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Esther Pearl Watson

August 12, 2010

Lucy by Herbert Freeman

I started this blog in order to highlight the artwork of  Herbert Freeman who is a homeless man in Orlando, Florida.  Mr. Freeman has created a large body of art over the last decade all of which has been sold on the streets for a pittance, or has been lost or damaged or abandoned.  Herbert Freeman has little education and no art training.  I doubt very much if he could tell you who painted the Mona Lisa or who became famous for painting soup cans.  Mr. Freeman is someone who has nothing but his clothing.  He does not even have any kind of I.D.

And yet he creates art, practically everyday, under difficult circumstances with whatever materials he can scrounge.  He creates art with the ability to touch something within.  At least his art affects me that way and I have received messages from literally all over the planet from people who feel the same way.

Before I met Herbert Freeman about the only self-taught artists I knew about were Grandma Moses and Howard Finster.  I decided to start researching the subject and am beginning to share what I am discovering with you readers.  So this is a journey for me and I am sending you my picture postcards of the sights along the way.

This month I have wondered into the work of Esther Pearl Watson.  Ms. Watson is not self-taught, she has a degree in fine arts.  In fact she and her husband (Mark Todd) both teach art at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.  For her latest series of paintings Watson has convincingly assumed the guise of outsider artist.  Painting in a naive style and occasionally adding aluminum foil or glitter for effect.  Watson has depicted the memories of young girl growing up poor in rural Texas.  These memories include the homemade flying saucers she says her father built and was obsessed with.

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