Saturday, September 17, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Some artists will
sketch out their ideas as part of the process of designing an art doll. They will explore and develop a theme for the
doll, a color scheme, decide on the materials and techniques they will use all before
they begin. This method works very well
for many artists.
I never was able to
work that way. My art dolls almost
happen by themselves. I put a lot of
time into practicing, developing, and refining techniques but when it comes to
the actual design it feels like it just happens as I engage in the process of
creating the art doll. I thought I would
share with you the process of how I design an art doll during the creation of
She started with a
new eye technique that I wanted to experiment with. After I used the new needle-sculpting
technique I wanted to see how she looked painted so I used watercolors for skin
tone and facial coloration. I was pretty
pleased with how she looked but couldn’t figure out “who she wanted to
be.” So I let her sit for a few days.
While she was sitting I engaged in one of my most time zapping past-times, surfing the internet to explore what other artists are up
to. Art often inspires more art. I have
always been fascinated with watercolors which is why I use watercolors for skin
tone and facial coloration. I am also
fascinated by jewelry and all that is shiny.
So it is no surprise while surfing the internet that I would be
fascinated by the beautiful watercolor jewelry that Ross Barbera creates. I had found his website and free tutorials
quite some time ago with the plan that someday I would follow his tutorials and
create some watercolor jewelry of my own. You can see his tutorials by clicking
on the link to his site here: http://watercolorjewelry.com/blog/
Since I was working
on my art doll I decided to follow one of Ross Barbera’s free tutorials on how
to make rice paper earrings and use the techniques he shared to create a
waterlily headdress for her. Since I am
not new to wire jewelry fabrication I designed the waterlily headdress to
attach the rice paper to. I love the
translucent nature of the watercolor painted rice paper coated with varnish. I experimented with a few sizes of the
waterlily headdresses along with a few pairs of earrings while I was
Now what does she
want to wear? Well, with her headdress
inspired by translucent waterlilies she seemed to be asking to become a Faerie
Princess, Queen, or Goddess.
She needed clothing
that would lend to an ethereal look so I started playing with cheesecloth. I know some artists hand dye cheesecloth to
use in costuming but I had watercolors still on my palette from the rice paper
part of the headdress. So I just painted
some cheesecloth to use for her skirt.
As I was drapping the
cheesecloth on her as a skirt we had an ice storm. The picture of the trees don’t do justice to
the beauty that surrounded my home and studio but it gives you an idea.
As a result of the
ice storm I decided to use silver lined rainbow silver glass seed beads to
embellish her skirt and bodice.
I usually take
pictures of my progress when working on a doll and took some pictures of her
seated on a pedestal. As I looked at the
pictures I noticed that the way the cheesecloth was draped it looked like the
foam from the sea. She now had an
identity. There is a Goddess, or Bodhisattva,
known as Kuan Yin. She is filled with compassion, peace, and is strongly
associated with water.
embellishing her costume until she felt complete but wanted to exhibit her in a
way that further conveyed the essence of water.
I also decided to give her “Henna” tattoos to further convey her
After the doll was complete
I asked my husband to create a turned and carved pedestal that I antiqued with blue
paint to give the finishing touch to her presentation.
I hope you enjoyed
following the process I used in creating the Goddess.
If you wish to
learn how to make your own Goddess in a live class I will be teaching a three
day class at Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay April 20 – 23, 2017 in Columbus
Ohio. If you would like more information
on the class and how to sign up click on the following link
If you don’t want
to wait that long to take an art doll class, I am teaching how to create your
own Fire Goddess on AforArtistic this month.
If you would like more information on the class and how to sign up click
on the following link.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Lately I have been
busy working away on two Brand New classes that I would love to share with you!
I will be teaching
the Fire Goddess online class on A for Artistic starting September 27, 2016.
Click on the following
link to A for Artistic to learn more about the class and sign up to join in on
I am also teaching a
Live Three Day Class at the Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay Conference that
will be held in Columbus, Ohio April 20 -23, 2017
Click on the following
link to the Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay website to learn more about
the class and sign up to join in on the fun!
Hope to see you in class
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Okay, so you are
probably waiting with anticipation to see the Art Doll that I have created to
sit upon the Fire Throne that my talented husband created for me.
I didn’t want to
hold you in suspense any longer so here are a few pictures of her seated upon
her Throne of Flames.
“The Fire Goddess is a
symbol of transformation as she destroys the old to let way for the new. Fire brings warmth, light, and comfort. It is within the glow
of her warmth that the embers of our creative spirit grow.”
The Fire Goddess is the
first in a series of Four Element Goddesses.
I am so excited to be teaching
an online class on A for Artistic on how to create your own 19” tall Fire Goddess
Monday, August 1, 2016
|Gallery piece by Connie Smith|
From the moment I saw their work I became smitten with the desire to create art dolls, yet had never attended a NIADA conference until this past month.
|Gallery piece by Joe MacPhale|
After attending the conference I have to ask myself, whatever took you so long?
|Gallery piece by Neva Waldt|
I thought I would share some pictures from the trip and give you a few reasons to attend the conference next year so you don’t find yourself asking what took you so long to attend.
|Gallery piece by Theresa May|
One reason to attend is the location of the event always seems to be a great place to visit.
The NIADA Conference was held in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Since my husband has a childhood friend that lives in that area and my close friend Christine has a son that also lives in that area we took the road trip together.
Bob had no idea that the Torpedo Factory was a series of art galleries and studios when Christine and I brought Bob and Russ along to see it. They spent most of their time chatting away while Christine and I explored the studios and chatted away with several of the artists there.
|Russ and Bob at the Torpedo Factory Art Center|
|Christine and I at the Torpedo Factory|
We enjoyed exploring the area and dining by the waterfront.
A major reason to attend is to actually see the art work in person.
|Gallery piece by Cindee Moyer|
The pictures I am sharing don’t compare to the experience of seeing the art in front of you.
|Gallery piece by Marlene Verhelst|
I attended the NIADA gallery exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria with my husband Bob.
|Gallery piece by Nina Tugarina|
The artists were so warm, welcoming, and willing to explain in considerable detail the meaning behind their work, answer technical questions, and describe their techniques, materials used, etc.
|Gallery piece by Karin Otto-Burfict|
I was so inspired by the work exhibited in the gallery.
|Gallery piece by Tatiana Baeva|
|Gallery piece by Sandra Oglesby|
|Gallery piece by Donna May Robinson|
|Gallery piece by Tamara Pivnyuk|
I was not alone in that inspiration either. My husband was fascinated with Eva Hodinkova’s use of wood and motion in her art.
|Gallery piece by Eva ZHellerova Hodinkova|
He is now even more interested in creating jointed wooden dolls.
There were a series of wonderful programs presented at the conference which I enjoyed completely. One of the programs was the Ten by Twelve program coordinated by Shelley Thornton which I was one of the lucky visiting artists to participate in. It gave visiting artists an opportunity to present their work to NIADA members and attendees.
The Keynote speaker was Leslie Molen. She gave such an inspiring presentation!
Another Reason to attend are the demonstrations provided by NIADA Artists. I attended demonstrations on costume design (presented by Theresa May), the use of the color wheel (presented by Leslie Molen), creating shoes (presented by Nina Tugarina), making eyes out of polymer clay (presented by Diane Keeler), and stylized hair (presented by Cindee Moyer). Each demonstration was filled with very useful information and techniques for the creation of art dolls.
One more reason to attend as a visiting artist is to have a critique done by NAIDA Artists of your work. Donna May Robinson and Sandra Oglesby critiqued my work. They gave me invaluable insight and guidance to steer my growth as an artist.
A reason to attend any doll making conference is to have fun, make new friends, and reconnect with old acquaintances. Doll makers just tend to be a group of warm hearted sharing souls. I attended the NIADA banquet and enjoyed visiting with new friends. At the conference I also met some of my Facebook friends for the first time. They are as lovely in person as they are online.
At the conference everyone is presented with a souvenir doll. I was the lucky recipient of one of the 3D printer souvenirs created by Tanya Marriott.
And last but not least is the Exhibition and sale by NIADA artists. It gives attendees an opportunity to see more work by the artists and engage in some wonderful shopping.
Since my husband has been expressing interest in doll making and is a very talented woodworker, I introduced him to Larry Blount.
|Larry Blount, photo by Stephanie Blythe|
Larry Blount is one of the NIADA artists that utilizes wood in his doll making. Bob and Larry seemed to enjoy a nice chat together during the show.
Attending the NIADA Conference was such an enjoyable experience that I can’t wait to return again for more! If you are interested in more information about NIADA and future NIADA events just click on the following link to their website.