In my last post I mentioned that creating a piece for a theme can sometimes prove more of a challenge than expected. Each year we host two themed shows to start off the calendar at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. This year’s January show is titled 22 Squared. We installed this show yesterday morning, and there are as many interpretations of that title as there are artists in the gallery.
Now, you’d think that such a non-specific open-to-interpretation title would be easy to create for. But I was stumped. Most of my current work consists of art doll figure sculptures. I didn’t want to just create a doll, and put her into some contortionist pose, place her in or on a frame, or balancing on a box. Nothing stuck me.
Instead, I decided to take a step back, and think on the square. For a 3D artist this would mean a box. So I started by creating a wooden shadow box. Next, came a glass front for the box. Instead of a simple sheet of glass, I pulled out my stained glass stash and made a somewhat steampunk looking front.
For the interior, I thought on boxes themselves. What do we use them for? We use them to carry, to hold, to protect, to hide, or to contain. The box that I had made looked like it would protect something valuable, but also obscure and hide a bit of the contents. The steampunk flavor of the glass front lead me to a clockwork heart. We certainly try to protect and shield our hearts. This mechanical pacemaker needed someone to tend and maintain it. I recycled a simple figure from a previous piece to wind this delicate time piece and become The Clock Keeper. The interior was made complete with the addition of an antique looking paper with a pattern of watch faces that I applied to the back before installing the contents.
The Clock Keeper
22 squared will be on display at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts from January 27th to February 23rd. The opening reception is this Friday the 31st from 6-9 pm.
I would guess that most often artists find themselves creating from their own ideas, or perhaps those of a patron for a commission. Occasionally we do create for an upcoming show’s predetermined theme. For these shows serendipity can sometimes play a role, and when a “call-to-artists” is read there is already something completed and on hand that is just right. Other times you have to sit down with the sketchbook and think of something that perhaps you wouldn’t have.
In general, I like creating for these shows, and the way they force you to stretch creatively. That is not to say that some do not drive me to distraction. About a month ago I worked on one such piece. I’ll share that one in a couple of weeks when the show goes up in the gallery.
Below is my newest art doll “Wednesday’s Child.” She was created in answer to a monthly challenge that is posted by an art doll group that I belong to. I hadn’t created any dolls to date that were based on nursery rhymes, though it does seem a natural area for fodder given the medium. Gesture in these small figures is always a focus for me. I think her body language says woe, but hopefully she’s thinking of ways to make things better.
I added several new things to the site today. The first is my latest art doll creation, Carnival. As you can see she is masked and ready to attend a ball in Venice. She stands on her own with the help of her very fancy walking stick, and an interesting pair of metal shoes. Her face is torch-fired white enamel and metallic paint on hand-hammered copper.
If you look at her addition to my Art Dolls page you will also notice that she and all my other available dolls now have a price listed beside their title.
I have been researching different on-line sales options lately. To tell the truth, it made my head spin. If you do a search on selling art there are literally hundreds of options from the sprawling Etsy stores to small juried media specific options. Some are free, some charge percentages, others a membership fee and all claim to be able to put your work before millions and millions of collectors.
I decided that I’d first try to see what would happen if I added the option to my own site. So, you may also notice a new page listed in the menu titled Art Doll Purchase. I figured that since my dolls really are one of a kind figure sculptures, that I would handle any inquiries with collectors one-on-one as well.
I will be trying to add and keep the doll gallery as up to date as possible, and will be phasing out listing new work on my Fine Art America page, as they are more suited to 2D work, and don’t seem to show up as high on searches anymore. Besides, all the double listing and updating, is getting a bit too time consuming.
If you were wondering about my other sculptures, for the time being I’m only going to do this with my art dolls as they are much more shipping friendly.
Happy New Year!
(apologies to the Dragon for the title paraphrase)