Portfolio of Work

Here she is, Folks!!!!  For the most part she is finished!!!!  These pics don't really show that she has a greyish tone to her skin and a small amount of crackle-ing here and there.

Headless Amy started out as a half-hearted protest to my daughters that they had all the cool toys and I had all the sales receipts from buying them.  My girls are big fans of the line of dolls called 'Monster High Dolls'.  I might have been fighting off a little green envy, being a doll artist and all- but these dolls were cool!  I grabbed a less than whole barbie out of their toybox and proclaimed her to be "Headless Amy".  Thus began the unadulterated torture of my girls. They might have Draculaura or Clawdeen but neither could hold a candle to Headless Amy.  And I told them this at every opportunity.
A funny thing happened as I decided how I would make this plastic doll my own creation.  I came to identify with Headless Amy- she reminded me of my overly busy self.  And as I imagined how hard it would be to get through life with a detached head- well, I really, really identified with her and it made me giggle.  And, especially during the month of October and November when my life just fell apart at the seams I really, really identified with her.  And, while the world continued to rotate uncaringly as I tried to pick up the pieces and move on I decided I was her- or she was me- whichever, the lines are blurry.
Walking around this world without a head is dangerous as you can imagine and it stands to reason that some injuries could occur.  But most women, mothers and professionals are expected to continue on to meet goals, deadlines and expectations- with style of course.  So when Amy lost a limb she coped in the way that any smart woman would- with the help of a safety pin and a few household items a new limb would be created. Tired of having so many close calls she again solved the problem with the use of a compass and found a way to carry her head with her.
Its hard to feel pretty in the face of adversity, especially with a zipper for a foot and a can opener for an arm but Amy doesn't have time to feel sorry for herself.  She's a lady on the move- even if she does have to drag her head behind her.  Check out her boot.  Its made with wire mesh armature and then I sculpted a 'shoe' over it.  Didn't know I was a footwear designer, did you?
Her arm consists of a paint can opener that cost my father 7cents once upon a long ago time and two suitcase keys.  A thimble covers up her neck stump.  (Creepy saying that!)
What do you think of her head???  I'm pretty happy with everything- the hair, her eyes and her expression.
Some more experienced artists might call how I treated this base 'assemblage'.  I am always trying to tell or illustrate the story.  This story is about a less than perfect woman just trying to get by any way possible.  Us women are pretty clever ad we can do just about everything we need to with just a few tools and the right accessories.  The busy-ness of the base represents chaos, clutter and solutions.
I think we have all felt like Headless Amy at some point or another.  For me it seems like forever now that I have just forged forward simply ignoring the obstacles in my way.  I've paid the price- just like Amy.( I, too, am looking a little greyish and crackled.) I still like to think that once in awhile I can pull together the small miracle of fashionable style.

I dressed up the cage and handle a bit.  I think that turned out nicely.
I did add some bling to her coat and a nice belt to her dress.  
Speaking of 'appropriate' I am very worried about my 80 year old daughter.  I mean 8- eight- year old daughter.  I figured out how to load music on to her i-pod shuffle that she received for Christmas.  First you down load it onto your computer and then copy it to her device, right?  Except that I couldn't figure out how to single out her teeny-bopper tunes and ended up downloading all my music as well as hers.  So, imagine my self doubt when I, standing in the kitchen, hear her proclaim loudly to herself, in the living room, as she scrolled through her new music- "Oh no, I'm not EVEN listening to that!  Its just not APPROPRIATE!!!!"
Now, really- which one of us is the adult?  Cuz, only one of us just created a self portrait doll that has her head in a cage and a can opener for an arm....

A short stint as a make up artist. 2011

My Art Prize entry 2011

There's more of these if I can find the flash drive I put them on....

This was for a bottle doll challenge for Art Doll Quarterly.  If you see her in the 2012 Spring issue then you know I will be jumping up and down with excitement!

More of Sara Crewe at the bottom of the post.

The very first paper mache` sculpture- its a learning process!

The next project experimenting in form as part of content- this is still one of my favorites!
Mother Earth Welcomes New Baby

Ok, so I really like this one, too!  Her gown has real Queen Anne's lace pressed into it.

Awaiting Renaissance-
This sculpture- is a statement piece about finding inner calm and beginning anew.

All of my sculptures start from a drawing. The drawing expresses and explores a concept message. I knew hers had something to do with stripping away all that is un-true in the way we see ourselves and looking honestly at ourselves- the good the bad and the ugly and realizing that nothing about us is unforgivable and most about us is lovely or lovable.

So here's her story-

The wind blew unrelenting and worked away her false walls. When only a foundation remained beneath her- she could feel the light fall across her shoulders, warming her. She stood strong in the light knowing it as truth and roots grew bonding her securely to this new place of unadorned honesty.

I was intrigued by the shapes created by the wire armature mesh and really wanted to play these up.  I chose a slightly reflective finish and washed the color light to dark to really show this off.

Cherry Cupcake, Tiny Pole Dancer- 
an homage to Elton John and a good friend of mine.

This one was just for fun, a gift for a good friend based on a little flight of fancy we liked to share in.  I've taken some flak about Cherry Cupcake, tiny pole dancer.....To those who cringe I say- yes, she is a pole dancer, bite me.

The Source
I drew this lady with wild hair thinking it was a great metaphor for the meaning of the sculpture. Its about  about the energy we take from the earth and the resulting aura we generate after we manifest our 'stuff' into it!  Meaning YOU are the source of the energy that surrounds you. The word kinetic comes to mind but I have yet to look it up to make sure its accurate to this work.

  I kept the paper mache very thin and in many place the wire armature shows through. I used finish sprays that would not alter the texture of the paper mache' resulting in a rather dry appearance.

Anastacia And Violet

Feeling a bit nostalgic, these two ladies were named Anastacia and Violet, two of my dear Grandmother's favorite names.  They have a story....

Anastacia was the older of the two cousins and would come to visit Violet and her family in the late summer. Violet found her older cousin to be so very sophisticated, coming from the big city and all.

On Sunday afternoons, still in their church dresses, they would sneak outside, away from the grown ups and their grown up coffee and cake. Shoes would fly as they swung. Violet would press for stories of the boys that came calling on Anastacia and Anastacia was happy to oblige.

As summers went by Anastacia could see Violet blooming. "Don't worry, Violet, small town or not, boys will be calling on you by the dozen. Soon you will forget me and our visits. I will marry and you will marry and our lives will be so different."

Violet replied smiling "Do you really think so? Boys calling for me? I do hope to marry but I will never forget these days. They are the best days."

Indeed the two cousins did eventually marry and indeed they did remember those sunny afternoons. After all, they were the best days.


This vibrant lady has some secrets.  The clues are all there- look closely.

Emmaline and Pernella- friends forever.

A stab at encaustic- will come back to this later....

I dabble in photography......

My last project...you can read all about it in my recent blog posts.  It tells a story all the way around.  For a group challenge through Cloth and Clay I chose to illustrate Sara Crewe from Frances Hodgson Burnett's book- A Little Princess.  Because there were so many important characters in the story my project grew and grew.....