Folk art is defined as art originating among the common people of a nation or region and usually reflecting their traditional cultures especially everyday or festive items.
When I was in Santa Fe on vacation one year, I knew I had to stop at the Museum of International Folk Art. One of their permanent exhibitions is called Multiple Visions: a Common Bond. Oh Boy! What a feast for the eyes! Thousands of small toys and miniatures are scattered around the large gallery - not to be missed if you're visiting New Mexico. This book (above) is about the collection.
|The Virgin Rose|
An artist on Etsy reminds me of Mexican folk art with her tin nichos (see right). These are little shadow boxes or shrines that can be hung on the wall. This is an example of one that I really enjoyed. And she has more! Look for them and the other Mexican folk art in her shop, TheVirginRose.
There are other folk artists on Etsy who I've been following for a long time. Jannell Berryman's art (left) and Campbell Jane (below) are two I have interviewed over the past few years. Janell's art dolls are cute... and creepy. I interviewed her back on May 8, 2009. The interview and pics are still there, but the links don't work because she opened a new shop in Sept 2010. Go by and check out her blog too - it's loads of fun!
I originally met Campbell Jane through Entrecard. She sells on Etsy, Artfire and other sites like Zazzle and CafePress. I interviewed her back in the Spring of 2010 - many of the links from my post still work, if you want to use them. Or just hop on over to her Etsy shop, Campbell Jane.
I love all her water ladies. You can watch her paint (time lapse) on YouTube - it's like sitting in the room with her!
|Traditional Russian Nesting Dolls|
And aren't these little matryoshka ("nesting") dolls adorable! This 5-piece set (above) is handmade in Russla. Anastassya has made a lot of non-traditional dolls too, but I like these best. Go by and give this Etsy artist some love!
|Nesting dolls made of gourds|
Now if you want to try your hand at making some nesting dolls yourself, Pam at gingerbreadsnowflakes has instructions on making them out of gourds.
|Worry Dolls from Guatemala|
There's other folk art on Etsy - an easy tag to enter if you're interested. My favorites are molas, but I've written about them a lot. You can also try some commercial sites online to see and purchase folk art. I think these "Worry Dolls" are really special. What you do is tell your worries to them and place them under your pillows at night. In the morning, the dolls have taken all your worries away. I found an online website where they sell the dolls. Their little boxes are pretty special too!