Tag Archives: anthropomorphic

Anthropomorphic Art Dolls Moving On?

…But they’re not gone!

This week is the last Friday of the month. A new featured artist show, Construction, is going live online for HGA. But, Three Narratives isn’t really going anywhere. My anthropomorphic art dolls will remain available both within the gallery featured sales pages, and here on my Available for Purchase page.

Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
Multitasking 12″x7″x12″

At the Gallery

Those same anthropomorphic art dolls are now at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts awaiting our controlled reopening. As you can imagine, a space where patrons linger, converse, and touch objects is rife with contact concerns. The HGA owner artists are carefully considering all the angles we can think of to safely start to welcome visitors back. The current plan is to offer private appointments one weekday, and open a few hours with precautions on Saturdays. Details on both options are still being finalized. I will share all that information with you here, as soon as I can.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion 7″x18″x10″

Not Just Anthropomorphic Art Dolls.

Even with the move towards careful reopening, we are building and refining HGA’s online sales offerings. As you might imagine, something that required building on the fly has experienced a hiccup or two. The experience of the past few months has taught us that we need to develop this side of our gallery further. Keep checking in with me here. I will continue to share new developments. In the mean time, take a second look at our special Art Under $100 show. This show features pieces donated by the HGA member artists, and all proceeds go to maintaining the gallery.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″
Flower Necklace -purple and turquoise needle felted flowers on leather chord
Flower Necklace

Making Lemonade

Marketing art at the moment is, as you might imagine, an interesting challenge. For both my own work here on this site, and for our co-owned Hillsborough Gallery of Arts the learning and adjusting curves are quite steep. In both instances, sharing more online seems to be the short answer. The answers about how, and what is most effective are much longer and trickier. The cliche of “turning lemons into lemonade” is the guiding principle, and an increased online presence using a variety of attacks is the strategy being employed.

Newest Lemonade Stand

On the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts website there is a new choice on the top menu bar, Art Shop. This page offers a selection of work by all of the HGA artists that you can now purchase online. Take a moment to check it out. There is a wide variety of media, styles and price points available.

Wise and Magical anthropomorphic wise-woman owl sculpture
Wise and Magical

My latest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture titled Wise and Magical is one of the two pieces I have available on that page. She is a colorful wise-woman owl who has apparently been forging for some herbs for her medicine bag. Wise and Magical is perched on a natural stick base.

DIY anthropomorphic art doll
D.I.Y.

D.I.Y. also is available now on the new HGA Art Shop page. I shared D.I.Y. with you a few posts back, and only had her available here on my site. I also took the opportunity to update her image as well.

Also New This Week..

The new Art Under $100 donation page that I wrote about last post will be up this Friday, May 15th at Noon. Remember, my Blue Butterfly Bag will available there as well as donated items by other HGA member artists with all proceeds going to keep the gallery going while the doors are shut. Shipping is included on all items there.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″

Look at the Screen

Artwork looks much different through a computer screen. Some views are actually enhanced by an image. I see the details of the Mona Lisa much better in high resolution scans than when I looked through glass from the midst of a pack of tourists. I’m sure the experience would be very different if I were able to view the masterpiece face-to-face. In the real world, however, the computer screen may be one’s best option.

My Sculpture on the Screen

  • High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
  • Climate Report anthropomorphic art doll
  • Emu Incognito anthropomorphic art doll
  • Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
  • Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll
  • Too En Pointe? anthropomorphic art doll
  • Stroll anthropomorphic art doll
  • Upstart Crow anthropomorphic art doll
  • Happiness Isn't anthropomorphic art doll
  • Out of Water anthropomorphic art doll
  • Pierre anthropomorphic art doll
  • Secrets Locked anthropomorphic art doll

My much humbler artwork is definitely viewed best up close and in person. Sculptures of relatively compact scale need the viewer to move in close, and see all around. Needle felted wool adds a textural warmth to the surface of my pieces that does not translate as well in photographs. I could provide multiple views of each sculpture, but even those run up to the barrier created by the two-dimensional screen.

Experiencing an art show from the side of the artist has also been altered by the computer screen. I posted here presenting a few pieces each time, and then shared each post on social media. Then, I sat back and waited for blog comments, or likes and shares. Even though I had done these things in the past for my shows, now they are the show. A conversation with someone at the opening about what made one piece their favorite is replaced with a “thumbs-up” emoji. Seems that the show has been distanced in both space and in time.

On The Horizon

I am waiting on some direct links to share with you for other things we are working on for the gallery. HGA’s website will soon have a couple of additional pieces for sale by each of our member artists on the HGA website. The Square market where we have virtually shared our featured artist shows (like my current Three Narratives) will also feature a special new offering. Each of our HGA member artists donated a piece priced $100 or less with all proceeds going to the maintenance of the gallery. Shipping is included for all of these wonderful works. This up-cycled denim bag with needle felted embellishments is my donation.

Blue Butterfly bag
Blue Butterfly bag – 8″x11″x1/2″

I will share links to these two new places for you to access our art as soon as they are available.

Show Now Open!!!

“Three Narratives” Show Online at Noon.

The HGA April Featured Artists show titled “Three Narratives” goes live today at noon on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts web site. The anthropomorphic art doll sculptures I’ve been sharing here with you will be available* through HGA’s new shopping site.

*Blog Bonus Sculpture

D.I.Y. anthropomorphic art doll
D.I.Y.

I just completed this ironic little figure titled D.I.Y (Do It Yourself), so her image didn’t make it on the HGA page. But I will be adding her to my Available for Purchase page immediately after I post. D.I.Y. sits about 13″ high, and is working on a warm red scarf. This anthropomorphic art doll is extra special. Her wonderful wool curls come from the sheep of another HGA artist, Susan Hope. I love when I can incorporate things from others in our HGA family into a sculpture.

D.I.Y – W.I.P.

D.I.Y also features a bit of interesting work-in-progress elements that I thought I’d share with you. I needed to knit her red scarf, but didn’t have any needles, let alone any small enough. I created the little needles you see in the image by grinding and polishing the ends of a couple of 16d finishing nails!

Knitting D.I.Y. scarf
Knitting D.I.Y. scarf

There are several parts of art doll sculptures that each artist sort of developed their own strategies for sculpting. Noses, ears, and fingers are examples of such features. My method for noses involves shaping the basic nose, and then piercing where the nostrils would be. After I create the nostril hole, I have to keep it open to continue shaping. So there is a point in each art doll’s creation where as my child states, they look like they are getting a rhinoplasty.

D.I.Y work in progress image
Work-In-Progress on D.I.Y

Last Piece for the Show

The last piece I need to share is the one that our card designer chose to highlight, Pierre.

Pierre anthropomorphic art doll
Pierre 4″x13″x8″ $400

Pierre, is a fox who is all set to hit the slopes, but probably in a bygone era. I had a bit of fun creating his vintage styled skis, poles, and warm wool ski wear. Pierre, stands about 13″ high, and his skis and poles provide his interesting base.

Show Here, Show there

Pierre, and his *friends can be purchased directly from me here, or through the HGA website starting at noon today. You may notice slightly different pricing, that is because the shipping, handling, and processing costs have been added in on the HGA site. Hope to see you online today!

Adapting On The Fly

I found myself staring at the keyboard for some time today. It wasn’t a case of writer’s block, but more along the lines of not knowing exactly where to begin. Along with creating and introducing new work, I’m adapting to an ever changing landscape for sharing and showing my sculpture. I should be at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts right now installing my Featured Artist show, and the opening reception would have been this Friday evening during the Last Friday Art Walk. Of course, none of that is happening now. Instead, my show will open online Friday on the gallery website. That in itself is a bit anticlimactic for anyone reading these posts regularly. I’ve shared most of my new anthropomorphic art doll sculptures with you, and they can be seen on my Available for Purchase page right now.

Three New Friends Today

Stroll anthropomorphic art doll
Stroll

Stroll is another of those pieces that looks like he stepped right out of the pages of a storybook. He features a handsome walking stick that provides a him stability to stand on his own, and also appear to be in motion. The bright dotted pattern of his tie playfully reflects his own spotted patterning. His brightly colored waistcoat features embroidered embellishment.

Out of Water anthropomorphic art doll
Out of Water

I created Out of Water in different sequence from most of these sculptures. I didn’t have an idea of the complete composition to begin with, just the koi itself. Sometimes I like to let the figure take the lead and tell me where to go. Her Japanese parasol was a fun construction challenge, and presents a nice color contrast to the fish itself.

Secrets Locked anthropomorphic art doll
Secrets Locked

Secrets Locked is a quiet little piece. Turtle shells are such unique examples of nature’s engineering. They readily lend themselves to imagining other or additional purposes. My turtle serves as a lockbox for one’s secrets. He has several different types of locks’ and doors and gates. His hat style is borrowed from a woodblock print described as depicting a medieval locksmith.

Adapting the Gallery.

As I mentioned already, my Featured Artists show with Nell Chandler and Michele Yellin, Three Narratives, opens this Friday on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts website. The HGA site should soon have several choices for you to view and purchase art. We are still working on and shaping how those all will look and work. I will share links and information as soon as we have it all worked out and up and running.

Performing Creatures

I admit it. I fall prey to finding humor in puns, and some of my new creatures are obvious candidates for punny titles. My swan dancing in her toe shoes titled, “Too En Pointe?”, is a prime example.

Too En Pointe? anthropomorphic art doll
Too En Pointe?

Swan Lake is the world’s best known ballet. I choose to depict this most recent dancing figure as a swan. I think that choice might be a bit too “on point” for some. For those not familiar with dancing terms, dancing up on toe shoes is called being “En Pointe.” I suppose I could have made her title an even greater head shaking pun if I had called her “TooToo En Pointe?”

Title aside, I enjoy how this sculpture came together. She is a commanding figure at 18 inches tall and her wings spread wide. That she somehow can maintain her en pointe posture dancing on water makes her just a bit magical.

More Performing Creatures

If you are familiar with the romantic comedy Notting Hill, you might recognize the title of “Happiness Isn’t.” There is a painting, La MariĆ©e (The Bride), by Marc Chagall that plays a role in the story. The main characters Anna (Julia Roberts) and William (Hugh Grant) discuss the imagery of the painting. Anna states,”It feels how love should be. Floating through a dark blue sky.” William quips, “With a goat playing the violin.” To which Anna responds, “Yes, happiness isn’t happiness without a violin-playing goat.” That clever exchange was the inspiration for “Happiness Isn’t.”

Happiness Isn't anthropomorphic art doll
Happiness Isn’t

Even though the goat in the actual painting appears to be holding a cello, I chose to depict my figure with a violin too. He is one of those figures that just brings a smile, and has no other job than to contradict his own title.

Stay Tuned…

Things are changing quickly as we navigate sharing and marketing artwork online. I’m not sure this month’s Featured Artist show (changes Friday, April 24th) on the HGA website will be presented in the same way as the current one. There are some new gallery offerings going up just about every day. Keep checking in both here and on our Hillsboroughgallery.com site to see what is new and available. I just made some pricing updates on my own “Available for Purchase” page. You may want to recheck your favorites. I’ve revised the newest back to last year’s scale, and I have taken in to account the need to add on shipping costs.

Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll

A Bard Bird, A Book Cat, and Bags.

Literature often serves as a fertile idea source. Today’s sculptures do not pull from specific stories, but they do have book related themes.

Crow by the Book

My elizabethan crow is titled Upstart. A playwright contemporary of Shakespeare named, Robert Greene, referred to The Bard as an “upstart crow”. Greene was university educated and thought that actors like Shakespeare should stick to delivering lines, not writing them. The joke is now on mister Greene, as most of us only encounter his name when looking up the origin of the phrase. I first read an explanation on the bag of a bookstore with that name, and there is also a British sit-com by the same title.

Upstart Crow anthropomorphic art doll
Upstart

My “Upstart” is apparently delivering some grand soliloquy. His feathered cap, and white ruffed collar seemed the only elements needed to place him in time and context. Getting his bird form into a human posture and proportion was key with this piece. He commands much more attention than his 12 inch frame would normally attract.

Literary Cat and Her Book

Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll
Literary Cat

I do admit to having favorites among my creations, and the needle felted cat sculpture I titled Literary Cat is one of them. The inquisitive feline appears ready to tell you something she just read in her book. With her wire rimmed spectacles and scarf she is ready to get comfortable and curl up in the corner of a bookstore or library. This calico is right at home in a show titled “Three Narratives.”

Something Different?

I am going to take a little detour in introducing my anthropomorphic friends, to share a couple of additions to my “Available for Purchase” page. Last year I added two sculptural felted purses to my feature show, and they were well received. They each quickly found their way to good homes as functional pieces of art. This year, I went a slightly different route. I’ve up-cycled some old jeans into bags that I then embellished with needle felted sculptural elements.

Both bags are fully lined, and have jean button closures. The Poppy Field bag has an additional interior pocket. The Slow Daisies bag has an adjustable handle that allows it to be used as a shoulder or crossbody. Both are one-of-a-kind originals. Size and price details can be found on the “Available for Purchase” page.

Multitasking and an Emu

Different types of multitasking

There is always a fair amount of multitasking to do as an art show opening approaches. This time around that requires changes and additions to my task list. Launching this year’s show online necessitates that I expand my online communication and keep up with regular sharing of my newest work. This is the only way that new artwork will be seen. No one will be walking through the door of the gallery and discovering my sculptures. I need to make sure my images are all ready to go, and I needed to update, and reorganize my site. This is because I hope I will be successful steering new and increased traffic here. Also, after I write each post, I need to do increased followup social media posting and sharing to try to expand each post’s reach.

Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
Multitasking 12″x7″x12″

A Multitasking Sculpture

My piece titled, Multitasking, is an octopus who is busy fixing a cup of tea. Multiple arms make this an easier task I imagine. This sculpture is one of those that was fully formed in my mind before I started. The scale and presence is a bit larger and bolder than most. He commands attention be payed, and also invites the viewer in to take in details. The china pattern embroidered on the cup and tea pot, and the arm raised grasping a tea spoon are a couple of examples. I actually think that I might add some others. A sugar cube on the spoon, and some tea flowing into the cup, perhaps? I’ll share new images if I do.

Emu on the Run

Emu Incognito anthropomorphic art doll
Emu Incognito 8″x16″x13″

This sculpture is “based on actual events”, as the saying goes. There was an emu nicknamed Eno that gained quite a bit of notoriety in this area and beyond this past summer. Eno got loose, and evaded capture for several weeks. The emu sort of became our very own Yeti for a period. Sightings were reported all over the county. Unfortunately, the tale ended tragically during the final attempt to capture was made. I wanted to honor the smile Eno provided during its time on the run. There was just a bit of the absurd to the idea of a fugitive emu evading captors for weeks. As you plainly see, my Emu Incognito is taking extra measures to make sure she escapes undetected.

One last bit of Multitasking

First, a reminder that all of my new work will go live on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts online shop on April 24th. But, you can check them all out now right here on my Available for Purchase page. I just updated all the new offerings with dimensions and prices.

Fashionable Anthropomorphic Climate

High Fashion Girrafe

In my last post, I detailed how this newest body of anthropomorphic figures grew out of the creation of a single white rabbit. This was an additional nod to Alice in Wonderland, an inspiration I’ve returned to a number of times. The first idea that appeared in my sketchbook was the slightly absurd image of a giraffe wearing two pairs of cloven hoof pumps.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion

Dressing a Giraffe

I have to say that giraffe morphology is quite unique. I poured over reference images online, and then worked and reworked her form. There is a balance between realistic and illustration that I’m trying to strike. I don’t want my animal figures to look like stuffed animal toys, but I also don’t desire them to be hyperrealistic either.

I also find a balance is needed in imbuing each with their anthropomorphic elements of human attire. This seems driven by each individual piece. High Fashion really only needed a few items to relay her idea. Additionally, I didn’t want to detract from the bold body conscious animal print jumpsuit she’s modeling. Especially, when it took what seemed like a lifetime to form and add each one of her brown patches and spots. Her shoes were also a labour of love to attain the oxymoronic effect of high end pumps made for the foot of a giraffe.

What Else Would an Anthropomorphic Polar Bear Do?

Nell Chandler, Michele Yellin and I decided on the title Three Narratives for our feature show. It seems appropriate for my figures to not only appear pulled from a story, but perhaps have their own tales. Last winter I created a number of polar bear ornaments for the holiday season at the gallery. This larger version, Climate Report, appears to have quite a bit more to say than his diminutive brethren. If a polar bear were a reporter, one can imagine that the news would revolve around the elements of everyday polar bear life. Any changes and impacts to that life would be noteworthy. My intrepid reporter is busy doing just that work. He is stylized more like he stepped out of a black and white film than a children’s book. After all, he is dealing with non-fiction issues.

Climate Report anthropomorphic art doll
Climate Report

Pieces, Prices and Pics

I’ll share one or two more of these new anthropomorphic pieces in a few days. I’m working on a few last items, and getting things ready for the launch of the online gallery on the HGA page. I will share it all here with you here as soon as it’s ready.

Art show in the Time of Corona

Open Art Show Online

It is not very hard to come up with a topic today. There is seemingly one thing on everyone’s mind, the Covid-19 pandemic. Artists and galleries are no exception. I’m guessing you may recall that I am an artist/owner of a collectively run gallery. We shuttered the brick and mortar Hillsborough Gallery of Arts for the duration of the North Carolina stay-at-home order. We have not, however, stopped showing and selling art. Last week we launched our first online art show. The March Featured Artists show “Glimmer to Spark” opened online last Friday at noon.

Climate Report

My Featured Art Show

I am one of the three artists scheduled to be featured next month in HGA’s April art show. Our show, “Three Narratives” is scheduled to open on April 24th. That will not be occurring, so like “Glimmer to Spark” we will be opening online. While the work from home concept is certainly conducive to getting studio time in, the challenge is sharing that work with an outside audience. This is especially true when that audience has many other things on their minds.

Clicking around my site here will reveal some new items. There are images of new work for you to take a look at in the Available For Purchase gallery. I switched my purchase inquiry to that page as well, so you do not have to click elsewhere if something catches your eye. You will find two image galleries on the Past Works Gallery page. One contains most of my sold art dolls, and the other a selection of previous mixed media pieces.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion

Burying the Lede (just learned that spelling)

From the images on this pages, you may notice that my work for this next show is a bit different. All of the new pieces I created for this show are somewhat surreal anthropomorphic figure sculptures. After sculpting a white rabbit titled “Alice is Late” last year, I decided to look a bit more at anthropomorphic figures. I was happy with the form and effect of the finished sculpture, and viewer response to him was great. I love how now that I have a dozen of these figures gathered together for photography that they look like a mass escape from some bizarre and unknown piece of children’ literature.

In the past, I shared just one or two pieces from an upcoming art show because the idea was to entice people to come and see them in person. It is best to see any art, especially sculpture, first hand. This time around I have several weeks to share at least 12 new friends with you, so I’ll be posting a new piece or two every few days. Keep an eye out. My posts will certainly be much more frequent then they’ve been in the past.