Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm finally posting that second round of photos from the wonderful sculpting beach retreat I promised you. Mostly just shots I snapped of all the amazing creatures in various stages of being created. After they were sculpted and baked, there was painting, embellishing, and dressing to be done.

I think the best idea is just to let you grab another cup of coffee or tea and let you scroll without comment. Keep in mind, these are photos of unfinished dolls. Most everyone still had more to add to them once they took them home. These are all "in process" shots.

I love how much some (most!) of these totems ended up looking like their people. Or, if not physically similar, had the same personality.

Here's Ash's amazing baboon faced totem. It was probably the most interesting story in the group as she was working so hard to make him go in a different direction and struggling, really struggling when she went to bed Saturday night. Sunday morning a friend suggested she simply ask her totem what HE wanted and suddenly he just took off in this amazing direction!!! Such good advice for any adventure or goal.


A tableau of characters posing for us. Mine are the creatures on the right, starting with the white raven. You can see mine are the least finished.

I did finish my little owls though. They were really fun to make. I used the same process for both and yet they each came out with their own personality.

Unlike most of the group, I didn't finish dressing my creatures, but I sort of made up for that by making FIVE things. White Raven wasn't finished because I had my heart set on using a few things I had at home for her apparel. So then I made Spike the Chihuahua so I could have a doll to dress. He didn't get baked soon enough though so I went on to create little owls while I waited. And then, messing around with some leftover wire and clay, I created the little mossy stick guy you can see painted but undressed in the middle there.

And that's it, I forgot to take any other photos of my own creations. I hope to get to finishing them all soon and I sure hope I remember to take photos of the process.

We couldn't travel with open bottles in our cars so the last night we did the environmentally proper thing (waste not want not) and polished off the rest of the wine and mead. And that, sadly, was the end of the workshop. Until next year?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here be dragons......

With steely eyes and dangerous claws....

...a powerful tail

.... and teeny tiny friends.

This gentle soul (most of the time, don't ire her!) is Penelope, and she guards the northern approach to the city of Yreka from all dangers that might come her way. Her maker is local sculptor Ralph Starritt.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This last weekend I spent at a seaside house full of wild artist folk and fae. We gathered together for a workshop/retreat organized by the lovely art doll and painter Patricia Hedegaard. (The link goes to her old website, she's in the process of putting up a new, upgraded site, but it will give you an idea of her work.)

There was about a baker's dozen of us. Here we are starting to gather at the set up tables, before the creative chaos began.

The first step in the process, making our little wire armatures. They looked a little bit like a small army of "burning men".

We were told to put on our "creativity caps". Almost all of us took the instruction literally.

Another step in the process - picking out new eyeballs...

....for our art dolls.

The theme was to each make a totem doll. I wasn't sure what I was going to make almost up to the moment I began to work. I chose, or perhap she chose me, to make a white raven.

In the serendipitious way these things happen, there was a whole flock of raven makers and we were all at the same side of the workspace. This particular raven looks like he had a few too many beakfuls of that brewski.

Some of Patricia's finished (but undressed) ravens were hanging out on our table and it looks like there might have been some imbibing all around.

Most folks followed through outfitting their totems. I had some ideas that I couldn't complete until I got home, so raven wrapped herself in a feather boa and sat watch, unfinished, while I made some other creatures instead. I think she looks rather wise. I need to read up on the legends and stories of the white raven.

I made this wee owl.

And then I made him a friend.

Not everyone made ravens, not at all. There were several large totem owls.

Little owls finished, I went on to create a chihuahua. There were quite a few chihuahua lovers in the group.

This little guy is a masked creature - wolf? Coyote?

There was even a kind eyed elemental taking shape.

Of course creating is hard work. So we took breaks to take walks on the beach.

We also took time to sing and play (some of us very melodiously, some of us *cough* (me) enthusiastically if out of tune). We drank a lot of coffee and a lot of wine. We ate an incredible amount of delicious food. We took photos. So many photos that I'll stop here for now and post a part II in a day or two.

In the meantime, I've put some scenic photos from the trip up at Beach Treasure, nature's art.