South Carolina native Madison Latimer has spent much of her career depicting her feathered friends in oils and acrylics, but her work took on new meaning following a tragedy that claimed the lives of three relatives in 1994. “As my family and I healed from that loss, I began to understand and experience a deeper connection with the energy that provides life for all of us,” Latimer explains. “I felt directed to express this feeling through my art.”
Latimer paints the birds and other animals around her grand- mother’s farm, which is now her home. Her work helps her tell stories of creation, disappoint- ment and survival that are com- mon threads in our collective human experience.
“I paint my guineas with ex-
pressions that are happy, joyful or even startled,” says Latimer, “because we all recognize those emotions and respond to them. Especially when we laugh, we’re acknowledging the energy of life that is in all of us.” Although her paintings are of- ten classified as folk art, Latimer feels she shares a greater con- nection with outsider art, which is defined as work produced by self-taught artists who are not part of the artistic establishment.