Tag Archives: frog

Over The Rainbow

Frogs, Frogs and a Rainbow of Frogs

Continuing my explorartion of distinctive animal prints led me to consider poison dart frogs. These tiny little inhabitants of the rainforest come in a literal rainbow of bright colors. Their patterns say “see me” and also “leave me alone!”

Instead of changing or altering their patterns in any way, I used their natural looks to create a rainbow. I guess it would more acurately be described as a frog pyramid, but the shades of the spectrum are present in an arching form.

sculpture rainbow pyramid of anthropomorphic poison dart frogs in needle felted wool over wire and batting armature
Poison Rainbow

This piece stands about 14″ tall. The individual frogs are quite a bit larger than they are in real life (.75 – 1.5″ long.) Each frog is approximately 5 inches from nose to tail. I created the individual frogs separately. All began with a wire armature wrapped in quilt batting. Reference photos provided the colorful patterns that I felted on to the surface of each. Each of the amphibians is finished off with large glass bead eyes that are sewn in place.

Once each frog was sculpted, I played around with different configurations to create a self-supporting structure. An additional wire was run through most of the frogs to provide additional stability to the final form. I then stitched and felted the frogs to each other wherever two connect together. The final sculpture was then secured to two layers of thick felt for additional stability.

This rainbow of frogs will make its debut at my feature show at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts during the Last Friday Art Walk in July.

sculpture rainbow pyramid of anthropomorphic poison dart frogs in needle felted wool over wire and batting armature
Poison rainbow side view

So, Not Quite Done

I returned to my little snow leopard cub, Snow Cat. I fuzzed out his coat a bit more, and took some new images against a dark background. He might actually be done now?

Snow Cat update

Paisley, Prince, and Prints…

That’s a Prince Frog, not a Frog Prince

Every once and a while, a single piece sparks several more pieces in a slightly new direction. That happend recently with Finding True North. I like the surface treatment of the nautical “tatoos’ so much, that I found muself sketching other sculptures that incorporated interesting patterning or symbolism on their surfaces. The first of these new sketches to be realized is Prince Frog.

Prince Frog - needle felted anthropomorphic purple frog sculpture with paisley pattern and raspberry beret
Prince Frog

He is a little purple three toed tree frog. I captured this anthropomprphic amphibian waving hello, or perhaps giving a piece sign? It’s hard to tell the difference with only three fingers. He wears a distinctive little raspberry beret set to one side, and has distinctive paisley pattern on his back.

Prince Frog - needle felted anthropomorphic purple frog sculpture with paisley pattern and raspberry beret
Prince Frog – back view

Prince Frog is needle felted wool over a wire and batting armature. He has iridescent black glass bead eyes. This art doll sculpture looks up and waves from a squating position on his hind legs. I will let you know when he becomes available for purchase.

Prints, Prints, and Cards

I received a request to wholesale some of my monoprint cards. Many artists bristle at anything that feels like production work, and I am definitely in that category. I don’t even like making batches of my own holiday ornaments (puffins, polar bears, and baby seals, oh, my!) but, they are so darn cute and popular. I was torn by the request, especially since my prints aren’t even my main artwork. They weren’t looking for hundreds, (though they may in the future) so I figured I give it a try. I made more than the order, so they can choose, and any left over will be available to take to HGA. I will let you know where they are headed after I deliver them next month. The price will be slightly higher than the $10 I sell them for at HGA. I have no control over retail markup.

Each of these cards is hand-pulled on a gell press using acrylic paint and plant materials. Almost all are comprised of two layers of paint, one with the forground image and the other background color. Some feature additional overprinting, and watercolor enhancements. Each card is a unique and one-of-a-kind original art work on paper and is suitable for framing.

Octopus Tea, Frog Song, and Mouse Wish

Octopus to the gallery…

but not HGA? I have been quite busy the past few weeks creating something a bit different. I was invited to create a piece for a rather well known reoccuring show, The National Teapot Show at Cedar Creek Gallery. Yes, I did type “teapot show”, but no, I did not create a functional teapot, or did I? Well, to be exact, I created a sculptural piece that is a one-of-a-kind functional handbag, but you cannot serve tea from it. This quirky and slightly surreal creation is titled, Tea With My Octopus Teacher, and features a spotted red octopus encircling a creamware teapot.

Surreal one-of-a-kind needle felted sculptural handbag with yellow polka dotted red octopus on a creamware teapot
Tea With My Octopus Teacher

The piece references two works of mine: “Multitasking” – a tea serving octopus, “Clutched” – a black evening clutch with an aqua octopus, and the award winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher. The sculptural bag measures 10″x 10″x 6.5″. The octopus’ intertwined tentacles serve as a handle, and a button closure secures a fully lined interior. The show opens May 20th, and I’ll share details in a few weeks.

Save to Feature, or Not?

This is a question I perennially find myself wrestling with. I had already started hoarding work for my show in September, especially any that I felt photographed particularly well. However, taking some time to create my teapot and recent sales have stretched my available inventory. I know this is an excellent problem to have, and as a result I’m taking a couple pieces into the gallery this week.

The first piece is completely new, and is titled Songs and Wishes.

Sculpture of Frog and Mouse singing and wishing on a dandelion. Needle felted wool and recycled denim over wire and batting.
Songs and Wishes

This sculpture features a little vignette that includes a singing frog, a mouse wishing on a dandelion seed head, and a dandelion partially fashioned from recycled denim. As I had mentioned earlier, many of the pieces this year incorporate two or more figures. I enjoy the movement and playfulness in this sculpture.

The sculpture is needle felted wool, and recycled denim over wire and batting. I also included stuffing beads in the lower portions for ballast. You can see Songs and Wishes at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts starting this Tuesday, 4/25.

I introduced the second piece going to HGA a few posts back.

two young elephants helping each other climb blocks. Needlefelted sculpture on wooden blocks
Ele-vate

Ele-vate features two small elephants helping each other climb up some wooden blocks. all of the elements are tied together in what is also a quite playful piece. This sculpture will be at HGA starting on 4/25 as well.

Pond-er, anthropomorphic frog needle felted art doll figure sculpture seated in 'Thinker"pose

Three for May

Three to share today

It has been much too long since I’ve shared some new work from my studio work table. I have been busy creating new sculptures, but other computer work priorities have kept me from telling you about them here. As a result they have actually backed up a bit, so I have three new pieces to share today. They are all being saved for my featured artist show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in May.

A Frog to Start the Trio

Pond-er, anthropomorphic frog needle felted art doll figure sculpture seated in 'Thinker"pose
Pond-er

Pond-er is the first of these three new art doll sculptures. Yes, he is reminiscent of Rodin’s “Thinker”, in a lighthearted amphibious way. He is an ultimate example of my frequent aim of minimal anthropomorphism. Trying to create figures that express human characteristic as minimally as possibly, and not by simply dressing them up in clothes. Pond-er is a natural for this approach, as the famous sculpture he is based on is also a nude figure.

Pond-er is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature frame. His eyes are glass beads that are sewn in place. Admittedly, he does just make me smile, and that is why I created him.

Two of Three

Morph, anthropomorphic zebra needle felted art doll figure sculpture with rainbow butterfly wings
Morph

Secondly, I’d like to introduce you to Morph. Morph is a rainbow zebra pega-fly? Tricky nomenclature aside, Morph is just a flight of fancy on my part. In my head I saw a zebra with butterfly wings where the black stripes became the borderlines of the wings, and the white gradates into the colors of the rainbow. I think that my expression of these ideas in Morph is pretty spot on. I will admit that Morph isn’t necessarily imbued with any particular human characteristics, she’s just a feast for the eyes. Though, she may express some thoughts of change and inclusion through her coloring and metamorphic nature. Morph’s construction is similar Pond-er.

A Bear in Solitude

Considered Solitude anthropomorphic needle felted bear art doll figure sculpture
Considered Solitude

The last of these three new pieces is Considered Solitude. It started by looking at the word solitude, and finding that a bear is an animal that is supposed to be representative of that concept. From there, I thought what might a bear do in its moments of solitude? Mine is carefully considering a daisy. This seated figure does have a simple scarf wrapped around his neck (perhaps it’s an ascot?) He just seemed to need something extra. Considered Solitude has the same felted wool over wire and quilt batting construction.

All three of these new works will be available at the end of May at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I will share more details as the date approaches.

Independent Art Doll Figures

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.

Mice Can Roar

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.

Placing Her Own Crown

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.

Adapting On The Fly

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 anthropomorphic art doll
Stroll

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.

Out of Water anthropomorphic art doll
Out of Water

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 anthropomorphic art doll
Secrets Locked

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.