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art doll Balloon 2

Balloon Surprise

A New Balloon

My newest art doll sculpture features a young figure looking up with awe at her bright red balloon.

art doll Balloon 2

Balloon2

This mixed media art doll is a bit of fun, and another look back to an earlier piece. I wanted to feature gesture and expression with this figure sculpture.  Guess I hit the mark, as one viewer commented that she “really looked alive”.

I created Balloon 2’s head and hands from paperclay that is lightly tinted with watercolor paint. Her costume is sewn in place over a padded wire frame that is anchored through her shoes to her base.  I chose to wig this art doll with paper fiber as well.  Her curly pigtails are secured with blue ribbons that match her blue top and polka dotted skirt. Balloon’s boots are hand sewn faux leather with purple chord laces.

Looking up again

My first balloon themed art doll figure was apparently being taken away by the balloon she was holding.  This figure is being transported as well, but in a more figurative sense.  I’m not sure what about her balloon is surprising her so.  I guess that part of the story is up to the viewer.

I crafted the red balloon itself out of traditional papier-mâché, and used red tissue for its top layers to achieve its bright color.  The balloon “floats” atop a string made of cotton string wrapped around a steel core.

I have left the base unfinished for the time being, but I think that I will most likely paint it before she takes a trip to the gallery.  Balloon 2 will also make her official debut in June for my yearly Feature Artist show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

I will probably not have a new sculpture to share next week. I am just putting the finishing touches on a commission piece, and she needs to go to her home first.

 

Art Doll and Her Balloon

Art doll grasping string of balloon

Art Doll Balloon

The art doll to emerge this week from my studio is this whimsical figure grasping the string of her balloon. I like working on pieces in which I strive to capture movement.  It is easier to have a sculpture posed in a static attitude. With this doll, I wanted the viewer to feel if they could witness the very next second, the doll would either rise off her one foot, or be running after the balloon being carried by a breeze.

Some pieces take form as you are working on them, sometimes surprising you with the end result.  This piece was very much the opposite. She was fully formed in my mind and sketchbook just begging to come to life.  The only detail that surprised me was how I created the balloon.  Originally, I was going to fashion it out of something like paper mâché, but then I found the blue checkered fabric in my stash, and it spoke so strongly to the pattern I chose for her dress. I knew I had to sew it as well.

Her red “leather” Mary Jane shoes took me on a little learning journey. I find I simply love creating the footwear for these figures. I helped my process of creating the patterns for each by doing a bit of Internet seachring on shoemaking itself. Watching footwear pattern and construction videos during a gallery shift provided fresh insight. Most helpful was seeing how shoe designers use tape covering their shoe form to create their initial patterns.

I think I might have found my image piece for my next show card.