The boys on the street

This week’s assignment was to attempt some folk art painting, or Art Naif. As inspiration, I’ve used a photo  that I’d taken many years ago in one of my trips to the north east of Brazil. Scenes like that are common place, children on the empty streets, talking, playing under the lazy Sunday sun, the smell of good homy food in the air… I wanted to capture the simplicity of it.

Art Naif is supposed to be from the soul, painted by people with no academic background, but with a desire to paint and register the daily life of the community. There is no concern about perspective or proportions, but they are usually full of detail, color, stories, more like a ‘Where is Wally” sort of thing: there are scenes inside the main scene and one could spend hours just reading the pairing.

While trying to paint Naif, I realized that I’m very bad with small details. Call it laziness or lack of talent, I don’t know, but it was a struggle to make the small brushes slide on the paint to make it clean, and then I would feel like I had opened many cans of worms at the same time. Taking pictures during the process helped to see that I had, at one point, left one of the children without a leg, and had chopped the arm off, of some other. And of course, the lady watching the boys was supposed to be also boy, but she came along during the process, and I was left with no option, but to give her a dress and something to do. The dog like creature was particularly hard.

I’ve also learned that it takes patience and dedication. Painting or drawing as plain as possible is not easy. Simple, is not easy, full stop.

Here is my piece. It is not suppose to be great, it is suppose to tell a story, as simple as that.

One thought on “Art Naif and what I’ve learned in the process

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