The High Museum of Art in Atlanta has a fairly good Folk Art collection (not as good as the American Folk Art Museum in NY), but none the less, it's a good resource, so I took my students to the High to learn about Folk Art. Most of my students are scared of drawing, so I try to incorporate drawing into projects that I know they will be successful at (and limit the amount of projects that are solely drawing).
Folk Art is traditionally made by novice artists that make art for the sake of art-- not necessarily to make a profit, though folk art can be profitable. The common "folk" who create such work don't usually follow art movements, but rather, have more of a craft style about them. Also, most folk art is created to tell a story-- such as family quilts and they tend to use materials commonly found around them.
As such, the project I have for my students is a yarn painting. Students are instructed to come up with a simple design that tells a story about them. The design really needs to be rather simple since they will be "painting" it with yarn and very small details can be lost. So let's get started.What You Need:
Yarn, varying colors
Heavy Paper (I used tag board)
1. Draw a 1 in. border around your paper (that way you can mat it when you are done)
2. Draw your design-- I chose a tree3. Lay a strip of glue where you intend to put the yarn, but don't cover the entire area with glue at one time, just one strip of glue will do.4. Lay the yarn on top of the strand of glue, use a toothpick to scwunch the yarn right up against the previous yarn. Once the yarn is in place, cut off the excess-- notice the edges of the painting.5. Try to change up the color of the yarn i.e. 4 different colors of blue for the sky, 2 different colors of green for the grass, 4 different browns to illustrate texture of the tree trunk and reds, oranges, and yellows for the fall leaves-- makes it more interesting.
That's it... enjoy.