An artist’s work quite often reflects what is happening in the world, and right now there is almost too much going on. I’m not sure one could successfully escape current events even if they wanted to. I’m also not sure one should try. So very much of consequence seems to be at stake. It seems no surprise that such things might be on my mind in the studio, and find their way into my art doll creations.
Mice Can Roar, My RBG Art Doll
The recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the rush to fill her seat are just two news items from the past few weeks. She was a model of intelligence and strength expressed with class and grace. Her rise to cultural icon status seems to be incongruous with her role as Justice, her age, and small stature. She seems truly a mouse that was able to roar. This is why I’ve titled this small anthropomorphic art doll sculpture Mice Can Roar. I didn’t want her to be derivative of other artists depictions of RBG, so I based her off of a recent piece of my own, Adventure Begins. I also wanted to stay away from the now all too common representations with a crown or holding a gavel.
The sculpture stands about 7 inches high. She is needle felted wool over a quilt batting frame. Her shape and size allowed me to construct her without an internal wire armature. I used iridescent dark glass beads for her eyes, and her Dissent Collar I created by sewing glass beads to a felt base. Her eyeglasses are also needle felted without an internal structure. Mice Can Roar is now available in my Etsy Shop.
Placing Her Own Crown
Another recently completed, and quite independent art doll now found in my Etsy shop is Placing Her Own Crown. This frog princess isn’t waiting around for a coronation. She is placing her crown on her green head by herself. I like twisting fairytales around from time to time. Placing Her Own Crown doesn’t necessarily erase a prince from the story, but doesn’t make him a requirement either. While not inspired by a specific event in the news, Placing Her Own Crown does seem timely. I don’t suppose having a college age daughter has any influence on this fairytale reinterpretation.
My frog princess is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. She features large blue glass bead eyes and glass bead accents on her crown. “Placing” sits about 10 inches high on her wood block display base.
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 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.
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 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.