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[ website | Strange Moon Fine Art & Design ]
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Whoops, 27 weeks have gone by.... [07 Aug 2007|11:17am]
I'm so bad about updating this thing.  I am just not a journal-keeper by nature, I guess.

I have two new paintings in progress:

As yet untitled - I started this painting FOUR years ago. It looked very different just a few days ago. I finally decided to work on it.

And this one:

It's also as yet untitled. (Almost) every element in the painting is a symbol.

I still have a LOT of work to do on it. The colors aren't quite right in this image; I didn't bother to light the room correctly since it's just a progress photo. The two images below show the underpainting, and the first stage of work:

Oh, yeah, and I finished the painting that has been in progress since last year.

"The Visitor"

I put '2006' because it's been about 90% done since last December.
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Strange Moon Art is just me now [29 Jan 2007|11:52am]
Some people may have noticed, or will soon notice, that Jason's name was taken off strangemoonart.com.

He's recently taken up some new pursuits which demand a great deal of his time. Right now, it's blacksmithing, and he may expand into woodworking later in the year. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for his sculpture and other creative work. In addition to these reasons, he's decided that he'd rather not display his work publicly, at least not for a while. He's a perfectionist (much more so than I) and never really feels like his work is done or ready to be seen by others.

So that's that, in case anyone wondered.
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New Painting - The Widowed Seer [29 Jan 2007|11:16am]
I've worked on this painting on and off since last summer, going for many weeks or months in between. I've posted these photos before, but I thought it would be fun to put them next to each other so you can really see the progress over time. I didn't really have a specific plan when I started this painting, so it changed a LOT over the course of the year. It's finally finished, though!

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[27 Jan 2007|04:48pm]

I finally got a couple ornaments done!

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New sculpture! [24 Jan 2007|03:58pm]

I started a new series called 'Trophy Heads', which I'm actually putting up for sale (a first for me). This is the first one:

"Elise Marchaud was a sickly girl, married at a scandalously young age to the strange gentleman next door. She often came over to have tea with the governess, though she was not, in all honesty, wanted. She was known for her casual cruelty, teasing the Master's children mercilessly and carrying on with a haughty manner despite her humble station. When she disappeared, no one seemed to notice, and her husband got himself a prettier, younger new wife."
5" diameter
paperclay on wood base

I'll also have two new ornaments up for sale, hopefully tomorrow, and two paintings finished by next week. I'm trying to get all of my unfinished work taken care of so I can focus on the Trophy Heads and a painting I've been planning, based on the book I've been reading lately (don't really want to say what, but those who have read it will know when they see it).

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New Painting in Progress [04 Jan 2007|02:19pm]

This is one of three paintings I'm currently working on.  (Yes, that's a big dent in the canvas.  I'm not sure how I'm going to get rid of it - I guess I might have to re-stretch it? My working space is just too small and the painting fell on top of the corner of another canvas and evidently sat like that for a while.)  I've kind of had ADD lately in terms of my art; I've been working on multiple projects at once so I haven't finished anything in a while.

I just redesigned my website - StrangeMoonArt.com - I think it's much simpler and easier to navigate.  I felt like the individual pages for each painting/sculpture were too busy - everything around the image of the artwork was overpowering the piece itself - so I changed a lot of things around.

I'm going to start working on ornaments, mini-busts and some small paintings to put up for sale.  Hopefully I'll get the ball rolling in early February and get a few things up ASAP.

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Letting paint be paint [15 Nov 2006|05:44pm]

"The Secret Meeting"
14"x14" - Oil paint on canvas

This is the small 'practice' painting I've been working on for the past 4 days or so.  That's the shortest amount of time it's ever taken me to complete a painting that isn't just a quick study.   That's the nice thing about working small - I feel like I could be more productive if I could just get out of the habit of life-size painting.  I might stretch a few 11x14s and 16x20s.  

One of the big things I was concentrating on with this was 'letting paint be paint'.  That might sound stupid, because - what else can paint be?  But I have, since I began painting in high school, had this habit of wanting to smooth everything out.  I'm not sure where that came from.  It was rare that you could even see brushstrokes in my paintings unless you got really close.  I always admire 'painterly' qualities in other artists' work, where texture can suggest form without every detail having to be painted in.  Being able to do that myself is one of the small goals I've set for myself over the next few months.  I'm going to try to start drawing from life a lot more - I really need some experience with fabric, landscapes and common objects.  I still consider myself to be a student, and maybe I always will.  I feel like I'm always learning and growing - I'm never satisfied with my work, constantly thinking 'I can do better'.   That's why I still, to this day, have never EVER displayed my work in a gallery.  With each new piece I do, I look back on the last one like it's not good enough.  I don't have a cohesive body of work that I feel is a good representation of my abilities.

That other big painting I was working on, that I posted last month, is still in progress.  I started it without really having any kind of plan for it and I'm stuck at a point where I'm not sure what to do next.  It may end up in the closet again while I do some other things.

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New Sculpture [14 Nov 2006|04:47pm]

Untitled Figurative Sculpture I
7 1/2" h
Super sculpey, fabric, wool, feathers, wood, paint

This is the result of my first experimentation with non-doll related figurative sculpture.  It is still a little too doll-ish for me right now.  I consider it practice.  I'm going to keep working on things like this for a while. 

I also have another painting that's almost finished - it's the smallest painting I've ever done outside of required college assignments at 14"x14".  I have a really hard time working that small - my natural tendency is to paint life-size, and while I'm working sometimes I get off track and realize something is way out of proportion.  I did that with this painting, and have to fix a few things.  I'm really just practicing a lot right now, trying to build up my skills and work on a few things I've had problems with in the past - proportion being one, and background detail being another.

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Updated progress on painting [25 Oct 2006|05:02pm]
I let this painting sit untouched for a long time, but I'm glad now that I did. I wasn't happy with my last painting (The Final Eve of Annaleise), and I really feel I can do better. I am going to work very hard on this one and really try to reach my full (current) potential. I started working on it again yesterday... as you can see it's a long way from being finished.

((updated again with new photo - I've been working hard at this and I like to document how it comes along))

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[24 Oct 2006|01:18pm]
i'm going in a new direction with my 3-D work... trying out some new things, going for a more sculptural feel as opposed to dolls. We'll see how it goes... Here's a preview of what I'm currently working on:

Yesterday, 6 of my dolls were featured on Doll Reader Magazine's website home page for their 'Countdown to Halloween', which was pretty cool. I also got an invitation to submit entries for a new photo book of handmade dolls from around the world - the publishing company working on it is here in Asheville. Just curious, have any of you other dollmakers received one? I'm not sure yet which dolls to submit. The hardest part is photographing them - I have a friend who's really good, but she's still working on my wedding photos, and I don't want to ask too much of her since she's really busy at the moment.

(this is the newest member of my family - Dakota - we adopted her after we got back from our mini-honeymoon. that's our other cat, Talulah, in the background)

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Maiden, Mother and Crone [13 Jun 2006|07:44pm]

Maiden, Mother, and Crone. It took nearly eight months, but they're finally finished.

Super sculpey, dyed tibetan lamb's wool, oil paints, scrap fabric.

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[12 Feb 2006|09:57pm]

The Maiden, Mother and Crone in progress. Jason is working on the hands, and then I need to do the arms & wigs for all three, and the feet & legs for the Mother.

I spent a lot more time on the clothing for these ones, as well as the detail in the painting. They should be done by next week, I hope.

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The Final Eve of Annaleise [03 Oct 2005|06:48pm]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

d e t a i l :

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Unfortunately, everything looks a bit washed out because of my craptastic camera. The skin tones are not actually so pale and monochromatic.

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The Ex-Gypsy from Prahova [26 Sep 2005|10:11pm]

The Ex-Gypsy from Prahova
The Ex-Gypsy from Prahova

She married a fisherman and settled in Greece, but never did fully give up her vagabond ways.

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New doll, painting & ornament - almost done [18 Sep 2005|10:55pm]

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.com

First photo shows the doll before I attempted the stuffed fabric limbs. Second picture: I secured the batting around the wire with thread and tied it off before sewing the fabric around it.

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One leg is thicker than the other, so I need to re-do one of them. It still needs detail painting work done, a wig, and some other little things.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.com

Ornament = mostly done; needs some paint touch-ups and hair. Painting is getting close; I haven't gotten around to the arms, detail in the background, & finishing the dress. I think the hair and face are finished.

I didn't get to the necklace this weekend, hopefully I will be able to work on it tomorrow night a little.

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Sneak peek at a new doll. [24 Aug 2005|09:28pm]
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This doll is only on her first coat of paint, so she's not even close to being finished, but I thought I would put up a 'progress photo'. I still need to put in all the details, fix the hair so it lays flatter against the head, and find a way to make the veil lay right.

It is very, VERY hard to paint around the limbs the way I have them all intertwined. I did the hair differently this time, and I think it worked out better - I used a long strand of the hair itself as thread, and hand-sewed a row of stitches across the middle to make a 'part'(I sewed it to a little strip of unprimed canvas). I sat and held the glue to the head while it dried, for like an hour. This picture came out horribly but there I go again complaining about my stupid camera, I will have a new one by January and you won't have to hear it anymore!

Jason is working on quite a few things right now, including a Medusa which he is hunched very patiently and meticulously over at this very moment. He is forming all the little snakes on the head, around wires that he stuck in it. I'll post a photo in a few days, right now he says it's 'not photo ready', which means he thinks it sucks and will obsess over it for a while longer before allowing any permanent evidence to be taken.

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as done as they ever get. [16 Aug 2005|09:04pm]
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please excuse the horrible quality of the photo, once again - crappy digital camera. This image makes it look really washed out, you can't really see the details, and the flash exposed all the wet areas. it actually isn't nearly this muddy looking, in person. hopefully soon (if it would stop raining) i will be able to take new photos of all my paintings with a better camera, in daylight.
since i never really consider my paintings to be finished, i'm sure there are things that I will end up changing on this.

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[14 Aug 2005|11:05pm]
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I guess at this point this painting is 2/3 finished... I don't usually let people see my unfinished work, mostly because I am so bad about being hypercritical of it and I don't want to invite unfair criticism from others of elements that are still in process. But, I think it's good for me to put this up and let you all see it, not only so I'll have it in the future but so I will let go of this habit that many artists have to hoard their art away until it's completely finished. I like having a record of the different phases that it's going through - I've never done that before. I apply so many layers of paint, each painting usually changes dramatically from the first layer to the last. As you can see, the figure in the front has changed quite a bit in the face.

I struggled for quite a while with trying to balance out what I felt was a 'cartoonish' style with as much realism as I could muster, which didn't really work. I guess I fought my 'style' for a long time; I took a comment that a former art teacher once made about my work to heart - she said I was 'becoming my own cliche'. Yeah, thanks. But, in this painting more than any other that I've ever done, this particular way of stylizing the figures and landscape has come out and I think this time I'm just going to go with it and see what happens.

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New doll, new painting [10 Aug 2005|11:04pm]
Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.com

The doll is gessoed, and almost ready to be painted, I just have to sand it. It was extremely difficult to mold it in this position; I'm afraid she's suffering from extremely flat ass syndrome as I had no choice but to bake her in the sitting position. And, I found out that hand armatures - with wires for fingers and all - just won't work for the size dolls i'm making. I made the armatures as small as I possibly could, and the hands were still ridiculously large because I had to just keep adding sculpey so the wire wouldn't show through. So, she has nice little closed fists. I think I'm going to get some liquid sculpey and re-inforce the fingers on future dolls that way (I don't know if it was tattooedartgirl or tricia_joy that suggested that, but thanks.) I think this one will have brown hair; I still have to go to the beauty supply store to get some new colors but I think I'm going to paint it before I put the hair on this time.

The painting... well, I am my own harshest critic so I'm not crazy about it at this point, but, it is MY FIRST PAINTING IN OVER A YEAR. I went through a very dry period, and now suddenly I have all these ideas and just felt the urge to start painting... I work in a lot of layers and this is just the first so it will change a lot. As you can see, I start by focusing on the central figure which is typically a no-no according to art teachers, but oh well, that's the way I like to work. I have a vague idea of what it will look like, but I really like to let my work develop as I go - it's part of the fun, for me. I don't even know what it's going to turn out like until I'm finished.

So, this makes me a pretty busy girl at present, since I'm working full time, re-doing my artwork website, making dolls and painting - all the while trying to spend enough time with my boyfriend! And I need to start going back to figure drawing class... but, I'm really excited about the fact that I have a lot of creative projects in the works at the moment because I didn't do a damn thing for so long.

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[06 Aug 2005|10:26pm]
I hope to have the second doll done in about a week, more or less. Her body is mostly done, it's just a matter of smoothing it down and making some final adjustments before baking. I actually have a notebook full of ideas now, so I have about 4 or 5 dolls that should come fairly easily in the next couple months.

I will probably be spending the majority of my time working on my new art website, which I had planned to have done three months ago. The url will be www.strangemoonart.com; I'm totally redesigning the whole site and adding sections for my dolls and jewelry. It will have an online store where people will be able to buy jewelry through paypal (and prints and dolls, eventually, when I get to that point.) Today I have been messing around in photoshop (as you can see by the new design here, and on my myspace page) with different color schemes, layouts, and design elements. It's really hard to choose something that meshes well with my work, so I will probably spend countless more hours in front of the computer while I try to decide. It was hard to tear myself away from the computer to do all the tasks I had to get done tonight - Jason and I are going wild blueberry picking in the woods tomorrow (in a place nearby called Graveyard Fields - so named for the way the tree stumps looked after a fire burned everything down in the 1800's). We're having a picnic while we're there and I had to make caprese salad, banana bread, and sangria... we just got a new, really fancy picnic backpack through my work that has wine glasses and plates and a cooler compartment and everything and we'll get to use it for the first time.

I have found it really interesting lately to view my friends page now that I have so many new people on it; it is SO cool to see all this creative stuff going on. I love watching what you guys are working on! Robyn, you better start taking pictures of your doll progress too! :)
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