Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Beauty of an Original # 12

This year I finally was able to commision an Enchanted Doll - beautifull, fully articulated porcelain dolls hand made by an incredible young woman and fantastic artist, Marina Bychkova.

This was a big thing for me, after all, Enchanted Dolls are a serious purchase, with a waiting list and price tag to match. But she was worth it all, everything. Whenever I haven't posted art in a while, it's probably because I'm sewing outfits for this girl... who could blame me?

Marina was gracious enough to meet my meticulous customization demands, and created Fern for me.
I asked for a girl that embodied my aesthetics and what I strive to capture with the girls that I draw - wild girls of the woods, mischevious coquettes, mysterious ladies made of air and mist and ferns.

Fern - Enchanted Doll by Marina Bychkova

I've mentioned before that I like to think of the art-dolls that I purchase as muses. Inspired by Fern, (my Enchanted Doll) and my admiration for Marina, this was the perfect project to suit such a complicated process and technique.For myself and as a gift to the original artist.

 I really wanted to capture the intricacy and exquisite nature of Marina's dolls in an artwork. An etching seemed very fitting. A lengthy, time consuming process of drawing an image into a sheet of copper, letting acid eat into those lines, then printing it by hand with an etching press. The corset and collar were inspired by the intricate filigree silver costumes Marina creates for her dolls. The brambles and antlers were my own aesthetic creeping into the piece.
Enchanted Etching

For interest, here's the initial and final revised sketch I made. Progress shots of the etching can be seen ~here~

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Coquettes in Noire

Just a quick and brief introduction to a couple of my latest little quirk-ettes. With the silly season in full force I fear I won't be introducing any new ones in a little while ... and perhaps it's a little to do with some 3 dimensional projects I'm just ITCHING to get a start on!!! Without further ado.....

Both these little darlings are all frocked up and ready to head out into the night.... and are wishing you all a safe and happy rest of the year!!!



Friday, December 18, 2009

The beauty of an original #11

I only recently discovered Sarah Faber's dolls, but let there be no doubt that it was love at first sight.

Giddy, aching, obsessive love. The sort of love where you want to be sitting at your writing table, with candles burning, dressed in a silk gown and lace shawl, writing detailed and lengthy love letters on ageing parchment with an ostrich feathered quill pen. Then you sprinkle scented parfum on those letters, seal the flowery envelope with wax and deliver by carrier pidgeon. Then you wait all night, by your window, staring into the deep night.........

too excesive? I'm sure you get the point, but that's how I feel about Black-Eyed Suzie dolls. The tattered Victorian in me fell helplessly, utterly and irrevocably in love with her characters and the stories she creates for them.

 Her dolls are all beautifully hand crafted. Tattered bits of lace and torn silks, whispy hair styles, pouting downturned cherry lips, and oh, the eyes. Beautiful, big, melancholy eyes she makes herself. I think it's definately the eyes that snagged me so.

So far I've survived two of her shop updates. By survive I mean waiting expectantly infront of my computer screen for the exact second her shop update happens, the heartwrenching process of choosing, the incredible self restraint not to click "purchase" on each little urchin that tugs at my hearstrings.

Before I gush any more and embarrass myself for life, let me introduce these little wild girls from the woods, shall I?

Black-Eyed Suzie (Sarah Faber)

Cecily & Philomena

please do visit her :-) at etsy or at her blog

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Philomena's Portrait

As I’ve been thinking of the art-dolls that I’ve been adopting lately as muses, I like to put them to work as soon as I can.

This little Victorian urchin is a portrait of Philomena, my first Black-Eyed Suzie acquisition.

I find it interesting though challenging to try to capture a portrait likeness of not only a doll, but also of someone else’s artwork and style. Not only is it a little tricky to keep the portrait style in my own vein of work, but also to keep the figure looking like a believable character rather than a frozen “doll”. Well, the latter was not such an issue here, as Sarah’s dolls are so full of emotion and brimming with expression. In fact, much more so than my humble depiction of her, I just couldn’t quite capture that exquisite melancholy gaze!

One of the most lovely things about Sarah’s dolls is there expressive hand made eyes. There is such depth to them, to which no watercolour drawing on paper can compare.

The muse and the resulting artwork:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Etching in progress

A few weeks ago I mentioned a mysterious work in progress. (As well as attempting to promise myself to not start any new art-projects but instead try to finish all the half-begun pieces... a promise which failed miserably..)

I had begun work on my first intaglio etching since completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts over 2 years ago.
Before I unveil the final piece, and talk about the figure and the inspiration behind it a little more, I'll share some of the progress shots so far :-)

The final revised sketch and transferred onto the etching plate....

Various staes of completion. The image is being drawn with an etching scribe - scratching away the coating of bitumen, letting the copper shine through.

Ps. To my dear fellow enchanted doll fans, yes, she is obviously inspired by Marina's work. And no, she's not my birthday-entry. She was done before that announcement was made, simply to keep with my decision to do an inspired piece from every art-doll / muse that I collect :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Summer Days....

I adore those days off when I don't get a single thing done that's vital to the necessary function of living (like laundry, or vacuuming) but get to indulge in enjoying the summer weather, friends, and art.

My artist friend Marie came over to keep me company and gather source material for her new series of paintings. It was nice to not to find myself tucked away inside with the lights on all alone, but out and about, re-aquainting myself with the sun and society.

Being in the fantastic mood I was in, I allowed myself to fall prey to the temptation of buying a beautiful art book...

While I'm on the topic of inspirational material, these ladies voices are sometimes all I need to get me itching for a pen and paper. While I realise that probably every second girl in the world (and their little dogs too) is a die-hard Joanna fan, I can't help it. I adore her voice. I adore the pictures and characters that come to mind when her quivering voice is playing in the background...

But best of all, my newest obsession in life.. is wood-wick. I'm telling you, it's changing my life, or at the very least, it's changing evenings at my drawing table.
I recived this amazing candle in the post from all the way in America (thank-you schmooks!) It's name pretty much explains it all, it has a wooden wick. So what's the fuss?

It crackles.

It crackles. Like a fire. Surrounded by my little foresty muses, all I have to do is close my eyes and I can almost convince myself I'm in a log cabin in the middle of the endless green woods....

To finish a lovely day, we finished framing my latest aquisition, a beautiful art piece by Lisa Falzon (Meluseena) just before I went to bed...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wide-eyed Coquettes

They're wide eyed and bushy tailed... and even if I tried I couldn't deny that a certain Black-Eyed Suzie aesthetic has crept its way into these girls.......

Serious Flora
Stern, steely, serious Flora.
Dressed like an angel, with a glare cold enough to freeze your little heart.

With a very enchanted-doll-esque collar and corset....

Scarlet Romantic
A little lady in red. Her roses have wilted and her letters have been read, crumpled, and tossed aside.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have been shamefully quiet on sharing my own work recently...  mainly because I've been doing more art purchasing than art making!! So I thought it was about time I introduced some of the little watercolour coquettes I've been working on recently.

Without an internet connection at home, I've been struggling to find the time to update my etsy shop/s. These girls will all go on there once I get my act together (to save up to buy even MORE artworks... I'm terrible!!)

Without further ado, let me begin the introductions.....

Little French Olive

Hesitating Mauve

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The beauty of an original #10

I have admired this artists work for a long time. I remember discovering her work as a teenager and just falling deeply in love with the characters she creates, and the melancholy world they inhabit. I have always been deeply inspired and in awe of the sheer amount of drawings Natalia has made. I do not know how she finds the hours in the day to produce all that she has. It is something I wish I could emulate, just draw draw draw!

Now that I'm in my frivolous Art-Collecting mode, I was delighted when she decided to sell this original, one of my favourites from her "Precious Things" limited-edition art-book. And it truly is amazing, to look at all the details up close in real life. Her style and technique is wonderful to behold in the flesh. It's definitely left me hungry for more.

So here's a little snapshot of her beautiful drawing after I framed it, and some of the other muses posing delightfully infront. They'll be introduced later!

Natalia Pierandrei - Pioggia (Rain)