What is a “Folk Artist?”

  • When most people think of “art,” they think of well-trained, famous artists like Picasso, Da Vinci, or Michaelangelo.
  • A folk artist is an artist who did not get trained in an art school but instead creates art about what is important to them in a way that is important to them.
  • Folk art tells something about the person who created it, about their life, their family or culture.

Which one is folk art and what makes you think so?

Heather Galler is a Folk Artist

What can you tell about Galler from the types of things that she paints? (Pets, flowers, angels, landscapes)

  • Heather Galler is a well known abstract folk artist from New York who has won many awards.
  • She is an artist who is working and selling her art today.
  • She sold over 750 paintings in just 5 years! = 150 per year!

What do you notice about her art?

Why do you think people like her paintings so much?

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

We are all created unique. There are no two people exactly alike. God created each of us with special interests, likes, and dislikes. Some people like animals, some people like nature. Some people like green, some people like blue. Some people like to live in the country and some people like to live in the city. That does not make one person better than another. We are each wonderfully made. Think about the things you like. How can you tell me about them with art? How can your art tell me about your life, your family, or your culture?


You will create a folk art mixed media piece in the style of Heather Galler. You will use line, foreground, mid-ground, and background. You will be able to recognize the difference between a folk artist and a fine artist.


sketch paper, 9x12 White construction paper, pencils, sharpies, crayons, watercolor paint, brushes, water


  • sketch out ideas (think about what is in the foreground, midground, and background)
  • discuss your sketches with your art neighbor and choose your best idea
  • draw your best idea on white construction paper
  • outline shapes with sharpie and color inside shapes with crayons
  • paint the remaining spaces with watercolor paint


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