I have loved folk art paintings since I was a child. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and her house was full of them. One of my favorites that she had was done by John Roeder. Maybe it's because I spent a lot of time playing in my tree house, that the trees in the picture appealed to me so much. When she died, she left me the painting and it hangs in a place of honor over my fireplace mantle.
One of my favorite paintings was done in 1962 by Bill Dodge. It's called First Trolley to Van Nuys and shows the center of a town filled with people. It is done in vibrant colors and also depicts the buildings in the market like an ice cream parlor and the Hotel Van Nuys.
Another painting that I admire is called Howard in 1944. It was painted in 1988 by Reverend Howard Finster and is done in enamel. I don't know whose smile is bigger, the one in the painting or the one on my face every time I look at it.
There is a subcategory of folk art paintings that depict the world of black Americans. I have a friend who collects these and I found one of a woman reclining in a hammock. She looked so relaxed, that I could imagine what it felt like to lie there myself. I personally don't have any of these in my collection, since I like to collect pieces that I can relate to. Still, they are a joy to behold.
One of the most famous American artists is Thomas Chambers. I don't particularly care for his art. I saw a painting he did of a fishing scene but I chose not to buy it.
There is a water scene that I really like painted in 1940. It's of a swamp house on a bayou and has a Louisiana feel to it. It's called Alligator Fisher and I'm thinking about getting because it reminds me of my cajun heritage, most of my family is from Louisiana.
The painting that has touched me the most features a sad little girl and is called A Letter From My Mother. It's a beautiful painting but it's just too depressing to hang anywhere. I'll find someone to give it to.
My sister also shares my love for folk art. It's pretty funny to me that when we were growing up, she'd cry because she wasn't allowed to play football with the boys and I used to tease her relentlessly and pull her pigtails whenever I got the chance. Now we're very close. She favors animal prints, and I found one that depicts leopards and gave it to her for her birthday. It's too bad my parents didn't let her play football with us. If she could kick the ball they way she liked to kick me in the knee, I'd see to it she played for my team every time.

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