Monday, April 7, 2014

Dolls on Exhibit... a Torche' Galerie Opening Nite! Saturday, April 12th...


I am beyond excited to announce that seven of my new Folk Art Dolls have been chosen for exhibition at Torche' Galerie in Belmar, NJ. In fact... I'm over the moon!


The exhibit is to mark the gallery's First Anniversary and a whole host of talented artists in all genres were selected for this very special occasion.

Torche' Galerie Anniversary Exhibition
Opening Reception 
Saturday, April 12, 2014
7pm - 10pm
500 Main Street, Belmar, NJ 07719

So come join me at the opening reception and view the work of more than 50 contemporary artists! And if you can't make it, the show is up until May 10th. Check it out... you won't be disappointed.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Ain't She A Doll...

Well, it took a little longer than I anticpated... but I finally finished my first official collection of folk art style dolls for 2014. With 10 little babies to create from paper clay, I ended up letting them discover who they wanted to be as I sculpted away. I did have some very specific ideas for personalities in mind before beginning... but the creative thoughts that came during the process made it that much more exciting. They just came to life in my very hands. I'm such a proud momma.

From bunnies in tutus, to moons orbiting earth, to cotton candy personified, to an underwater sea creature, and more... they were such fun to watch unfold before my eyes! I loved getting lost in the process and finding myself again in the tiniest of details. It was fun. It was frustrating at times. It was even a little scary. But mostly... I enjoyed the unpredictability of this journey.

So, let's take a look at some of my new art dolls...

This is Hope. No matter where she goes, she always feels at home. She's kind of a homebody.

Here is Mother Earth, with the orbiting moon as her head. She's got the whole world in her hands. The scarf was a last minute addition, but it does get cold up there at the North Pole!

Leonardo — a.k.a. The King of Cats — is a real sweetheart and a romantic. I actually used my kitties' naturally shed whiskers for this doll. And yes, I've been collecting those whiskers for years for just such a purpose.

Ain't she sweet? This is Miss Cotton Candy in all her pink glory. With an inverted cone as her off-the-shoulder ball gown, she's ready for a night on... the boardwalk.

Crustacea is Queen of the Lobsters. But it wasn't easy. She had to pinch her way to the top, one arthropod at a time! She's all dressed up for the Coral Cotillion, aboard the sunken pirate Ship Destiny. I wonder what great treasures await her.

And this little angel is Aspen. Made from parts of an old teddy bear (yes, that awesome bow belonged to the bear), she won my heart and will become part of my own personal collection. Now to carve out some time for the next round of dolls. Hmmmm.... where shall I go from here?

You can check out my entire collection of folk art style dolls in more detail in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Going to The Land of Dolls...

For more than three years now I've been making art for a living. And by art, I mean acrylic paintings, mixed media collage, circus themed assemblage, boardwalk style knock-down dolls, modern vintage-looking rag dolls, paper clay dolls, upcycled jewelry from flea market finds, and a few other things I'm sure!

And while I love every single one of these creative endeavors... I felt I needed more focus. I wanted to fine tune my own personal style. I thought maybe I should concentrate on one type of art. But which one? I love them all! I wanted to showcase the multitude of ideas in my head... but at the same time I wanted to utilize all the skills I've acquired in all the disciplines I love.

I thought for a very, very, very, long time. I reached into my brain... and then into my soul. I weighed and measured each of the creative categories with my head... and with my heart (and maybe a little bit in my gut too)! And came up with... Art Dolls!

I've dabbled with paper clay figures in the past, but they took hours and hours to make. But... they were also some of my favorite creations to date! I do love to make art that expresses emotion... and what better way than something with a face!

I also love that my Art Dolls allow me to utilize all my favorite materials and skills... working with clay, paint, repurposed flea market finds, sewing and fabric creations, adding collage elements, assemblage... heck, even some of my jewelry skills come in handy! It's really a mixed media paradise when you think about it. Hooray!

And so I have made the decision to concentrate my efforts this year on making Art Dolls! I've already started a few and can't seem to keep my hands off of them! I have more ideas than time, but I put some things aside like laundry, cleaning, shopping, fixing the bathtub faucet and even getting a haircut... just to work on these fun creations!

As a creative person who loves several forms of art, I have to say that it was not an easy decision to make... focusing on one discipline. However, once I made the choice, sat down and started to make these little creatures come to life... well, there wasn't one ounce of regret in my own little body. Playing with dolls. Yeah... pretty much a dream come true for me.

So, off I go into the land of dolls. If you don't hear from me for awhile it's because I'm busy creating. But you can keep up with my adventures on my Facebook Page and Twitter. Or sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know about all the good stuff!

I'm looking forward to sharing this new journey with you! Thanks for tagging along with me. You're a real doll!

xoxox

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Craftmas Everyone!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with friends, family, fun, and perhaps a little bit of creative play time! Sending much love for the holiday...

Michelle
xoxo

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bling On The Holidays...

I thought I'd share some more images from my recent jaunt into jewelry making before I go ahead and retire my flat and round-nosed pliers for awhile! This found object necklace is chock full of buttons, baubles, sewing notions and even a vintage jingle bell. I chose an off-white monochromatic color scheme because it complimented the silver patina perfectly. If it doesn't go to a good home during my December showcase at the Oceanic Library... I may just keep this one!

This wedding bracelet is a fun and whimsical statement for that bride-to-be! With silver and pearly-white charms, embellishments and more, this themed piece has an extra-special set of charms made with beads that spell out "YES" and "I DO". It would make a perfect gift from your Prince Charm-ing!

These two golden pieces were made for each other... and gathered from flea markets years apart. A gorgeous opal bracelet-turned-choker, with a deconstructed pin, hung with vintage gold chain makes this piece a simple but elegant necklace. I'd wear it with a throwback party dress or even a tee shirt and jeans.

Keys, keys and more vintage skeleton keys! I have a whole bunch of them, but run out of ideas for what to do with them. So when a vintage metal pin matches the steely grey-blue patina of an old key, it's a great opportunity to combine the two for added interest. Pair them with some vintage costume beads and the door is now open!

And this time I did something a little different... creating necklaces out of squished pennies. I love squished pennies! I've made bracelets with them before, adding tons of beads and charms that went the themes of these awesome 51¢ souvenirs... but they take quite a while to create. I wanted to make something for my jewelry show that would be a great gift at a better price point... and these embellished copper keepsakes were just the thing.

So now it's time to retire my jewelry tools, put away my beads, baubles, charms, and head out into new territory! I've done some really hard thinking this year and I'm going in a different creative direction for 2014. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't Mess With My Candy (Apple)!

After a very quick two weeks of jewelry-making... I needed a bit of play time again. I felt like painting, but I wasn't sure what to paint. Then I remembered that I had a bunch of drawings in my sketchbook.

I had done them awhile back... in an attempt to find my own personal style (which I'm finding out is a constant quest!). So I thought, these sketches are very much me... let's see how the candy apple looks in paint!

I also thought it might be a great addition to my current gallery show, since I had sold a couple of pieces already. But when I finished the painting, I loved it so much... I decided to keep it!

Oh, and I have no idea where the eye patch (complete with a red rhinestone heart) came from... it just popped into my brain while I was working on the piece. I think I really wanted to get the point across, not to mess with my candy! And a 3D element on any of my pieces always adds that touch of whimsy I love so much.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Accidental Jeweler...

What happens when you make a plan in November of 2012 to be the Jewelry Artist of the Month at a local library in December of 2013? Well, if you're like me... you totally forget... then you get a phone call 10 days before the month starts, and you scramble like mad to make some jewelry!

So I broke out my stash and pulled pieces that spoke to me. My process is usually... go through silver junk and take out what calls to me... go through gold stuff and take out what appeals to me... go through beads that match... and chains that coordinate. Begin!

I got to pair new goodies with old goodies, which is always fun. I had this two-tone metal bracelet with floral accents for ages... and just recently found this cute little garden party hat to complete this piece!

I was channeling my love of everything Irish when I created this 'Oh, Blarney' charm necklace! I just love using tons and tons of monochromatic and metallic matching mementos. Lucky me!

This was my absolute favorite creation this time around. But it didn't even make it to the show, as it was snatched up after I posted it on Facebook! I do love that it's going to a good home.

I made jewelry every day — and even into the night — for almost two weeks. And even though my little helper is as cute as a button... she didn't get as much done overnight as I had hoped she would. Oh, well.

It was great to take a break from all the painting I did this summer. I got a quick and unexpected reminder as to why I collect these shiny baubles like a magpie... and how I love turning memories of the past into wearable mementos.

My work will be available all month long at the Oceanic Library in Rumson, NJ. And 20% of all my jewelry sales go directly to the library! So if you're local... go check out my vintage upcycled creations this December!

Oceanic Free Library
109 Avenue of the Two Rivers
Rumson, NJ 0776
732-842-2692