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.