Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blue Andy, Mixed Media Collage, 9x12

The doll show is looming closer and I finished this piece this afternoon. This is one of the few, if not the only, collage I've created in which I incorporated paper that I made myself. As much as I love paper, I don't normally make my own. But one week a few years back I decided to venture into paper production and found it to be great fun; just a little time consuming. I loved manipulating the color and adding bits and pieces of other materials into the mix... especially glitter. The shrimpy/corally colored paper in this piece is the paper made by me.

If you'll remember, this is the original photo of Andy:

Now... on to the "headless doll challenge."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guys and/or Dolls Show Announcement

My lovely and talented friend and fellow TAGG member, Susan Amadio, just finished the announcement for our upcoming show. Of course, I just had to share it here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Food, Headless Dolls & More...


The title of this blog post was the subject line in a recent email that the members of TAGG received to remind them of our July party. The July dinner meeting was to be the last one before our doll-themed art show in August and was being hosted by Judy in her lovely secluded home next to Elk Neck State Forest. 

Elizabeth, Lisa & Judy
Several weeks ago, Maggie, a friend of TAGG and a member of the Trashy Women (a group of women who create artwork from recycled items) announced on Facebook that she had headless doll bodies if anyone was interested in them. Maggie had severed the heads and used them in her own art pieces and didn't have a use for the bodies. Of course, I jumped on this opportunity and Judy picked up the bodies at a designated rendezvous point and had them waiting at her home for us. 

Lynn & Susan

The dolls were lined up on a picnic table on the patio. Next to that table was another picnic table full of items that Judy was giving away. (We often incorporate a swap meet at our dinner gatherings.) And it didn't take long before the ladies were picking items off the swap table and using them as heads for the dolls; gourds, light bulbs... the possibilities were endless.

Lorraine, Susan & Pam

After playing with dolls we all headed back inside for the fabulous potluck feast which featured the most delicious salmon burgers I've ever tasted and then we moved on to the "show & tell" portion of the evening.

Lorraine with blue ribbon & trophy
We were tickled to learn that Lorraine recently won first prize in a gourd show and she brought her trophy to show us. She also shared with us her latest gourd creations... mermaids. They were all just exquisite and I'm so sorry that this photo is blurry. Hopefully, though you can get an idea of how beautiful they are.

Gourd Mermaid by Lorraine

Susan also brought a mermaid to share. I think our entire group is somewhat fascinated with mermaids. Hmmm... could be a theme for a future show.

Mixed Media Mermaid by Susan
We were fortunate to have a guest artist with us that night; Lisa. And she brought some special pieces to share with us. She told us that her mother used to make dolls and when she got older and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she wasn't able to make dolls without help. Lisa then designed a doll project to work on with her mother and they made "Bubby" dolls. Bubby as in the Jewish endearment for grandmother. 

Lisa and Bubby Doll

The dolls she brought were beautiful and so carefully crafted and loaded with detail. Lisa said that she could tell when her mother was having a good day or a bad one by how well she was able to sew.

Bubby Doll in Under Clothes
So they designed and created these perfect little Jewish grandmothers with layers of old world clothes; some of the fabrics were even printed with Jewish iconography. And when the layers were peeled away we discovered that the doll body was lovingly anatomically correct.

Bubby Doll in her All Together

We were all touched by this special last mother/daughter project. Lisa's mother is gone now, but she has precious memories tied up in these dolls.

So on that note we ended our evening and many of us picked up headless dolls to take home and turn into our own art pieces for the show. Of course Bob flipped out and thought I'd joined some sort of coven when I came home with headless dolls, but what does he know?

P.S. During the course of the evening, Judy solicited our help in trying to identify a kitchen tool that she'd inherited from her mother. We were all stumped. If you know what that tool is in the following picture, please let me know.

Unidentified Kitchen Tool

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Emily" - Mixed Media Collage - 8x8

Emily is finally finished. After my agonizing session in the studio with her this past Tuesday, I woke up the next morning and saw her in a whole new light and knew what direction to take.

I have discovered that I'm enchanted with the way the photos printed on cold press watercolor paper take varnish. The varnish appears to give a translucency to the layers of colors in the photos and gives them a warm luster. 

So now Emily will join Jane in the Guys and/or Dolls show.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yin & Yang, Mixed Media Collage, 8x10

My blog is long overdue for a face lift, so this evening between applying coats of varnish to "Emily" (yes, I finally got her to work) I decided to change the banner. 

The current banner was created from this little piece. "Yin & Yang" wasn't with me too long and it has been an enigma to me. Unlike most of my collage designs, I've never been able to repeat it, although I've tried. I'm not sure why that it is, but I don't dwell on it. I just move on. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Emily" - A Work In Progress


I have found that some artwork comes together on its own as if it were meant to be. Sometimes it's necessary to work a little harder. My last doll piece, "Jane" is an example of the first kind of art. My current project, "Emily" is the second kind.

When I first saw Emily in the antique store, I thought she was pretty scary and I wasn't sure she'd even make the final cut of dolls for the upcoming show. However, the more I pushed her colors and played with her photo, the more appealing she became to me. And this is the photo adaptation that I chose to use for the collage.

I printed her out on watercolor paper (cold press) and she sat around in my studio a few days. Tonight I decided I needed to get working on the final project. The more I looked at her against different papers the more I felt she yearned to be free. Her background was imprisoning her. So... I got the scissor and cut her free and found that I could breathe a little better and that's when her name came to me.

Then I started playing with the papers in earnest and I think I've come up with the basics.

But now I'm stumped for window dressing and I started to go through all my drawers of paraphernalia and just started throwing things at her to see what would stick. I have no idea where she's going next. Hopefully something will gel soon.