Monday, April 4, 2011

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow!

Flapper Girl... my dear, sweet, first cloth-and-clay doll... sold yesterday! She is now on her way to live in Germany, where she will be in good company... in a large collection of other dolls and marionettes. I'm thrilled, but sad... always sad to let go. Maybe someday I'll get to go visit her? Until then... in my dreams...

Showing off her antique lace undies with a little hip shimmy.

Anon, little darling!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sweeping down the cobwebs

So... earlier today, I was on the phone with a friend and (naturally) doing double-duty with the phone in one hand and my wooly duster thingy in the other. You know how finding one cobweb in the corner just leads to another? Eventually, I got around to all the up-high corners of my studio. Once off the phone, I ended up pulling down some unfinished projects and being struck by inspiration. So, yes... out came the paperclay.

Lately, I've been just fascinated by Paula Nerhus's incredible work. Paula is a fellow Doll Town artist who I was first introduced to when we did the ADO Wonderland challenge last summer. Her dolls have fabulously HUGE wide-set glass eyes that captivate you... and quirky, creepy, beautifully executed details. Looking at her stuff sent me paging back through my sketchbooks to some ideas I had been working on a while ago.

This is a rough sketch of a doll I had wanted to make about (yeeks!) two years ago, I think. I got as far as a very basic paperclay head, which has been sitting on the shelf ever since.. with just blank spaces where the eyes should be. I'll admit, I was not at all clear on how I was going to accomplish the eyes. I've never worked with glass eyes before and would have no idea how to incorporate them. But, I was rightly inspired today to get the head back out and at least add another layer of clay.

Use your imagination, folks... it's a work in progress for sure!

I decided to go with paperclay eyeballs...adding just sort of flattened balls of clay, which I made as smooth as possible and then wet-set them in. Then I worked on adding another layer of clay over the cheekbones and skull. Once dry, I'll work on building up around the eye socket. I'm hoping I can paint these eyes, then add Diamond Glaze (or something) over the top for a glass-like appearance. We shall see!

Here is a bigger view of the sketch... which I plan to use for reference only, as this doll is already looking different than intended. I do put my ideas down in sketches first, for the most part, because the time I actually get to spend working on a piece is so limited. My sketchbook and pencils are often the only creative outlet I can squeeze in.

For this doll, I definitely want the slender body and limbs... and wispy, ethereal look. I've been drawn to dolls with these big shadowed eyes and slim bodies ever since I first saw Black-Eyed Susie's creepy big-eyed Gothic dolls in Art Doll Quarterly.

It's honestly really hard to not feel like I am copying someone else's idea when inspired by dolls of a certain style and trying to re-create my own version. I gratefully give credit for inspiration to these ladies and to so many other artists as I keep trying out skills and looking for my own style.