Tag Archives: Outsider Art

‘Outsider Artist’ Martin Ramirez at the Library of Congress

Re-blogged from Detour Art. Click to go there and read a fabulous post on Ramirez and the question of the ‘Outsider Art’ label.

Ramirez spent most of his life in hospital, drawing on whatever he could find. How I’d love to see this artwork in person. It is painted on a patchwork of envelopes, correspondence and advertising fliers, addressed to the hospital.

pp_and_exhib_verso_BT_ramirez RamirezXRFOct13Brostoff_klb

More Outsider Art links here:

The 13 Most Amazing Outsider Artists of All Time
Outsider Art (Tumblr)
List of Museums and Collections c/o Detour Art blog

Decorated Door Delight

photo 3-2

I love a decorated door.

Inspired by gypsy caravans, Outsider or Detour Art and Charleston Farmhouse in equal measure I have been meaning to paint up our chicken coop doors since they were installed. Last weekend, while the man of the house was camping, it was the perfect opportunity for the boys and I to tackle this delectable task.

Day One

I had originally intended to paint these doors myself, and to do gypsy style scroll decorations around the chicken cameos. I was rather apprehensive of doing it justice. (Careful, decorative embellishments are not my strong point). But after seeing how well the kids’ work on the chicken gate turned out, I decided that the same pseudo-pointillist technique would look a lot better and that the boys would do a much better job than I could.

I roughed out a cameo shape, mixed up some paint for them to use, and let them go for it. They loved it.

blank canvas (almost)

blank canvas (almost)Boy power!

Notice the different styles, apparent even this early in the proceedings. Boy One is neat, precise and thoughtful about his work, taking after his father and paternal grandfather. Boy Two is a lot looser and messier, taking after his mother and maternal grandfather! (A natural Fauve perhaps?) Interesting stuff. I love it that they have differing styles.

Pointillism stage complete

Pointillism stage complete

The boys decided that one would do mostly warm colours on the door with cool colours on the border, and the other would do the reverse.

The boys then painted their favourite chickens in silhouette

The boys then painted their favourite chickens in silhouette

For better or worse, I decided that a higher contrast was needed with the background, so I painted in the dark areas. This was the end of day 1.

For better or worse, I decided that a higher contrast was needed with the background, so I painted in the dark areas. This was the end of Day One.

Day Two
Day Two - I held the chicken while each boy painted its portrait!

Final stages – I held the chicken while each boy painted its portrait! (Arty’s hair looking a bit feral here!)

After signatures were added, the boys wanted to put the chickens’ names on their portraits. Each chose a different style.

Hugo chose a flag emblem for Vita’s name, and used a fancy serif letter form. Vita looks like she is wearing a superhero mask…. or else a villain’s mask. Perhaps the latter. Hugo says definitely superhero!!

Arty chose a simple oval plaque for Emily's name. It suits her eggy shape I think.

Arty chose a simple oval plaque for Emily’s name. It suits her eggy shape I think.

Detail of Fauvist Vita

Detail of Fauvist Vita

Detail of Impressionist Emily :-)

Detail of Impressionist Emily :-)

View of the chicken coop through the garden

View of the chicken coop through the garden

Room for much more decoration here. I feel we are only just getting started!