African American Folk Art by Mari Hall


Oil Paintings ~ African American Folk Art
Mari Hall, Artist

"Okai Diva" by Mari Hall
"Okai Diva" 13 in W X 13 in H - $215 USD
Fine Art Giclee Print on Watercolor Papers, Archival Quality
African American Folk Art
Art in the Key of Life

Ok. I admit. I got tired of the idea. What idea? Aliens. Aliens with dripping fangs, bat wings, hideous creatures from the mental basement. I had enough, entertaining as they might be, I had enough. So I thought, what if aliens looked like hand puppets, eh? Kind of cute, hand puppets. And that was the starting point for my series of Radio Paintings, that evolved from reading how some of our technology developed. But even before that, I, being the non-scientist, and easily mystified by my $6.97 radio which uses only ordinary AA batteries and gets stations from many miles away, and on occasion, picks up radio broadcasts as far away as Seattle, Washington, I would pause in amazement, fingering the small dial, searching for some station that I liked, looking at the grey plastic casing, I wondered, again, how does this thing work? I still don't know how it works, but I did read that radio technology spawned a lot of our technology that we all use, like TV, and the internet, and satellite technology, and GPS technology, and probably deep space probe technology. I would sit and wonder, during my idle time of which I seem to have a lot, until I get inundated with my own projects, I would wonder, well, darn it, why can't I see broadcast signals? I mean, they are everywhere, we are pierced repeatedly with broadcast signals, or at least that is my assumption, as I don't think they bounce off of my plump body. I think they just meander through and hit the cell phone or the computer or the radio or whatever else I have in my little apartment that uses radio technology.

So then, I thought, well, ok, so we used analog signals and now we have digital signals, including high definition signals, and then I thought, ok, so maybe analog is so different, like maybe it is another kind of something or another. Me being me, I had to turn all of it into hand puppets. That's my scope of understanding. So here are my Radio Paintings, colorfully presented ideas of Analog Aliens versus Digital Aliens (I figured they don't get along!) and the Analog Aliens, presented as some shade of pink, bouncing along side Digital Aliens, presented in very loud red color, here they are, gliding along earth plane, or spinning near our outer stars. Here they are, friendly and not so friendly, Hand Puppet Analog & Digital Aliens, without bat wings, but they do have lots of eyes.

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