who am I and what the heck is folkografy?

Who am I?  That’s not my smug-mug up top, but you’ll see her and her sisters on one page or another as you travel around.  The 3 of them do my heavy lifting for me, so I have to make sure I ‘represent’.  Ya know?  As for me, well, the short answer is, I’m an older-than-dirt wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker, who rarely had the personal time to do whatever it was I needed to do to satisfy a wicked compulsion to be creative.

In my younger days, I would throw myself into creating over-the-top costumes for the kids; planning extravaganza birthday parties for little folk who weren’t old enough to talk! Or I was applying paint, stencils, and wallpaper as if I were redecorating the Taj Mahal.  I even began building things and using wood moldings in and around the house like I expected Architectural Digest to show up at any minute to do photo shoot!  Every house we ever lived in (rented or owned; old or new) was my blank canvas, waiting to be drawn upon, then framed. 

{I think I realized just how obsessed I was when every gift, from anyone who knew me, was either a DIY gift card or an electric tool!}

I also had friends, neighbors, and family clamoring for me to ‘come do them’, which I did, more often than not. But I wouldn’t take any money for the work as my thought process at the time was that if I did it for money, I’d lose the joy of it. I was happy doing all of that..but when it was done, it was done.

As it does, time flew by. The kids left, the job relocations stopped, and once the last home was done, it was done. If I had even hinted at wanting to change themes and re-do the re-do, my husband would have gone over the edge and it’s likely his family would be visiting him through glass!

I don’t do gardening (bugs ya know) and the only other thing that ever came close to quenching my thirst for creativity, was photography. And it was something I could always do; the ‘job’ didn’t end! So, I picked up the habit of taking my camera everywhere I went.  My morning walks became more an exercise of composition and color than they ever were about health. And not to be wasted either, I used my time behind the wheel to developed a pretty good knack for drive-by shooting. I know, not a smart thing to do, and one I don’t do (when anyone’s looking) very often anymore. I allow someone else to drive so I can concentrate on what’s around me.  The results though, are pretty cool, and about 80% of my photographs are from a moving vehicle.  Sometimes you can tell, sometimes you can’t, and I’m taking the 5th!

Alright, so what is folkografy® and what has it to do with any of this?  It’s the word I created to describe my photographic and editing style.  It is a combination of folk art, americana, and photography.  It lives and breathes in the subject matter, the composition, the colors, and the editing…which is basic light, contrast, color, clarity…I don’t use expensive photo editing software.  I don’t remove objects, insert objects, or create what ‘should be’ from ‘what is’…I use my photos, as taken.  I shoot what I see because I see beauty in all things.  The everyday, mundane, vistas we pass by on our way to school, or work, or driving through our neighborhoods 10 times a day.

I think to best describe it, I shall try channeling my inner Seuss

i cannot paint i cannot draw so i folk-up what i saw!

A few examples may help…The BEFORE ‘original’ photographs are on top.  The AFTER ‘folkografs’ are on the bottom:

DSC_0028

BEFORE

0028-2 it's irrigating

AFTER

DSC_7329

BEFORE

DSC_7329 (2)

AFTER

yacht club

BEFORE

6312 - yacht club

AFTER

I love, and am inspired by, American Folk Art.  Especially the works of Grandma Moses and Warren Kimble; simple,  uncomplicated images of everyday, American life, dressed in deep hues of rich colors, yet wrapped in a cartoon-like whimsy that can’t help but draw you in and leave you wanting to know the story behind that gathering on the square; or wanting to join that quilting bee, and be part of the thriving, happy family on that beautiful farm up on the hill. Perhaps my growing up in a beautiful little New England town nestled in a valley surrounded by our treasured Green Mountains, as well as being home to acres and acres of rolling farm land, is the obvious reason I feel such a strong sense of nostalgia and well-being when I look at the works of these artists, and others like them. 

That’s my story. I folkograf what I love, where I love, for who I love, and the answer to those three things is pretty much all the same…

The American Way of Life ~ 

98728_o (2) - lobsterman

The American Family ~ 

1767-3 boys just wanna have fun

Americana ~

5550-2 fly free

All my folkografs® are available for purchase matted and framed or mounted on wood, metal, acrylic, or canvas.  I use a triplet of printing companies, so I’ll always strive for the best price available at the time, so pricing information will always be at the point of ordering. As will shipping info.  However, anytime one of my printers offers discounts or free shipping specials, I’ll pass them onto you. Orders can take up to two weeks, so if you have a special occasion in mind, please remember to allow for the processing and shipping time.

Also, if you like what you see, but have a more specific subject in mind…be it a person, place, or thing…I would be happy to discuss this with you.  I do offer custom drive-bys within 50 miles of my location, but have been known to travel, so if I’m headed in a certain direction, we can discuss doing something custom for you if I’m in your area, so be sure to ask!  Or, if it’s specific but not geographically specific…please, feel free to ask and if I can find it, I can shoot it!

Please visit the galleries pages to see what it is I do and what’s available for print today. This content will change quite often because if I’m not out there shooting, I’m in here editing.  

Thanks so much for the visit and may you all (sorry, I may live in the south, but I’m a Yankee and y’all just isn’t in my dna) have a blessed day!

folkografy® by rhonda jeanne, llc

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