MAMA GIRL Olney Folk Outsider Art African American Hand Painted Art
Mary Olney – Eastern Shores Most Famous Folk Artist
AUCTION ENDING MAY 8TH 2014 9:00 PM EST HTTP://YQZ.ME/MAMA-GIRL-FOLK-ART
We have multiple pieces being listed of famous Folk Artist Mama Girl (Mary Olney) from Virginia. Be sure to find them all.
In this auction we have a folk art hand painted ceramic vase by Mama Girl Mary Olney. She is considered the Eastern Shores most famous folk artist and believes her art is ordained by God and is led by His spirit with her artwork. For those of you not familiar with the Eastern Shore, that would be the peninsula that has the whole state of Delaware, a small section of Maryland and on the bottom tip is a small piece of Virginia, and that is where Mama Girl resides. Pieces of her art can be found in the Ward Museum of Salisbury Md.
MAMA GIRL Olney Folk Outsider Art African American Hand Painted Vase
The purpose of Mama Girls art is to make people happy and with the bright beautiful colors, I think she fulfills her purpose. This is a nicely hand painted ceramic vase trimmed in black. The swirls of peach resembles that of an orangesicle pop on a hot summer day. On one side we find Mama Girls painted signature. It is in good condition measures approximately 9 3/4″ x 3″. Be sure to find all of our fabulous Mama Girl paintings and paper mache pieces. Good luck.
Found in an article from the tidewatertimes website about Mama Girl (Great site):
Seeing What Spirit Sees by Helen Chappell
Mama-Girl is one of the Eastern Shore’s most famous folk artists. And she’s getting quite a name for herself in collector’s circles for her visionary work. People who make the long drive down the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s Route 13, then out through the rural countryside are in for a rare treat. In her small studio, just outside Painter, she’s surrounded by her unique art visions. Brightly painted, deceptively simple shapes are all around her, created in her unique style of papier-mâché.
On the advice of a mentor, when she first started, Momma-Girl trademarked her nom d’art as well as her creative methods, which involve strips of newspaper, Elmer’s Glue and acrylic paint. In spite of her patent, she is generous with her time and talent, and often gives workshops and classes in her technique, which are as much spiritual as creative exercises.
She also does several shows a year up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Momma-Girl shows in traditional art shows as well as folk art events, and her legion of fans and collectors grows larger every year.
A deeply spiritual woman who feels her work is guided by God, she credits her faith for her creativity. “Whenever the spirit get to me, I go to work and do it,” she says. Like other artists, traditionally trained or folk, Momma-Girl feels her art is guided by a divine presence for whom she is a conduit. She shares a belief held by many creative people that their talent is a gift from God, to be used at His pleasure and direction. The line between the creative and the mystic is very thin indeed. Many of her works reflect religious themes, such as the nativity’s she makes, which she calls her “activity scenes”.
Born Mary Onley fifty-two years ago and nicknamed Momma-Girl by her grandmother, she’s the mother of four grown children, six grandchildren and two
foster children. She’s buried two husbands, and endured ill health most of her life. The child and grandchild of field workers from Painter, she’s known a lot of hard physical labor herself. She started working in the fields when she was about 12. “ Name it and I’ve done it all,” she says. “I’ve picked tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, greens, peppers- – You name it.” She had worked her way up to field foreman when she had to quit, overtaken by allergies so severe they caused her to pass out.
Severe allergies have plagued her all her life, and they caused her to be continually hospitalized when histamines caused her to faint. “I was paralyzed, so my family thought I was dead. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t see, but I could hear what people were saying around me.” She laughs. “So I’d wake up and tell them what they said about me!” Once the doctors told her she could no longer work in the fields, she was deeply depressed. Not only was she used to working, she was saddened not to be to be outside. “I still love being outside, even when I know it’s no good for me,” she confides.
But Spirit, as Spirit will, came to her rescue. Around 1995, she was inspired to try her hand at making art, using what she had lying around the house. “I took glue, cardboard boxes, clothes hangers and every color paint I could find around the place,” she recalls. She holds out a hand to show a dark scar on top and on her palm. “When I first started, I accidentally put a clothes hanger right through my hand.” But she persisted. “I asked God to make me do something no one had ever done before.” The Lord answered her prayers, fortunately for all of us who love her work. As her fame spread, so did her faith.
Several years ago, a woman she had never met before appeared on her doorstep, telling Momma-Girl she was there to ordain the artist. So now, she’s Reverend Onley, who preaches at Bethel Baptist Church in Franktown. When she had a disagreement with a male pastor, and he reproved her for being an uppity woman, “I told him I wasn’t saying it, Spirit was!” She chuckles.
In 1997, she started showing at in Cape Charles. “Spirit told me to take only birds to that show. And I sold them out.” For an upcoming show, Spirit has guided her to show only cats. Spirit is wise. Cat people will buy anything that has a feline theme. “And I started to make what spirit told me to make. I was starting good just before my second husband died,” she recalls. “I got so mad at that doctor. He told me because of my allergies I couldn’t do anything. I said ‘I’m going to make a liar out of you’.” And so she did. The hospital where that doctor is on staff recently commissioned her to paint a set of child’s table and chairs for their pediatric ward. “I’m not only dealing with this art, I’m dealing with people’s lives. This artwork- – – God gave it to me to make people happy.”