Monday, March 30, 2009

2008 Hoffman Challenge


Pushing the Boundaries

My first entry resulted in being accepted to tour and participate with some of the other artists in a national exhibition. That was one of my goals which, happily, I achieved.

Prior to my entry, I noticed many of the art dolls from the previous years seemed to be more conservative and was surprised there wasn't a greater range in the type of art dolls being submitted. What I mean by that is you could tell the dolls were distinctly human, all had full faces, toes, hands, legs, arms, etc. Despite the Challenge Rules, I guess I expected to see some works that pushed those boundaries. That is where my motivation derived from when creating Daphne. Could I create a piece that bordered on that line while keeping within the confines of the established rules? Would she even be accepted; or, would she be disqualified right off the bat?

One: I wanted to give the impression of a face, hands, arms, legs and so forth. She doesn't actually have any of these things. One eye. Big lips. No hands. The impression of legs. The arms aren't even solid. Just a mere suggestion of each that was strong enough to be accepted and interpreted as a human form.

Two: Use parts of the challenge fabric as parts of the actual body. For instance, the challenge fabric features peacocks. The peacock is actually Daphne's head and hair. Part of its plumes are cascading down and across her neck and make up the remainder of her body. The fertility egg pouch is also made from a small section of the challenge fabric.

You can view 2008's challenge fabric at this link:

At the time, I was pleased with how she turned out because I achieved what I wanted to do. However, after reviewing her pictures a few months later, I would have made some changes and embellished her a lot more if there were time to spare.

Only Hoffman fabrics were used. She was machine- and hand-stitched. Her hair was hand-embroidered with metallic thread. Her eyes and lips were hand painted. Her skirt was quilted; and, she was embellished with beads, beaded trim, real and appliqued peacock feathers.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nature Goddess

Nature always inspires me. Mother Nature, with brush in hand, wields an awe-inspiring color palette of beauty across her canvas, with strong brush strokes adding texture to her landscape or the softness of whispered-somethings in water-colored skies. She puts the most seasoned artists efforts to shame in comparison with her designs but ones in which we derive so much pleasure and inspiration from.

My soul and spirit always feels cleansed and refreshed after spending time in one of her living-art paintings. How I wish I could create as effortlessly as she! I can only draw inspiration from her examples and teachings.

Nature Goddess is one of my earlier attempts at a beaded art doll. She was created with many different types of beads. My favorite was the micro-beads because it reminded me of paint. It covered a larger surface area in a relatively short amount of time by applying it with a special adhesive, as opposed to working with seed beads which takes a lot longer because they are sewn on.

Although, I must admit now, if it wasn't for the pains in my hands, I prefer working with seed beads because you have more precision and control in the direction you're sewing them in. The beads are sewn in a linear fashion, even when you direct them along curves. It creates a "flow" in the piece.

As indicated above, micro-beads covers the area similar to paint. Even if you work in small areas, as I did in creating the swirly vine in this example, the beads just cover the area in all directions.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Doll Artists

We are weaver of dreams and ringmasters of our ideas. So much of ourselves are poured into these pieces. Our emotions are thread into every stitch of cloth that washes across our hands. The fabrics are skins for beings, searching to be released from subconscious realms and unseen worlds. Built upon with the embellishments of what brought them here to create new depth and meaning to their life. Their language is that of the unspoken word. Sometimes, we are just the tools that bring them out from the unseen; but, they already exist. They are just looking for someone to birth them.