Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Art and Doll Musings

I think I have been under a huge misconception about art. The misconception being that I thought I could actually produce art and that it was easy. In the beginning, before I started painting or creating any type of art, I would look at an art piece and think to myself, "That doesn't look hard. I could do that. How hard can it be?" Well, after several oil painting, drawing, and watercolor classes, I have come to the conclusion that producing art is definitely not easy. In fact, it's downright hard. Alot harder than I thought it would be.

At first it was fun, sort of. The very first thing I did was take a life drawing class. I'm not sorry at all that I took it, but after awhile I began to see patterns in the way I produced my drawings. And they were definitely not what my art teacher wanted. After awhile, I started to despise going to class because I couldn't draw the way I wanted to. Another thing I really didn't like about my life drawing class was that we had alot of 20 to 30 second quick sketches. The idea being that we are not supposed to think about it. Just do it. Well, I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist, obessesive compulsive or whatever you want to call it, because I cannot work that way. About the time I was really getting into my sketch, the teacher would stop us and have us start another one. It stressed me to no end, but I did learn alot in that class. I learned that I love contour drawing, not gesture. For some reason, I couldn't get the hang of gesture. Or at least not the way my teacher wanted me to.

After I took life drawing I and II, I decided that I wanted to take some oil painting classes. I took it with a friend, which made it more fun, but she eventually stopped taking class. I was constantly comparing my work to others' paintings and, in my opinion, always falling short. I kept wondering what the heck I was doing in there because I would never be as good as the others. Their paintings always looked so professional and uniform and mine always looked like a big blob of nothing to me. I also realize that we are all probably our own worst critics and that art is in the eye of the beholder.

Later on, I decided to take some watercolor classes. Well, I guess watercolor is not for me because watercolor does what it wants to do and then I can't deal with not having control of what it's doing.

I'm not really a perfectionist in other areas. I guess I just stress when I'm making art because I want it to be just right. And by doing that, it takes the fun and joy out of doing it. Then it just becomes a stressful thing to do that I eventually don't want to do anymore. I wish I could just be like a child and have fun with art. Now I do like coloring mandalas because there is a pattern to them and I can just color away and not worry about it being great art. It's just something fun, relaxing, and enjoyable to do.

Well, I have been having some fun lately. I have been seeing these cute wood dolls that several people have shown on their blogs.

These pictures came from an Etsy shop, but I've seen them on blogs too. This particular seller describes these wood dolls this way, and I love the description:

Put her in your pocket, by your bedside, in your lunch box or anywhere you need a little extra love and luck! She is the perfect talisman (taliswoman?) for people on the go.

And I love these little wooden Kokeshi dolls:

Last night I bought some little wooden people at Michaels to make some wooden women and some Kokeshi dolls. I printed off a few pictures from the Internet to get some ideas.

I've always had an interest in dolls and cloth dollmaking. Here are a few pictures of some dolls I have made and their outfits.

I also have an interest in the Miss Columbia doll.

There is a very interesting story that goes along with her.

Yesterday I found several pictoral variations of this doll on the Internet. In fact, one friend of mine and I have made several dolls that are loosely based on the Miss Columbia doll that we call Trilby Wragge. Trilby Wragged is fashioned from the original Trilby Wragge doll that is housed in the Bluff Hall mansion in Demoplis, Alabama. The story behind this doll is very charming and unique too.

The story goes that back sometime in the turn of the last century there was a doll named Trilby Wragge that lived in Bluff Hall. Her story is that she was well known for travel to sick children. Every time a little girl in Demopolis was sick, Trilby would take her trunk of clothes and stay with the little girl until she was better. Once the little girl was feeling better Trilby would go back to Bluff Hall, but the little girl had to return her with another piece of clothing to add to her wardrobe. Naturally, Trilby had the largest wardrobe of anyone in the county.

We think that Trilby was also fashioned or patterned after the Miss Columbia doll since they have alot of similarities in their features. I found some pictures on the Internet yesterday of several dolls fashioned after Miss Columbia. The ones my friend and I made are around 18" tall. Here is her website with some of the ones she and her mother made that she has for sale.

The ones I found yesterday range in size from 29" to 33".

I guess when I started this post this morning, I didn't really know where it was going. I know that producing fine art, or any kind of painting or drawing is a very hard thing for me because I'm just too worried about it coming out right to really let loose and let the creativity flow.

I think I've decided that I really love other forms of art, such as quilting, dollmaking and things like that. I also love embroidery and sewing. There are all kinds of ways to express ourselves and all types of mediums to do it. We don't have to paint to be artists. We can express ourselves any way we please. Now, that I think about it, I think that's the answer to the freedom in art. Do what you want and what makes you happy. Do the things that make your creativity flow, no matter what they are.


Mica said...

I am not seeing any pics. Just X's Hmm??? I wanted to let you know the Lady Re: The doll swap, is now holding sign-ups on her blog site. I am doing the swap to. I posted it on my blog, so you can check it out. I hope to see the wonderful pics. you tried to post. See you soon. Mica from Garb-oodles Soup.

Sharon said...

Hi Mica,

Thank you for your wonderful comments. I don't know what has
happened with the pictures, because when I first put the post up on the blog, the pictures were there, but now they are not. When I get a chance I'm going to have to go back and try to repost the pictures and see if that fixes the problem. I'm really disappointed about them not being there.

I'm interested in the doll swap too, so thank you for the information. I'll go check it out.