Monday, September 08, 2008

An Interesting Creative Exercise

My sewing machine is still in the shop so I am painting this week.

I was stalling on painting my Day of the Dead skull. To be honest, I was having yet another crisis of confidence. (It's looking doubtful that I will ever outgrow that. Sigh...) Anyway, being without a sewing machine pretty much forced me to pick up some brushes, lay out some paint, and get started. Once I painted in the eye sockets I got on a roll and just kept going!

My idea was to create a doll that celebrates my family's Dutch culture and heritage. Deciding on the idea was the easy part!

The colors in these photos are not true; her base color is a lovely rich white and the dark bits are all the shades of blue you can find on Delft ware.

The designs are traditional Delft motifs as well.

One of the reasons I hesitated to begin painting was because I was never very good at tole painting. Something must have just "clicked" in my brain once upon a time though, because once I got into it, it was pretty easy.

Working on this doll as been an unexpected challenge for me. Making her is definitely plowing up new soil in my brain -- she is bordering on inappropriate both from the viewpoint of my Dutch heritage and my upbringing. Halloween was never much of a big deal for us, and was usually downplayed in preference to remembering Reformation Day. And Death itself is surrounded by a lot of tabboos here in North America. (Would you think I was too weird if I said that the skulls that are so popular even on little kids clothes these days kind of freak me out?)

I guess what I mean to say is that my thoughts have been travelling down some new and interesting paths since I started work on her.


Glittering threads on the wind said...

I like what you have done so far, can't wait to see it finished.

Needle Pulling Thread Designs said...

Judi the skull looks great. Love the colors and I think you did a great job!You and I have the same confidence problem. I KNOW I will never get past it!
Hope we get to see the doll when it is finished!


Anonymous said...

Judi, I chuckled as i read your blog; we are kindred spirits in the lack of confidence area. (for me it's esp. after seeing others' dolls.) Your skulls are creative and unique. And your little beaded dolls are to die for! I'm sure the designers were delighted when they got them!
Keep creating for the joy of it. :-)
Hugs, Martha

Kai said...

I honestly don't know why you lack confidence, lil' sweety, 'cause I've YET to see ANYTHING you created that hasn't turned out beautifully. I think the concept of combining the Day of the Dead with Dutch heritage is VERY clever & a unique take on the Dia de los Muertos theme. I'm betting by the time you finish, you will LOVE what you've done! I already DO!

Kerry said...

She is so pretty! I never thought a skull could be pretty but this one is pretty, love the painting, will be waiting to see her completed.

Jennifer A. said...

Oh,that's what it's going to look like. I was picturing a much starker skull. I like it, a lot.

Judi W. said...

I never for a second doubted your painting skills! I think just about everything you make rocks!

Linda Fleming said...

Judi, your painting, as always, is beautiful. I love the contrast of your lovely painting with the stark creepiness of the skull. Beautiful work!

Louisiana Momma said...

Ive never been a big skull fan, but the tole painting is lovely.. I enjoy a bit of it myself, but haven't done it in a while.. I always enjoy your painting projects :-)