T. Marie Nolan

T. Marie Nolan, “Rabbit Run”, Date Unknown

Self-taught artist, T. Marie Nolan, lives in the basement of a church near the Mississippi River in Mark Twain’s hometown, Hannibal, Missouri. She was born, the eighth of eleven children, in Connecticut on February 28, 1954.  Library work of all kinds, story teller, book repairer and bookmobile driver, occupied her until the mid-1980’s when art became her full time obsession.

Nolan constructs her art from materials salvaged from local construction dumpsters, using them as her canvases. Her colorful paintings employ a narrative, sometimes humorous approach to such topics as Adams and Eves, Cats and Fishes, Saints and Sinners and the various unique characters that inhabit her mind.

Nolan’s work has been exhibited at outsider folk art events such as Slotin Folk Fest, the House of Blues, and the Kentuck festival.

Adolf Wolfli

Artwork by Adolf Wolfli

Adolph Wolfli was a Swiss artist who was one of the first artists to be associated with the Art Brut or outsider art label. He was arrested and in 1895 was admitted to the Waldau Clinic, a psychiatric hospital in Bern where he spent the rest of his adult life. He suffered from psychosis which led to intense hallucinations.

Wölfli produced a huge number of works during his life, often working with the barest of materials and trading smaller works with visitors to the clinic to obtain pencils, paper or other essentials. The images Wölfli produced were complex, intricate and intense. They worked to the very edges of the page with detailed borders. In a manifestation of Wölfli’s “horror vacul”, every empty space was filled with two small holes. Wölfli called the shapes around these holes his “birds.”

His images also incorporated an idiosyncratic musical notation. This notation seemed to start as a purely decorative affair but later developed into real composition which Wölfli would play on a paper trumpet.

Glenn Brady

Five Paintings by Glenn Brady

Born in 1966 in Brisbane, Australia, Glenn Brady grew up in a suburb of wooden houses,some on stilts to deal with the heat of the summer. By the age of sixteen, he had left both school and home. He started painting after a stay in a local phsychiatric hospital and has made painting his career. Brady has had thirteen solor shows in Brisbane and three solo shows in Melbourne. He won first prixe overall in the Gold Coast Show for his paintings at his first entry in a competition.

“I have never studied art and don’t really know much about it. .I just love to paint: and i paint what i see mainlym which to others mightn’t seem like much. But to me it’s all I’ve known……rows of houses and the very varied people who dwell in these suburbs, where each person’s home and life can be completely different to their neighbour who lives 15 feet away.”- Glenn Brady

Augustin Lesage

Augustin Lesage, “The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt”, Date Unknown

In 1911, when he was 35 years old, Augustin Lesage claimed he heard a voice speak to him from the darkness of the mine and tell him, “One day you will be a painter”. The only contact Lesage had had with the arts at that point in his life was a visit to the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille museum in Lille during his military service.

The voice experience prompted him to explore communication with what he believed was the spirit world, and within a year of his first experience, Lesage was hearing more voices, this time specifically giving him instructions. The voice told him what to paint, what art supplies to buy and where to find them. It was his belief that the voice speaking to him was the spirit of his little sister who had died at the age of three.

On purchasing his first canvas, Lesage mistakenly bought one ten times as large as he had intended. His spirit guides instructed him not to be daunted, but to begin painting. Large canvasses became his chosen format. He went on to develop a unique, highly symmetrical style, drafting detailed patterns and monolithic constructions reminiscent of Egyptian and Oriental architectural forms. He is considered an outsider artist of the Art Brut (”raw art”).