Alyne Harris is a self-taught artist who supports herself through painting and by working as a housekeeper.
Though she started her artistic activities by drawing in the mud and sand, she now paints in acrylics on board, paper and canvas. She uses brushes, her fingertips, or anything available such as a stick or kitchen utensil.
Alyne has a vivid imagination and great fervor. She is inspired by church, black history, remembrances from childhood and nature. Her favorite subjects are angels and devils, churches and choirs, black people and “slave life”, flowers, bees and birds.
Harris’ early affinity with angels has continued throughout her life, but luckily for us, she now paints in acrylics, not mud. Her other favorite art subjects are church scenes — especially choirs, slavery as she imagines it, black people in their daily lives, and farm activities and animals, both common and uncommon.
She also is fond of painting cats, birds, bees, and flowers — especially sunflowers. Often she paints “Africans” and sometimes Caucasian people.
She has long fascinated her neighbors, the local college and arts communities with her artwork and strong beliefs as to what is “right” and what is “wrong”; what is “Important” and what is “silly”. Her artistic talents have flourished as people have come to seek her out.
She does not give her paintings titles; however, she is consistent in providing descriptions of each work.
The artist Alyne paints mostly at night, after she finishes her day job. With each painting, she begins with a clear vision of the image, then finds a piece of masonite, paper, scrap of board or canvas to fit that image. She keeps working until she is satisfied.
Like gospel music, Harris’ work expresses spontaneous devotion to the life of the spirit — not only in sacred settings, but also in everyday life. Alyne Harris was born March 25, 1942, and is now a widely recognized folk artist.