Friday, February 20, 2015


We have to tip our hats here, to a good friend and Smithsonian Artist, Mary Proctor of Tallahassee FL.  Sheila and I started collecting folk art back in the nineties, buying mainly on eBay.  About 2002 we started going to the good folk art shows down south....FinsterFest in GA, WhoFest in GA and TN, Kentuck in AL and the grandaddy of them all Slotin's Folk Fest in Atlanta. We were thrilled to meet so many artists that we had only read about in the books.  One of those that we'd heard about was this gal in Florida that was painting inspirational messages on doors.  We finally met Miss Mary at Folk Fest and bought the first piece of hers for our collection. Sheila had decorated our bedroom in red, white and blue...she asked Mary what she had in R-W-B.  She dug thru a truckload of paintings and brought out this piece.

That started a Mary Proctor collecting binge by Sheila...we have at least one piece of Mary's work in every room of our house....including a big door hanging on our living room wall.

Thru the years, Sheila and Mary became good friends, including hours on phone calls back and forth.  Mary knew that I painted and asked Sheila what she did....she replied that all she could do was sell..(she ran our Nostalgia Store in the South Bend mall for 16 years).  Mary said: "start a folk art gallery!" Sheila thought that would be impossible...folks around here don't understand the genre.  Sheila also said that we needed a "name artist" to run an on-line gallery....Mary said: "you got me!"  Sheila said we'd never get in the big show in Atlanta. We believe that Mary called Steve & Amy and got us in.  It's nice to have friends in high places.  We are appreciative to have a good working relationship with Mary and her husband, Tyrone....and to call them friends!

Last year Mary opened the American Folk Art Museum and Gallery in the Tallahassee Mall.  Here's a video tour narrated by Mary.    This year she added my artwork for sale in her gallery.  If you get in her area it's a "must-see" attraction... and buy something of her's or mine.    

Yes, we sell her Artwork, click to see what we have available right now - more coming soon!

Keep checking for new posts...
and tell others about us...Thanks!

You might like to know that Christie's Gallery in New York recently 
(Jan & Sept 2014) sold two doors of Mary's doors for $6875.ºº EACH 
(Hammer Price plus Buyers Premium)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

HOWARD FINSTER - Godfather of Folk Art

Man of Visions - Visitor from Other Worlds 

Born in Valley Head, Alabama 1916 - Born again at age 13 - starting preaching at 16 - became a full time preacher in 1940… traveling statewide for Revivals.  He wrote religious newspaper columns and preached regularly on radio.  

He retired from preaching in 1965 to spend full time filling in swamp land and creating what later came to be called Paradise Garden….paying the bills by working side jobs like repairing bicycles, plumbing, woodworking and TV repairing.  The garden consisted of a jungle like maze of buildings and sculptures made mostly of found objects, recycled materials and just plain junk from the nearby dump.  He created art made from trash.  It became the most famous and visited folk art environment in the world. A sign at the entrance says:  
“I took the pieces you threw away -  put them together by night and day — washed by rain and dried by sun, a million pieces all in one!”

After Howard's death, the Gardens gradually fell into disrepair.  Every time we'd visit it looked worse than the time before.  Thankfully, a couple years ago, the locals realized that they had a valuable tourism asset right in their own backyard.  Hundreds of volunteers and tens of thousands of dollars are bringing it back to it's former glory. Unfortunately, it'll never be the same without it's creator.
In 1976 God told him to paint sacred art. Howard’s Sermons in Paint went worldwide. God told him to paint 5000 pieces to spread the Gospel…he finished that in 1985 and kept on painting, at his death in 2001, he had painted over 45,000…(that’s not a typo…he did 45,000 pieces of art...numbered and dated). 

His widest exposure was his music cover art.  The Talking Heads, commissioned Finster to create the art for the cover of its 1985 set "Little Creatures."  That album sold over two million copies and Finster won the “Rolling Stones’ Album of the Year Award.”   Howard always said” “when I preached in church, only a hundred people heard my message…look…millions have seen my messages on Talking Heads, R.E.M. and other band’s album covers."

Eventually Paradise Garden became the #1 tourist attraction in the State of George and was the site of many band’s videos and Howard became a world wide celebrity, appearing on the Johnny Carson Show and having “one man shows” at the Smithsonian and dozens of galleries and universities all across the globe.  Write ups in Life & People magazines and every major newspaper in the country introduced folks to this formerly unappreciated genre.  His fame is credited with bringing outsider folk art into the main stream.

Every folk artist in the country owes Howard a debt of gratitude for opening up avenues for bringing our art to the attention of the general public.

During his years of pastoring churches he married thousands of couples…BUT… how many of those couples can say that they are folk artists….and was married by Howard…in HIS garden.   WE CAN!  To Sheila and me.... it's a SACRED PLACE.  Yes, we’re proud to say that he married us in Paradise Garden Oct 27, 1996.  

We Love and Miss You, Howard!

When we were married - Oct 27, 1996

Revisting the Garden - August 2014 - Standing under a sign
I made for Howard - two years BEFORE we met him.



Thursday, February 5, 2015


We're always asked "what is folk art anyway"'s really hard to explain.  Everyone has a different opinion Here's a short video of our friend Steve Slotin explaining folk art as he sees it.  

Steve has done more to promote Southern Folk Art than any other individual.  Over twenty years ago he started, what has became the largest folk art show in the world.  Every August he assembles over 90 different folk art galleries from all over the country.  Each year between 12,000-15,000 pay to shop and buy from the biggest selection of folk art in the world.

In addition to the annual Folk Fest, Steve and Amy Slotin promotes two - 2 day auctions of nothing but folk art with items selling from $50 to $50,000.  The auction is held in Buford GA and also streaming live on the internet. There usually 1000 lots and bidders are on the phone and the internet. Each auction averages one million dollars.  


Click here for Slotin's Auction
Click here for Slotin's Folk Fest
Click here for Colorful Images of Folk Art

CHECK BACK OFTEN...we'll be posting again soon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

GEO. G. BORUM….My Dear Ol Dad  (1913-2012)

Dad was an amazing person!  So much talent!  He was always an OVER-ACHIEVER.  From the time he was 12, he was a sign painter…and a damn good one!  But, that was just the tip of the iceberg.  He later studied ornamental penmanship and became an acknowledged world class penman. He went to auction school and ended up as an instructor at Reppert’s School of Auctioneering for a decade.  He operated a printshop for about 10 years. 

He was a historian of the old west and steam boating, that lead him to make over 100 museum quality steam boat models (from 2’ to 12 feet long).  He operated steamboat museums in Missouri and Illinois.  He made over 100 miniature outhouses (averaging 20" tall), published a book on outhouses and was elected to the "Outhouse Hall of Fame".  He was a chalk talk artist, a parade float builder, a tramp art wood carver ……..and on and on and on!  He made hundreds of carved walking sticks, wooden axes, and boomerangs.  

This year, on this new website, I’ll be posting lots of photos of his work…some of the items will be for sale…some not.

He was the most influential person in my life. Dad always made me look at the world in a different way than other folks. He always said: “the three Golden Words of Success were: observe, compare and remember”  He told me to look around and see things that other people didn’t see….and to do things a little different than other people.  I’ve always tried to do that……it may not have made me a “success” but, I’m very happy with my life.  I know that material “things” don’t count as much as personal satisfaction.   I’m satisfied and happy with my life.  I am so very thankful for every life lesson that Dad drilled into me, starting at a very young age.

Here's a picture of Dad at age 98....we lost him at 99-1/2.  
You'll learn more about Dad in future posts here.

Keep Checking back!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Howdy ya'all....I bet you're wondering what has been going on with us this last year.  I'll tell's been hectic to say the least.  Last year we re-did our 10 year old website that was getting a little "long in the tooth".  We just got it revised and working when we were informed that our NEW eCommerce provider was going out of business.  So....we have had to start from scratch with another provider.  Our web master, Matt, has been working his tail off to try to educate us "old folks" on the new world of the internet.

In the next month we'll be posting lots of new content.  This page "OUR ARTISTS FRIENDS" will feature photos, stories and links to our great good friends in the FOLK ART WORLD.  We are so very fortunate that thru the years we have met and become friends with most all of the top names in the field.  For the past decade or so, we have exhibited at annual shows in Atlanta at SLOTIN'S FOLK FEST held each August.  This is the premier event in the Folk Art World bringing together 90 galleries and dozens of folk artists...many are Smithsonian artists.

On these pages we'll post upcoming shows, photos and interviews with artists, and links to other folk art related sites.     PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN!