Monday, 24 November 2014

What's this Clementine Hunter?

I have been asked by Lulu to do a critique of Clementine Hunter's paintings and art work.

Clementine was born in 1886 or 1887 and died in 1988 at the age of 101. She lived in Louisiana and was a self-taught artist. She lived and worked on a farm and never learnt to read or write.

She didn't start painting until the age of fifty or so using some paint and brushes left behind by some visiting artist.

Most of her paintings depicted life in the plantations during the early 20th century and as such are a good historical record of that era. The painting I have chosen above however is different. It is called "Mary Going to the Barn" and was painted in 1955. I like it because it would make a lovely Christmas card showing a pregnant Mary on her way to the stable/barn guided by three angels.

Clementine's first paintings sold for as little as 25 cents. But by the end of her life her paintings were exhibited in many galleries and museums and sold for thousands of dollars.

She was noted for painting on anything, particularly discarded items such as window shades, jugs, bottles, and gourds and cardboard boxes.

This next painting entitled "Two Ladies Gossiping" was done on a cutting board.
I am sure whoever bought it never used this cutting board at all. And rightly so.

Clementine's paintings remind me a lot of L S Lowry about whom I have already written recently. You will notice that he was a contemporary of Clementine Hunter.


  1. Well done, Victor. Before moving to TX, I lived about an hour away from the plantation where Clementine did her work. Fascinating tour and seeing the walls she painted murals on was surreal. I have learned to love primitives--genius with no training!

    1. It must have been wonderful to visit and see the paintings and murals for yourself. They are very colourful, I think.

      God bless you, Lulu.



God bless you.