Tag Archives: dancer

More Work in Progress

Perhaps a few days late, but as promised, here is a completed image of the Lacing III art doll that I showed in progress last week.

Lacing 3 art doll

Lacing III

I’m not sure that the title will stay exactly the same. This art doll will most likely remain in the studio as part of inventory build up for my gallery show in September.  Available sculpture in the gallery will have a part to play in that decision making process.  The piece I shared two weeks ago, Cello, will definitely wait until that show, as I chose her image as my early publicity piece for that show.

Lacing III is similar to Cello in scale as well. I have been increasing the size of my art dolls slightly.  I find that it is easier to focus more on details of the figure’s features with a bit more room to work with.  Taking a step back however, I notice that I have increased the head and face much more than the proportions of the rest of the body.  This does give an interesting stylistic look, but I’m not sure I’m quite where I want to be.  I spent quite a bit of time soft sculpting Lacing III’s body, but she still looks thinner than I want her to be, and her hands and feet need to be increased as well.  I’m obviously not going for any form of hyper realistic rendering with these figures, but I want to avoid them falling into the realm of caricature.

I guess the next art doll sculpture will offer ample opportunity to address those design challenges.  Each work teaches me something new for its successor.  It is interesting to go back and look at the evolution.  This not only illustrates change, but highlights some interesting past design choices that I may have forgotten.  I just had such an opportunity prior to starting to write this post.  I was adding images to the gallery available for insertion into my posts, and updating the Art Dolls page of this site.  If you have not visited that page. I have most of the art doll figures I have made in the gallery there with prices listed for those that are still available for purchase.  I try my best to keep all those available toward the beginning so that you do not have to scroll through them all unless you want to.

I’m off to put in an order for the Professional Doll Makers Art Guild coffee table book.  It is only available to members at this time, but I will share a link in the future if you are interested.  In the mean time, the link above will take you to my page on their web site.

Dancer and a Fairytale Art Doll

It has been two weeks since I’ve shared a new art doll, so this post have two new sculptures for you.

seated art doll "Lacing II"

Lacing II

The first is Lacing II.  As her name implies, she is a revisit to an earlier art doll.  I have done a number of dancer art doll sculptures.  They seem a natural subject area for doll figures.  Lacing II is a seated figure in the middle of lacing up one of her toe shoes.  With her copper face and hair, aluminum conduit arms, and faux leather elements of her skirt and shoes she evokes a steampunk aesthetic. I made the choice to fashion her hands, head, and shoulders out of paperclay.  This media allows for much finer details for hands gripping laces, delicate ears, and neck musculature. I costumed Lacing II simply to give the impression she is getting ready for practice rather than a performance.

Standing figurative sculpture art doll Otohime

Otohime

The art doll Otohime, is another sculpture in my series of Fairytale and folktale characters. She is a figure from Japanese stories.  I first encountered Otohime in Yuri’s Brush With Magic, a book by my mother-in-law, Maureen Crane Wartski.

Otohime, is a water goddess, and daughter of the dragon Emperor of the Sea, Ryujin. In the tale of the fisherman Urashima Taro, Otohime appears a small turtle that the kind hearted fisherman saves from taunting children.  Urashima is rewarded with a visit to the kingdom of the emperor, and the gift of a mysterious box that he must never open.

My Otohime art doll is a mixed media combination of paperclay and paper maché. Her “water” under skirt and tail are papermache over a chickenwire frame, with color and texture created by layer tissue paper. The figure’s head, upper body and hands are sculpted out of paperclay over a wire and foil armature.  Otohime’s unique wigging is made of twisted and glued tissue paper.  Elements from the metal studio serve only as embellishments as in the art doll’s torch enameled eyes, mesh collar, copper fan, and hair accessory. The kimono for Otohime is made from fabrics from the quilting collection that once belonged to Maureen as well.

 

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.

 

“Barre-ing” Degas

My latest art doll is “Barre-ing Degas”, and yes, she is a steampunk riff on one of Edgar’s Degas’ dancer pieces titled “Dancer at the Barre.” I like the behind-the-scenes casual feel of that painting.  The young dancer pictured is not performing some grand athletic move, or spectacularly costumed.  She is instead relaxed against the barre and appears to be contemplating the angle of turn out of her foot.  You get the feeling that you are looking at a candid photograph rather than a posed composition.

art doll Barre-ing Degas

Barre-ing Degas

My figure has a few more bells and whistles (gears and rivets, actually) in her attire, but in her defense, she is much smaller and needs to work harder to attract attention.