Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just what is primitive? Looking in my trusty old black, leather bound 1937 dictionary, with it's well worn pages and dark print, renders up a defination of being: the first, or earliest of its kind; original; antiquated; primary; radical; not derived; an original work. And this is one of the closest to my mind's eye that I have found to best describe.

For those of us with a deep passion for this new "old" wave of early vintage excitement, truly love just discussing and seeing original primitive art works. We are the ones drawn like a magnet to its dark beauty. It warms the heart and feeds the spirit. The more I see the more I love it. But what some might not know is that primitives goes way back. And its current popularity, I believe, gained its momentum with the birth of "country stuff" not long ago.

But this new/old prim look is an evolvement, I believe too, of our country beginnings, but with much more safistication and historical flavor, with Civil War overtones and going even further back in time. And it has tiptoed in with it's own degrees, going with extreme, early, to kinda folky designs. Meaning articles and decorator items that are crudely made without measured patterns. And using ideas as to what the prairie women had, just what came from the land and their little ole' cupboards. The Folk Art prims, not so grubby and early, use material that are available in todays media ~ but still made to look ancient.

But we can't leave out the Country Primitive, not so cutesy, but on the rustic side. You could place some of the Annie dolls in this catagory. And this wonderful bloom of quoting the bible for samplers, and now making food that looks old is taking full stage. The exciting appreciation of the use of high-tech computer skills taking us back to the ealy 1800's is so much fun. This blend is magical and captivating for those of us appreciating this niche.

So what exactly is primitive decorating besides all the dark primitive antiques from long ago? It's not what everyone understands, but quite distinct. Like early American items, tools, whether it be for baking, crafting, building, lighting, or wearing, it's a gathering of handmade old used in todays world. Stuff that looks really old, but is not so easy to capture and create by artists ~ often called needfulls. And brings a feeling of comfort and a glimpse of what the past actually looked like but living in the joy of now. Pretty simple, huh? Well that word, simple is also finding it's path in the defination. Think of what it takes to make you happy in the old look, a collections of old baskets, a wooden sign dated 1805, an old barn with worn paint, a handcrafted doll meticulously detailed that looks like it lived in an attic for a century. Yep, that's primitive alright. Quite beautiful and attention getting for those of us hooked on the peek into the primitive past.

Believing even more exciting reproducing of primitive America, circa 1776-1895, creations will be coming forward to help us hold onto our beloved heritage with both hands, I am sure it will further inspire this flame of rememberance and will be here to stay for a long while, new ideas for what looks real old. Can't be beat.

- "One joy dispells a hundred cares"

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