Monday, April 5, 2010

A new challenge for me and an update

Wow, I don't even know where to start......okay well I will just plunge in. :)

So much has happened in a short period of time. The week has been filled with the everyday going on in our normally hectic lives but as the weekend comes along we try o enjoy what is around us. As the weather became nicer, we realized our trips into Louisville became more persistent. We would always end up in the Highlands area full of eclectic shops, galleries and restaurants. So I will hopefully get caught up with those pictures and share them. :) In going into Louisville I always came back with such an inspiration for my art, mostly after visiting the Mellwood Arts Center and just seeing how an ex-meat packing plant turned into a space for galleries and studios to rent.

Despite that inspiration I felt like something was lacking. I am not sure if I hit a road block and my mind went blank instead of always full of ideas or if I needed a challenge. I learned more skills in my jewelry making but sometimes it is nice to put that to the side and create something completely in a different realm. Being a mixed media artist I usually headed to the paints and my canvases but somehow this time I would just stare at my supplies and still be blank. :(

One of those days was a lunch date with my husband. We usually find a neat place to eat lunch then head on to either Barnes and Noble and browse around or run errands. We ended up at Barnes and Noble and I came home with a magazine I couldn't stop looking through called the Art Doll Quarterly.

The beautiful images of the dolls from different artists sparked an interest and one article in particular caught my eye. It was "Cirque des Phenomenes"or "Circus of Freaks" by Rachel Whetzel. I was drawn to the fact that her dolls were made with cloth and paperclay and they were so interesting. In reading her article I found out she was part of Gritty Jane's Cloth and Clay group online. Interested I jotted down the link and headed that way online. You have to be a part of the group to access the pages and so I joined. Not even a day after I joined I was drawn to the inspiration I found on that site with so many very talented doll artists. Jane had tutorials on how to make cloth and clay dolls and once I bought my first tutorial and received my supplies list I was already hooked.

The first tutorial is to get you acquainted with Creative Paperclay and you would make a doll body out of cloth then use paperclay to create your doll. This meant finally getting that sewing machine I have waited so long for and actually learn how to sew at least to be able to make small projects. As the process went on I realized not only was I enjoying it but I wasn't stressed creating. It was nice to be challenged into something outside of my realm of creativity and just be content with that the end product may be for myself not anyone else.

This is the first tutorial: To make a simple Cloth and Clay Doll

As I went through each stage of the doll I would get so excited and take pictures of the process. I am at the last stage of painting her and I cannot wait to finally finish her. I am hoping to do that this week.

Here are some of my pictures of the process. Bear with me, this is my first doll and like everything the more you practice the better you will become.

The cloth body, arms and legs, stuffed and ready for the next step.

Skirts before they were coffee stained and baked.

Sketching out a face before the application of paperclay after the doll is layered with gesso.

The beginnings of the sculpting process.

Stained with coffee.

Getting close to the sculpting being done.

First layer of paint after the arms and legs were attached.

I know my doll will not look as well put together as the talented artists in my group but I am proud that I have gotten this far and have enjoyed every step of the process and look forward to making more dolls. It also helps the group is a very friendly and enthusiastic group that are there to support and also help you through and our moderator and instructor Jane is awesome.

So at the moment I am working towards finishing my first doll and practicing more before I join the challenge in making a bird doll. :)


In the jewelry area I have some great news. I was asked to put my jewelry in a local gallery here in Elizabethtown, KY and actually dropped it off last Friday and so I am not sure when it will be set up and ready to be seen. This will boost Bo to also start getting into his creative zone once his crazy schedule at work slows down. We also have a couple of other doors open to us but I will elaborate more on that as the time comes. Once my jewelry is set up at the Woodland Gallery I will be sure to post some pictures. Lynn the owner is a wonderful person to work with and I sure hope my jewelry does well in her shop. :)

Well today is the first day of Spring Break for the boys. And I still had to be up at 7am to get Nick to track practice, he has a meet tomorrow and hopefully will be able to run. We have a busy week, plus I am hoping to get more of my to do list done. We are having great weather and I finally put some flowers out. But I am waiting to actually start on my bird and butterfly garden of perennials and a raised garden out back for our herbs and vegetables. Yesterday we potted some of the flowers we bought and put our bird bath out. We are just happy right now that our grass is growing-FAST! It is so different for us to already be in warm weather at this time of the year when in Alaska the snow is just finally melting. Spring is truly here.

Our bird bath and the pots that Bo picked out for our front porch.

Columbine and Pansies

I hope this will be a great week for all of you. Off to work on some of my projects and enjoy some of this gorgeous sun. :)


Susan Stevenson said...

I love the doll, and I'm excited about you and your garden. I wish summer would come here so I can plant mine!

Do you have a time limit on making the dolls? Is there a monthly challenge, or requirement, or do you just make them when you feel the urge? Are you going to sell them?

Miss you Abby!

Abigail's Creative Journey said...

Susan there is no limit on making the dolls. It is a fun group to learn and create. But if we do have challenges we have an option to be a part of it and when we are there is a deadline. No I will probably not sell any of them. They are for me. :) But I wouldn't mind buying some from some of the most talented artists I have seen. :)

I miss you lots too and every time I think of buying flowers I tell Bo I miss my lunch and nursery partner. :(