Tag Archives: sculpture

Princess Make-Over Art Doll

I know what you may be thinking.  Why would a princess need a make-over? Aren’t they already ideal? I do like to occasionally turn to fairytales and children’s literature for inspiration in my art doll sculptures.  Though it is very fertile ground for ideas, it is also a well traversed bit of land. Many of the images we hold in our heads of these characters are the saccharine sweet animated versions.  One or too may be so much so, that they can even cross the line to annoying for some of us.  I have to admit that I personally have had that reaction to the animated Snow White, and have long thought she could use some updating.

My “Different Snow”  art doll figure takes a cue from the writing of Gregory Maguire and perhaps a bit of flavor from the more current “Huntsman” movies. She is beautiful and strong, and can fend for herself, thank you very much.

art doll figure sculpture titled Different Snow by Lynn Wartski

Different Snow

My Snow did not get tricked by the poison treat she was offered.  She has it in hand, and instead has every intention of returning the gift to the giver, with perhaps an additional statement from her sword.  She is dressed a bit more appropriately for battle than serenading birds.

the “Different Snow” sculpture stands 15 inches high on a custom made stand.  She has an armored “leather” tunic over her red velvet dress.  Her battlefield crown sits on her helmet, and armored leggings are tucked into her heeled boots.

I chose to sculpt Snow’s face and hands from paperclay. The media allows for much more refined shaping of her features.  The image used is Work-in-Progress, as I added a bit of lip coloring and some additional refinement of her fingers before applying a sealing coat to the paperclay.

Snow is available and on display at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

 

The Girl With The Curl

Art Doll Leads The Way

Last week I wrote about working on art doll sculptures that were somehow related to earlier works.  I was working on one of those pieces, and she too led me to an interesting place by the time she was complete.  She even told me what her name should be.

I had been thinking about one of my own favorites among my art doll sculptures, Wednesday’s Child.  She is the piece that I use as my profile picture on my Lynn Wartski Sculptures Facebook page. I like this particular art doll because of the amount of expression and gesture I was able to capture in her copper features.  She is relatively simple in comparison to many of my figure sculptures.  Just a seated figure clad in black, but her posture and face tell you all you need to know about her mood.

Looking Back and Ahead

Wednesday went to a good home quite a while ago. I wanted her reprise to have a very different look, but capture the same feel.  I started with the same girl dressed at the turn of the 20th century look, but this time in all light hues.

seated art doll figure sculpture titled Girl with the Curl

Girl with the Curl

Where Wednesday’s Child had a very simple dress of black lace gathered at the neck, I chose to create a separate skirt and top with lace hems and cuffs this time.  Her clothes being much more complex lends that “poor little rich girl” feel to Curl.

My Name Is…

I must admit that I had a working title something more like The Second Wednesday for this art doll.  Her title screamed itself out the minute I decided to wig her with some of the natural wool I received from one of our other very talented Hillsborough Gallery of Arts artists, Susan Hope. I was going for sort of a “strawberry blonde” in the food coloring dye job I was doing. I put one single drop of red in with the twenty or so yellow I added, but bright orange it is.  I decided to go with it, and the wonderful natural curl of the wool.  I just couldn’t help myself in adding the accent curl that dips down into her forehead.  So, The Girl With The Curl (in the middle of her forehead) she is.

 

Girls in the Gallery… Art Dolls Around

Art Doll inspiring Art Doll

As I am working today in the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, it seemed a nice opportunity it to revisit some of my art dolls displayed around the space.  Many of my sculptures take their inspiration from their predecessors.  I often find myself thinking of how I would execute a piece differently the minute I finish it.  Most of the sketches I have been making for the work for my next feature show have been falling into this category.  Though I am not quite ready to start sharing some of the works in progress with you, I thought I’d share a few that might pop up in a new form sometime in the near future.

Fairytales Reimagined

art doll "...And the Pea" by Lynn Wartski on display at HGA

…And the Pea

Fairytales, folktales, and children’s literature provide a wealth of raw material for my figures.  Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland are two that spring to mind immediately.  “…And The Pea” is my nod to the the Princess and the Pea tale.  My version is shown here reclining on several of her cushioned mattresses, and holding the source of her discomfort in her hand for the viewer to pay witness to. I believe my next fairytale inspired piece will involve some sort of poison fruit.

Mixing Media

art doll "Media" by Lynn Wartski on display at HGA

“Media” at HGA

“Media is one of my artist’s favorite pieces.  She is currently the image I have on my gallery bio cards.  Media is a great representation of my love of playing with all sorts of materials.  The puzzle presented creating a sculpture like Media is the type of challenge I love working on.

Snowy Day

art doll "Snow Day" by Lynn Wartski on display at HGA

“Snow Day”

Snow Day, was created on a day that felt a little too cold to hammer metal in the outdoor studio, and was my first use of polymer clay in one of my art doll sculptures. I used one of the  design choices from my very first art doll “No Rag Doll” by creating a face plate that is sewn on to a stuffed fabric head.  This sculpture is a bit larger and free standing, both ideas that I’d like to incorporate in future art dolls.

Delicate Landing in Window Sunshine

art doll "Delicate Landing" by Lynn Wartski on display at HGA

Delicate Landing in the window

“Delicate Landing” is a very recent sculpture created for our January show titled “Flow.”  We worked with several local poets to honor conservation efforts along the Eno River.  I decided to go all in on our nature theme, and use biodegradable materials as much as possible in her construction.  The wings of this wood sprite art doll feature text from Thoreau, Emerson and Aldo Leopold on nature and conservation. I like the extra point of connection provided by incorporation of text that might have played in the inspiration of a sculpture.  I first explored this with my “Paper Alice” art doll.

I look forward to sharing where these and other past sculptures lead me next.

 

 

Art Doll, Show, and Missing Post

Missing Post

I just realized that a couple of weeks ago when I shared my latest art doll sculpture, “Santos Caitlin”, that I had promised to share details on the opening reception, and reading by Alan Gurganus.  Well, we hung the gallery, I missed the opening due to another commitment, and we had the reading this past Sunday.  So very sorry that I didn’t get the dates and times to you, but thank you to all that attended anyway. Luckily, the gallery promotional mechanism is much more regular that my bog posts.

But, never fear if you wanted to see the show, because it will still be up at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts until March 20th.  Here’s a sneak peek.

 Lynn Wartski art doll in "It's All About the Story: " show at HGA

“It’s All About the Story: IV Alan Gurganus”

You can see my “Santos Caitlin” cage art doll sculpture on a pedestal against the far wall.  Many of the pieces have accompaning text describing their inspiration from the Alan Gurganus novellas we read.  There was a nice write up on the show in our local news paper The News of Orange.

New Art Doll Creation

I now turn my attention to building a new body of work for my own upcoming feature show in September.  It seems like a long way off, but early images and information for publications about our shows sometimes need to go out months in advance. It is good to have several pieces to choose from when they are called for. This means that I now have to start the yearly process of creating new sculptures that I sort of hold back from bringing into the gallery or putting up online for sale.  Don’t worry, I will still share any art doll I’m working on here with you, but many will not be available until the feature show.

I will be showing with two uber talented artists, Linda Carmel and Marcy Lansman.  Our show will be titled, “Go Figure”, as the work of all three currently contains human figures.  As for my own work in the feature show, I like to have a connected theme between the pieces I put in as well.  I think I have my working idea, but I’m going to let it percolate for a bit before I share.

 

Delivering a Commissioned Art Doll

I had an very interesting commission inquiry a couple of months back.  I was contacted by an individual who had seen and admired my art doll sculptures at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I was asked if I would create a figure of a doctor who had just delivered a baby.  As it was the height of the “holiday ornament and jewelry season” for me, I was lucky that this patron was in no particular hurry for the sculpture’s completion.

As the child of an obstetrician, with I’m guessing just a dash of nostalgia, this collector’s assemblage of figures contains mostly pieces depicting the slightly bygone era when the attending physician extracted the baby’s first cry with a quick pat to the bottom.  I worked up several sketches for this piece. Some standing, some sitting, some holding the baby in the doctor’s arms. My personal favorite was of a medieval midwife holding a babe in swaddling.  I may choose to create some version of that figure in the future.  The customer chose a sketch more in line with the existing collection.  The resulting art doll figure I refer to as “Delivery”.

commissioned mixed media art doll of doctor with baby

Delivery Commission

I chose unbleached muslin for the doctor scrubs, and metal and faux-leather elements on the surgical mask and head reflector in keeping with the steampunk flavor of my work. This aesthetic is further emphasized by letting a bit of the doc’s conduit forearms peek out.  I like that this also helps to place this figure in an earlier time in the viewer’s eye.  The baby, I kept very simple and stylized by fashioning him/her out of copper tubing and wire, with a featureless wooden bead for a head.  However, I couldn’t resist adding just an extra bit if whimsy by adorning the little crown with a tuft of copper curls.

The piece stands about fourteen inches tall on its stand. I hope that I receive a photo once this figure is housed alongside the others in the collection.

Art doll Delicate Landing mixed media figure sculpture

All Natural Art Doll for “Flow”

The holiday season took quite a bit of my studio attention to keep up my inventory  of ornaments, jewelry items, and ornament cards along side art doll sculptures in the gallery.  Now that the new year has begun, the the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts returns to it’s normal cycle of monthly feature shows, and it is time for me to return my own body of work.

Currently, HGA is hosting our second annual state wide juried art show, “Resolutions 2016”.  A wonderful selection of work in a variety of media awaits the gallery visitor.  It is well worth the time to check it out.  The show is up in the feature gallery through January 24th.

Our next show is one of two yearly group themed shows featuring all of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts artists,  The show opening January 29th is titled, “Flow”, and it is a collaborative fusion of visual art and poetry, featuring the words of several local poets.  All of the work for Flow is inspired by the natural environment, and will honor the Eno River Association’s work on conservation. I’ll fill you in on more of the show and reception details in a week or so.

My piece for our Flow show is, “Delicate Landing”.

Art doll Delicate Landing mixed media figure sculpture

Delicate Landing

Delicate Landing is a mixed media art doll sculpture executed in primarily natural biodegradable materials. She is paperclay over carved wood with her hair, skirt, and wings crafted in various forms of paper.   Delicate Landing is touching down among the trees on a “moss” carpet of needle felted wool.  In keeping with the theme and form of the “Flow” show, Delicate Landing’s wings gain their lift from some of the words of Thoreau, Emerson and Leopold.

Delicate Landing will be on display along with the work of the other HGA artists and our guest poets starting January 25th.

Trial Balloons?

Late Arrival Ornaments

As I shared last time, now is of course the season that the gallery gets decked out for the holidays.  I had put in some overtime in the creation of new art dolls earlier in the fall, and then turned my attention to some other gift type items for installation at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in mid November.

I was still doing some design work on one additional type of ornament when we hung the holiday show a couple of weeks back, so I didn’t get the chance to share them with you last time.  I had been toying with the idea of a steampunk style vintage hot air ballon that would combine several of the media I like to play with in the studio.

This is the result…

Steampunk hot air balloon ornament

Steampunk hot air balloon ornament

There are currently three of these hot air balloons flying among the ornament selection in the gallery, and I’ll be getting started on a new batch over the weekend.  I’m quite pleased with the end result, though they did take a bit of working and reworking until they had exactly the look I was going for.  In fact, the one pictured was the very first I completed, and I tweaked the design with each of the subsequent. I think I finally have something close to a formula, but as with all of my work, each one is a unique one of a kind sculpture all its own.

Each balloon starts with a paper maché ball that I smooth out with a coating of paperclay.  After sanding, I hand paint and antique each. The baskets come to life with some light metal fabrication, and decking out with some goodies from my embellishment stash.  Lastly, I create a beaded wire net and connect the ballon to the basket with some chain.

They are perhaps a bit labor intensive for just a holiday ornament, but there is no reason they can’t be hung to fly in the home year round.

 

The Art of Giving

This week I thought that I’d share a few images of some of the items that I brought in to the gallery for the holidays.  Along with a new sculpture or two, I create some extra jewelry items, and a few small gift-able type things like ornaments, and cards.  These shots were all taken at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts for our annual “The Art of Giving” show.

snow fairy ornament

Snow fairy ornament

star ornament web

Star ornament

heart ornament web

Heart ornament

Steam octo

Steam Octo

Wrapped Key

Wrapped Key

Enamel on metal dog tags

Enamel on metal dog tags

glide window web

“Glide” art doll in gallery window

 

 

 

…And The Pea Art Doll, New Show

New Art Doll

The latest art doll in my series of fairytale inspired sculptures is based on the tale of the Princess and the Pea.  This doll I have simply titled, “…And The Pea”, and she is currently reclining on display at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

reclining figure art doll ...And The Pea

…And The Pea art doll

…And The Pea is perched on top of the last four of her hundreds of mattresses.  I chose to return to hammered copper features and hands for this art doll to contrast with her other overly cushiony and fabric elements.  The sculpture holds the source of her nocturnal discomfort in her hand for the viewer to see.  The pea in this piece is a shiny green glass bead.  …And The Pea’s wonderfully touseled “bead head” is made from crinkly paper packing material, and she has bright blue torch fired enamel eyes.

New Art Doll Show

This morning I installed a show in the 3D display at the Carol Woods retirement community in Chapel Hill.  Each month, the members of the community’s Arts Interest group invite a pair of artists to show in their beautiful community center.  I do apologize for the image quality, but there really wasn’t any combination of lights on or lights off that would allow you to see the figures in the case while also eliminating glare on the glass.

Two art dolls in Carol Woods display case

Carol Woods Display

There are three sections to the display, and it currently houses 10 of my sculptures and art dolls.  Tomorrow evening there will be a small reception at 4:30,  and a 15 minute presentation by each artist in the media room, followed by dinner with the Art Interests group.

More new work on the way next week, but in the meantime, I need to go and finish up creating my slide show for tomorrow night’s presentation.  If you are in the Chapel Hill area tomorrow, please feel free to show up for the show’s opening reception.

 

 

Art Dolls Old and New

The New

First up this week is the newest art doll creation from the studio bench.  Let me introduce you to Glide.

Image of iceskating art doll figure sculpture, Glide

Glide

Glide is a standing figure sculpture on a permanent base.  She features only one metal element, her shining copper skates.  This design departure is intentional and meant to draw the viewer’s eye to that unique footwear.

The rest of her construction follows my usual padded wire assembly, but does differ with the addition of a padded fabric head.  I decided to start with a paperclay sculpted face that I made with holes around the edge so that it could be sewn on rather than glued in place. Her face is “colored” with colored pencils rather than painted. The pencils allow for precise layering and mixing to achieve an almost faux porcelain look.

Glide also features some torch fired enamel eyes sculpted into the paperclay face, and some cozy looking skating attire.  I chose yarn for this art doll’s hair to further emphasize the rag doll-ish look of her design.

The Old

Well, not so very old.  I promised last week to share some updated images of Oops and Red. These two art dolls joined in on Glide’s photoshoot, so here are their new glamor shots.

Art doll, Oops

Oops

Standing mixed media "Red Riding Hood" art doll figure, Red

Red

Off to Install a Show

Next week Glide, Oops, Red, and several of their art doll friends will be installed for about a month in the 3D display area in the dining room of Carol Woods.  If you have a chance, stop by and take a look.  Many of my most recent art doll sculptures that I’ve shared on the blog, but have not been in a gallery, will be in that show.  I will share some images of that installation with you next week.