Saturday, March 18, 2017

Up date on doll making

In November last year I posted that I had become interested in doll making.

Whilst I haven’t written about it since but I have been slowly progressing with my skills.     

I got two craft orientated presents from my better half this last Christmas a: doll pattern by Cindee Moyer and an online course  with art doll maker Deb Wood through A for Artistic (no affiliations).   Deb's course was polymer clay face making over four weeks  I haven’t quite made the soft female faces that Deb makes but my faces have improved leaps and bounds.

Meet Arnold -  not quite the beautiful smiley girl I set out to create.    But he is alive with humour and is patiently waiting for a body.

The next face I made was more like an old crone.  But Deb kindly said she reminded her of one of her fairy godmothers.  I have made a few more and there are more faces in the pipeline..

Cindee's pattern was called "the Gatherer" and involved simple needle sculpting and a a lot of mixed media :-).

In the past I have resisted courses because I didn’t want to duplicate other peoples’ work or replicate their projects.   Silly me!   Very rarely is anything ever exactly the same.   And now I realise that have missed opportunities to learn.   But most importantly I have missed making friendships and connections in the creative community.  

And of course like everything in life, if you want to get better one must practice, practice, practice.  Which is fun, fun, fun when it comes to creating.  

To this end I have been working on a small series of cloth dolls which I have called Garden Girls.   They are simple skittle shape and the  purpose is to practice painting faces  and designs on cloth.  This is Lily who is singing in the garden.

I have heaps of idea to work on  - recorded in my visual diary   The trick is to remember to look through it occasionally :-).

So where am I going next in this doll making adventure ?   I will keep at the faces and bring embroidery back into the bodies or the costumes that I put on them.    I have ideas tucked away in my visual diary for garden girl variations and will remember to look at them.

And I am finalising pieces for a group exhibition with Six Running Feet.   We are five textile artists who have each worked on pieces which reflect what "off the beaten track" means to us.   We have a date next year and I will tell more next week.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Reasons to write and draw in a journal

I write just about every morning and record my thoughts.  It’s a habit I kept after reading and completing the exercises contained in The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.   I haven't quite got this discipline with the blog and when life is full, as it has been the last few months, the blog loses out .

Sometimes my pages are meaningless… verbal blah about family, garden and domestic chores.   But I keep writing.  There have been occasions I write about the fact that I don’t know what to write about for 2 pages.   But by keeping writing the subconscious bubbles and ideas rise to the surface.

A very recent example  of this relates to a discussion with a Garden and Cafe venue I have been having about mounting an outdoor show .

The garden is are broken up into subcontinental regions such as Africa, the Americas etc and I had got caught up in trying to do something which would reflect the whole of the gardens.  My ideas were becoming too broad and my research for inspiration too far reaching!   The solution came out of the blue when writing one morning.  So obvious – stick to one region!   I had got so caught up with the idea of capturing the whole the gardens I couldn't get past that point.

I have an interest in pre-Columbian history so the Americas became the obvious choice.   Since then I have narrowed the theme down to Mesoamerica: early settlement in the Mexican basin and south to the areas which encapsulate Columbia and Peru.

Ceramic figure of seated woman (AD50- 200) – trace of red pigment 

Serendipity also played a part in this choice.   I am an op shopper and if given the chance will not pass up the opportunity to visit and op shop.  Very recently I came across (and away) with a publication called El Dorado Columbian Gold.  This book accompanied an exhibition of a selection of ancient gold objects from the Museo Del Oro, Bogota, Colombia in the major galleries in each of the States of Australia in 1978.    It is full of amazing photos and very good text.    This complements  other books in my library which focus on textiles, architecture and sculpture in the region. 

An anthropomorphic Tairona bat pectoral (AD900-1600) . Photograph: Museo del Oro, Colombia
Now I am chock full of ideas that can be interpreted in both assemblage, contemporary clays and metal work embroidery.  Bliss.

Image result for peruvian textiles books

Next step is to go one further with recording and start getting ideas from a text format to sketches.   The hardest part for me.   This is, I think, because I have been mulling ideas over in my head for quite a while and just want to get on with it and get my hands dirty or stab some cloth.   But I have learnt that my design and execution is almost always better when I do this step.

I'll keep you posted.

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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