African American Folk Art by Mari Hall


Oil Paintings ~ African American Folk Art
Mari Hall, Artist

"Gras" by Mari Hall
"Gras" 11 in W X 11 in H - $225 USD
Fine Art Giclee Print on Watercolor Papers, Archival Quality
African American Folk Art
Art in the Key of Life

Yes, you must visit there. It is a good time to go. The area is not full of tourists. There is time before Easter celebrations. Yes, you must go to Venice. And so I did, not in time for Mardi Gras, but right before Easter. I took a train from Ferrara, Italy to Venice, Italy.

The soft blue grey skies were beautiful, an adornment for my first and only visit to Venice, where I was astonished to see what looked like pearlized buildings, white marble casting their long images into the waters of the canals, graceful against the soft spring skies, so soft, as if they would fold into drapes of soft silk rather than stand hard against rain and wind. A touch of soft enveloped every step that I took while I walked slowly along the narrow streets of some part of Venice, which part I do not know, looking here and there until I found a most remarkable place where they made lovely hand painted masks, for Carnivale.

The artist was busy placing the final touches on some rather ornate fantasy mask that held too many twirled lines, made by a hand that finished so many masks with delicate details in reds and blacks with gold and feathers, hanging along the walls, they were so very splendid to see. Large and bold, small and dainty, the size did not diminish the skills evident with each mask, so carefully created. My Italian being the size of a very small sandwich, we conversed sporadically in English, French, Italian and hand pointing, until I tired of ideas to ask quickly and knowing that my eye and my bank account were not on the same page, I arranged to buy a few small masks that were carefully packed in a tidy box which I carried back with me to Ferrara and eventually arrived safely with me back in Seattle. A piece of Venice, remembered with softness, in a small mask painted by the hand of an unknown master.

Mari Hall describes her painting style as folk art, with a balance of ethnic references, flowing into her description of her art as African American Folk Art which probably defies formal catalogue. The influences for her contemporary oil paintings derive from a host of painters, who also embraced flat plane composition, fauvist color and abolished formal constraints of chiascuro modeling, horizon lines and light versus shadow. Her modern artist eye does not deny the influence of modern advertising, modern photography and modern humor. She describes herself as a self-taught artist leaning heavily upon the works of Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, with a host of other artists shuffled in between days and nights of perusing art in its many forms, including music. Her African American Folk Art is also influenced by Haitian paintings which fly in the face of gravity and reason into torrents of color and history. Mari Hall prefers the sticky torpid passion of oil paint with its dangers and fumes, to the more readily prized acrylic paint. The entire experience of painting with oil is sensory to the extreme, propelling her into the azure skies of creativity with a touch of Mojave Desert madness. To calm her flight into the vagaries of chaotic paint, Mari sometimes tosses out a novel, as writing for her, is another form of painting, only with words.

Mari Hall started painting in her late 20s as a way to fill her time with something constructive and engaging. Painting became a gateway into an emotional and mental space that stretched into decades of intense learning, expansion, failure, success, dreaming that forever she would have tubes of oil paint, boxes of pencils, bottles of ink, reams of paper, rolls of canvas with endless amounts of time and energy to push all of each strand into some visual form that held pleasure for another besides herself. She is in her fourth decade of painting and hopes to mimic forever her desires in paint until she can no longer hold a brush.

ElectricMoonBaby is African American Folk Art 2020, Outsider Art in the Key of Life.
ElectricMoonBaby is Mari Hall, Artist & Writer.
ElectricMoonBaby is American, Contemporary, Constant, Flavored.
ElectricMoonBaby is Art in a Fun Key. Enjoy., Mari Hall, Artist © 2016-2020