Folk art or fine art, any image is a combination of shapes. They give structure to my assemblage, sculptural and painterly works. I watch and listen as they converse with each other through volume, position, color, and form. Those are my guides for creating cohesive art.
I try to describe my work to others. More than likely, that doesn't work. So I pull out a business card with photographs on it (painting on one side, assemblage/sculpture on the other). That helps the conversation continue.
Take a card...
I went to an art show recently where I am usually an exhibitor. I took this year off. Being a customer felt strange. I wanted to stand in someone's booth and write up sales.
I met a folk artist there whose work I had recently discovered. She was very friendly and forthcoming with her process. Maybe we connected because we are both folk artists. We compared notes. Both of us work in mixed media with wood as the base. We're similar but different in our style.
When discussing folk art definitions, she said you know it when you see it. That's what a folk artist would say. She can join my club. It's people's art.