Category Archives: Art Shows

Art Dolls Installed and Invitation

Our Art Is…

The new show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts including my newest art doll figures is now installed.  This show that features my sculptures along with the paintings of Eduardo Lapetina and Pat Merriman will run through June 21st.  The opening reception is this Friday, May 29th, from 6 to 9pm during Hillsborough’s monthly Last Friday celebration.  If you are in the area I hope you can join us, and see our new work. Here is a peek into the feature gallery.

HGA gallery view

View through door of Featured Exhibit gallery at HGA

A Closer Look

If you regularly read my posts you have seen most of these new art dolls in their studio shots, but here is a bit more of a tease from the gallery installation.

art doll Psyche-Delia with steampunk guitar

Psyche-Delia

Psyche-Delia is a steampunk rocker.

 

art doll Media at HGA

The art doll Media holds a key to…?

Art dolls: Media, Getting Ready, and Psyche- Delia sit atop a trio of pedestals.

art doll Joy

Joy

Joy dances in a dress that looks like it may have been pulled from Eduardo’s palette.

art dolls: Doll with Doll and Spring in Hillsborough Gallery of Arts

Doll with Doll (sold) looks up at viewer

Doll with doll, and figure titled, “Spring” in front of another Eduardo Lapetina piece in the background.

Art doll Paper Alice

“Paper Alice” art doll with Alice in Wonderland paintings.

It was completely serendipitous that Pat Merman had produced two mixed media Alice in Wonderland themed paintings that flank my art doll Paper Alice.  Paper Alice has paperclay sculpted head and hands, and parchment locks.

art doll Current drift in her boat

Current Drift floats on a pedestal

Hope that you can stop by and see these and my other new art dolls in the feature show, as well as, other examples of my sculptures throughout the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

 

 

Art Doll Excursion

Getting Ready for Feature Show

I am busy finishing up the art doll figures that will be part of my feature show opening next week at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.  Each year as I put together this body of work, connections between individual pieces emerge.  The pieces I have created this year push gesture, narrative and incorporation of materials.  My latest, Mechanical Succession, checks all of those boxes, and is a bit of a stretch beyond the others.

figurative art doll titled Mechanical Succession, experimentation in mixed media

Mechanical Succession

I created her on a slightly larger scale than most, and obviously opened up every tool kit and materials bin in my studio in making her.  There are still a few tweaks in positioning and perhaps a random detail or two left to add.  She is definitely on of those pieces I spoke of in an earlier post that you need to take a break from while you are working in order digest what you have done so far.

Go Where the Art Doll Takes You

I have to be completely honest and say I’m not sure myself what I think of her yet. Some pieces go exactly where you want them to, while others take you on their own excursion instead.  I feel that Mechanical Succession is one of the latter.  I am guessing that the story that she jumped out of must be an interesting one, though I’m not quite sure if it is some magical fairy tale, or one that cautions us about the future.

Next week I will share some images of the show installation, and provide one last reminder to set aside next Friday from 6-9 to come out to the opening, see it in person, and say hello.

Art Dolls and Photo Angles

Today I took some photographs of my newly completed art doll sculpture titled Current Drift.

art doll Current Drift reclines in her small wooden boat

Current Drift

This figure sculpture is another piece that will be at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts starting May 25th.

Making This Art Doll

This piece did not begin as a preconceived sketch, but with a simple decision being made while in the metal studio creating hands and face.  That choice was to leave her eyes closed. As I took the polishing buff to the blackened and hammered piece of copper a very peaceful visage emerged.  The question then arose as what this figure was enjoying. Was she listening to beautiful music, basking in the warmth of the sun, or perhaps even a fairy tail princess awaiting an awakening kiss?  In the end, I thought she’d enjoy a gentile ride.

Though not intentional, I feel that she fits in with my earlier pieces Driving in Reverse, and Future Thoughts.  Like those two earlier figures, this doll seems to be communicating something to the viewer. Also, as with those earlier art dolls, her title conveys both her action, and her attitude.

Photographing and Finishing

Taking images of Current Drift was an interesting challenge.  Unlike a figure seated or standing, getting all the elements of this art doll in a single shot requires shooting from above.  I find that when you do that the piece tends to seem flattened.  It took quite a bit of camera angle and art doll repositioning until I landed on one that I thought worked as well as possible.  Even with all that movement I haven’t settled if this piece is completely complete.  I have been toying with the idea of imbedding the whole piece, art doll and boat, in a puddle of clear or slightly blue tinted resin.  I guess you might just have to show up to the show to find out.

It’s All About the Story, Vol. 3: Lee Smith

It is time to take a short break from sharing new images of my art dolls and sculpture for a week, and talk instead about the new show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.  A couple of weeks ago I shared a somewhat different piece with a small figure on a swing that I created out of fabric maché.  That piece was for the show now installed at HGA, “It’s All About the Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith.”

Invite Card for "It's All About the Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith

Invite Card for “It’s All About the Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith.

Each February we team up with one of the many noted authors who prompted the Wall Street Journal to name Hillsborough, NC as “America’s Little Literary Town”, and do a show of art inspired by that author’s work. This year we responded to Lee Smith’s collection of short stories, Mrs Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger. These interpretations take form in every media present in the gallery from painting and sculpture, to pottery, glass and jewelry.

The opening reception for this show is this Friday, 6-9pm.  The Gallery will also host a reading by Lee on Sunday, March 8th from 4-6pm. Be sure to stop in and see this yearly melding of visual and literary art.

 

 

 

Art Dolls and Patience

Now that the winter holidays and working on extra jewelry pieces for Valentine’s Day has past, my attention turns to putting together my feature artist show for the gallery.  This year, I will be part of the show opening at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts on the last Friday of May .

One of the challenges of this preparation is holding back recently completed pieces until the installation of the show. This is where blogging about what is going on in the studio is very helpful.  I can share previews of the work without having to succumb to the urge to bring it in to the gallery right away.

Two of my most recently completed art doll sculptures are “Spring” and “psyche-Delia”.  I will take the time to tell you more about them and their companions who are as yet just sketches when show date nears.  For now, I just thought I’d let you get a peek at them devoid of any artist commentary.

image of art doll psyche-Delia

psyche-Delia

image of art doll Spring

Spring

Let me know what you think.

 

Art Doll, Not Quite.

I don’t think my new piece for the upcoming Hillsborough Gallery of Arts show, “It’s All About The Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith”, actually qualifies as one of my art dolls.  It does have a small figure incorporated, but it reads more like a narrative sculpture to me.

figure from "Folk Art on a Swing"

figure from “Folk Art on a Swing”

As you may be aware, each year during our February show at HGA, we pair up with one of the many well know authors who also make their home in Hillsborough. We create art in response to their work.  This year we read Lee Smith’s collection of short stories titled, “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger.”

One story in particular, “Folk Art”, seemed custom written for my work.  In this story a young art professor is visiting a woman who creates concrete sculptures of the people in her life, and installs them in her backyard garden.  I didn’t want to be overly literal and fashion my figure in the same manner, so I decided to do a variation on both using concrete and my figure sculptures that are art dolls.

"Folk Art on a Swing" fabric ache over wire and wood

Folk Art on a Swing

What I settled on was a sculpture that includes a small figure, and is fashioned out fabric maché.  The piece does relate to someone specific, but the choice of the child swinging was intentional because of its universality.  Unlike the self taught artist in the story, I wanted my figure to speak to everyone rather than just highlight character traits or interests of my specific subject.

The piece is fabric and trim over the wire and wood frame that I shared as a work in progress in my last post.  Now, it is time to get back to work on some art dolls for my next featured artist show.  I will be sure to share some images of more of the work in  “It’s All About The Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith” when the show is installed in a few weeks, and alert you when Ms. Smith will join us in the gallery for a reading.

 

“Art All Around” and a work in progress

I shared my “Cirque III” hanging art doll a few weeks ago, but here she is again.

art doll Cirque III

Cirque III

The show I created her for “Art All A Round”, is now installed at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.  This unique group show is hung quite differently.  We are in the middle of a floor project in the HGA feature gallery, in fact I spent this morning along with several of my gallery partners doing demolition on the old tile floor. Since the feature gallery is not available, we hung the art for “Art All A Round” all around the gallery.  These pieces featuring circles, and round themes are specially labeled. We have also generated a key with images of all the pieces for visitors to use as a guide map, or perhaps treasure hunt is more accurate. The opening reception for “Art All A Round” is this Friday from 6-9pm.

While I’m on the subject of my pieces for our group themed shows at HGA I thought that I’d share a bit of work in progress images of my piece for next month’s show. Each February for three years now we have paired up with one of Hillsborough’s many talented authors for our “It’s All About the Story” show.  This year we are working with Lee Smith.  I’m trying a few different things this year.  Here’s a peek…

Armature of work in progress

Armature of work in progress

Tree skeleton covered in burlap

Tree skeleton covered in burlap

Trunk covered with fabric mâché paisley

Fabric Mâché, paisley tree?

I’ll share the rest next month.

Resolutions 2015 at HGA

Tonight is the opening reception for “Resolutions 2015” our inaugural juried art show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.  We had a wonderful response to our Call-To-Artists and had nearly 100 artists from every part of North Carolina submit just shy of 200 pieces of work.

Resolutions 2015

The juried pieces were installed in HGA’s Feature Gallery on Monday, and they look wonderful.  The show’s opening reception is this evening from 6-9 pm.  Guest awards juror, Dr. Timothy Riggs, will present his award choices and some impressions of the show.

Resolutions 2015 peek

Join us at the gallery tonight and meet the guest artists.  Vote for your favorite in our “People’s Choice.”

 

Holiday Treats and a Circle

I have mostly been busy creating items for the gallery for the holidays the past few weeks. Along with new art doll sculptures this includes a few extra jewelry creations, and several types of ornaments. Even though these are smaller pieces that I make several of at a time, I do hand craft each as a distinct original piece.

holiday ornaments and ornament cards

ornaments and ornament cards

I think that my “ornament cards” illustrate this best. The small metal repouseé panel that is on each starts out as a piece of blank tooling foil. I sketch a design on each with a dry erase marker, and then use a variety of stylus tools to shape the design front and back to create a relief sculpture. A sparkly card stock backing is then attached by edging the two panels together with metal foil tape.  With the addition of an eyelet, a hanging ribbon, and attached to a card it becomes both a greeting and a gift.

I also forge copper stars and hearts from copper stock, and pierced aluminum. These are finished with a variety of found objects from my steampunk-y materials stash.

This year I wanted to add an ornament with a nod to my art dolls. I created the little “snowflake dancers” you see in the photo. Each starts out with a wooden bead and a couple of pieces of twisted wire. Brads for eyes, tinsel hair, a wrapped yarn leotard, and skirts of copper and tulle complete these miniature hanging dolls.

My latest art doll is also a hanging piece. Following our first ever Juried art show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts (more on that in a couple of weeks); HGA will host “Art All Around” in January. This gallery group show will feature works that in turn feature circles.

art doll Cirque III

Cirque III

My piece for the show is “Cirque III”, she is the third in a series of aerialist dolls fashioned in the style of a “cirque” type circus. This doll I purposely balanced and positioned so that while hanging, the slightest breeze or air movement will cause her to move in a circular plane. This of course made photographing her all the more of a challenge, but I do like the effect. She will be in the gallery starting the last week of January.

 

Mermaid’s Song

art doll mermaid song

Mermaid Song

Mermaid Song is my newest art doll. For an earlier mermaid doll I forged an all copper tail.  I decided allow materials to drive creation with this siren of the deep.  I source some materials for my work at a local “creative reuse” center known as the Scrap Exchange.  Upholstery samples provide a great inspiration starting point.  Within a stack of faux-leathers I had several colors of materials with a dappled pattern impression.  They reminded me of fish scales, and called to be part of a new mermaid doll.

I tried some other new things with the construction of this sculpture.  Along with my last, “Barre-ing Degas”, this doll has hands created from a narrower diameter copper tubing.  I think this brings the hands into better proportion with the rest of the doll.  It does require I work to an even more exacting tolerance when cutting fingers in the end of the tube I flatten to form the palm and fingers.  Another new technique I employed was making a small sandbag to include within the doll to ensure that she would sit up while still having her head tipped back singing.

Mermaid Song will be off to the gallery soon.