Tag Archives: art

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


art doll Ziggy in gallery


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


garden art doll - Tend


garden doll - 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.

More Work in Progress

The next steps in creating my art dolls depend on where and how the sculptures will ultimately be displayed. I have been working on both outdoor “garden dolls” and some new pedestal top pieces for gallery display.

A garden sculpture obviously needs to be constructed to withstand the elements, and live happily outdoors. The skeleton of the figure below titled “Tend” will be kneeling in a garden space tending to the plants around her. Her dress will consist of cast concrete that will fill up the chicken wire frame.

Skeleton form of garden doll "Tend"

Skeleton form of garden doll “Tend”

“Contemplate” is a gallery doll that is a reimagined version of an earlier piece titled “Driving in Reverse.” This steampunk styled doll has a padded wire skeleton and hand stitched clothing. A pair of boots and some additional mechanical elements will complete this piece.

Art doll "Contemplate" still under construction.

Art doll “Contemplate” thinking now about some shoes and accessories.

Next time… some finished pieces to look at.





Works in Progress

Travels during July kept studio time down a bit, so I thought I’d share shots of art dolls in progress this week.  I’m busy working on a couple of outdoor “garden dolls” for a fall show, and building gallery inventory back up from recent sales.

Each face starts as a disk of copper that I cut from 16 oz stock, flame anneal, and hammer into shape. Cutting, sanding and polishing bring each face to completion.

annealed copper disk with face outline

Annealed copper disk with face outline

Hammering face into shape

Hammering a face into shape

Copper face after shaping and polishing

Copper face after shaping and polishing

Eyes are fashioned from copper or brass headed fasteners onto which I torch fire powdered glass enamels.  By mixing opaque and transparent colors I can achieve an infinite variety of colors.

Hands I shape from copper tubing hammered and cut to form the sculpture’s wrist, palm, and four of the fingers.  Wire brazed into a notch cut on the side of the palm forms each thumb.

Close up of the hands of "Whee!"

Close up of the hands of “Whee!”

Next week I’ll share a few more bits and pieces.

Show Tonight

Just enough time this afternoon to send out one additional “hope to see you” for this evening, Friday from 6-9. All of the gallery rooms at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts have been rehung so there is new work to be seen everywhere, not just my new art dolls and the wonderful new paintings by Linda Carmel, and Marcy Lansman. The show, Attention to Detail is bright and bold.

Attention to detail

A few sneak peek shots of Attention to detail

All of Hillsborough will be out and about during Last Friday. music on the courthouse steps starts at 6. And there will be lots to do and see as usual.

Got to go and get the second batch of cheese straws out of the oven for he reception tonight.

New Work, Shows, and the Concrete

This week I am turning my attention and energy into high gear getting ready for a couple of shows.  The first will take place in a couple of weeks in Durham NC.  It will be the first time I have attended an art doll show.  Even though most of the dolls  that will be in that show are not the type of figure sculpture art dolls that I create, it will still be interesting to see how they are received by a non-gallery audience.  It is also a very different display format than I am used to, so my mind is full of table display ideas and projects too,

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy in the studio as well.  I have two dolls that I have just completed this week.  The first is simply named Lily.  She is seated and appears to be thinking about something. She has an expression as if she is just about to tell you something very interesting.

art doll Lily


The second doll is Garden 1.  She is the first of a series of indoor or outdoor art doll sculptures.  I cast her torso in concrete using a discarded beverage bottle for a form. I think she would look as great sitting within a flower bed, as on some indoor display space.

art doll Garden 1

Garden 1

Both will make their debut in Durham at the Down East Doll Show June 18-22.

Another Mask and a Bit of Concrete

I had started working on a second doll with an enameled mask even before the recent sale of her predecessor “Carnivale”.  Taking my hand hammered copper faces to a new place with the addition of torch fired enamel provides a multitude of new design and color options.

Mirro Mask art doll

Mirror Mask art doll

This doll, Mirror Mask, has an additional bit of intrigue for the viewer.  Where Carnivale was wearing her mask and only allowed a glimpse of her enameled eyes, Mirror Mask has pulled her mask slightly away from her face.  What the viewer glimpses behind is their own image in a mirror. With her hair piled high and bejeweled, and her peacock hued gown and walking stick, she’s obviously off to a very interesting ball.

The other piece I’ve been working on this week goes in a different direction.  While still technically an art doll, she will be one that can reside inside or out.  I have several shows coming up in the next few months, and at least one takes place in a garden setting.  I’ve decided to create some “garden dolls” for that show. the torso of the first is cast concrete utilizing a recycled plastic bottle for my form.  She is still curing in my outside workspace, so ill wait to share an image of her in my next post.



Posting and Sharing

art doll - Reading


I just finished setting up a Flickr feed as another place to share images of my art dolls.  Why? Like many artists I try to increase the exposure of my work to a wider audience.  Exactly the best way to do this online is a question I see raised often.  If I’m to believe the greatest portion of my blog comments and replies (spam) some people have Search Engine Optimization and web promotion all figured out, and they are only too happy to help you increase yours… for a fee, of course.

The fact that the landscape keeps changing, and what worked last year no longer does, makes it even more challenging.  Anyone with a separate Facebook fan page for their work knows that now even those who had taken the time to “like” your page probably don’t see your posts on their news feed.  You have to pay to “boost” your posts, or run ads for that to happen.  I got another such surprise when I went to add a new image to my Fine Art America page last week.  As a 3D artists I never had any reason to use their paid service to sell prints or canvases of my work.  Recently, they limited the number of images that free users could have to 25.  I have about four times that already.  I’d have to sit and delete 75+ one at a time to add just one new piece of work.  You can upgrade to a premium account to address the issue. Needless to say, don’t check there for my new work.

Hopefully, some of the new things I’ve added like Pinterest boards and a Flickr stream, or that I’ve done like changing the way I name and tag images will help.  There are some things I’m still researching like coordinated Instagram and Twitter usage. Others, like opening an Etsy shop, I just don’t think are for me.

Right here where you are on my blog will remain the best way to keep up with what I’m working on, like “Reading” that I photographed earlier today.  If you’re an artist friend, share what you do or are trying to get your work out. I’d love to hear.