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Folk Art 101


Welcome to Folk Art 101, where we learn what folk art is and how this site can help you learn more about it.

I'm Jantje Blokhuis-Mulder - a folk artist and writer - and my site provides you with in-depth features about interesting people places and things, as well as a resource library including relevant web pages that include artist profiles, museums, exhibitions and art techniques.

On this site I cover several different aspects of Folk Art: One - outsider artists - those who are not trained in traditional art forms and are "driven" to create; Two - do-it yourself folk artists or crafters- those who enjoy getting their hands dirty as they create unique works of art; and Three - roadside art and artists - the wonderful creations you find while driving (or walking) down the street. The common bond between these types of folk art is creativity.

When talking and learning about Folk Art, there are a few terms that you will begin to hear - some will be familiar, others may not.

First of all, Folk Art by definition, is the art produced by self-taught people - in other words, those who have not studied at art school. However today, the term "Folk Art" is also used to describe techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Then, there's Outsider Art, which is art that is created outside of the norm. That is to say, without guidelines or accepted standards.

There's also Visionary Art. It seems that there are those among us that have a spiritual force guiding them to create works of art, usually with a strong spiritual message - this is called visionary art.

And then there's Roadside Art, Art Brut, Tramp Art...

For those who enjoy creating their own folk art masterpieces, you will really enjoy my Folk Art Patterns, where you will find information free for the talking.

As a folk artist, I am especially interested to hear from other folk artists... what you do and why you do it. Also, if you know of a folk artistor roadside attraction in your city or town, let me know about him or her. This is YOUR site as much as it is mine so I encourage you to share your folk art links, experiences and questions with me by sending me an email.

Folk Art Terms:

Outsider Art is also known as Folk Art, Self-Taught Art, Art Brut, Intuitive Art, Tramp Art and Visionary art. Whatever you call them, outsider artists are not trained in traditional art forms and are "driven" to create.

Roadside Art is a term used to describe the wonderful creative works that - if you are lucky - you come across while driving to some place or other. Roadside art is often not created so much as a way for an artist to show and tell, its more work that is made simply because someone felt like doing something ... and so they do it.