! I wasn't tired of seeing index cards, but I was busy with canning as our cukes and zukes came in at that time! I love your drawings and need to work on a drawing a day now! I also worked on series - it helped me with specific challenges (re: mediums and textures)

  2. As always, your drawings are simply amazing. American folk art is so expensive now days and I am glad you gave us a history lesson on it, as well as doing a series on it. I even like that soda can collage.

    I was drawn to the responses you made on visiting other blogs. It is extremely time consuming, and I feel I spend half my time writing on my blog and half my time visiting other blogs and leaving comments. It is very time consuming, and was the only way I ever gained any following at all. It takes lots of commitment, and I totally understand if you have little time for it. I thought your observances were quite astute.

    Have a great weekend, dear friend.

  3. Okay, this is SO interesting! I love the variety and color of these. I have never heard of theorum painting!

    61 cards! That's quite an achievement, missy!


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