Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mugs, Jugs, and a Booby Prize

Thought for the day:  Do what you can, where you are, with what you've got. Break the rules, be different, be dynamic, but above all, be yourself! And have fun doing it!  [Paul Dixon]

It was pretty doggone evident when we saw this car in the parking lot that the art show inside was gonna be a lit-tle unusual.

(And fun!)

This past Saturday, we went to the 19th annual Folk Fest, where self-taught artists from all over the country gathered to show and sell their wares. Wow! What an amazing display!

I've gotta admit, the pictures seen at right are what I most associated with folk art. Y'know, colorful, primitive... like the pictures our kids and grandkids generate to snazz up our refrigerators.

But it is so much more.

Personality is everything in art and poetry.  [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

There was a certain feel-good hippy kinda sentiment in a lot of the works. Like the one on the left. The sign the couple is holding says,

      NO DRAMA
         TO THE

Lots of love, peace, and happiness kinda stuff. Protest art. Humor and whimsy out the wazoo. Lots of re-purposing... y'knownew things created from old and/or unexpected things. Creativity abounded. And above all, it was clear that the artists loved doing what they were doing.

There is nothing more marvelous than doing something you love to do and getting paid for it. It ceases to become work, money, and effort; and it becomes fun, your expression of the joy of life. [Stuart Wilde]

                                                    Wanta see some of their pieces?


See anything unique about this picture? Look more closely at the man's face and necktie. It's actually made from a guitar!

Artist Steven Moseley, from Missouri, takes from two weeks to two months to complete each of his whimsy bottles, which he constructs through the necks of the bottles. The one in front is entitled The Last McSupper, complete with miniature burgers, orders of fries, and drinks. (complete with straws and lids!)

Here's a... booby prize. In case you can't tell, it's made from the upper torso of a female form, and covered with... what else? A montage of bodacious tatas.

No folk art show would be complete without face jugs, very popular in Southern pottery.

Oh, and how about some mugs to go with those jugs?

Here, we have a couple bottle trees  created by Mississippi artist Stephanie Dwyer. West Africans, who believed the colorful bottles kept haints away from the house, brought the tradition to this country. (Not sure exactly what a haint is, but I've got a feeling they haint good.)

My husband even got a kick out of all the neat stuff built out of various pieces of hardware.

HA! Even a hot rod!

Actually, there were a number of cars and motorcycles. And musicians. Even a whole band.

All kinds of characters built out of all kinds of stuff. This little guy was kinda cute. The gal who built him said he was explosive. He, um, also has a bit of an attitude.

Great work comes from great joy. Leave the angst for the movies; do art that is fun. [Jack White]

It's pretty obvious that the guy who built the following figures has a LOT of fun with his art. PLUS he gets bonus points from his wife for cleaning some of that old junk out of the garage ...

Aren't they just too cute? Something about this guy reminds me of a Roman soldier in an old movie.

And this one reminds me of Tweety Bird.

                                              Okay, just gonna show you two more.

Would you believe this Noah's Ark is made out of the metal from an old oil drum?

And finally, this flag... the stripes are made of baseball bats, and the stars? Painted baseballs. 

Painting is very easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do. [Vincent Van Gogh]

Okay, so the artists featured in this show may have been self-taught, but they definitely know how to create art. And how to put smiles on the faces of everybody looking at it, too. 

How about you? Ever been to an exhibit of folk art or created something from unlikely parts?

Oh, afterwards, we spotted a yard sale, and decided to stop by for a look-see. Guess what I found? A big fat 1920 book of humorous poetry! Cool, huh? For a DIME! Oh yeah, life is good.

                                 Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
                                                            And remember ...
                                If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong.  [George DiCarlo]


  1. I love the images you've posted here, Susan (and yes, my father-in-law got me building recombinant figures with him in his garage over 40 years ago --just to relax and have fun). Favorite here is the one you captioned, "Oh, and how about some mugs to go with those jugs?" Reminds me of a party in 1968.

  2. How much fun! I wish I could have gone!

  3. Thank goodness that show is not near here.... I'd spend a fortune!

  4. Awesome! I particularly like the mugs and jugs!

    And I'll bet the Last McSupper was something else!

  5. I love it! Folk art is my favorite. It tickles me to see people create beauty--and fun--from mundane objects.

  6. I love the Noahs Ark piece....beautiful.

  7. Very, very cool stuff!

    And what a great prize you got to end the day! 10 cents! That's even cheaper than what it cost new in the 1920's, right?

  8. I loved the bottle trees. For some reason, it brings to mind a scene from a novel where a character created a bottle tree mobile and hung it from the branches of a tree. I wish I could remember what book it was in. Sigh. I hate losing my memory.

  9. Geo- How cool! Do you still have some of the figures you and your father-in-law made? If so, maybe you can post pics of them on your blog sometime. HA! Those mugs remind you of some of your '60s parties, huh? All I can say is your parties must've been might-y interesting!

    Al- It was a ton of fun. Alas, no gorgeous waterfalls around, though.

    Cro- As artistic as you are, you could've just picked up ideas for your own work, and kept your wallet in your pocket.

    Dianne- The details in pieces like that "Last McSupper" blew me away. So tiny, but there they were, little bitty red cardboard containers bearing the golden arches picture, filled with (and spilling) little tiny french fries! Amazing.

    Linda- I didn't know much about folk art before, but after going to this show, I sure do have a greater appreciation for it now. So much of it is FUN!

    Delores- It really is. Hard to believe it was made from an ugly ol' oil drum.

    Chris- I KNOW! That book is so cool, and you're right... it probably DID cost more when it was new. According to info inside of the book, it was once a library book for a high school in Dolton, Illinois. (Last check-out was 1975.)

    Connie- If you're like me, you'll wake up in the middle of the night tonight, and say, "NOW I remember what book it was..."

  10. I love art shows like that - they are so much fun! I have a feeling you'll enjoy this exhibit in downtown Lakeland:

    It's a short walk from Lake Mirror, where the car show will be - you might as well see both while you are here!

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! The art looked like it was really unique and diverse. Also, I wanted to thank you for the kind words you left me on my blog the other day, I really appreciated it!

  12. Great pics. I wouldn't have picked up on the guitar face if you hadn't pointed it out. :)

  13. What FUN! And I SO want that baseball bat/ball flag. HOW great is that?

    Thanks for sharing. You always have the coolest stuff to show.

    Can I be you when I "grow up"? giggle

  14. Pixel- Thanks for the heads up on the exhibit in Lakeland, but I'm not sure we'll be able to squeeze in it. As it is, we have to steal away from our family in Orlando so we can go to the car show. (Not our daughter-in-law's or grandchildren's "thing".)

    EJW- It was definitely unique. And fun. My pleasure to leave you a comment. I hope you're feeling better about things now.

    Linda- Like a lot of the other things I tried to capture with the camera, the guitar face looks much neater in person than it does in the picture.

    Skippy- Yeah, I thought that baseball bat/ball flag was really neat, too. There was another similar one, with train tracks and little trains on it, but it looked poo poo in a photo. Sure, you can be me when you grow up, but you're gonna have to wait for me to grow up first. 12:34

  15. Love folk art! It is such a joyful and inclusive genre- this whole post is popping with fun :-)

  16. Man, Susan, you go to the coolest things. These are wonderful pieces. The building-things-in-bottles has always intrigued the hell outta me. How can anyone have the skill and patience to do all that? There's so much love in art. Maybe that's why it makes us feel good to look at it. Thanks!

  17. I've seen some of Steven Moseley's work before. I have a friend that has a couple of his pieces.

    there are so many creative people around and it's amazing what their eye sees in something I'd throw out. I see junk they see their next fun project.

    Glad you had a good time!

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  18. Lots of great artwork here! I especially like the Guitar Man, though I could really revisit all of the detailed pieces. Julie

  19. Laura- Yeah, we may not go anyplace exotic, but we're lucky that there are some pretty neat things right in our own back yard. Kinda, sorta. Glad you liked it.

    Sia- Oh, how neat! It's so cool that you've seen some of Moseley's work. He's got imagination out the wazoo, as do most all of the artists at the festival.

    Julie- Yeah, it really was a lot of great artwork, but what I loved about it was the hefty dose of FUN in every piece.