I have almost completed my first two weeks living as a full time artist. I am finding that the first key to success as an artist is establishing a good working routine. There are pitfalls to working at home without an established studio and I am trying not to get pulled into them. I try to start each morning with an early morning walk, a green smoothie, and pot of tea. I check my email, check Facebook, look at pictures of vintage dolls on the net, and then settle in to work on my current doll project. I am learning that I need to limit my ipad time and not fall into the trap of searching for the end of the internet because I don’t believe the end really exists.
The current project I am working on is a tuck comb inspired, ball jointed, needle sculpted, cloth doll with a face overlay. When I am not working on the doll I am immersing myself into her time period. I watched a movie on Netflix called Mansfield Park put on by PBS based on the book written by Jane Austin. I assure you it was just for the sole purpose of costume research and the time was well spent because I had cloth and needle in hand during the entire movie. In my spare time between doll making and sleep I have been reading Mansfield Park and Mummies by Vera Nazarian. As you may have guessed it is a parody on Jane Austin's Mansfield Park. And during my endless search for the end of the internet I have found this website http://www.janeausten.org that has everything you might want to know about Jane Austin.
I started working on this doll about 10 months ago while working full time in a demanding job outside of the art field, driving a ridiculous amount between work and home, and trying to keep up with the daily ebbs and flow of life. I was able to experiment with and create some beautiful ball jointing techniques for this doll during this time period. Typically I start with the head first but I was so excited about trying to develop different ball jointing techniques that I started with the body. Unfortunately by the time I got to the head and costume during this time period I was exhausted and out of steam. The first head and beginnings of her costume reflected this and I tossed them into the dead head and dead costume pile. I redesigned the head to have a more realistic shape and used a cloth overlay to cover that unsightly middle of the face seam often found on needle sculpted cloth doll heads. I believe she reflects the contentment and balance that I am starting to feel as a result of entering this new phase of life. Don't you agree?