African American Folk Art by Mari Hall


Oil Paintings ~ African American Folk Art
Mari Hall, Artist

"Venice @ 16" by Mari Hall
"Venice @ 16" 11 in W X 14 in H - $225 USD
Fine Art Giclee Print on Watercolor Papers, Archival Quality
African American Folk Art
Art in the Key of Life

"Venice Beach @ 16" is the same idea as "Santa Monica Beach @ 15", with a beach ball and my boyfriend.

Life in Southern California, especially if growing up in the greater Los Angeles area, most certainly will involve the beach. A beach. Some beach. My beach when I was very young, was Santa Monica Beach. It was a vast expanse of yellow and mottled splashy green blue wet colors with salt and sea shells tossed around the sand, mixed with long strands of ropey green algae and small childs' toys. The scent of the ocean tickled my nose many miles away from the actual event of seeing the glimmering Pacific Ocean, radiant in shiny light colors, foaming waves crashing endlessly in cascading rhythms, beckoning me to enter immediately in spite of my small frame and inability to swim. In other words, I almost drowned. I must have flopped rather dramatically for the vigilant life guard to spot my bobbing head flapping around rather ineffectively amidst the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean, as he did manage to fetch me before the rip tides dragged me out to sea as bait for sharks. Being a noisy and active child, I did not delay during other visits to Santa Monica Beach, to toss my wild child's mind and body right back into the grand Pacific Ocean, daring, it would seem, for the ocean to grab me again and drag me out to sea. Instead I was tossed rather fabulously, into the wet sand over and over and over, as the waves tossed me up and threw me forward rather harshly into the hard wet sand. I loved every minute of it. The sand, the long expanses of burning hot sand, that was my "safety zone" where I would crawl after enduring more than several minutes of punishing waves and violent rip tides, to the safety of our beach blankets and picnic baskets where my friends and various pairs of parents would wait patiently for us to return eventually, sandy and wet, wild eyed and startled, hungry and loud. The ocean experience was the one event that was so punishing, so humilitating, so devoid of comfort, that I actually felt small, antlike, frail, so limited as a human being, that it would inevitably force my mind and my body and my heart forward into an ever deepening appreciation of beauty and life and God.

What can I say. I love the beach. I am glad that I did not drown.

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