We all do start somewhere in our dollmaking...in our art...and hopefully, as we mature so does our art and our expression/inspiration of it. In this posting I would like to talk with you about a comparison of a doll from 7-8 years ago to one of today 2015.
This Ladybug series is the doll that started my path in creating most of the dolls I am associated with today.
She is my beginning...my one I refer back to as to where I am in my own artistic growth...my baseline...my happiness...my gratitude that I am able to make dolls.
This is the photo of the one that applied to NIADA.
Materials used then:
China dupioni silk body, horsehair for wig
Delight, happiness, and playful spirit symbolize the Ladybug. She shall bring abundance of blessings. The red shield and black spots that cover her wings announce her unique and playful spirit that bring smiles wherever her heart takes her on her journey.
I still love this one. I feel that her essence is there...her joyful peace. I made small adjustments, via Shelley Thornton's critique, lengthening the arm about 1/4 inch and rounding out her jaw line. It was then the following year that I applied.
Over the last 7-8 years, my experience with other Master dollmakers, I believe, has pushed me to look at my own pieces with a more discerning eye and to grow into the artist that my soul needs to express.
The Ladybug is a symbol of taking action on your dreams, as she is related to gardens, her very presence represents planting the seeds of your dreams. Water it, give it sunshine and gratitude, and it will grow.
Taking your dreams...your visions and tending to them with your devoted time, energy, and heart...
2015 Photography: Mark Mortensen
Material change now:
Silk crepe or in this case silk linen body, mohair/silk wig.
I will say that truly, practice makes perfect, not only in your technique but in your voice and how it is expressed through your hands.
Although my technique has not really changed, through time and experience, the way I am able to understand the materials, now, in which I am working and to use them...let them be what they are to bring out my heart and joy in my pieces with precision.
Like life, as we mature, we develop layers and my hope is that you can see where my dolls have more depth to them now than 8 years ago.
ok...yes..it does help that I have a Master photographer that is able to catch the soul of my pieces...but even with that, can you see the richness that has developed with time in my pieces of today??
- Developing skills and technique
- Success at manipulating your materials to what is your vision
- Objective viewing of your work to make corrections
- Defining your signature in your body of work
- Defining your soul in the depth of your pieces
I would say that I am, now on more of a spiritual quest within my art. I understand what is my signature, my gift, and love the layers of inspiration that is stitched into each my pieces.
The spiritual meaning of Ladybug is to take inventory of what fills your heart, living as your true self and what makes you happy and fulfilled.
My hope is that each of you, no matter where you are in your own journey, will be able to find that moment* when all time stops and look at what you just created and say "this is it! this is what I imagined and here it is in front of me!"
* In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell claims that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.