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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Project Finished

Merry holidays out there to all my friends and followers.  I hope you are enjoying this day after the great end of all that is.  I have finally finished a big Christmas project.  The six dolls representing five of my favorite people/friends and partner.  They were created for celebrating the thirty plus years of friendship with these guys.  It was a fun project.  These dolls are all cloth except for the eyes. The cloths are a combination of shirts given by each person to me to make cloths that had a piece of each of us in them.  Very appropriate for this new age of coming together.

This is Randy and Brett.

Myself and my partner Buck.

Here we have Mark and Dan.

This was such a fun project all be it a bit tiring trying to get six of everything done.  I remember why I never wanted to be a production artist. Tonight is the big reveal to my friends and the alter egos going to their new homes.  We are all having a nice dinner together and a walk to look at Christmas lights.

Have a great weekend and holiday season one and all.  In case I am unable to post until next year, see ya on the other side.  Love you all and thank you so much for following along on the Codyland Express.  Tally ho!

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Work - What's in a name?

Hello friends out there in blog land.  I hope you have been doing well.  It has been a rather interesting few weeks since I posted the Artworks piece.  I am continuing on my personal healing and enlightenment journey through my art making   I have been experiencing a shift in what I want to create.  I have been doing just a little creative journeying to explore where my muse or soul self as I like to call him wishes me to go next.

My second piece in the personal healing journey is what I like to call my miser self.  It is the part of me that is preventing me from attracting and experiencing abundance and prosperity in my life.  So, as with my abandonment issue I created a symbolic miser me in physical form.  His name is Satse which means miser in Norwegian.  Yes, I have a theme of names that start with S and it is actually kind of a coincidence really.  But, I am going with it.

As was mentioned in an earlier post I created him from the first old man head sculpt I made originally for a puppet I was designing.  Instead he wanted to become a doll like his brother Sam.  So, I used all the parts I had sculpted for the puppet regardless of how rough they were.  I felt that this was important for the miser theme actually.  For you see, Satse wouldn't throw anything away.

Here he sits in his old willow chair that was made for him as a young lad by his uncle and though it is a bit small for him, he can't bring himself to spend money on a new one.  He clutches his money bag with his life savings in it.  He doesn't trust anyone, not even the universe to help him protect it.  God forbid he be asked to put it in a bank.  He would go off on a diatribe about what thieves banks are and can't be trusted with one's hard earned money.  His clothing is also recycled and a little too small in the bottoms.  He is sitting in his pj's which is his favorite thing to do.

A bit more on the technical side, he is made from polymer clay and a wire armature that is wrapped with cotton batting to create the shape. He stands about 18" tall.  This is then covered with a layer of cotton jersey for the skin or body covering.  His hair is hand carded wool purchased from Black Sheep farms which is a local business.  He is painted using layers of acrylic washes. I hope you like Satse for what he represents.  Perhaps he can help you find the miser in your own life to help you put him/her in thier place so you can attract abundance and prosperity instead of stinginess and miserliness.  Hope you have a great week ahead and a joyous Friday.  I know I will.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Secret Artworks 2012

This year I was invited to participate in a local art organizations charity event to raise money for it's operating budget.  The great thing about this event is that it raises money they use to give local artists and teen interns a job over the summer.  Artworks Cincinnati is the organization.  They have created many awesome community art projects where they employ local artists to design murals and things and then hire tees from the area to help paint and or build the projects.  It helps to bring art to the community at large.

The idea is to create a 5x7 inch art piece and not sign the front but, fill out a card you glue on the back with your information.  Then these are sold at the annual event for $75 to raise money.  Over 300 local artists participate.  My entry for this year is shown above and I am happy to say it sold. It's tile is "Ancient Astronaut Theory". I love doing these little relief sculpts.  I am planning to go more in that direction with some assemblage style pieces as well as little shadow boxes and shrines.  I feel the need to try something different for awhile.  Hope you have a great weekend one and all.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A new Healing Art Project

Happy Saturday everyone.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend on this warm November day.  I thought I would share the progress of a new healing art project.  He is actually more of a talisman like doll.  This fellow will represent the miser part of me.  So, let me explain a little bit of the idea behind this doll.  In my world, the miser is that part of us that can be many things as it relates to not letting go of something.  It can also be the part of us that is the stingy person inside.  My miser represents stinginess, hoarding, clutching onto beliefs, behaviors and also physical stuff that doesn't allow us to move or have the ability to accept what the universe wants to give us because our hands are full.  We have no more room in our lives.  This little guy came to the surface shortly after Sam and is related to Sam in many ways. I am looking forward to getting to know this guy.  How he operates in my life.  What are his motives?  How can he be satisfied?  It will be a great journey to see just how I can live with this guy once he comes to life.

As you can see he kind of looks like Sam which was purposeful.  I want all of these parts of me to look like each other because they are a part of one another.  The miser hasn't told me his name yet.  He is a polymer clay head that was actually the first one I made and was going to use for another project.  Recycled, is perfect for the miser.  His hands and feet are also from the same project.  He is painted with layers of acrylic paint washes.  I am keeping him rather pale as I think that is how all of my fellows will appear.  He will get some hair though.  A bit of wispy hair just around the edges of his scalp.  He has his body sock sewn on and is awaiting his cloths.  I am not sure yet what he wants to wear so, that may be for another day.

Hope you like the new series of fellows I have embarked upon.  It is something that is very important and relevant to me at this time in my life.  I love how art can help us find our way back home.  Have a great week ahead everyone and be safe.  Love hard and live long, great words to take to heart.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Beginnings

Welcome to my blog again.  After the exhausting healing art journey I took a week ago, i decided I wanted to try some new things.  In this first photo you can see the start of a new full body clay sculpt.  I am playing with proportions here as I wanted this figure to have an elongated torso, arms and legs.  He will eventually be a house hobgoblin.  I am hoping to post more progress pictures as I move through the process of bringing him to life.

In the second picture is a new technique for me at least.  I am using one of those wooden artist manikins as an armature.  I have sculpted the head of a new version of the pumpkin queen I did a number of years ago.  I want this new series of dolls using this technique to be pose-able   So, I thought this would allow that.  It isn't perfect for posing but, at this stage good enough.  Again, I will post pictures of her as she progresses.

Thanks for stopping by to see what I am up to.  Hope you have a wonderful Halloween week ahead.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Completion Day 7 through 9 of the Novena

 Novena figure with the body covering day 8

Wow!  I can't believe I made it through this process.  It was a tough one for me this go around.  When you tackle something so dark in your past that has such a profound affect on every aspect of your life, there can be some trepidation.  Yet, the desire and need for a since of closure and completion was so needed at this point in my life.  It seemed that the past two years had been heralding such a profound change in my life.  From the diagnosis of prostate cancer to losing two good friends this year I knew the Universe was preparing me.

Who knew loss and abandonment could cause such total chaos and negative processes in one's life.  Yet, I slowly acquired the tools over the course of my life to find a way to receive the healing I so desperately needed.  There have been many great spiritual teachers in my life that have passed on the tools to find my own enlightenment.  That is the key here.  My own enlightenment.  Not someone else's idea of it. Not the enlightenment for the masses, but discovering the I am-ness of oneself.  I am, that I am.  A part of this vast universe.  A part of infinite love and that is the greatest lesson here.  A dear friend put it so succinctly.  Love is the greatest power in the universe.  It can heal anything.  Yes, that is true.  But, you have to get yourself to a point at which you can truly accept that concept.  Not just as an intellectual understanding, but feel it deep within your soul.

Art is that vehicle that helped me finally feel this deep profound love for myself.  One which allowed me to forgive not only those that abandoned me but, myself for abandoning me.  We abandon ourselves by cutting ourselves off from our inner light of love and all the love that surrounds us.  When we are cut off from love we only see the darkness, the rage, the loneliness and abandoned self.  Ultimately we are our own undoing.  I am truly grateful that my creative process gave me the best tool to access up close and personal this abandoned self.  That is where doll making comes in for me.  It has been such a tool throughout so many cultures for healing, ritual and magic.  I touted these things in my artist statement but, you know sometimes we just say things because they sound cool.  But, I am here to say that I finally understand these words like no other time in my life.  When you look at what you have created in the eye and it looks back at you with all the energy and emotion you have placed inside it, you get it. That guttural connection of that dark part of oneself.

Let me introduce Sam.  Sam means abandoned or loneliness in Danish and it seemed to fit because my spirit guides name throughout my life was Sam.  I think it is kind of ironic that he was my spirit guide, but hey what a teacher.  He is the most amazing teacher though for he has lead me to this path of profound wholeness.  I am not afraid to look into his eyes and see the painful sadness that lays there.  He has had many years of sitting in the void and contemplating.  Now that he has been touched by light what wisdom he has to offer me.  I realize that I love him with all of my being.  Because he is me and I him.  We create each other and I am now complete.  I have found the love I thought I was no longer worthy of in this life.   Nothing can take that away ever. There are other things in my life I wish to examine.  Sam has given me the courage to take each of them by the hand and walk my great winding road through the universe.

Thank you everyone who has been so supportive through this process.  You are all such treasures you can't even imagine.  But, I am humbled by your kindness in following my journey.  As I have said many times before, may your journey bring you peace love and light.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Novena Day Five and Six

I am moving along in this healing art journey.  On day five I did journaling about what my experience has been so far.  I have made many discoveries which I know that I knew on a deeper level but, didn't want to face in my conscious state.  Abandonment is something that I liken to a computer virus.  It starts off under the surface.  But, what it does is cut you off from the outside world in so many tricky ways.  It causes you to see the world through the filter it creates.  From it's tap root of separation it spawns the seeds of unworthiness, miserliness  and rage.  Increasingly it cuts us off from everything that would bring light into our lives.  Slowly but surely your trust is dissolved until you trust nothing or no one.  I mean NO ONE.  This includes the Unicvrse or God or whatever higher divine nature you might think you believe in.

That is some  powerful shit as has bee said by some friends.  I love that quote as that is what it feels like.   But, awareness is the beginning of the healing.  It is the bringing of this energy of abandonment into physical form that allows me to really look at it.  In a new way that I have as yet been unable to access.  I find myself feeling so much love and compassion for this part of me.  The seeds of forgiveness are sewn here.

In these two photos you can see the continuation of the growth of abandonment.  His skeleton evolves and in the second picture his body takes shape.  Next he will have his skin covering and I will begin the final pieces that will bring him to completion.  He is not in his actual pose I see him.  But, it was just to give this being that almost is, a bit of animate life.

Until next time my friends, stay safe and may peace and love be your constant companions.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Novena Day Three and Four

Day three of my healing art novena I have finished the final layers of the skin tones and have begun painting in the eyes.  This is the part I hate most for someone like me who has difficulty seeing anything.  But, since I did not have any glass eyes to use, I am painting them.

Here is a shot of the head, hands and feet and I have applied the second paint layer on the eyes.

On day four I have finished the painting for the most part and have given these parts a chance to cure.

This is a shot of how the head looks so far.  I am still debating on putting some age spots on the head, hands and feet.  But, I have applied the eye glaze to give them more life.  That is it so far.  I am going to build the body armature on day five which is technically today.  But, I have to work a six hour day at the art store.  So, we shall see what I manage to get done.  Thanks for following along.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day Two Further Along

So, here we are on day two of my novena art ritual.  I have sculpted the hands and feet.  This is pre-paint job. I have given them their acetone rub and am now mixing the paint.  These are the first sets of hands and feet that I felt pretty good about.  My whole thing is not to get too anal about creating an uber realistic look.  But, I want them to have the character of the whole piece and to relate to the head as best as I can.

Here is a front view of the head and face after the initial few paint layers.  Sorry, I forget to take step by steps.  But, the first layer is a wash of medium magenta acrylic.  I learned this trick from my dear friend Lorell who uses this process in her work.  It gives the piece a strong blush foundation that for the skin color I am trying to achieve works really well.

One thing that often happens in this process of healing is a bit of tear production.  Yes, I did do that several times.  But, I am aware that this is a good sign.  It is hard to look him in the eyes at this point as there is no life there yet.  Once the magenta layer is applied and is dry, I then use a deep portrait pink or flesh tone as the second layer.  I then mix a custom flesh tint and apply a wash of that.  Once these layers are dry and set, I apply a little wash of an off white to the raised places on the face to create a bit of highlight and also to dramatize the sunken areas of the face.

Here is a three quarter view to give you a since of the profile.  I really love this head and on day three I plan to paint the whites of the eyes, paint the hands and feet in the same process.  This has been a difficult process in some ways emotionally.  Especially knowing the symbolic nature of this piece.  There were a few times of hesitation in going to the studio to work.  But, I sucked it up and went back to it.  I am beginning to get his name.  No, it is not the same as mine.  Our deeper selves usually don't have the same name.  Cody is my ego or conscious name.  My soul self and and other parts of my persona have other names.

Thanks for the comments so far.  I hope that this process may help someone out there tackle the process of their own healing.  I never thought that I would have to be as brave as I have had to for this.  But, I am so ready to let this out and move on down the road.  Once he is out and in the world, he can travel with me and not feel abandoned anymore.  Until next time, my love and a hope of peace to you all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Closer Look

OK, my friends I am going to attempt something a bit different than my usual art and postings here for a little bit.  So, hopefully you will appreciate my journey I have just begun.  First let me start out by saying that I am a big supporter of art as a healing tool.  Throughout my doll making career I have made a number of healing dolls for friends and family and that  is what actually started me off in doll making.  Many times I have used this art form to help me cope with a variety of issues that I have experienced over the course of my life.  Even as a child I made rag dolls to play with and they became my personal family.

Where am I going with all this you may ask?  Well, I have finally reached a stage in my life and as an artist where I can finally tackle a very deep personal issue through my art.  I am not sure what doors this will open, but one thing is for sure.  It will be a healing experience as it has already begun that process for me.  I have started a new project.  I borrowed the term from a dear friend and spiritual mentor, and am calling this my healing Novena   It is a nine day ritual of using art to help me finally face and heal a very dark chapter in my early life the loss of my parents.  It is funny how we tend to bury those things that bring us such pain and confusion.  I marvel at how the Universe conspires to place at just the right place and just the right moment for such a truly beautiful moment of grace, forgiveness and love.  My greatest hope in this process is to finally bring this part of me out into the light to be healed.

Above is the head of the new project.  He is an older aged person at least that is how he appears to me. I started this journey yesterday.  Significant numerically as ten is  also a one in numerology terms which signifies a new beginning or new journey.  This seems fitting to me.  The nine days of my art Novena are symbolic too as nine is a powerful spiritual number.

Today is day two and I am planning to create the hands and feet for this inner me. Thank you all for your loving encouragement over the years I have shared my art with you.  You all make this process an easier one.  Until nest time.  May peace and love be your constant companions.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Work, "Ghost Dancer"

Hi there out in blog land.  I thought I'd post a few new pieces I have been working on for an upcoming show.  I will be debuting these and some other things at the October Essex Studios art walk on October 5 and 6.  Anyway, these are from my more introspective and spiritual side.  I call them Ghost Dancers and are kind of tributes to experiences and thoughts about life.  It has been a rough summer yet again.  I am not sure why I feel so melancholy lately.  Is it the end of an era, the world, culture or simply just a transition phase into something else.  I think it is a complicated process of growing and evolving as a person and inhabitant of this universe.

So, I hope you enjoy a look into a different side of my creative expression.  Most of these are around 18" high give or take an inch.  They are mixed media with the foundation being some of the elm and dogwood tree branches saved from a tree pruning a few years back.  I used to make this format for some of my figures a few years back and really liked the primitive almost tribal look.  I really love this style of figurative work.

"Solemn Knocking"

"When the Animals Have Gone"


"In Memory of Nita"

"Technology Remembered"

There you have it.  Something new as I promised.  I hope to get a few more pictures of new pieces as I finish them.  I have one more nature spirit piece that is almost finished.  Thank you for your support and visits here.  It is much appreciated.  You are all awesome.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quickie Update

Hi my fellow art friends out there in blog land.  I wanted to at least post a quick update on one of my projects.  Here is the whole gang of six alter ego dolls I am making for friends.  Can you feel the rainbow?  I really love the pattern I ended up designing in the end.  It was originally based on a Meo Feroy pattern but, it just wasn't what I really was looking for in the shape.  So, I pulled out an old torso pattern and then began tweaking it and redoing the other parts to fit my torso pattern.  So, here are the naked hairless results.  The next stage is hair and facial detailing and then cloths.  I have a shirt from each of my friends that I will be transforming into the clothing for each doll.  Can you guess which color is mine?  This has been such fun so far and has inspired some other ideas.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to post more stuff in the next week.  Until thing peace and love.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Experiments for the Graphic Novel Project

Hello out there in blog land.  I apologize for the long delays in posting.  It has been a busy few weeks for many reasons.  One of which I am experimenting on some Photoshop techniques for processing the images for my Graphic Novel Project or GNP as I lovingly call it now.  The series of images were made from a series of photographs my friend David Walker took of my studio when I had made lots of heads waiting for their next stages of development 

I used a cool filter called Lithograph to get the basic effect.  Then it was tweaked in the image menu with the adjustments functions.

This image is a cropped version from the above using a adjustment palette of saturation and contrast  to achieve this look.

This is another image using color saturation and contrast in addition to a noise filter called dust and scratches.

Finally this is a two layer picture that uses the lithograph filter with a layer of technical pen sketch filter that is blended together here to create a color sketch look.  I also used the noise filter to give a bit of an edge.  I like the third version the best but, will continue to experiment.  I am trying to see if I want to mimic the look of a hand drawn and colored graphic novel or just use the photography of the characters and scenes straight up with little processing.  This will be a fun process.

Until next time my friends and followers.  Thanks for your continued support.  I have also been busy applying for some grants to help me fund this massive project.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Trying Something New sort of....

Howdy my fine art doll and fantasy friends.  I thought I'd show you some of what I am up to.  I am working on a big holiday gift project for me and five of my closest buddies.  Next year will mark our 30th anniversary of being friends.  So I am going to create alter doll egos for the six of us.  It is a nice diversion from my graphic novel project.  I am going back to my doll making roots by making these dolls in cloth.  Fleece actually is what I am using.  Each doll will be a different color.  I originally thought to use this lovely doll pattern by designer Meo Feroy.  It is called Funky Fred.  you can see her design pictured below thanks to Dollmakers Journey.  However the body is a modified triangle shape which seemed to squat and unshapely. So I decided to alter the body by using one I had designed years ago.  I tweaked the head and the limbs a bit to make it work.  So thank you Ms. Feroy for a lovely beginning.

This is  Funky Fred by Meo.

I decided to start with the doll that will be mine.  As you can see he is orange.  I love the body shape as it really kind of looks like mine.  He doesn't have any hair or cloths yet.  So excuse me appearing in the buff here.

Another view of the redesign.

Yes, they will all have little booties and navels.  Hey, I am making little fingers and toes so why not the other things right?  Anyway, these guys will be fun to dress.  I am getting an old shirt from everyone to create cloths for the dolls out of the shirts.  Each doll will have a little of each shirt incorporated in the cloths.  Unfortunately I won't be able to show all the dolls until after the holidays as I want the dolls to be a bit of a surprise.  I don't mind showing mine.  I am going to alter the bodies of most of them to be a little slimmer as I am one of the chubbier of the six.  I am planning on giving my doll blue hair.  Not sure what kind yet.

Hope you enjoy the diversion.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

On the Worktable

Hello out there.  Sorry for the long delay in posting.  But, in all honesty I don't have much to show in physical form yet.  I am busy working on my big project that is consuming a great deal of research, writing and location scouting.  So, I thought I'd give you some idea of what is in store for me in the coming months.

Above is a picture of things that are on  my work table.  Believe it or not, these lovely pieces are awaiting there transformations into characters for my project.  I am using lots of pre-made doll bodies to transform into fantasy characters for my upcoming story debut.  I have put a call out to lots of my art and doll making friends to help me locate used Ken, GI Joe and Barbies to transform.  This isn't a new process but it is for me.  My intention is to use these dolls as a canvas to create the characters for a huge project.  I have been creating over the years small stories based on fantasy creatures and characters that live and interact with humans and each other here in my native city of Cincinnati.  So, I decided to just go ahead and start writing a series based on these ideas.

The working title for this series is called "Chronicles of a Queen" and the first installment is tentatively titled "Ordin's Quest".  The queen reference is in honor of my city.  Cincinnati has been called the Queen city for decades.  I though that it fit.  The whole concept will be created as a graphic novel.  I plan on using photographs instead of hand drawn artwork to convey the story.  I chose this format for a variety of reasons.  One, I am not a professional writer so, the graphic novel allows me to tell the story with less written dialogue.  Secondly, stop motion was a huge undertaking and I don't have ten years to devote to this as I have lots of story ideas.  Thirdly, puppet plays would be fine except it limits my audience a bit.  Perhaps as a supplement later on.  The graphic novel format can be used as part of a gallery exhibition if the opportunity presents itself to me in the future.  There is little learning curve as I am at least able to take photos and creating the sets and environments will be such fun.

It is a huge undertaking but, I have been wanting to do this for many years.  Tell stories using my fantasy characters.  This will give me one more level of creative things to do and offer my followers.  Thank you for your interest in my work and what I am up to these days.  I still plan on creating other works of art to offer at my Essex Studio art openings and elsewhere.  I will post initial updates here until I get enough of the project underway to create it's own home.  Until next time, I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Teaser "The Witching Tree"

Well, it's been a very long time since I have posted.  At least long in terms of my posts.  Lots of stuff been going on and not going on.  Our power went out on the 29th of June and was out for 36 hours.  It was 99 plus degrees the whole weekend.  miserable isn't adequate for the yucky experience.  Man, are we in for a terrible time on this planet if global warming isn't put in check.

Anyway, I am not here to preach to anyone.  But, to say I have been doing a lot of soul searching in regards to this big mythic journey project I have been struggling with for over two years now.  So, I have decided to throw in the towel in a way.  I realize I am not ready for the type of story I had originally intended.  So, instead I am going to focus on something that I have been dabbling in for quite a few years.  It has always been a dream to create a series of stories based on local fantasy creatures that live and interact with the people and animals here in the Cincinnati Ohio area of the United States.  Over the years I have made a character or two in doll form of some of the strange things that pop up here and there around my home.  So, I figured why not channel this frustration of not getting my mythic journey going, into something I can really relate to.  So, I have decided to work on short little stories which all tie together based on creatures and characters that live in my neck of the woods.  This way I can still make art dolls based on them and even keep the puppet show idea going too.  So, I have decided to try an experiment.  I am going to post teasers here of the stories to see if anyone is paying attention.  Plus I will be posting pictures of the characters and their surroundings.  Teaser number one.

The Witching Tree

Nestled in the heart of Burnet Woods, on an unassuming hill lives the witching tree.  It has been known for generations of the Seidhe of Cincinnati as a sacred and dangerous place to tread.  Only those who are desperate for help will seek the magic that lays beneath it's branches.  It is no wonder that no fae or other magical creature has dared to seek it's help until now.

OK, there is the teaser.  Stay tuned for the story to unfold soon.  As always thank you for stopping by and visiting my humble space.  You are always welcome to visit. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Class with Kathryn Walmsley

I just spent a two day intensive class with NIADA artist Kathryn Walmsley taking her full body sculpt class.  The goal was to have a little character sculpted and painted ready for dressing.  Most everyone made it to the hair stage.  I on the other hand had to put the hair on today.  Anyway, here is my little guy.  He is a brownie named Xe.  He has shorts and a little mohawk style hair cut.  His body is sculpted out of Super Sculpey polymer clay over a wire body armature.  He is then detailed with soft pastels and acrylic paint.  He is only about 8 inches tall and so was a big challenge for my visual limitations.  Not impossible thanks to such a great teacher.  If you ever get a chance to take a class with her please do.  You can see her work here.

That's it for today.  Hope you all have a great week ahead.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Early Puppet

I would like to introduce you to the first puppet I ever made.  This is the type of puppet that most doll makers would be likely to make.  He is a pop up style puppet.  His name is Finster and he is one of my alter egos.  He's the cool nerd type who knows how to woo a crowd.  I will be posting about him on my puppet blog here

Hope you have a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.  I am planning on spending the next few days getting my studio away from home set up for puppet making.  A friend is helping me move a bunch of stuff there tomorrow.  I will catch you all up later..

Monday, June 04, 2012

Magic from Thin Air, My latest Art Doll

Here is the latest art doll figure i have finished.  This is one of my “Thinking Cap” series.  The main feature of these whimsical beings is the old vacuum tube mounted on the head.  Recycling is a big part of my creative process when it comes to creating the costumes and overall look of the character.  In this case the body is a recycled wire armature that has been wrapped with cotton batting.  The body is them covered with purple stretch velvet claimed from an old dress.  All of the costume fabric was reclaimed from old clothing.  There is something symbolic about making old new again.  Giving something discarded new life seems to be a background theme for my work.  The few embellishments I use are mostly old bits of jewelry and a bauble or two.  Most of my clay work tends to have an aged appearance to them which is due to my painting process.  Multiple layers of colored glazes and them a final antique of black or burnt umber.  I just love the look of these characters.  They are like me, a little rough around the edges, tell it like it is, but still have an air of kindness  So, here is “Conjuring Magic from Thin Air – Thinking Cap Series” Approximately 16 inches tall polymer clay and apoxy clay with cloth covered wire armature. I am not afraid to use molds in the initial sculpting process.  I like using the same shape heads or faces to preserve a consistent look.  It is hard for me to sculpt the same face more than once.  When I find one I like I make a mold of it or use commercial molds too if that is the look I need.  The sculpts are then altered to suit the character I am trying to reflect.  This piece was created for a DVD series by Patti M. Culea that she will be releasing this summer.  So, you get a sneak peek here.

Have a great week y'all.  Thank you as always for stopping by.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

And the Winners Are!

OK, friends here are the winners of my latest giveaway in honor of my mothers birthday.  She would have been 82 if she had survived.  Love you mom.

Winner of the shell goblin pictured above is #4 Flyingbeader.

Winner of the Alien magnet is #6 Rita.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for playing.  Send me your mailing information to and I will get your prizes out to you ASAP. A big thank you to all who have become followers of my humble blog.  I am happy that you find things worth your while to see.  It is an honor to share my art with you and the world.  I am working on a blog about my puppetry adventure.  Nothing posted yet.  But, I will let y'all know when I do.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paper Dolls?

This months monthly medium challenge at the art store where I work was Yupo paper.  For those of you who aren't aware of what that is, a paper that is made from plastic.  It is really liked by watercolor artists.  I personally do not care for it.  It doesn't take drawing media all that well except for marker or ink.  So my contribution is an articulated paper doll named Gwiddo the monster who wished to much.  I made this image from my scanner.  So that is why he is in a rather odd stance.  I had to fit all of him on the scanner bed.   Good thing he is somewhat pose-able.  Any way hope you find my little guy fun.  I certainly had fun making him.

Onto more research on puppet making.  I think I have discovered a way to merge the doll making techniques I am used to and the technique of rod puppets.  We shall see how it goes.  I am in the process of creating a puppet based blog so I will keep you posted.  Oh, and don't forget to sign up for my give away in the previous post.  Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finally - The Big Give

Well, at long last I finally have a couple of things I am offering as a giveaway.  So, there are two items here that you can win.  The first one in the above picture is a little shell goblin ornament.  He is polymer clay sculpted into a real shell.  The one below is a magnet with an alien head.  It is sculpted out of air dry clay on clayboard.  It has then been painted with acrylic mediums and paints.

So, to participate here's all you need to do.  

1. Be a follower of this blog.

2. Leave a message on this post.

That's it.  I will draw two names using a random number generator on June 2 nd in honor of my mothers birthday.  She would have been 82 this year.  Also, as a thank you for following my adventure here in Codyland.  Good luck.

Friday, May 18, 2012

On the Work Bench

Sorry for the delay in posting again.  I have been a bit busy, a bit under the weather and trying to set up for puppet production this summer.  So here is a little something I had to whip up for the joint meeting of RiverCity Figurative Artists Guild of which I am a member and the Circle City doll makers from Indy.  The theme for this years challenge was recycle.  So, it could be interpreted any way you wished.  I recycled an empty Amaretto bottle.

So let me introduce you to Bishop Amaretto de Amore.  He is quite beside himself as he feels that my lowly studio room is no place for someone of his caliber.  But, you know you take what you are dished as I say.  He plans on making his grand entrance tomorrow at the meeting.  He stands about 12 inches high.  The bottle was covered with a layer of decorative hand made papers and then I built up the torso and arms with Apoxy Sculpt.  His head is made from paper clay and Apoxy Sculpt.  His hat is the bottle cap.  The costuming is illusionary in structure.  His adornments come from recycled jewelry.

Well, that's it for now.  Hope to be back at it in the next few days.  See ya all soon.  Oh, and stay tuned for my summer giveaway that I will announce in a day or two.

Thanks as always for stopping by.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

You Handsome Devil

Hi y'all out there in blog land.  I wanted to post a quick picture of a piece I just finished before the Essex Studios open house. He is a character study for my Mythic Journeys project.  This is "You Handsome Devil"  loosely based on the devil card of the Tarot Archetypes.  Mr. Devil is actually inspired by a devil figure I did years ago.  I called that one in a Renaissance style.  This doll is a stump style figure.  No feet just a stump base mounted on a wooden plaque.  He is about 16' tall.  His head is made of Apoxy Sculpt and Das Pronto and his hands are a recycled vinyl.

Mr. Devil will reappear later in a more complete body that can be posed.  He plays an important role in the story.  The shows first night was successful and a little odd.  But, I am even more excited for the final night tonight.  Have a great weekend everyone.