I find at the moment I am thinking very much about the simple and ordinary aspects of my life: especially what goes on around my home and the village life in my immediate environment.

If we turn this thought into an art movement it must surely be represented by Naive Art.

When I first started painting about 50 years ago I saw my world through a naive window and with no formal art training took to representing my view in this way.

At first I painted Townscapes and Streetscapes very much reminiscent of the Sydney suburb of Paddington where I spent many happy holidays with my favourite uncle, who had a great influence on my appreciation of art in all its forms.

If you love village life you have to love backyards and one of my more early works was this Backyard Frieze which contains just about every conceivable event that goes on in a backyard: at least the daytime ones!

Backyard Frieze by Anne Newman

I even had a go at some Medieval Naive Art!

Tristan and Iseult by Anne Newman

I painted two village scenes on boxes: one to give to my mother and father, the other for my favourite aunt. The first was my representation of the village of Cheselbourne, Dorset, UK, the ancestral stamping ground of some of my mother's family. When I painted this scene I had not visited this glorious part of the world but knew one day I would. I have now visited Dorset many times and could go back time and time again as this is one of the most beautiful counties in England.

My second naive composition on a box had an Australian theme though it still looks a little like the English countryside. Coming from Central Victoria I was brought up on a visual diet of miners' cottages which were built by the early European settlers to the area.

Look carefully and you will find two of my dogs and my favourite birds. No, the Scottie in the foreground is not mine! Keep looking!

Turning my hand to some more Australian city scenes I produced several of these townscapes as commissions for people who liked the style. Painting in a naive style is so much fun and you find yourself laughing as you paint which is a wonderful experience.

I continued in a naive style for a number of years and I consider Barney Glade and his Contentments my best representation of this period.

Barney Glade and His Contentments by Anne Newman

Followed closely by Brunswick Barbecue.

Brunswick Barbecue by Anne Newman

Naïve art is usually defined as visual art that is created by a person who lacks the formal education and training that a professional artist undergoes (in anatomy, art history, technique, perspective, ways of seeing). When this aesthetic is emulated by a trained artist, the result is sometimes called primitivism, pseudo-naïve art, or faux naïve art.

Unlike folk art, naïve art does not necessarily derive from a distinct popular cultural context or tradition; indeed, at least in the advanced economies and since the Printing Revolution, awareness of the local fine art tradition has been inescapable, as it diffused through popular prints and other media. Naïve artists are aware of "fine art" conventions such as graphical perspective and compositional conventions, but are unable to fully use them, or choose not to. By contrast, outsider art (art brut) denotes works from a similar context but which have only minimal contact with the mainstream art world.

Naïve art is recognized, and often imitated, for its childlike simplicity and frankness. Paintings of this kind typically have a flat rendering style with a rudimentary expression of perspective.One particularly influential painter of "naïve art" was Henri Rousseau (1844–1910), a French Post-Impressionist who was discovered by Pablo Picasso.1

You can see in my painting below that I am getting a little more adventuresome in the composition, colours and patterns. I am beginning to see the potential that exists and can grow from a simple point of view.

Bendigo Secrets by Anne Newman

All of my paintings have a naive flavour to them - even to this day.

So let's conclude this post with a small selection of my Law Court images to keep you entertained and smiling.

In the Name of the Law by Anne Newman

If you are looking for somethng extra to read today I can highly recommend this article below which examines the Feelings and Meanings in Contemporary Naive Painting. Very interesting.

Feelings and Meanings in Contemporary Naive Painting
Emotion and meaning drive expression. Though predominantly characterized by aesthetics, art is inherently meant to be perceived and interpreted. Consciously or not, artists’ feelings inevitably…

Next week I am going to show you some of the naive art that I have purchased over the years but the weekend looms so it's time for a Reflection and some more Past Posts.

This Saturday we are going to reflect on something that is around most of us, most of the time.

Footnotes

  1. en.wikipedia.org