My system of making sketches and notes has always been pretty random. When I start to get an idea for a doll I just reach for scratch paper, the back of an envelope, or best case, a blank page in my notebook. The sketches usually are focused on how I plan to assemble a figure and materials I might use, without much other detail. These sketches are mixed in with grocery lists, and so forth. Once in awhile I gather them up and stick them into 3-ring binder. I pulled this notebook out recently to see what I could see, and to look for a few ideas.
You can see my original sketch on the left that resulted in the "Zipper Men". It was fun to find some of the very early drawings for the "Hoop Skirt" doll that I eventually made many times. Many ideas have not been developed yet, and may never happen.
I noticed several things as I browsed. Early dolls strongly featured machine quilted fabric collage. The expressive polymer clay faces never show up in the sketches, but are important in each piece. Fascination with construction and moving parts shows throughout.
I tried to focus on what materials I would like to with now and how I would like to spend my time.
I've gotten away from fabric collage and machine quilting in recent years, but I would like to do more now. I have many tiny scraps to use and I could hand paint some fabrics, too. Several boxes of antique linens, lace and baby clothes are still available. I love to make the little polymer clay faces and hope to find ways to use them that are not as labor intensive as making a full figure. I've been interested, too, in a more primitive, folk art style.
This is a list of what I've figured out so far.
Some of these ideas are not entirely new, but there are 5 of them! In my blog posts over the next few months I plan to write about the development of each idea and show the results.
The idea of painting had always been on the back burner for me until the past year. I was so intimidated by my university art courses that I headed for an art education degree. (As if facing a classroom of middle school kids would not be intimidating!) I hung onto my leftover paints and supplies for years, moving them with our household from here to there at least 20 times. Finally, in this pandemic year of being isolated at home I got underway with painting in a more serious way, and I think the light is beginning to dawn. I love that the physical activity and pace of the work is completely different than in my doll making. While some things, like the extensive fabric collage involved in my Hoop Skirt Dolls, seem to carry over a bit, there is much to learn. I have found some interesting on-line resources, and comments professors made long ago have come to mind, and finally made some sense. So, I plan to paint!
Will I still make dolls? Of course. I was desperately tired of doll making when I turned to painting, but some of that new energy has bounced back into dolls ideas. As long as I can reasonably control the amount of time and detail involved, I can keep going. After all, I have a few new designs and a lovely supply of treasure to use!
My BLOG plan is to to stay with the second and fourth Friday plan, writing about painting on the second Friday, about doll making on the fourth Friday. I plan to have a creative year!