Ever since I inherited my mother's bernina and babylock serger, I have felt I need to use these things in my art somehow. Once upon a time I used to sew all my kids clothes, but now all I would use a sewing machine for is repairs etc. Which would not be sufficient use for these lovely machines! So, I figured it would be fun to give dolls a try. Throughout the past year I have experimented and tried different ways to make dolls, but nothing that I felt satisfied me with a final product. Also I didn't want dolls to be my whole art experience as I love to paint paintings. I wanted a simplistic doll that I could paint!
I tried to make armatures and sculpt, but that didn't work for me. In fact I spent this whole last month researching and experimenting. Nothing that rang my bell... got a little frustrated several times in fact. Selling on ebay, you run into some really clever artists. One that I have long admired for her folk art paintings is Jane DesRosier. In the fall of 2008 she started making folk art dolls. I loved them for their simplicity and for Jane's creativity in them. She offered online classes but I purposely didn't take them, I didn't want to make a reproduction of something she designed. Something about the artist in me... wanting to create my own 'thing'. In reality, no artist creates their own thing, inspiration comes from other things and artists and we are just fortunate to give it our own twist.
I was about to give up on the whole art doll thing when last night I stumbled upon Jane's dolls again. She had recently started a ning group for clay and cloth dolls. Since the armature sculpting thing wasn't working for me, mainly because it was too time consuming. I thought, ok, I give up I will join Jane's group. I am still hesitating on taking a video workshop for reasons given above, but have very much appreciated the things she has shared on the group site. What the heck, I guess I will give it a try doing a version of the way she constructs her dolls. So today, I am going to try and make a doll Jane's way. Then I will have something I can paint and collage and sew on to my hearts content... I hope! So Kudos to Jane, a very creative, inovative artist.
I posted a pic of the corner of my studio. My studio is in an unfinished basement, but I like to call it home. On the shelf is three dolls, two are unfinished Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Ann's hair is 3 quarters done and Andy is still bald. My mom started making them when I was like, 10 and never finished them and I waited forever for her to finish them! So I inherited those as well. I have had them for over a year and a half and haven't finished them either... they are still partially bald and naked. Oh well, maybe that is their heritage. But at least I have them now! The other doll is a cabbage patch kid "koosas" named Lovealot. I got that from my mom too. She collected cats, figurines etc. and she had to have that doll when it came out. As I write my blog, I am finding how much she influenced my art. Thanks Mom!
I will keep you posted on my latest doll venture.