I have been researching, studying, and writing about 19th century (1800 – 1860) folk art decorated plaster walls for over 20 years. My research has taken me to every corner of New England in order to view and document some of the few remaining original works of the itinerant folk art painters like Rufus Porter, Jonathan D. Poor, and Moses Eaton. My research has been published in The Decorator, a publication of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration.
In 2015, I took an early retirement package from Hewlett Packard (HP). It was only then that I had the opportunity to really focus on my folk art. A couple of years after retiring, I became a dealer at White Home Collections in Wilton, NH. It was super fun, and it gave me so much great experience as I worked on my fledgling folk art business. I had my “shop” at White Home for 1.5 years, right up until they sadly closed their doors in December of 2018. It was such a privilege displaying and selling my folk art creations at this beautiful landmark shop. I loved meeting my clients, and becoming friends with many of them. I was a painting machine during that time, with multiple pieces always going at once! In addition to selling my traditional Rufus Porter Style paintings on canvas, one of my specialties at White Home Collections was selling folk art-painted salvage pieces. To this day, I just love painting folk art on vintage items from New England's past. Old sap buckets, vintage bead board, galvanized pails, old cupboard doors, rustic tables, and breadboards from days gone by, all make exquisite “canvases!” If it was old and crusty, I was painting folk art on it, and customers loved it!
Over the years, it has been a great learning experience working with The Center for Painted Wall Preservation, a 501c3 organization dedicated to the research and preservation of eighteenth and early nineteenth century American paint-decorated plaster walls. I currently serve on CPWP’s Board of Advisors, and under their auspices, I will occasionally continue my journeys around New England, visiting homes/inns/taverns in order to document the historic walls therein. Often we are called in by homeowners to document painted walls that have recently been discovered under layers and layers of wallpaper! Have you found traces of early American stenciling or a scenic landscape mural on the walls in your home? Are you curious about the history and origin of this early American decoration? Please contact us at CPWP, as we would love to help you identify the decoration your have uncovered! Please email or call to discuss!
And did I tell you, I LOVE my customers! Truly, I have the best customers ever! It has been so rewarding creating for clients all across the country. I recently created a folk art house portrait for a client in California, and upon receipt of the painting, Rose wrote:
“I AM OVER THE MOON!!! I feel so blessed to have received an incredible piece of your art! I was touched deeply by your letter, as well! You captured the love I have for Willow Glen perfectly Suzanne, and I will cherish it always! Thank you so much!"
Receiving feedback like that is music to my ears, and it never gets old!
Today, it is my honor and privilege to offer a collection of select pieces at Marie Fortier’s delightful antiques and collectibles shop in Wilton, NH, Here Today Emporium. Marie's shop is a wonderful southern NH destination. I hope you can stop by soon to peruse her eclectic mix of old and new...antique and unique! Be sure to say hello to Miss Belle and Miss Bea, Marie's furry Pug assistants!
I also enjoy picking up commission work from Instagram and Facebook. Please contact me if anything catches your eye on my website! Most pieces shown here are sold, but I can always create a piece just for you!
It has been such an honor teaching "Paint Like Porter" workshops at the historic c1819 Damon Tavern in North Reading, MA. The workshops are sponsored by the North Reading Historical Commission, and are held in the beautiful second floor ballroom where Rufus Porter painted scenic landscape murals around 1830. Surrounded by the historic murals painted by Porter almost 200 years ago, students learn about the methods and techniques he employed to create these massive folk art landscapes. Each workshop is so much fun...students love this “getaway” day to do something relaxing and creative, and the paintings they each go home with are truly amazing! Students come from all over New England to attend the workshops. Paint Like Porter workshops are a fundraising event for the North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society with funds raised going towards the continued restoration of the Rufus Porter ballroom. With the proceeds from just two of the workshops, the Historical Society had enough money to refinish the incredible 200 year old wide pine floors in the ballroom! Sweet!
Below are some pics from the most recent Paint Like Porter Workshop!
Recently, I did an interview with New Hampshire Blogger and Entrepreneur, Sarah Pelletier. Sarah runs a very successful New England Lifestyle business called Birch Home Landing, and she has a passion for showcasing companies and products on her "New England Maker Series" blog. Sarah first came across my folk art at Here Today Emporium in Wilton, NH. She fell in love with one of my colorful and petite folk art landscapes, and bought it for her daughter's room. Thank you Sarah!!
Make sure to check out my interview!!
Copyright © 2023 Grace for Daisy Folkart - Early American design, landscapes, and folk art - All Rights Reserved.
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