The origins of decorative painting
To put it simply, the
decorative painting of today has its origins in the traditional
or rustic art of the past, which we can collectively call "folk art".
translated, "folk art"
is "art of the people" and refers to the type of painting
done in various countries of the world by self-taught common folk.
These folk artists were by no means professional artists - they were artisans who decorated their furniture,
household objects, doors and even walls of their homes using very
basic equipment such as a brush they made themselves using squirrel
hair and primary colours they made using natural pigments. As such folk
art began as a very simple form of decoration where much
of the painting was done using a round
brush and the motifs mainly simply-stroked flowers, leaves, birds and scrolls which could be completed fairly quickly.
Almost all countries have some kind of traditional
folk art associated with their culture and many are hundreds of
years old. The major ones that have captured the attention of and influenced the work of modern day decorative painters include Germany,
Austria and Switzerland's bauernmalerei, England's canalboat painting, France's tole painting, the Netherlands' hindeloopen, Norway's rosemaling and Russia's zhostovo, among others.
As with other things, traditional folk art spread from one
region of the world to another through travel and migration. The folk arts mentioned above have many similarities with each other and it is not surprising that the early practitioners of American folk art inherited their tradition from German,
Swiss and French immigrants who brought their art with them in the