January 12, 2014

New Year Resolution: Make Art for FUN

Boy, have I been whining and complaining a lot and not just lately!  My New Year's resolution is not going to be all about losing weight and getting into shape (I need to do that anyway), but to focus on being more positive and actually creative.

On the positive front, I stumbled across two wonderful blogs yesterday (thecartbeforethehorse.blogspot.com and allegromelody.blogspot.com ) that have completely turned around my view of my creative life and made me realize that my once creative spirit is still here, it's just been dormant for a while.  I don't need to worry about creating masterpieces to enjoy making something.

My art dolls have been my biggest stumbling block.  For years, I used basically the same construction method with a few attempts at wavering from the usual techniques.  The head and extremities were attached to the body by hand stitching with transparent thread.  After a while, that thread became brittle and the head sagged.  Without ever having taken a course in doll making and relying on trial-and-error, even consulting books and websites, I just couldn't come up with a method to make it better.  Eventually I tried another method, extending beyond just the neck to include the torso of clay.  Boy, was that a headache!  This thing has been through more - what's the word, versions?  Renditions?

The first ones I made a number of years ago (in my once cheery coloured studio in the old house)

First try adding (too much) fibers, wires and metal bits while trying to figure out the bottom half
Next I added some paint to the body and removed what I felt was excess junk on the wire

Last, I removed ALL of the fiber and spent a week adding a zillion bits of copper wire to the heavier gauge wire, painting it black, and then....nothing
 Then we moved and the movers threw this in a box and piled a lot of heavy things on top of it.  I just feel like I can't recover and this is one of those epic failures that is best just chucked aside.

Yesterday I decided to start fresh and get practice sculpting a face, but my clay is just to crumbly.  Bummer.  Time to shop for new, fresh clay.  Since I had free time, I Googled for ANY help on creating a stable neck using polymer clay and thus found these blogs.  My first thought when I started looking through the photos on one is that I just loved the artist's style and sense of decor, reminding me a lot of the home we just sold, valences I'd made for our kitchen windows, and funky art I made about ten years ago when I made stuff for the fun of it and not to sell or be graded or reviewed.  I don't know what I was going to do with this other than just test making and painting a small poofy thing.  I sure succeeded in that :-)

I made this 3" long piece about eight years ago and clearly painted it in about twelve seconds. 
This is the little guy I made years ago as well, but assembled only recently using embroidery floss as an experiment.

Today is about starting on the new path to being creative for fun, sharing with my artsy friends or friends that aren't so artsy but are curious about what I do when I'm in my studio.  This new me is going to make a note that reminds me to shut down my inner critic.  She's fired.