Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meet Lavinia The Gypsy

Here she is: my first cloth and clay doll! She is a little rough but not too bad for a first effort! I've never sewn and stuffed a doll before, I've never sculpted a face from Paperclay over cloth before, I've never made a doll skirt before and I've never made a wig before. So, all of those things are now behind me. It has been a huge learning curve for me working with the Paperclay; it's not as smooth as polymer clay and it's messier to work with. I'm not sure if I like using it or not. I'll keep experimenting with it along with the polymer clay and see which one I can have better luck with!

So she's a PRIMITIVE doll. She's not supposed to be beautiful or perfect. I wish I'd given her some more color in her face but the photo turned out more pale than she actually is. She still has that alien look but I'm learning how to add "bulk" to the face.

One thing I have to do is let it go! She's finished now and I'm proud that I completed her. The photo below is the best of the worst photos I took of a closeup of her face. I wish I was a photographer but I can't stop the shaking lens syndrome (even with the feature that is supposed to do that for you!). But for what it's worth, here is a closeup of the sculpted face:

Yes, she DOES have a surprised look about her! I need to work on making the eyes a little smaller. ;) But no more picking on the poor thing; she has enough to worry about just being a gypsy. Now on to the next challenge...

I'm enrolled in another doll class with Nancye Williams (see sidebar for her links). This is a primitive doll made from polymer clay. I'm also going to try another doll in the style of Lavinia but with a different motif. And I'm working on a canvas using some of the Digital Grounds transfers I've made. So, off I go. Results will be posted soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Something To Aim For!

This is exactly the type of look I want for my next doll. I love this face! The eyes, especially, have the look I'm going for. It's kind of Gothic, kind of Harlequin, kind of sad...all mixed together. I love the muted colors, too; just perfect! And this gorgeous doll was made by Val Zeitler.

I found this doll in a new book I just bought called, Cloth Doll Artistry, by Barbara Willis. It's a great resource full of instructions and ideas for designing the dolls and their costumes. It covers both flat dolls and fully sculpted ones, as well. It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it!

I will finish my cloth-clay primitive doll and will post photos of her soon. She's turning out to be very interesting. Not too bad for a first attempt at sculpting a face over cloth. I'm most proud of the fact that I completed it and she can hang on my wall as my "first attempt" to remind me where I started!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Worlds

I put this piece together to celebrate all of the new worlds I'm discovering in my art! One world I am loving is the doll world. I finally got the base layer of Paperclay to stick to my doll and now can start my sculpting. The problem is deciding how I want her facial features to look! That varies depending on what mood I'm in from day to day. And I have to decide what to dress her in, the colors I want her to wear, etc. You see why doll making is addicting. You just have to keep making more dolls to accommodate these choices!

I'm attributing a lot of these "new worlds" to my art journalling. That is another world that I finally can say I've started and really enjoy. The digital journal is more current because it's so convenient but I still dabble in the "real" notebook too. Clearing the work table will help me keep that journal more current. All of the doll stuff is now moving down to the workshop where I have my jewelry, drill and clay supplies.

So, here I am in my little artist house dreaming from the attic window of what I'll work on next!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Grunge Images

Still playing with the grunge and color mixture. I call the above image, "Beauties in Grunge" and the image below is, "In Dreams...Anything is Possible".

OK, that's enough grunge for tonight. Who knows what the Muse will want to play with tomorrow. The plan is to head to the workshop and dive into the Paperclay.

Grunge With A Twist

Every month I get a "pixel packet" from the Digital Art Membership at This month's packet had the theme of grunge which is one of my favorites. Included in the packet are digital backgrounds, elements and an idea booklet. So, I threw together a couple of grunge art pieces for today. The line art in the one above is taken from the "Erte Coloring Book" by Dover Designs. They have some cool books! I call this, "Erte SleepingBeauty Grunge". I just made the coloring book page transparent and laid it over my many layers of grunge.

The image below is called, "Extreme Grunge: Zetti Style". Zetti art is another one of my favorites and what better way to showcase it than with a little grunge!

Just a couple of fun things thrown together that I thought I'd share. Enjoy! ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Here is a journal page I made for today. I didn't include the writing that I did because it was too personal but the image says a lot of what the writing expounded upon. I am trying to keep the promise I made to myself to journal more and visual journalling is really a healing process. I have my art table completely covered up right now working on my doll. I didn't want to remove all of the material to make a journal page so I compromise and have a digital journal going for days like this when it's just not feasible to bring the art supplies to the table. I like to keep both and they are my journals so that's how I operate! ;)

The doll. Well, we ran into a snag yesterday. I went to give her the first coat of Paperclay. It just wasn't going well. I forgot to mention that before I can sculpt her face she needs an initial layer of Paperclay as a base. So that was the plan for yesterday: get the initial layer down and then today start sculpting (my favorite part). But the clay, or more accurately, MY APPLICATION of the clay didn't work. It ended up being gooey and sticky and completely NOT what was supposed to happen! AArrgghh... So before it could dry like that I wiped it all off and set her under a fan to dry.

I contacted Jane, who teaches the workshop (a wonderful teacher!) and described to her what happened. I had a feeling I was using too much water with the clay. She agreed after she heard my description of the mess. Come to find out, especially with a new package of clay, you don't need much water at all to adhere it to the Gesso'd doll. Note to self: today EASY ON THE WATER! While I was at it, last night I gave her another coat of Gesso just to make her a little more sturdy for the clay. So today the experiment continues. Hopefully the first layer of Paperclay will take!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I found a wonderful website called Digital Whisper (see sidebar for link). It's a site for artists devoted mainly to digital art. This is right up my alley! While I'm really starting to experiment in the more traditional art forms I will always love my digital art. And, as you have seen in the last couple of posts, digital art can very easily be incorporated into your 3-D art with image transfers. So you can really get the best of both worlds!

I made this piece in response to the weekly challenge at Digital Whisper. We were just given the image of a red chair and asked to see where that took us. I loved the red! The color made me think of roses so I added roses to the background of the chair to make it look like a print. The rest is all layers and layers of Photoshop work. At last count I think there were about 20 layers to this piece. I'm not sure if it's entirely finished yet. I'll live with it for another day or so and then add it to the challenge.

I'm also printing out some more of my Digital Grounds samples and will be posting those soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Digital Grounds: Part 2

This image was printed out onto clear shelf-liner! It really didn't scan as well as I would have liked. The image was much sharper than the scan shows. I was very happy with it! I am loving these digital grounds products! Thank goodness I received my new shipment today! I've already used up all of the sample size of the Digital Grounds for Non-Porous Surfaces (my favorite).

I think this image didn't scan so well because it IS see through. So I put a piece of white paper underneath and thought you would be able to see the image better that way.

Still didn't scan so hot. The color doesn't show up much on the scan but it DID on the print! Now, here's the interesting thing. After I scanned this one, I wanted to remove it from the copy paper and use in a project I was working on. Since it's re-positionable shelf liner it peeled right back off of the copy paper.

BUT, when I went to place it onto my project the image "slid" off of the clear part! So I was left holding a very thin "skin" of the image. For some reason it came right off of the plastic. At first I was panicked but then I just very carefully positioned it onto the paper I wanted to put it onto. For this particular project I was using a transparency OVER THE TOP of it and that is what held the "skin" in place.

If I were NOT going to use a transparency I would have to very carefully place some type of adhesive on my receiving paper and gently place the "skin" on top of that.

This weekend I'm experimenting more with the Digital Grounds for Non-Porous Surfaces, Soft Gel (gloss) and Acrylic Grounds for Pastels (all Golden brand). I'll post when I have some new samples to show.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Digital Grounds -- Let The Games Begin!

I have discovered Digital Grounds! Yay!! Actually, I've known about them for awhile but have never really understood how to use them or what they were for. Thanks to Gail Schmidt at Creative Workshops (see sidebar), now I know what to do with these cool media!

Guess what the images above are printed out on? Don't know? It's a layer of molding paste topped with a layer of silver mica flakes! That's it! No paper underneath. Just the molding paste and mica! Cool, huh? This is all possible because of the digital grounds. Click on each image to get a better view. The little specks you see in this first image are small silver mica flakes!

What are digital grounds? Well, they are different media that Golden has come out with that makes it possible for you to print your images onto things you normally would never be able to print them on such...molding paste! Other things I'm experimenting with right now: printing onto two coats of gel medium, two coats of matte medium, peel 'n stick laminate, lace, sandwich bags, etc.

The sample below is printed onto two coats of Golden fluid acrylic paint! (copper) That's it! It's very thin, yes, but the "skin" as it's called peels right off of the plastic. No problems.

And this sample below is printed onto aluminum foil! It didn't photograph at all because of the glare and the scan doesn't really do it justice either. Suffice it to say that I love the result.

I haven't put the top-coat on these images yet. Golden includes two topcoats in the kit: a glossy and a semi-gloss. This is to protect the image. I just had to show these first experiments. I'm loving this stuff! It makes the tedious process of digital transfers seem so labor intensive!

Anyway, I'm experimenting with the gel medium and the matte medium tonight. I'll post those images when they are finished. The kit I spoke of earlier is one I ordered from DickBlick. They have sample sizes of all of these digital grounds and top-coats in a kit very reasonably priced for you to try out. I highly recommend them AND especially recommend Gail's workshop. She is an awesome teacher and shows you step by step exactly how to work with these grounds. Check out her class on Creative Workshops (see sidebar).

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I fell in love with this background and couldn't decide what exactly to do with it. You can barely see it but this piece started out as just the misty backdrop of a door in this empty, gauzy room. So I added many, many layers in Photoshop giving it a window, some colorful leaves on the floor and tons of texture with curtains and other chiffon material.

I started with another subject altogether and tried to make that work for awhile. It wasn't doing anything for me. Then I ran across this little one in my vintage images file. She just looked like a little blossom! I had to give her some color and improvise on her chair but I finally got the look I was after. Barely visible are partial images of little girls in their summer dresses floating above her head. Subtle hints of flowers in the background and drops of color on the floor finished it off nicely.

I've been inspired lately by the blooming flowers of Spring (my irises are blooming! She's holding one of them) and all of the bursts of color that are showing up outside. I like the contrast of the monochromatic room of long ago and the vintage girl brought to life through color. I hope you agree!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Yes, today is my 49th birthday! I decided to give myself a virtual birthday gift: a trip to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up in glorious splendor in celebration for today AND a party dress to wear to all of the festivities! The crystal chandeliers are lit up in the background so the stage is all set!

I fell in love with this dress! I'm working on a series of fashion themed pieces and plan to incorporate images of vintage party dresses. They are so luxurious and elegant! So while I'm dreaming I thought I'd put this little number on and celebrate the BIG number. Not so big, really. I'm finding that out, too: 50's and 60's don't really seem so old now... ;)

Anyway, I'm off to celebrate today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I'm not sure if I mentioned it previously but I'm taking an online course from SARK on Healing and Transformation. She covers a wide range of topics and I'm loving it! Everyday you get an email from her filled with goodies. Past topics that she's talked about have been healing and transforming your relationships with family, yourself, food, body image, money, etc. She includes an "awesome audio" with each lesson where she just talks about these issues in a frank discussion along with additional reading resources and even her own artwork to download. It has been so refreshing!

There are a lot of areas in my life that I need healing and transformation applied to. I'm starting to be more aware of them and am trying to begin that process. I made this piece last night because I was really thankful for what she's talked about so far and how it has already "transformed" how I view certain issues now. This is just a little celebration piece to help me along my journey.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spring Showers

We have gotten over six inches of rain here this month and it's STILL raining today... No wonder my migraines have kicked into high gear. I've started to note in my notebook whether it's raining when I get a headache and for the most part it has been. It could be just a coincidence, but I wonder. Anyway, if it would only rain daisies, like it is in this little scene, life would be so much better!! Most elements are by Christine Honsinger at