Lola wants to dance.
This is what Lola looked like a few weeks ago.
Since then I have had to make several versions of some of her body parts before I could get them to look the way I wanted.
I usually have a standard order in which I sew the different parts of a doll together. I sew the legs to the torso first. I sew the arms on after the clothes. I usually sew the head on before I put on the hair and then paint the face. This time I put the hair on first. Big mistake! The hair kept getting in the way as I was sewing on the head.
Painting the face comes last.
The first thing I do is draw in the features with an air erasable pen. I cover her hair with a piece of cloth to keep it out of the way and to protect it when I spray the face with fixative.
Once I get the features correct, I go over some of it with a Pigma Micron 005 brown pen. This is permanent ink.
Except for the high light in the eye, the face is painted with pastel pencils.
I use 2- 3 colours for the eyes and eyeshadow and 2 colours for the lips. The top lip is always darker than the bottom, which catches more light. I add the highlight to the eye last. I use acrylic paint applied with the tip of a needle.
I also paint the fingernails.
So here she is, practicing her routine to be ready for her audition for So You Think You Can Dance.
In anticipation of a visit to the Van Gogh exhibit that is currently at the National Gallery in Ottawa, I decided to do a watercolour in his style.
I chose a picture that I took while cycling in France.
I sketched the outline in pencil first and then used the paints. It went very quickly.
I worked on some more free motion embroidery dancers. The previous ones (see here) were done in off-white thread and looked good against a coloured wall or back ground. I decided to do some that looked good against a white wall.
As I did before, I photographed them outside and then inside on a wall.
After I had done the first one outside, the wind blew both frames over and broke the glass in one of them. As both mats are the same size I took the rest of the pictures using the glass-less frame.
The multicoloured cotton thread was hand dyed by Linda Palaisy. I use a lot of her thread in my work.
I had always thought that I didn’t like Pointillism. However, after visiting a special exhibit of Henri Edmond Cross and Neo-Impressionism at the Musėe Marmottan Monet in Paris, I changed my mind. I was fascinated by the paintings in the exhibit and decided to try the technique in watercolour.
I worked small so that it wouldn’t take too long to finish – the painting is only 14 X 21.2 cm (5 1/2 X 8 3/8 inches) . I found that I couldn’t make regular same-sized marks with a watercolour brush so I used Microbrush ® applicators that I bought at Lee Valley Tools.
My subject was a close-up of a tree stump and my choice of colours was inspired by Cross’s Future Arcadia. I worked on it for several hours in total and couldn’t get it right. It just looked like an interesting pattern of coloured dots. Finally, I saw it from across the room and I could now see forms emerging from the mass of dots.
I don’t think that this will become a favourite method of painting watercolour, but I will definitely try it again.
Last weekend I visited Kiwi Gardens in Perth, just outside Ottawa. It was their 16th annual show and sale of garden art. About 38 artists displayed their work throughout the gardens. Although there were many wonderful works of art, I am going to share some of the picture I took of the work of just three of the artists.
Artist by Design ‘s Liz Ciesluk does sculptures using recycled objects and pavepol, a fabric hardener.
The Green Man started out as an exercise to use techniques that I learned in a Robin Foley workshop to build up areas of a face using batting. The original workshop used a carved styrofoam block as a starting point. For this project I started with a flat surface. Once I had built up the areas and “skinned” it, I needle sculpted the wrinkles and painted it with soft pastels. Then it sat for a few years and became lost in my studio.
My local doll club, All Dolled Up, had a UFO (UnFinished Object) challenge so I found my Little Green Man and decided to put him on a background. I painted a prepared canvas with pastels and attached the head to it with acrylic medium. Then, I made leaves with free motion embroidery.
I put masking tale around the edges to keep the stabilizer from wrinkling as I sewed.
I also found an embroidery project in the basement. It was based on a Mola, which is a hand sewn reverse applique panel made using several layers of cloth which are cut away to reveal the layers underneath. Mine is machine sewn and it is only one layer. The image is based on my cat. I sewed it onto a bag.