Monday, December 3, 2012

Art Dolls

A new artistic form for me but the possibilities are now endless!  I am using everything from Celuclay to paper mache and from Styrofoam to dowel rods.  I am scouring the thrift stores for items to use and using buttons, beads, wire and anything else I can find to create these one of a kind pieces.  They are fun and whimsical and I'm having a blast creating them!

I started out by making pumpkin heads from Celuclay and Creative Paper Clay.
I also make a cat head because I love cats. 

At this point I had no idea what these would turn into so they sat on my work table until I went to a thrift store looking for something that I could possibly turn into a body.  And this is what I ended up with.  I ended up gluing candle holders upside down to bases.
The one on the left would eventually become the cat's body and the one in the center would become the body for the juggling pumpkin head man.
I created the body using wire, batting and creating my own pattern for the outfit.
I'm not completely finished with these two but I'm getting there.

And here's a sneak peek at two more I'm working on, again still works in progress:

Whimsical Chairs

I finished painting these two chairs in time for the silent auction at Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church last weekend.  I received many compliments on them and was asked to paint something else for next years auction as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Image taken by me at Newport News Park in Virginia.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What I'm working on now

It is now Monday evening and I HAVE to finish "whimsical painting" two chairs for a silent auction that is in two weeks.  I have given myself until Thanksgiving to finish them, that is exactly 3 days away.  Pictures coming very soon!

Another thing I've been working on is transferring all of my pictures onto a new computer (also putting them on a disk because I'm old school) because my old computer is finally dying.  I have also bought the latest version of Adobe Photoshop Elements and I'm having a blast altering my photos.

I think creative Kim is coming back (thanks mom for encouraging me!) so look for updates on my latest art dolls coming soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm OK

A lot has happened in my life in the past few weeks (physically and emotionally) and instead of going into a long sermon I'll try to summarize. 

1.  My lease was up at The Art Gallery where I sold my art so I made the hard decision to pull my stuff out.  It has become a lot more emotional for me than I thought.  I used to define myself as an artist and I guess I still am but it seems like I have no direction now.

2.  I was in a car accident on November 1st.  I am still bruised and very sore but I'll survive.  It was the other person's fault and thank God I didn't have my kids in the car with me.  I won't post pictures because it still gives me the chills to look at them.

I forced myself to get back into my art room last night and I think slowly my creative energy may be coming back but I probably won't be posting for another few weeks.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I found my niche!

Since becoming a stay-at-home mom I have been able to tap into those creative genes that my parents blessed me with.  I have always loved art and have tried many things.  My first love was photography and to this day I usually have my camera with me wherever I go.  Some of my other artistic endeavors have included sewing, beading and jewelry making, painting (acrylics and watercolors), cake decorating, clay work, quilting, knitting, wood burning, soldering, quilling, ATC's and I'm sure there's more I can't think of at the moment. 

So when I say I've found my niche I can hear some of you laughing because I have never been one to stay with something for very long.


I love the definition Wikipedia gives:
Art dolls are dolls created by artists and intended as expressive and unique art objects rather than children's toys. Art dolls made by professional artists may be considered fine art. Made using a wide variety of styles and media, some are abstract or tribal, while others are incredibly realistic. They range from dolls with pre-manufactured parts to being wholly fabricated by the artist or sculptor. The term "art dolls" usually refers to human-like dolls, but not always. Art dolls can depict animals, mythical creatures, or abstract beings.

You can read more about art dolls here: As defined in Wikipedia

I have found that I can combine all of my artistic talents into an art doll.  I can use whatever medium I desire for the body, I can sew until my heart is content, I can paint, I can play with clay, the list just goes on and on.  Plus I can create whatever kind of creature I want.  If I want a cat-mermaid I can do it.  I love this expression of art because it challenges my mind every day.  I have three in the works right now but the closest one to being finished is my pumpkin-jester-juggler.  Stay tuned, pictures to come!

"Those cookies do not look appetizing!"  Says my husband when he sees me putting these onto the tray...
These are actually celuclay heads drying on my deck.  I only have plans for the biggest one right now.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

AIR Barbie

You all have heard me talk about Swap-bot on here.  When I'm finding groups to join I usually look at the persons profile with whom I've swapped with before and see what groups they're in.  If we have the same interests chances are I will join the groups that they are in.

A few weeks ago I found a group called Altered Barbies.  FUN!!  In this group the coordinator has set up swaps to alter Barbie to represent the elements like fire, wind and the current one is Air.  How would you design a Barbie to represent air?

The first thing I thought was that trees and flowers need air to live.  So I found a Barbie:
And because this Barbie was a ballerina with jointed limbs I had to figure out how to stabilize them.  The closest thing I had was masking tape so I taped her up.  At this point I thought I may put a skirt on her and you won't see the tape but my ideas come as I'm creating, I'm not one to sit down and sketch something first:
Then I base coated her with primer:

Now I have a blank canvas to work with.  I popped her head back on then painted the sky on her entire body.  I added a tree going up one leg and flowers "growing" up the other leg.  I didn't want the tree to be the main focus plus I hadn't done anything with her hair yet.
I wanted the hair to be the main focus because, after all, I'm trying to represent "air".  So I took down her ponytail and decided paint would be good:

(this picture is a little light)
This was my sky without clouds AND this is my sky with clouds:
I still didn't like the tree so I found three different shades of green fabric and cut leaves to put on my tree and I also put rhinestones in the flowers

Front of her legs:

Back of her legs and torso:

I will probably add more pictures in the next few days.  It has been raining here all day so I couldn't go outside and take pictures of her.  I hope my swap partner likes it!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zentangle Barbie

I don't think I'm quite finished with her yet, she needs something else on her dress and more paint on her legs, but this is my second altered Barbie: Zentangle Barbie

Before Picture:  (Again I got so excited about her I jumped right into it without taking a before "body shot" picture, but this was her face)
I may color a few more of her braids black also.  For the braids I dipped the ends in Elmer's glue to make them stiff and pointy.  The black braids were dipped in black acrylic paint.

Her dress is tied with black lace which you see hanging down in front of her painted legs.

Acorn Barbie

My newest artistic endeavor?  Altered dolls!  I find played with and loved dolls (Barbie and the like) and give them a whole new look.  If you'd like to donate to the cause that would be great.  You won't be finding these in your local toy store any time soon.
Notice the heads in the front of the picture.  During the creative process it gets a little ugly with headless Barbies being spray painted and hung up to dry in the garage but in the end all legs and arms find their way back to their rightful owner.  Well at least for now.

I got so excited about jumping into this that I forgot to take a "before" picture of my first one.  This was the stage that I remembered to take the picture:
Anyway, from now on I will document them from beginning to end.  This was my first altered Barbie and I aptly named her Acorn Barbie:

I love her and she's mine all mine!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just one day late but...

I welcome you with open arms AUTUMN!!

(Photo taken by me a few years ago at the Newport News Fall Festival)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Never Know What is Going To Inspire Me

I have started swapping again on Swap-bot because I've gotten back into ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and this website is a great arena for swapping these.  While on there, looking at other swap groups, I stumbled upon a lady who was asking artists to "decorate" a fishing bobber for her father-in-law's birthday in October.  He collects them and she thought it would be fun to see what people came up with.  I love a challenge so I e-mailed her and said I'd love to do it.  There were no restrictions as to size or theme so at my local store 2" bobbers came two to a pack.  I rushed right home and base coated them:
After base coating I painted one black then remembered to take a picture for this blog.

I decided to do one in a Halloween theme because it is September.  And the other one I decided to do an underwater theme because it is, after all, a bobber.

And then my underwater theme:

Since it is September and my brain is already thinking Christmas... wouldn't these make great Christmas ornaments!  This is why I love art, because I never know when or where I'm going to be inspired but when I am it's like a whole new world opens up for me and I LOVE it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quilling on ATC's

What better way to practice quilling techniques than on ATC's (Artist Trading Cards).  I have been a member of Swap-bot for a few years now and I love trading ATC's.  I'm always looking for new techniques to try and ATC's are the perfect little size (2 1/2" X 3 1/2") to experiment with.

Paper quilling is the technique of taking strips of paper and manipulating them or "twirling" them to create beautiful objects.  There are three books that I love and refer back to often:
I Can't Believe I'm Quilling By Jane Cleveland
Paper Quilling For the First Time  By Alli Bartkowski
Thrilling Quilling By Elizabeth Moad

This swap was called 100 Hearts.  I used scrapbooking paper for the background, quilled the hearts and the little black dots are puffy paint. 
For my next one I wanted to try a new flower technique.  For my background I used a paint chip you can get at your local hardware store (trimmed to size).  Fringed my paper.  Twirled it around my quilling tool then glued each flower in place. 

 The next morning I opened them up and LOVED how they turned out:
 This swap was called Flower ATC but my partner's profile stated that she loves green butterflies so I wanted to incorporate both:
Owl ATC.  Again, another paint chip and then I painted the tree with acrylics.
This swap is called Ladybug ATC.  Shhhhhh... I haven't sent this one yet so my partner doesn't know what it looks like.
And here are some more that I've done in the past: