It just doesn't get any better than this for a folk art painting. In the background you see a covered bridge, with the rolling hills of possibly Virginia. The lovers, families, and children are enjoying themselves ice skating, sledding, building a fire, horseback riding, hauling timber. They are all African American, and the painting was done on plywood, which tells me it was during the Depression when times were tough and people had little money. Notice the dog and the way he is painted - almost has a jackrabbit-style stride. Again, very American. I would say that the frame was added later, as the artist painted the edge of the painting to look like a frame, again showing that it was done at the time of the Depression. The oil paints that were used were all done with a matte finish.
When I got this painting it had a cardboard backing, and I removed it, to find a note on the upper left "Painted by Lem". I did a little research on Lemuel's - could this possibly be a Lemuel T. Ward painting? He and his brother was famous for duck decoys out of Crisfield, Maryland, but he was known to paint paintings monthly as well. Needless to say, it is am important American painting, done by an untrained but talented artist, and the subject matter could not be any better. I have included pictures of the original frame as found, and I will include it with the purchase.
Measures 17 1/6" x 13 3/16" framed with an image size of 16" x 11 3/4".