Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fire Goddess, or Look who is sitting in the really cool Fire Throne?

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 soon! 

warm hugs,
Marla

Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Attend a NIADA Conference as a Visiting Artist

 Luella Mossom and her Gallery piece

I have been inspired by NIADA artists since I have been creating dolls.  I never realized that doll making could be an art form until I opened a magazine years ago with the art of NIADA Artists Robert McKinley, Lisa Lichtenfels, and Nancy Wiley in it. 

Gallery piece by Connie Smith

Gallery piece created by Lisa Lichtenfels

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.
 
Old Town 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!
 
Gallery piece by Leslie Molen
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.
 
Demo by Theresa May
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.  
 
Critique of Marla Niederer's  work by Sandra Oglesby and Donna May Robinson, photo by Sandra Oglesby
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.
 
Marla Niederer with Tanya Marriott and one of  the 3D printer souvenirs Tanya created. 
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.





Sunday, July 17, 2016

If Sawdust is Man Glitter, than my Husband is Definitely One Sparkly Dude

I brought my husband, Bob, with me to the Quinlan Art Doll and Teddy Bear Conference in Philadelphia this past spring.  Although Bob has always been very supportive of my artistic pursuits (he actually went with me to an Art doll conference!), art dolls and teddy bears really haven’t been his thing.  He has seen all of my work but really hasn’t paid much attention to the work of other artists.  When he viewed the work of all the very talented doll artists and teddy bear artists at the conference he was thoroughly impressed and wanted to try his hand at doll making.  I used his first attempt at a tuck comb doll that he made out of a too hard wood to really do much carving as part of an assemblage art doll which you can view here.


His next attempt is still a work in process.  Again he is working on a jointed wooden doll.  He hasn’t completed the carving process yet.




Bob also helps me create props for my dolls.  I am currently working on a Fire Goddess and asked him to create a throne that is a cross between a throne and a pedestal for her to sit on (I love how her feet look when her toes are pointed down!).  I asked him to either have the sun or flames behind her head on the throne.  These are a series of photos of the process of making the throne and the unpainted throne. 








To me, the throne he created is a work of exquisite art!  What do you think? 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Custom Wedding Topper


I have been busy working away on a custom wedding topper for Giselle and Timothy’s wedding and just shipped it off to them yesterday. 



It was soooo much fun to make!  I thought you might enjoy some pictures of the topper and the happy couple.
Warm hugs,
Marla

P.S.  If you are vacationing in the Thousand Islands region of New York State be sure to stop in to the Thousand Islands Arts Center in Clayton NY where you can see a few of my Flower Faeries and a Mermaid Broach on display.  Or better yet, join me in the live class I will be teaching on Friday August 5th on how to paint and embellish your own Mermaid Broach! 

For more information contact 
Marcia Rogers  at    315-686-4123 ex: 203
Or send her an E-mail by clicking on the following link

For more information about the Thousand Islands Arts Center you can click on the following link


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ball Jointed Cloth Dolls

This week I have been working out some new designs for ball jointed cloth dolls.  I have been trying out some new techniques for attaching the arms to the shoulders and new hand designs.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek by sharing some pictures with you.  I will be sharing these techniques in my future classes. 


If you would like to take an online class now I am currently teaching a class on how to make a ball jointed cloth doll on A for Artistic.  
If you would like to learn more or would like to sign up just click on the following link.

I am also teaching Mermaid Broach, a live class, in Clayton NY at the Thousand Islands Arts Center.  The class is offered later this month and again in August.  If you would like more information about the class and or to sign up you can send Marcia Roberts an E-mail
Or give her a phone call at 315-686-4123 Ext. 203