Tag Archives: art

Paper Art Doll

Art Doll in Progress

Last week I shared some Work-In-Progress images of the newest art doll I was working on. This figure was inspired by a combination of my very first art doll, a snow day, and our yearly literary themed show.

Rather than playing with the idea of a rag doll that wasn’t quite floppy, I instead twisted the idea of a paper doll into a three dimensional figure.  This idea sprung from my picking up paperclay to incorporate into my pieces after having used polymer clay for a face on a snowy day.  Thinking of this figure as a 3D paper doll turned my attention to book illustrations. The images in a classic version of Alice In Wonderland became the literary basis for “Paper Alice.”

Full length image of Paper Alice

Paper Alice

I purposely kept Alice’s color palette muted and almost monochromatic.  I wanted the figure itself to feel as though she had been plucked off the pages of an aged volume.  I used mages and quotes from the text to further this concept.

Metalwork takes a supporting role in this art doll. Her shoes, dress collar, and headband I fashioned from copper.  The “drink me” tag on her bottle is tooled brass foil, and her eyes are torch fired glass enamel on a copper base.

detail of Paper Alice

detail of Paper Alice

I used an antique yellow parchment paper to create Paper Alice’s hair.  I created this wig by hand cutting sets of strips that were then stitched on to a tiny stocking cap I created for her. A bit of curling on the edge of scissors set her coiffure in motion.

Paper Alice hands

Paper Alice hands

I enjoyed experimenting with new materials and techniques with this art doll.  I expect that I will incorporate them in other figure sculptures in the not too distant future.

Art Doll with a Doll, and a WIP

Art Doll with a Doll

This week I completed Art Doll with a Doll. This piece reminded me that once you finish a piece she then belongs to the viewer.

seated art doll figure of doll with doll

Art Doll with Doll

The reason I say this, is that I posted her image on some of my social media sites, and almost instantly received a message to purchase the “mother and baby” piece.  I have to admit it took me second to realize that the writer, a soon to be grandparent, meant the doll I had just posted. This pair is now reserved for that viewer, but she will first appear in my gallery feature show in May with a red dot on her label.

Work In Progress (WIP)

Creating for a gallery show, I always like to push myself to stretch a bit.  My recent experimentation with a polymer clay face for my doll “Snow Day”, intrigued me.  I purchased a package of paperclay.  I have been wanting to try this air dry clay on an art doll for a while now. I will be working metal into the final composition of this piece , but her beginning is a bit different from my usual forged copper face and hands. The rest of the body construction for this art doll will follow my same form of a wire skeleton with padding and clothes sewn on.

paperclay head

paperclay head

paperclay2

head and hands drying

I chose paperclay after thinking about my first figure sculpture to cross into the art doll realm, No Rag Doll.  That doll as you may recall was a stuffed doll with a wire skeleton and a brass foil sculpted face. With her inner support to hold herself upright, she was a rag doll that wasn’t floppy at all. In using paperclay I am playing with the idea of a paper doll, but since she is rendered in three dimensions she is nothing like the flat counterparts from which I am drawing inspiration.  Her connection to paper also stems from a literary catalyst, but I’ll share more about that when I post her completed images.

 

 

 

Art Doll Cometh

art doll titled Snow Day

Snow Day

“Snow Day” is an art doll sculpture born from a string of snowed in days.  Normally, each of my figures starts life in my metal studio where I hammer a face out of copper stock, and forge hands from copper tubing and wire.  A couple of abnormally cold and snowy weeks kept my garage metal studio a bit cooler than I like to do this small scale metal forming.

During one of these days I remembered I had a stash of polymer clay.  I decided to create a face that could be stitched on to a bit larger scale cloth doll.  This doll body I created in the same manner as my very first figure sculpture to cross into art doll territory, “No Rag Doll”, with a soft sewn body over a posable wire frame.

The nordic theme of the doll came out of the weather on the days in which I created her, and the addition of iridescent clay into her face that lends a slightly frosted appearance.  I had all of the fabrics and trims used on hand in my studio, and she came together quite smoothly, but seemed somewhat incomplete when I finished her clothing.

I noticed that this art doll could stand unaided. I had enhanced the ability to balance for several of my other art dolls with the addition of a staff, or walking stick. “Snow Days” snow shoes and ski poles were born from that bit of brainstorming.

“Snow Day” will most likely stay in my studio until my feature show at the end of May, though I may be convinced to bring her to the gallery earlier while she still matches the season.

 

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.

 

Art Dolls Around the Gallery

I find myself working at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts today.  I always try to take images of the art around the gallery when I’m here, and make posts to share all the wonderful work a visitor may discover.  More often than not, I take shots of the work of artists other than myself.  Today I thought I would walk around and look at my art dolls with the eyes of a visitor to the gallery.

art doll Nobody's Fool in gallery

Nobody’s Fool

Nobody’s Fool is sitting on a high pedestal grouped together with others that all have art dolls on them.  She appears to be holding court from that position.

 

art doll Future Thoughts in gallery window

Future Thoughts

Future Thoughts is sitting in the gallery’s front window. From this angle she appears to be a bit sceptical of the viewer. Good thing most visitors look at her from the front through the window.

 

art doll Fly Girl in gallery

Fly Girl

Fly Girl stands beside a beautiful carved pottery vase.

 

art doll Bird Girl in gallery

Bird Girl

From this angle, I think that my art doll Bird Girl looks a bit surprised that you can look down upon her swing.

 

art doll Lily in gallery

Lily

Lily is perched on a shadow box on the wall in the print room where along with cards and prints, a visitor to HGA can find an example of work from each of the member artists and handy bio-cards that describe the work of each.

 

art doll Steam in gallery

Steam

Steam is in the same pedestal grouping of art dolls as Nobody’s Fool.  She looks commanding as well.

 

art doll Ziggy in gallery

Ziggy

Art doll ZIggy adds a bit of sparkle to a pedestal by the wall.

There are a few more of both my art dolls and other sculptures around the gallery, but I guess you’ll have to stop by to see the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Dolls Going to a Garden Party

If you been following along with my progress on some outdoor figure pieces, your patience can finally be rewarded.  I will be installing three “garden dolls” at the UNC Botanical gardens tomorrow in the annual Sculpture in the Garden invitational show.  But, before they take the trip to Chapel Hill, here’s a few shots of them in my own garden.

Garden art doll figure - Sow

Sow

garden art doll - Tend

Tend

garden doll - gather

Gather

The reception for the Sculpture in the Garden show is Saturday from 4:30 – 7pm. The show will be on display throughout the fall. There is always a wide variety of media, styles, and sizes of work represented.