Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Old Women Who Paint On Their Walls

I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU A STORY about three old women. Their art is an extraordinary sort. And it is by accident that they and their creations have come to light.

I have long been interested in what is generally known as "Outsider Art", "Naïve Art" or "Art Brut" - i.e. art which is made by those not formally trained in any artistic discipline, who mostly do not consider themselves "artists" as such. This isn't an easy genre to define by its very liminal nature, but the creators of it fascinate me. They are the marginal folk, the mad ones, seers of the Other Place, and their work often has a folk art quality to it which enchants me. Paintings and objects are frequently made with discarded things or drawn straight onto the edges of their surroundings: walls, doors, pavements.

So it is with these old women. They paint the walls of their houses. And the paintings are not demure tasteful interior design by any stretch! The walls and ceilings and doors are covered with bright bold "primitive" imagery, strange and wonderful. There are flowers, wolves, cats, angels and demons. There are peasant, religious, bucolic and mythical scenes. Often this urge to make imagery on their house walls bursts from these women later in life, after many hard years in poverty, or following the death of family members.

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Enni Id's cabin - photo above © Laatuaika Oy, photos below © Padasjoen 4H

First we have Enni Id (1900-1992) who lived in the community of Padasjoki in Finland. Her painting career began with widowhood. She covered the walls of her cabin with brightly coloured floral motifs, cats and plants. And she painted canvases too - with angels. Some of these paintings were exhibited in Helsinki, and nowadays her painted cabin can be visited at weekends. Below are panoramic views of her cabin interior which you can mouse-pan to look around. (QuickTime required)









Panoramic images
copyright © 2005 Laatuaika Oy.

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Photo: still from La Sérénité sans carburant - Un film de Marie Famulicki

Second comes Bonaria Manca, born in 1925 in the small community of Orune in Sardinia. In 1947 the Viterbo Province of Tuscany became her home, and there she lived a simple cattle-herding life with her family. This is where, after the death of her parents, she began to paint the walls (and canvases) with scenes from her youth, landscapes and forests.


photo credit above : Roberto Loru

Bonaria is reluctant to sell her paintings as she feels that the work has soul and therefore should not be separated from her.
A film has been made about her by french filmmaker Marie Famulicki titled "Serenity with no Fuel", which I would be fascinated to get hold of.

La Sérénité sans carburant - Un film de Marie Famulicki


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Third is Polina Raïko (born 1928 as Pelageya Andreyevna; died 2004), from Tsyuryupinsk, in the dusty, remote Kherson region of the Ukraine, not far from the Black Sea coast.


Polina's painting began after a hard and painful period in her life. In 1994, she lost her daughter Olena, and within a year her husband Mykola was dead too. Then in 1998 her son Serhiy, who was a violent alchoholic, was taken to prison, and it was only then (when she was 69) that her first wall paintings began. Serhiy died in 2002, and his mother's painting continued.


Flowers began to grow from the windowsills, mythological beasts roamed the edges of rooms, primordial forests grew beside kitchen cupboards. Babushka-Polina's strange enchanting figures, animals and scenes covered the walls throughout her house. Her colours are bright, and the paintings have overwhelming presence. As Nataliya Kosmolinska says, it is as if these things were born new from the Yaytse-Raytse (the Ukrainian Mythic Egg from which all things are born).

Above: imagery inspired by "Arktika" water bottle label.
All photos above by Oleksiy Kachmar

Polina used ordinary house paint, and for inspiration she took images from water bottles, chocolate, wine labels, religious postcards and translated them onto her house walls. In all she painted thirty-six walls, nine ceilings, and some of the courtyard.



All photos above and below from English Russia and Kolya-S-Raena

In the last years of her life, Polina's creations were discovered by tourists and there followed visits from journalists, artists, film directors and many others. Communist ideology creeps into her work in places: hammer and sickle, a female Soviet Army captain and a "military medic". But much of her imagery was religious in nature, with churches, saints, winged figures and heavenly birds appearing regularly. After Polina's death on January 15th 2004, a painted phrase was found on the garage door: "How to find a way to paradise..."

Nadia

The house was inherited by Polina's grandson who was utterly unappreciative of her work, and saw nothing in his grandmother's strange paintings. He put it up for sale for $6000 and it was bought by an American couple living in the Ukraine. It is inhabited now by Nadia, a relative of Polina's, who sees herself as a kind of museum curator. Sadly the paintings were made directly onto the plaster and so with the passing of time and damp, the paint is peeling away in places...



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What fascinates me about these women is the obsessiveness in their painting. Perhaps because they've kept a lid on their creativity all their lives, and it boils over dramatically in their later years, we see wild, imaginative, otherworldly art produced lavishly beyond the boundaries. There is a difference about it. But the interesting thing is that it is not "Art" but paintings, all over the walls of these women's houses. This transgresses any staid assumption of social boundary - i.e. what is or is not acceptable in one's dwelling place. It is too much. It is mad. And it is marvellous! They are peasant frescoes, and are utterly truly-wrought I think.

There seems to be a spiritual element to the work too, it is a kind of mantra, the repeated designs and complete covering of all surfaces appear like a constant and dedicated prayer. And the beauty of the work must not be forgotten either: to make your surroundings so colourful and decorative and replete with symbolic imagery is a magnificent and powerful thing. Entering these houses must feel quite wonderful.
For me there's a delicious juxtaposition between the sacred and the profane here: Polina Raïko longed to paint a church, but could not until she found an image on a wine bottle label for reference. And the eagerness and obsessiveness with which these women painted belies some seeming sacred purpose, written out on the edge-place of the ordinary.

I leave you with a quote from Jean Dubuffet who defined Art Brut thus:

"Those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses – where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere – are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professionals. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade."

~ Jean Dubuffet. Place à l'incivisme (Make way for Incivism).
Art and Text
no.27 (December 1987 - February 1988). p.36



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If you are interested in seeing and reading more about Outsider Art, I can highly recommend Raw Vision Magazine.
And thanks for information and photo credits go to these sites:
Outsider Environments Europe
Animula Vagula
(both of the above also recommended for Outsider Art enthusiasts)
English Russia
Oleksiy Kachmar
Laatuaika
Kolya-S-Raena
Nataliya Kosmolinska
Totem, Kherson

99 comments:

The Happy Peasant said...

Amazingly,brightly, completely beautiful art by these women, and a thank you for sharing this. I love this! -Amy

Marilyn said...

This is a most fantastic post - thank you. I think these women who created this art were amazing.

Cynthia Dyer said...

This post has taken my breath away. Thank you so much for introducing me to these amazing artists.

Graceful Moments said...

Just flying by and had to skim your post because I don't have time right now to savor it and I can tell I want to savor this one. I love outsider art...completely fascinated by it. Have you heard of Howard Finster? He lived not too far from where I live and he was an outsider artist...he painted 46,000 pieces of art and created a wonderland of art called Paradise Gardens. Here's a website that will tell you about him and show you some of his work, if interested: http://www.finster.com/
Have to run now but will definitely be back to read every word and study those fascinating photographs.

Mini Pig said...

How wonderful and so interesting. All three woman started the paintings after family deaths. Maybe to keep them company? Thanks so much for this post.

mermaiden said...

really tremendous. i am reminded of the canvas of the human form, where some people are continually tattooing themselves as on a quest like these wonderful ladies.

AnnaVallance said...

Great post! My favourite Canadian artist is Maud Lewis (1903-1970) who despite physical handicaps was a wonderful painter and even painted the inside of her house. That house is now in the Nova Scotia museum for all to enjoy.

Isabel said...

Thank You soo much for sharing those beautiful stories and wonderful pictures. I will definitely have to read more on this. And I love your Art:O) Isabel~

Joan said...

Thank you for sharing this..as a woman who is tentatively doodling on her bathroom wall I stand in awe of these women who were so impelled to paint..brave and glorious!

echo said...

I love the individual and humble stories of these women. Although they may not have thought much of themselves or their art, they have definitely inspired me!

femminismo said...

I am so glad I came by today. These women created beauty and your quote about seeking art - not for acclaim or attention or competing to be best - is perfect! Thanks, Rima.

Are you curious about me? said...

This is such a beautiful post Rima.

"I am not alone with this creative soul of mine"

~ Julie

knutty knitter said...

I once visited an elderly friend of a friend who had turned her walls into wonderful floral feasts for the eyes by meticulously collecting and gluing on thousands of shells, large and small.

I often wonder what happened to those garlands and baskets and arrangements of flowers. It is over 30 years ago now and not local to me.

viv in nz

Juniper said...

I don't know exactly how I came to your blog, but I am so happy I did! Its a wonderful place and this post about these women is really wonderful, Thank you so much for sharing, I am amazed at their work and lives and I think that thoughts of them will be following me for days to come.

tree shadow moon said...

What enchanting stories and amazing photos - thanks for sharing them. I guess you probably know of the museum of naive art in Zagreb, but if not then it's well worth it. Lots of these wall paintings reminded me of works I saw there, which I loved so much.

Nà x

Martin H. said...

What an enthralling post. I will have to learn more about Art Brut, following this fascinating introduction.

Some of this work reminded me of that done by Sara Rodgers, an artist who may well have developed her style under the influence of Art Brut.

Coyopa said...

Amazing, wonderful, intense! These houses are immersed in their occupants' soul, vivid expressions of lifeforce pouring out...

These women, this art, those houses - they're so inspiring!

I never really knew about 'outsider art' before, Rima - thank you!!

The quote at the end says it all:

...in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade...

Johanna from Finland said...

Thank you once again, Rima! Are you familiar with the Moomintroll books (or comics) by Tove Jansson? I'm asking because this reminded me of the book "Moominpappa at Sea"! There Moominmamma missed her garden so much she began to paint the interior walls of the lighthouse, and the painted garden became a place she could walk into...

Allegra Smith said...

OMG! I honestly got chills. It was as if having discovered a world of fantasies realized, bits and pieces of spirits joyfully dancing everywhere. The colors, the themes, the spontaneity so clearly delineated within the free form, I could not help but to think about the painters of Lascaux, a primitive beauty of expression that transcends time and concepts of art. Thank you, Rima. I will share this with others because it is so unexpected, so beautiful, so much in need of these dark days.

acornmoon said...

What an extraordinary post, there is something about them that looks like a form of release, as if the emotions and inner turmoils had no other form of expression. How marvelous that such creativity came about. It is no wonder that -" Bonaria is reluctant to sell her paintings as she feels that the work has soul and therefore should not be separated from her." All of these women have painted not just from the heart but from the soul.

Tonia said...

What wonderful images - I often think that folk art (or Art Brut - I'd never heard that phrase before) has more value to a society as it's a direct reflection of the people coping and surviving from day to day.

Are you curious about me? said...

Rima

I know that you are taking a break but...when are you opening your Etsy shop again?

It's my daughter's birthday and would love to buy her one of your prints, is that at all possible?

~ Julie

Jill in ID, USA said...

This is so new to me - I've never heard of this kind of art but it spoke to me in a surprising way. I love the freedom of expression and the obsessiveness that these women displayed. My thoughts were intrigued by your words that this kind of painting often comes later in life and many times after death visits them. I wonder if it is at this point in their lives that they are finally free from anyone else discouraging or vetoing their desire to create the environment they have always secretly desired? They have complete freedom to express themselves however they are moved and don't have the need or compunction to follow unwritten words of what is acceptable in societies norm or to please anyone other than themselves. Are they finally free to paint "wallpaper" and decorate to their hearts desires? Is this all they can afford, the paint, with the walls already blank and available? To fill in every inch with painting their favorite things and that which has always been in their imagination? And to consider that they all did this in advancing years - the effort extended in painting ceilings and high walls is amazing.

I'm inspired to do this in a spare room and paint to my hearts content, perhaps with my granddaughters helping. To be free and not have lines sketched out or stencils to make everything just so. It is after all, just paint.

FuturePrimitive said...

Absolutely incredible. Strange how all the paintings from all the ladies are similar too. It's like some long forgotten craft that only they know..even though they don't know each other! I loved this post. Thanks for showing us.
Tiggy x

Arija said...

Pure expression of emotin, something one can only do in solitude and without averse opinion of ones partner or having to to interrupt one's work to feed another.
Each one's art is superb in its own way and the Romanian paintings are a translation of one woman's pain and hope through the country's folk art and patterns evolved through many centuries.

Thank you for posting these wonders of creation.

Ciara said...

Oh my heart...How loss and age allows us to be free in a way we never could have before. There is something so heartbreaking and honest and raw about these incredible images and stories.

I have no doubt that this will be me if I am ever unfortunate enough to outlive the darlings of my heart.

Jo said...

Completely enchanting!! Each of them appear to be painting from the depths of their very souls, demonstrating raw passion and authenticity - I loooove that. Completely surrounding themselves with constant reminders of their realness and presence, plus the rhythm of executing(and later seeing) repeated images, undoubtedly brings comfort and much hope too. Thank you for sharing these with us, Rima, and providing the links too.
Hugs xx

Tess said...

These are absolutely amazing, mad, exuberant, extraordinary. I shall share your post with my Elderwomanspace online community.

jodi said...

These three ladies, what little I know of them, has fascinated me too, and it's interesting to see their work standing side by side like this. Thank you.
If you ever find yourself in Paris, you should know that there is the Halle Saint Pierre, which is the museum of art brut in Montmartre ( http://www.hallesaintpierre.org/ ) and, even more lovely for its country setting, the Musée International D'Art Naïf ( http://www.midan.org/ ) which involves taking a suburban train out of Paris, and then a walk through a village and (unfortunately) down a road with no shoulders for a stretch. But it's absolutely worth it, even on a rainy day where cars splash you... it's *that* nice!
And then there's that art brut museum opening up in Lille that Henk mentioned on Outsider Environments... I would *love* to get up there!

Gerry Snape said...

I regularly buy the magazine, Outsider Art.. but the piece that has affected me most on your post is the quote at the bottom from The 5 people that you meet in heaven. It's why I love my bloggers, we do influence each other and pass it on !

Swan Artworks said...

Just extraordinary!! And wonderful!

Dyche Designs said...

I'm always in awe of people who demonstrate such commitment and passion. I remember watching a TV show about a woman who loved mosaics and covered every square inch of her house with them. It even spilled out into her garden in pathways, outside walls and pots. I'm sure it would have been an amazing place to walk around and take in.

martha said...

lovely lovely lovely I love these worlds created by these women.

henk van es said...

Hi Rima,
I am the author of Outsider Environments Europe and I have been thinking a number of times that it would be a good idea to compare work and life of Polina, Enni and Bonaria. And wow, you did it! I like your post very much, these women have so much in common, although living in quite different societies. You described very well some essential points in the way they had to express themselves. Thanks a lot,
Henk van Es

rossichka said...

I don't know why but it was hard for me to read this post! I even made a break to maybe perceive things better. Too many colours, strong energy, brightness; a wonderful, amazing and dramatic reading at the same time! These three old women and their art are incredible! So much passion, sense of harmony, bursting emotions and ... a touch to God! The paintings that full each and every space of their modest homes, make me awe and fill my eyes with tears... Thank you, Rima, for letting us know about this phenomenon and for all the links you gave!!

The Acolyte said...

Rima,

I am so moved by this post. Thank you for showing me these things that I did not know and could not have dreamed existed.

Heather said...

What an amazing body of work these remarkable yet quite ordinary women have created. I would hope they all found solace in their art after having to cope with such hardships and tragedies.

herhimnbryn said...

Oh R, thankyou! I wonder what these women would have thought of all the appreciation here?

Sometimes I write things on our house walls. Now, where is my paint...

whollyafool said...

this is AMAZING. thank you so much for sharing this incredible work!

BT said...

Oh Rima, it is far too long since I last visited The Hermitage. Life takes over sometimes, especially in the summer with the garden. I will try harder. I just love this post, I have never heard of Outsider Art before but how fascinating it is. Thank you for a wonderful post.

April said...

I cannot believe you posted this! How amazing! I have been in love with Mili Weber ever since I saw her painted home in the book, "Alpine Interiors." She painted her entire home in fairy tale style and I have always tried to find out more about her but have never had much luck. What wondrous homes these women created!Why, I wonder. Was it a release for them or to create a sanctuary where they would feel safe- surrounded by images they love. A wonderful post! Thank-you!

farmlady said...

Isn't it amazing what can happen when we have nothing left to loose and we are not trying to earn a living with art.
These woman were given a gift of sorts and each manifested it in their own way.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post.

Katie said...

After seeing the 'seraphine' trailer [a french film] which you would love. I had been thinking abt this type of folk art and of course you did a post on exactly this topic - what a kindred spirit you are Rima. I love all the folk arts ,to me this work here is even deeper than traditional folk art,straight from the unconcious,unpolluted and unfiltered - that they call it naive is a blunder.
Its so rare and personal and does contain spirit moreso than alot of regulated exacting wrk I see. What strikes me is that some of these motifs are so old ,the heads of the ukranian woman's work looks like the same heads the aboriginal women here paint called "Wandjina Rock Art" and similar to Mithali painting which women in india have been painting on their walls forever.There is something distinctly slavic abt her work too that i see in lots of other slavic artists like mirka mora.Perhaps jung was right abt the collective unconcious these women are really tapping into that because reason isn't interfering.
I was having the most horrid day after 5 years worth of my drawings were accidently thrown out by my sister never to be returned ,but you truly raised my spirits with this post in the belief that it will all be born again.

Owen said...

I too was going to ask if perhaps you have heard of or seen even the lovely French film named Seraphine ? Well worth tracking it down.

I'm also very happy to see you know about Henk's blog Outsider Environments Europe... he's been doing a great job with outsider art over the past couple of years.

It was a post on Henk's blog not too long ago that inspired me to go look at one of the sites he wrote about and do further photographs of it, which are posted here :

http://magiclanternshowen.blogspot.com/2010/06/wirwignes-decorated-church.html

Thanks for this lovely detailed post bursting with information and visions and inspiration...

Shannon said...

I have never heard of these amazing ladies or their work. Thank you so much for introducing them to me! I've thought about doing something similar in my home, but my hubby would probably give me funny looks. So, I haven't.... yet. :-)

Take care!

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

Rima, thank you so much for sharing this. I'm completely inspired! I get chills imagining what it would feel like to wander through these homes!

aafke7 said...

Thanks MaryLena (Belgium) I got your lovely blog and this amazing post!
Thank you very much!
Dutch groetjes

Dixie Sargent Redmond said...

Rima. This fascinates me. I have to come back and read more when I have more time. Lovely post. I see freedom in those painted walls.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Rima, what a wonderful inspiring post. Thank you for introducing these wonderful women to me. I have so many thoughts jumbling around in my head now. I have often felt the desire, almost the NEED, to do this, but of course, when you live with someone in a shared space, you always have to hold back a little. I wonder whether all of us hold back a little too much, and consequently end up living in bland, beige houses because we don't want to upset our partners (who may secretly have the same desire), or because we are supposed to always keep the 'resale value' in mind?! I have taken to my walls in a small way...very bright and exuberant colours for a start, and a 'quote' wall where I write things that inspire me. I also have a large piece of painted art/text on my kitchen wall, that began as a way of dealing with Post Natal Depression. It's always an interesting gauge of visitors...those who glance but don't look, those who look but think they probably shouldn't ask, and those (the ones I like the best), who look, and read and ask. I also thought the same thing as Katie, that some of the figures remind me very much of the Aboriginal 'Wanjina' paintings. At the very least, these beautiful masterpieces suggest a deep human desire to create a beautiful, personal living space, something I think we've lost these days, as so many people rely on others to make their houses look 'beautiful'.

FairiesNest said...

What an amazing post!! Thank you So much Rima for sharing these incredible women with us!

Genie of the Shell said...

These works are absolutely stunning! It is so interesting that the women were inspired to do this after a trauma.

I had a dark time in my teens when I felt compelled, without understanding why, to cut all of the eyes and teeth out of hundreds of magazine pictures. I created a thick collage that depicted a dragonlike beast made of human eyes, teeth, and fingernails. It was the coolest piece of art I've ever made, and it was not for an art class or intended to sell. I just needed to DO it. It still hangs on my wall.

These beautiful images you've posted make me want to paint a mural on my baby's room. I have always wanted to create wall art. Maybe I won't be able to stop with one room...

Andrew Finnie said...

Hey, thanks Rima.
My eyes are still shut but there's a crack of light between the lashes.

:)

Moonroot said...

How wonderful! Thank you for sharing the stories of these women and the wonderful images they created...

P.K said...

This was a a most interesting post. Thank you for the amazing images and links.

Crafty Green Poet said...

these are wonderful photos of wonderful paintings, such amazing outpourings of creativity,

Threadspider said...

Perfectly magical. Thank you Rima.

William said...

I love this! I find joy in the artwork, and as one old man ( someday), i am inspired by these lovely women, and what their art shows thru their life experience.

Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Rima
I am afraid that I am one of those that paints on walls,....I started this years ago, and have painted entire rooms and ceilings and memories and fantasies for my children. My neice coming into my kitchen the first time commented on the squirrels and dandylions (flowers) painted on my stove. I am always so sorry to leave my world behind for others who might not appreciate it. Some wonderful souls celebrate it .....but I thought you might be interest in knowing about a Canadian Painted who has passed and who traded her paintings for food or sold them for pennies. Her house was so small yet so painted that it was moved into the Art Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her name was Maude Lewis and her story of survival is amazing.

Anonymous said...

it's almost frightening, but immensely beautiful in that sense also! I don't reckon that outsider art is something that is highly rated, but once you see the work, it is amazing and one can't help but wonder how these women do it...

Yarrow said...

How absoultely fascinating, inspiring, and awe-inducing. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing women and their art. Blessings.

mandy said...

What a wonderful topic to blog about! So inspiring! And isn't it awesome to see the creative force so strongly in people?

Amelia said...

wow - what a wonderful discovery I have found today. Entering another land/world here that I so need to visit at the moment I just know it!

Lovely, intriguing post. And what a curious, wonderland, web-space you have built here - love it!

Amelia.x

gypsygirlatheart said...

When I was about 13, one very bored Saturday afternoon I got it into my head to start painting the very plain white walls in my bedroom. Later that day I got yelled at by my parents and the next weekend my parents bought white paint from the hardware store and forced me to paint over what I had done.

When I read your post, not only was I touched and inspired by the tale you wove but that thirteen year old girl inside of me started jumping up and down shrieking "See! See!!"

Absolutely lovely and I will be pointing people towards your blog!

Cheers,
Rori
~Gypsy Girl @ Heart~

Ruth said...

This is cool :) I started painting on our walls - I must get back to it and by the time I'm old, I might have a house with illustrated walls, and other paintings on top :).
In Maori language, Rima is number 5.

Mo'a said...

Enni Id's design reminds me of William Morris design...I find it rather sophisticated.
Some day there will be talk about my studio walls...I have sculpted sayings and design on them.
Thank you for this post...most interesting.

moonbindery said...

Great post -- I love outsider art. It's so direct and heartfelt and honest.

Genie of the Shell said...

Did everyone see Google today?? It's about artist Josef Frank. I am so inspired to paint my walls in bright, organic Scandinavian patterns!

steven said...

rima thanks for all the work you put into assembling this stunning presentation. it excites me to see the work of people whose creative spirit has suddenly connected with the river of creativity flowing past the window of their being and allowed it to flow through their beings and onto the walls of their little worlds. it's so richly innocent. steven

Gaea Yudron said...

Rima, Tess told us about your blog on Elderwoman's site and I loved your recent post on the old women painting their houses. I have a blog on creative aging at http://sagesplay.blogspot.com

I want to talk with you about your experience in the gypsy wagon, as I am contemplating doing that myself. Can we talk via email?

Helle Koed said...

What a beautiful blog u have! :) Looove your drawings, so different from my own, but I love your work...

Cheers

Thilda said...

I have red about her (Finnish lady) and I have planned to visit her house. Now I have photos from other Finnish museums in my blog, welcome! :)

Breenee said...

Thanks for this glimpse, Rima! I love outsider art as well, and this was really thought provoking- three raucous old women, spilling over!

Terresa said...

What a fascinating tour of art so personal, I feel their homes are shrines or temples even.

And the Dubuffet quote is brilliant. I agree with it completely. (Outsider art, really, is where it's at.)

Mammon said...

Dear Rima,
I was looking for Iassen Ghiuselev's work and ran into your blog. What a joy and delight you are! You've made my heart sing and my eyes smile. Thank you for the beauty you create! :)

P.S. How can I own one of your clocks?! :) I HAVE to buy one.

Lydia said...

How astonishingly beautiful and haunting these walls are! I really appreciate you introducing these three women and their art to your readers, for it was all new to me. I am half-Finnish so was so intrigued by the first...but I love the birds in the third the most.

I copied your final paragraphs of this post beginning with "What fascinates me about these women..." and ending with your gorgeous phrase "...written out on the edge-place of the ordinary" -- and pasted them into the writing analyzer at I Write Like. According to this sampling of your writing you write like Dan Brown. It's a fun exercise... :)

Nellie said...

I love your gorgeous blog and I've passed on an award to you if you'd like it :)
Nellie x

mythopolis said...

Hi! I so enjoy this, and hope you will post more soon. I am 66 and live by myself. I am piece-by-piece replacing my furnishings with things I make. I m kinda stuck on how to make a refrigerator, or stove. Post more when you can. I will always b interested in what you do next.

mythopolis said...

Obviously, everyone wants more of you and I am not the least of these. Your life seems a sweet hope of how life should be. Keep these things coming. They do good things in people's minds.

mademoiselle G said...

That's so inspiring isn't it? Outsider art is so special...I even decided to do my "memoire" for my last master's degree year on september!

Anne said...

WOW!....:)

Hi. I'm Anne from the Blue Mountains, Australia. I really enjoyed reading this post. My Grandma painted on the back of the door where we lived when I was little. It was a floral design. I loved it. I used to stare at it as a child, thinking how naughty Grandma was for painting on the door and knowing that if I did that I would have gotten into big trouble!...LOL
I made my mum and dad keep it for me when they sold the house. One day when I get my own place I'm going to put the door in my house. I miss that house where I grew up - not many people grow up with 2 front doors, a sandstone driveway with pink cement, possums running on the roof (you'd swear they where wearing gumboots because they were so noisy), a labyrinth of a garden that a child can get lost in for hours, playing with six cats, a huge mandarin tree and macadama nut tree, and a huge strawberry patch growing right down in the back corner next to the veggie patch that I could help my self to when I was hungry. I only wish that one day I can have a home like this for my children to grow up in.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful site, but it disturbs me to see that there are no negative comments like 'this is kitch.' True art is inclusive and embraces the comments of those who love as well as hate that which is created...

lynne h said...

thank you, rima, for posting this... i appreciate it very much. : )

harem6 said...

These houses took our breath away! OMG! All this imagination and skill !Truly amazing!

Amy said...

Thank you for posting this, it would be so awesome to see this work in person.

I'm lucky have a great museum in my city that specializes in this kind artwork. Some of the shows have included parts of the homes of people who were moved to create the same sort of work:
http://www.avam.org/

The Flying Tortoise said...

How wonderful are the stories and paintings of these three remarkable women.
Thankyou so much for finding and posting such material...

* BITTERSWEET * said...

Spectacular! Thank you so much for posting this. :-)

janet said...

Dear Rima,
Wouldn't you love to sit with these ladies and talk about what their art means to them. Just a quiet conversation about inspiration and creativity.
Thank you for introducing these wonderfully creative women to us. Just stunning!

Your friend,
Janet

Elizabeth said...

These women are both extraordinary and quite wonderful. I need to come back to read and look at this post again and again.
MAGIC indeed and beyond beautiful.
Is there any way I can get this post on to TWITTER
or FACEBOOK (both of which I'm a total novice at !!!

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Thank you for an enjoyable, thoughtful, educational read! There is a resonance here. -J

Ron @ DubaiFunHolidays said...

i just loved the paintings and i could not believe it was these women who did that, its really applaudable that even in this age, they are working so hard and so good

Michelle said...

You would so love the Owl House. It's not painted. It was moulded and created by a wonderfully mad woman living in the bleak Karoo in Africa.

Her creations have a very similar spirit to your work.

http://www.southafrica.info/travel/cultural/owl-house-251005.htm

Ellen said...

Rima, thank you for this extraordinary post. The images and the text are beautiful. I also identify with these women. I am new to blogging and still climbing the hill of technical skill requirements. I have been working for a while on a blog in which my quest is to find beauty in wrinkles (http://wrinkledintime.wordpress.com). I also have another blog and have made only a few posts on this site which is http://madwomandancing.wordpress.com. It is just a baby and has much nurturing to go. But, as my username (madwomandancing) suggests, I identify--strongly--with what you have described in these women--with a creative fire at this stage of my life ( age 62) that is not altogether comfortable. I suspect that those of us who might be called (or perceive ourselves to be) madwomen are fueled not just by our own personal losses and experiences but are coming alive (in paint or whatever medium), attempting to bring forth something sacred and uniquely feminine, something which has been repressed in our patriarchal world.
I will be identifying your site on one of my posts very soon.
Thanks again for your beautiful work.

Lisa said...

I love this and I love your blog. :D

Tracie said...

I've book marked this post and have been re-visiting it and recommending it to others for months! Love it!

Anonymous said...

This is some most beautiful art work. for this and the past century.. my sincerity is at the greatest level. this reminds me of fresh gardenias in the morning or like a beautiful prayer.. my grandma is a beautiful Italian women who also has a wonderful craft.. you are all an inspiration to so many. keep up the wonder thoughts

Ms. said...

This is my third visit to this particular post on your spectacular site dear Rima. It so moves me. These women- crafting their deepest selves on to walls, like the famous fresco painters, but without the royal commissions. Art of the heart...and the true meaning of homemaking.

Ms.

Yamile Yemoonyah said...

OMG, this is sooo amazing!!! I love, love, love these houses and paintings and I have the highest respect for these women who transformed the hardships of life into these incredible, beautiful pieces of art!

Snail Grrl said...

thank you so much for this amazing post.

Diane Hutchinson said...

Kindred spirits...thank you.