Sunday, October 31, 2010

Muñeca de Muerte

My most recent art doll was featured in an art show at 105 Art Gallery downtown Albuquerque. The show was called "The Grateful Dead." 
This is my "La Muerte", painted in the style of calaveras often seen at our local Día de Muertos parade. 

She's made from air-dry clay, cloth, mixed media, and painted with acrylics.  She's about 14 inches tall, and sits on a little shelf. I might put her up on Etsy when I have time later, although I'm not sure that she shouldn't stay in my own collection.... 

Her face was fully sculpted before I painted it.  

Here's a photo of my daughter last year before we went to the Día de Muertos parade and celebrations. This year, our Muertos y Marigolds parade will take place next Sunday. It's a wonderful event, full of celebration, music, dance, and color.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dolls Magazine Feature!

My customized Sasha dolls have been featured in the November Dolls Magazine!
I've cut and pasted the parts about me into a page that you might be able to read here (click on the image to get a larger version). The article is eight pages long, and the author interviewed a number of artists. Many thanks to Stephanie Finnegan for the lovely article. I'm thrilled at the honor!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quinn the former Harlequin Sasha Doll

Here is my latest customized Sasha doll.
She is a limited edition Harlequin, made in 1984. Harlequins had a lovely hairstyle, with a side part and a fringe brushed to the side. But I was never very fond of the ash blonde color. So when a Harlequin crossed my path I decided to be creative with her.

This is what the original Harlequin looks like, next to the customized doll. She's interesting because I think she's the only Sasha with highlights painted on her eyes.  

 Quinn has had her hair dyed a russet or auburn color.

I made her a simple top based on the Sasha Sari blouse, but longer, and a brown print skirt with a belt made of the same fabric.

Her eyes are painted in shades of brown and ochre. I've always been fascinated with the early "yellow eye" Sashas made in Germany. 

Here is a photo by Michael  O'Brien in England of an early Sasha with ochre eyes. I love the dark line above the eye, something I've tried to interpret in this newly customized doll.

She is stamped 1984 / 1466 on the back of her neck. Please let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to leave comments! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Featured on ADO blog!

Yesterday, I was the featured artist on the Art Dolls Only blog. 

Check it out here. Many thanks to Sarah (Youngish) for the interview. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Traveling Doll Project: Simone

Simone was my last Traveling Doll Project doll to work on with the Art Dolls Only artists. I joined a small group of three artists, and we exchanged three dolls, working on each one before we passed them around. Eventually each doll has returned to the person who started it. Here's the Traveling Doll Project Blog (Simone's up there on the front page right now but I'm sure there will be others soon). You can see more abut the 28 artists who participated, and follow the journeys of each doll there.

Simone started off in Texas, and her first journey was a car trip to Iowa with Waxela. You can read about it here and see some photos of her beginnings. She then visited Nicole from Mealy Monster Land in New York state (read about it here).  Her third and final stop before returning home to Iowa was Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Simone's Arrival
She came as a roaring twenties gal, who enjoyed spent her best times dancing, traveling, smoking, and enjoying her existence. Life had given her a few gray hairs and some wrinkles, but she still kept her smile - was it cheer or cynicism?

She was set up in her spot on my desk, and she waited. And waited. And waited. She was very patient.  Finally, I woke up in the middle of one night and knew what she needed.

Simone practices flying
Feathers! From flapper gal to a woman in flight. Not to escape, but to soar beyond her limitations. She had a certain crow-like quality to begin with, and it came out in full force. Black feathers flow from her sleeves and a crow hat made of clay sits on her head. She can take on anything now!

Simone - full view
Through her sheer skirt you can see Nicole's yellow slip; Waxela's wonderful purple and red sandals peek out from underneath some fringe.

A crow is painted on her shoulder (and she has a crow tattoo on her ankle if she cares to lift her skirt a bit). A crow is defined as a "black bird having a raucous call" and the term is often used in a derogatory way toward women. They are sometimes seen as a liaison between life and death. But crows are really fascinating and intelligent creatures who have learned to live and thrive among us humans under all sorts of different circumstances.

I read this book not long ago. The author, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, studid the crows in her Seattle neighborhood. Haupt weaves her own observations together with myth, science, and history about the birds. So Simone became a crow of sorts, clothed in shades of black with her crow beak shadowing her forehead. Is she on her way to a costume party? Or is she going to climb to the top of a tree and build a nest, foraging for trinkets in your back yard before soaring off toward the clouds?

Simone and Peregrina
Before leaving New Mexico, Simone posed for a portrait with Peregrina, who also made the trip visiting each of the artists.

It was a wonderful collaboration, and a joy to work with Waxela and Nicole on the project. It was really invigorating and challenging to work with dolls made by other artists, and fascinating to see how they developed through their travels.

Looking forward to next year! – Melody

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time and Space in Wonderland

The sense of time and space in Wonderland is quite discombobulated. The rabbit keeps running past looking at his stopwatch, Alice grows and shrinks, and logic is thrown out the window.

Alice grows and grows while inside a house, and her arm went out the window and her foot went up the chimney. I was always fascinated with this image. What if Alice had actually popped out of the house? What if she never got smaller - would she have to walk around as a huge person wearing a house?

Here's my Alice in Wonderland doll, made in conjunction with the Art Dolls Only Wonderland Challenge.

She's made with paperclay, cloth, wood, mixed media, and painted with acrylics. She's about nine inches tall (sitting).

I was rummaging through my ribbon collection, came across this wonderful gold tassel-type trim and decided it would make perfect Alice hair. It kind of hangs in her eyes as her head tilts quizzically.

The silhouette of the rabbit is painted on her, surrounded by little watch parts.

The little wooden house with a porch was built by my husband.

She's listed and available for sale in my Etsy shop

And I must brag just a little bit -- the main reason I didn't finish my Wonderland doll in time was that I was trying to get the Art Dolls website up and running!  It was launched yesterday, and ADO members are now adding their info so that it will be a great resource for the group and for art doll aficionados everywhere.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wonderland still in progress...

Still working on the Wonderland doll.... Sculpted, sanded, buffed. Started painting. Still lots to go!  Check back for more...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wonderland Challenge - in progress

Well, I'm supposed to be finished with my Wonderland doll today. But for various reasons (one of which is that I've been obsessively working on the brand new and fabulous Art Dolls Only web site), she's not done yet. But she's a work in progress. 
 Remember when Alice grew and grew inside the house and almost popped through -- well, what if she had actually popped through the roof?  Here's a drawing I made on a paper tablecloth at a pizza parlor the other day. (This gives you an idea of how pressed for time I can be.)  My daughter thought she should have a feather in her hair - don't know if that will make it to the actual piece. 

The Alice in Wonderland theme seemed to fit in well with my House Doll concept, so I'm making one of those. She'll be somewhat similar to my last House Doll

Here is how the piece looked earlier. I've done more sculpting since then. And I hope to have her done very soon - so please check back.

Last year's challenge was my introduction to the Art Dolls Only group and the realization that there were a wonderful group of artists out there that had some of the same interests that I do. Since then, I joined the group and have made more dolls (though not quite as many as I would like to).

Please visit the Art Dolls Only blog for a list of the other participants in this challenge!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wonderland Challenge

Planning a Wonderland-themed doll for the Art Dolls Only challenge!
I'm working with the House Doll concept - a little house with arms, legs, and head sticking out of them. I really enjoyed creating the last house doll I made. My husband has already made me some little houses - now I just have to find the time to get to it!

I'm reminded of the doll show review in Albuquerque's Journal a few months back when our local art critic said "With wild and crazy red hair, striped tights and clockwork digestive system, Mock's girl wonder could easily show Alice a few untrammeled trails through Wonderland." Now THAT is a challenge!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art Doll Eyes

A cool collection by Kandra of art doll eyes over at the Art Dolls Only blog! I "borrowed" the image - go over to the blog to see which artists made them. Perhaps one of mine will show up in the next batch...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

OFFCenter Houses

As promised, here are some photos from the Albuquirky House Tour and Fundraiser organized by OFFCenter!
My "House Doll" sitting on the edge of a table. 
A "Cat House" by Jan Jackson. 
A piece by Frederico Vigil. He's working on the fresco inside the Torreon at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Another view of Frederico Vigil's house.
Black house is by Angus McPherson. 
Bird house on a spring by Ilene Weiss! 
Mod house by Roy Johnson in the foreground.
Views through the gallery. Recognize anyone?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cinco de Mayo ~ Albuquirky ~ Primavera!

It's a beautiful spring day here in Albuquerque and we've got a full day planned - going to check out a couple of stops on the Albuquirky House Tour before heading over to the Cinco de Mayo Festival at La Parada.
There should be lots of great folk art there - and I'll be playing fiddle with E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier at 3pm, right after the Chihuahua Costume Contest.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

House Doll

My House Doll has been finished and delivered to OFFCenter Community Arts Project for their fundraiser! They're a community artmaking place, and open their doors to anyone who wants to come make art.

Their fundraiser is in conjunction with their Albuquirky House Tour where people can tour several local art houses and folk art collections. The tour was recently featured on a local TV station, and includes the famous tile house, completed by ceramic artist Beverley Magennis. From their web site: "the Tile House has over 130,000 pieces of tile covering all 4 exterior walls, plus  the patio, sidewalks, and the entire living quarters inside, which is embellished with bottle caps, pennies, matchsticks, golf balls and much more."

Back to my doll - the call was to make a piece of art out of a little house. I decided to make a House Doll - the opposite of a doll house. I was given a little wooden house, and my husband built a little porch on it. I added her paperclay sculpted head and stuffed cloth arms, and legs, and painted all with acrylics. 
I forgot to measure her, but I imagine she's around 16 inches tall if standing. She's got hair made of burlap strands, and a blackbird painted on her neck.
She was great fun to make, and I can't wait to start another house doll! Just have to talk my husband into making me some more little houses...
If anyone's interested in bidding on her, it's a silent auction at OFFCenter near downtown Albuquerque on Saturday, May 1 from 1-4pm. Don't know if they'll take phone or email bids, but I can ask if anyone's curious! Bidding starts low....  

Sunday, April 25, 2010


The apple tree in our back yard blossomed last week, letting us know that spring is indeed on its way. The flowers didn't last long, and the ground was soon covered with white flower petals as the green leaves made their way toward the warm sun. Primavera (which means "spring") has an apple tree painted on her torso.

She's on Etsy now.

She has gold-brown eyes and her black hair is made from burlap strands. She's very small - about 7.5 inches tall (approximately 19 centimeters), has button jointed arms and legs which can be posed, and she sits quite nicely. She wears a white tulle skirt and has striped green & blue legs. She wears clunky black laceup boots.
She has wings painted on her back, and little white apple blossoms fly off the tree and around her neck.

Search "ADOT" on eBay to find many unique, handcrafted doll art by other Art Dolls Only members!