Sarah Jane Perkins untitled 13, Guarde-rail Gallery, Austin Texas

Sarah Jane Perkins untitled 13, Guarde-rail Gallery, Austin Texas

Outsider art. I just learned the term the other day. These self-taught artists boast no formal training. One branch of this gutsy tree is “folk art.” Fresh, approachable and without pretense. In a word – charming.

The formal art world shuns them and you won’t see their work in museums (yet). Some are autistic, some finished school at 7th grade, most are normal people like you and me. They work in paint, embroidery, and old mop handles. The fine art establishment doesn’t know what to do with them. But we do.

We love their boisterous individualism, deep roots and “connectedness.” We admire the moxy with which they occupy their their garages, kitchen tables and backyards, just making art.

When I saw this it reminded me of Swedish embroidery. I thought “fresh” and “cozy.” I smell the cut grass, and hear bees buzzing. The green turquoise line and simple flower symmetries dissolve my anxiety mountain of post holiday to-do’s. Cheers me up. Simplifies happy. I found out through later research that this was drawing for a quilt Ms. Perkins planned. So “cozy” works too. .

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