Monday, May 26, 2008

My friend and fellow artist, Lisa Renner and I are attending the Enchanted Doll Artist Conference in Albuquerque this July. While this is the first time either of us have attended, there are several ways to participate in the festivities. One way is to create a doll to be used as a centerpiece for the banquet tables. The theme of this year's conference is the Other Side of the Mirror. The banquet table dolls are supposed to follow the theme and be no taller than 15 inches, so attendees can still visit across the table during the banquet. I have several of these lidded glass domes on pedestals. I knew I wanted to use one of those for my doll. I thought of doing a fairy, pressed up against the glass (the other side) or a doll inside gazing at herself in a mirror. Then it came to me - why not do the dome as a crystal ball, seeing into the other side of the mirror? I could do a fortune teller's head in the ball - voila! The perfect idea. I created the doll's head out of a mixture of Super Sculpey, Prosculpt and Cernit. Her details are painted with Genesis heat set paints. She has jump ring earrings, feather boa hair and a scarf with celestial images. Seed bead necklaces and some tarot card complete her ensemble. Hand-dyed fabrics represent the "smoke" at the bottom of the crystal ball. The pedestal and lid are painted and enhanced with Primary Elements.

I tried to get an image of the completed piece without the glare, but I couldn't eliminate it - just the nature of taking images through glass.

I did a little doll for myself to hang on my purse. The base of this doll is courtesy of my friend Candance. She bought a bunch of them years ago (apparently they had fruit bodies) and has been redoing them as fairies to sell. She gave me a couple and they have sat in my studio, naked and uncomplete for over a year. Going to the conference finally inspired me to work on the doll. She had a head & face, hair and the wrapped wire body with ball hands and feet. I tore off the hair and created a polymer clay jester's hat, collar and shoes with turned up cuffs. I added pieces of a feather for "hair" and hand-dyed ribbon with Primary Elements to fashion a costume for her. With her wire body, she is posable and will sit on the purse with her arm and leg wrapped around the handle.
I did similar dolls with the jester theme (only I had to make the whole doll as I didn't have any more premade bases) for the pin doll swap for the conference.

The Thing That Goes Bump in the Night
On one of my online doll groups, we did a swap with the theme a fantasy wall-doll. The doll should have a flat back and be able to be hung on the wall. We could do any fantasy or imaginary doll. I choose to do "The Thing That Goes Bump in the Night". The face and hands are air-dry clay, the body aluminum foil wrapped with Rigid Wrap. It is clothed in gauze. I used a feather boa for the hair. When I used spray sealer to seal the body, one of those happy accidents occurred - the spray caused the feather boa to fly upwards and away from the face, looking appropriate for the "Thing". I added a chain with various items to rattle and go bump. I hope the recipient enjoys the doll.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Several years ago in our neighborhood there was an estate sale that was touted as an artist's home, full of touches of the artist. I was very interested to see the artist's home and what they had done. Imagine my surprise when there were only plain neutral walls, floors and carpet. There was no evidence of an artist is that dwelling. In fact, there wasn't anything in the offerings of the estate sale that gave any indication of it being the home of an artist or collector.

The same cannot be said when someone enters my home. Not only does art that I have created exist in every room of the house, but also of my fellow friend artists. My walls also reflect art and not just with pictures and painting hung on them. I've actually painted the majority of the walls/rooms.

My bedroom grape vines were the direct result of a commission I had to paint grapevine on the walls of a guest room in a home in North Dallas years ago. I loved the look so much, I decided to recreate it for my walls. In my version, I sponged the walls to look like stone, stenciled a cinder block design and then free-handed the grapevines on the walls. My bedroom was featured in several magazines right after I painted it (which was approximately 15 years ago - my how time flies!).

Shortly after I did the bedroom, I also redid the kitchen/breakfast room area (which actually is used as a computer room). I painted this room to look like it was created from stone. There are two doors, side-by-side, one leading to the utility room & one to our den. I decided to paint a trompe l'oeil mouse in his mouse hole. I had to lay flat on my stomach to paint the mouse.

When it was completed, the original doors looked out of place, so those were painted to look like heavy castle doors. My son thought we had the "coolest kitchen in town.