August 27, 2014

Sculpting hands are always a challenge! (Medicin doll part 3)

Link to part 1
Link to part 2

Good evening, I´m back as promised with som work in progress of how I sculpt hands.
I am not really good at sculpting hands. Really. Not any good. I find it very very hard and challenging. Polymer clay is a bit easier than paperclay, but over all I think the hands are the hardest part to sculpt.

Continuing from yesterdays decision, I am not trying to make it perfect. This is a medicin doll, not an art doll.

Okay, first I roll the clay like this:

Then I divide the clay in two:

I make sure that the hands have the correct size. They should be the same length as the face. In my case 5 cm (2")

Then I cut the fingers halfway down:

And then I start to sculpt. This process is hard to describe. I´m not really any good at it as I said, but I try and try, and at some point I get a hand that I can accept. Then I add a thumb on both hands.

I totally forgot to take pictures after this, but here is the result. I am going to sand a lot tomorrow night, in order for those fingers to look a bit more slender and elegant ;-)

August 26, 2014

The Guardian Medicin Doll (Medicin doll part 2)

Link to part 1

The paperclay was dry tonight, so I was able to start sanding and thereafter fill some of the cracks with diluted gesso. It works just fine on those very tiny cracks.

After sanding her, I started to become unsatisfied with her closed eyes. Her eyelids are too thick! I tried to sand them down a bit, but it didn´t work. I tried two different drimmel tools but neither one worked. I decided to love the eyes anyway. I try to supress my urge to start over and make better eyes....

I am making this doll both a bit primitive and detailed. I want her face and hands to be very detailed, and the rest of her body to be quite primitive. Making something primitive is really hard for me, and I admire those who work intentionally in this way. I always try to make something better and better, an making it primitive feels all wrong, even though I just love the style when others make it!!
A dollartist once said that one should not fight one´s own style, and I think there is much truth in that statement. A big part of the creative journey is to find ones own style, so why fight it?

Very well - my artdoll is not an artdoll, but a MEDICIN doll, so I try to brake all my own rules of perfection, an just go along with my feeling more that my head.

After adding the gesso, I drilled a hole through her wooden body and pulled a rope through the hole. This will be her shoulders and arms. She will stand with her arms hanging down, but I like the mobility in the arms. I also made some breasts with Magic Sculpt. She is partly mother earth, so large breasts will be appropriate ;-) The Magic Sculpt will be rock hard tomorrow.

Well, enough for tonight. Tomorrow I will make her hands, and I will show you how I do that. See you there?

August 24, 2014

Back again with a new project and some medicin! (Medicin doll part 1)

It has been a while since I´ve updated this blog. I haven´t had much time for creative projects lately, but now I am back with new adventures!

As many of you know, I just love dolls. I have always love to make them, and I also spend a lot of time admire other artists work. There are so many talented artists out there, and many, many collectors of their beautiful art.
I´m not quite like that. I don´t particularly like having them displayed in my house just as nice decor. To me, they are personal and part of myself. It looks like, that I just have a hard time making dolls, or other kind of art projects, if it is not deeply personal. I can´t change that. Perhaps it´s just not who I am. Perhaps I am doomed in this way, because it means that every piece of art I produce is made with blood, sweat and tears.

Sometimes it feels like a birth-giving process. I get an idea (fertilized), I work with the idea in my imagination and collect materials for making it (pregnancy), I create the character with a lot of hassle (labor and finally birth, if I´m lucky). At first, I feel very attached to the the doll, like a mother with her newborn child.
I fall in love with it, and want to have it close to me all the time. Silly, I know, but it it´s true. I also have a hard time parting with it. It feels like I am parting with a piece of my own heart. It can also feel very intimate to discuss my art with people. They are talking about a nice piece of creative art, but I´m talking about my inner feelings like stress, love, anger, hate, sorrow, longings and more.

Sometimes I´d wish I could make lots and lots of art and just sell everything fast and easy, without hesitation. That would be so easy. Just to have fun making it.
My art is not like that at all. Like I said, it´s blood, sweat and tears.

During the proces of making a e.g. doll, I travel inside and explore often unknown aspects of myself. Sometimes something shows up, and I don´t know where it comes from. Did I really make that? Who am I really, if I can make this? Questions like that.

At the beginnning, I often get carried away by old stories, myths, fairytales, old paintings, music and lyrics, poems and so much more. Very often lyrics actually. The first time I heard "Princess of China" by Coldplay, my head just exploded with ideas for painting, just after hearing the line "You stole my star".

I had like 10 paintings in mind just like that in 10 seconds! Music often do that to me.
The hard part is to actually go downstairs to my studio, sit down in front of my easel and get started.....

I have had this idea, that dollmaking could be a like a therapeutic process, but I didn´t know how to find a tutor, or any litterature to guide my process. Untill I found it it ;-) I found a tutorial by Barb Kobe, purchased it, and now I am making dolls again. Barb Kobe calls it medicin dolls. I couldn´t believe my luck!

In her tutorial, besides a lot of exercises in unlocking the creativity, she teaches how to make 4 different medicin dolls. The first one I am making is "The Guardian". This is a doll that will protect me while I am going deeper into my shadowself. I have had a hard time making her. I have an endless amount of excuses. I´m the queen of procrastination! I have soo much resistance, even though I really, really want to make her. Do you sometimes feel like that too?

One of my problems, is to choose how to make her. I have a tendancy of being a perfectionist, and it is really a terrible drag! I have it all in my head, but I would like to just sit down and make the god dammed doll with any crafting materials I have lying around, but no, not this person. I will sit and look at the sketch, long for the feeling of clay in my hands, jump around cheering, because I love some fabric or whatever, but keep on hesitating instead of just go ahead and do it.
This Guardian doll has kept me on my toes for some time now. I learn så much about my self during this process.

So, now I am in labor. I am to give birth to my medicin doll. She is a universal protector from another dimension. A beautiful blend of mother earth, a galactic warrior, vulnerable as a butterfly but brave as a raging tiger. She stands with her eyes closed, dwelling into the Infinite Light, but still alert, in case I need her. I welcome her wholeheartedly  into my artistic process and life.

Here is a wip picture:

Paper clay on wooden candlestick.