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The Uncommon Canvas is an art blog featuring self-taught artists, visionary art environments, unusual places, offbeat travel destinations, and art made with non-traditional materials. 

We also include art projects for children. Using affordable and unique materials, we hope to inspire kids to create using their own intuition and resources. We believe that art should be fun, non-intimidating, and accessible to all individuals regardless of their abilities and backgrounds.

This blog was created in hopes of reaching all kinds of people, whether you are a professional artist or someone interested in learning more about art. Our goal is to showcase the work of artists who are doing things a bit differently than the so-called mainstream. We are not here to critique or write lengthy academic discourses. Although we are interested in those areas of discussion, we believe that there are already many people successfully writing from that perspective, and therefore we are simply here to celebrate art and let it speak for itself.

Below are examples of topics featured in our posts:

  • Studio art programs supporting artists with disabilities (or different abilities).
  • Artists working with non-traditional materials, such as toothpicks, bottle caps, or recyclables.
  • Eccentric places and architecture, such as houses made out of bottles or mosaic sculpture gardens.
  • Art by outsider and self-taught artists, but not limited to those categories.

We have included a few key terms used on this blog:

Outsider art: Outsider art refers to artists who are working outside of the mainstream art world with little or no formal training. One important distinction is that many of the artists create their work without concern for whether or not they have a public audience.

In some cases, it can be a spiritual calling or obsessive desire. Many of these artists are beginning to gain well-deserved recognition in the mainstream art world. However, as this continues, the term “outsider art” is becoming controversial or perhaps obsolete. Some prefer to use the terms: self-taught art, visionary art, or non-traditional art instead. Examples of well-known outsider artists include Henry Darger, Lee Godie, and Martín Ramírez.

Self-taught artist/art: Self-taught art may refer to an individual who has an awareness of mainstream culture, but does not have professional art training. They may have training in other areas taught themselves how to draw, paint, or sculpt.

Visionary Art Environment: Visionary Art Environments range from houses made with unusual materials to eccentric sculpture gardens. Many of the artists use discarded objects and found materials to create their environments. Well-known examples of art environments include Simon Rodia’s Watts Tower, Tom Every’s Forevertron, and Nek Chand’s Rock Garden of Chandigarh.

Please feel free to contact us with questions or ideas for posts! If you feel like your work is a good fit for this blog, please let us know. We are always on the lookout for new artists! Thank you.

DSC 4862 About

Mother Earth, Taconic Sculpture Park, New York