Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fauna and my first Etsy sale

Here's Fauna as a finished sculpt. I can't wait to paint her! It takes so long to smooth everything out in paperclay - it can be hard to have faith that it is all going to come together in the end (sometimes it doesn't!). I am not a patient person by nature. I have to consciously pace myself and or I will do a haphazard job or use unsuitable materials just becuase I am so eager to see the finished product. But now I have earned my way to the next step in the process =)

Also, I sold two Chakra Dolls on Etsy! Sure, the buyer is a good friend of mine, but I'll take what I can get! The other photo is of them, cozy in thier little nest.

I've been listening to this great cd series called the Ultimate Anti-Career Guide by Rick Jarrow. It has alot of great quotes, examples of famous people's career paths and meditations. One quote was "When one door closes, another opens. But often there is a long hallway in between." I like that one! For me, it represents the door of art therapy (what I had been studying for a Masters in last year) closing and the door of being a professional artist opening. But there is a pretty long hallway in between where I need to clarify my artistic voice and put down roots in the areas I'm interested in pursuing. Ha! I just realized that life imitates art (and vice versa) perfectly here - I have been cultivating patience as I make each individual work of art and I hope that I can call upon that virtue as I wait for my career to come to fruition.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Paintings

I also have some oil paintings I'm working on that deal with the animal horn theme. Miss Reindeer Horns is finished and the one with the pointy horns is almost finished (her harnd on the left only has the first layer of paint which is just white and burnt umber, the color will be glazed on top). The other one I just started last night and she will be holding a frog in her hands. I'm inspired to make frames for these girls which will expand on the theme of the paintings. I like this idea because it makes the whole piece more cohesive and reminds me of an alterpeice. I guess I think of these women as some kinds of goddesses or at least nature spirits. So, now I'm going to go get out my power tools and bust out some frames!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fauna progresses and new projects

So, now I'm building up the paperclay as well as sanding it down as needed. That is one of the great things about this clay - you can add and subtract at any time. Fauna is still kind of skinny, but I don't want to lose the child-like quality, either. You can see the photo reference for the pose in the background.
The painted face is a doll that began with a blue fabric I love. The pale blue eyes are perfect with it and then the black hair is an interesting contrast. She reminds me of a cool evening, so that is the theme I want her to embody.
The funny, little figure on the bottom is the moon winking. She will be holding some stars suspended from her top hand. The way I am making her body is based on the techniques that Wendy Froud uses in her video demonstrating how to make a fairy doll (highly recommended, find it at www.worldoffroud.com) And, finally, we have the head of what si turning out to be an elf, which shows the early stages of a sculpt in paperclay with pre-baked fimo eyeballs.
In other news, I've opened a shop on Etsy.com with some of my paintings and sculptures. I love the new craft movement, it is really empowering for artists and buyers (and I am both!) My shop is at http://www.ArchetypalTheatre.etsy.com

Monday, January 14, 2008

Work in Progress: Fauna

This doll is an experiment for me. She is the first figure I have made using store bought eyes and I love the lifelike quality they lend. I completed the head first because I like to get an idea of the personality as soon as possible (the doll makes those decisions for herself, I'm just along for the ride). So this one turns out to be a representation of Fauna, a Roman goddess of fertility, animal life, peace and healing.

The head was made by creating a foil armature, building up layers of paperclay, embedding the eyes, sanding (obsessively) and then painting with several layers of acrylics. I have begun her hands as well, but they are not yet painted. These really take the most patience because the forms are complicated and each hand has to match the other!
Next, I sketched the body proportions and made a wire and foil armature and then positioned her in the pose I want. She will be kneeling and holding a small bird - forming a nest with her hands. Oh, I'm so excited!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The idea behind this blog is to share my process of making art and how art and life intertwine for me. I'll start by introducing myself and my background. I'm a professional artist working primarily in oil, watercolor and mixed media sculpture. The uniteing themes in my work are archetypes, myth, magic, psychology and spirituality as they relate to the human form and the natural landscape.

I grew up in Ohio, studied liberal arts (major in art and education) at Carleton College in Minnesota, painting at Studio Art Centers International in Italy and transpersonal psychology with an emphasis in art therapy at Naropa University in Colorado.

Above is a visual introduction: this is a recent self portrait that is one in a series dealing with humans with animal horns. This combination has ancient origins - make of it what you will. I started it without alot of thought as to the meaning (This is characteristic of my process. I tend to get an idea and only begin to understand it as I create the actual image). I've come to understand it as a representation of the merger of female (my image) and male (horns are traditionally related with male energy) qualities within one being. Also, the rams horns are a fitting symbol of my determined nature. And right now, I'm determined to live the artist's life!