It’s Mardi Gras and you know what that means! Fat Tuesday! So don’t forget, to overindulge!
Yes! I have finally finished two new paintings, which I’ve been working on, for quite some time. It’s exciting to be able to post them! As you know, I haven’t created any new drawings or paintings, in a long time. I’m getting back to this. However, I was wanting to try out something new (the jewelry, that is), before continuing. Like many creative people or artists, I have endless lists and materials, which I would love to use, in my artwork. I’ve discussed this before, and I find myself, overwhelmed! So, I’m concentrating on a small series of paintings, right now, before I get into anything else. In no time, there will be something to distract me, but I must stay with it, though.
The first painting is entitled, Dime Store Doll. I created an entire scenario around the young girl featured. If you’ve been following or reading my blog posts, then you know, I love vintage 1960s and 1970s “Big Eye” art, which has come into popularity, in more recent years, but I actually liked this type of art, way before its resurgence. I could get into more detail if I wanted to, but it’s time to get down to business.
I imagined a preteen girl, taking a trip to a drugstore, back in the 1970s. While I didn’t grow up then, I still wanted her to look the part. I decided she should wear a peasant top and an oversized patchwork, driver’s cap. From my research, I discovered the “prairie” look was in, and of course, the character, Holly Hobbie, was everywhere. Instead of using the calico paint colors, I selected pastel colors, for the cap. I wanted it to look “delicious,” where it looks as though, you could dip a spoon into it, like you would, in an ice cream sundae. I feel like it works. It was challenging, to shade the cap. I decided to leave it alone, though. I have her posed, as if she’s leaning in front of the counter, about to buy a gumball. Yes, that’s a shiny, new penny, in her hand. I’m not so sure, 1 cent gumball machines existed then, but I imagined this drugstore to be more like an old-fashioned one, where candy was less expensive. I really worked hard, on the gumball machine, to make it accurate. It’s still a bit amateurish. However, I feel it’s fairly good, for the style. I think the shading and value look good, too. I had difficulty with her skin tone, but after experimenting, I finally figured it out. She definitely has the “big eyes!” Hopefully, she doesn’t look older, than she’s supposed to. This is one thing, I still have to work on. It’s a constant struggle. I’ll accomplish this eventually, I’m sure. I did want the colors to be bright and vibrant, even a bit gaudy. It adds to the “kitsch” factor, I think. Obviously, the title is self-explanatory. I actually finished this painting, in late 2016.
The next painting is entitled, Poodle Princess. I actually had an idea for this illustration, 4 years ago, but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it, so I decided to try it again, as a painting. It worked! Well, at least I think so. Excuse my excitement. By the way, you can find the first illustration, under the category, 2013 Spring Drawings. The blog entry is titled, A New Drawing With Lots Of Ingredients.
Anyway, the real inspiration comes from a doll, named, Angie, from the Dawn doll line. They are small, fashion dolls, which had both separate fashion sets and playsets, that could be purchased. She is one of the many friends, of Dawn, who of course, is the leader. They were all produced by Topper Toys, between 1970 and 1973. I was inspired by Angie, because she has a fashion set, consisting of a white fur hat and matching coat, a white top underneath, with white hotpants, and white go-go boots. Oh, and let’s not forget, the small poodle! Unlike some of the other dolls in the line, Angie has really long, dark black hair. Okay. Enough with the “doll talk.”
I imagined a young girl/woman from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, walking through a park, like Central Park, in New York, with her Teacup poodle. Obviously, it’s late in the afternoon, on a winter day. As I worked on the sunset, I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t look right, when I finished it. I looked at quite a few references, while I was painting it, and I just decided, that I would have to take a chance. It may be a bit “cheesy” and again, “amateurish,” but I like it, regardless. This time, I wanted the subject matter to look as though, she’s wearing makeup. After all, she’s a young woman. The Teacup poodle was difficult, in its own way. It probably looks more like a “stuffed animal,” than a real one, by the way its legs are hanging, limply. Again, I used many reference sources for this, but I had trouble finding a small poodle, being held, this way. I know the eyes are a little spooky. However, if you look at a small poodle’s eyes, they are big and round. I thought it would be cute, to paint the poodle black, to match the young woman’s hair color. I didn’t have as much difficulty, painting the skin tone, for this one. Her eyes are “big,” but in a more mature way. For this painting, the colors are more subdued, with some contrasts, here and there. This scene is also, quite “kitschy,” and I’m okay with that. I would say, the title could be self-explanatory, too.
Both of these paintings are done in acrylic and measure, 11 x 14 inches.
Here’s hoping everyone out there, is having a Happy Valentine’s Day, today! “Treat” yourself to something special, if you can! But most importantly, enjoy your day!
Remember, the New Year is a fresh start for all of us. Let’s make it a good one, if possible! So, with that being said, Have a Happy New Year!
Who cares if he’s real or not? I still think he’s a pretty cool guy! I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, this year!
You may remember me mentioning a Valentine’s Day necklace, in the previous post entitled, Vintage-Inspired Necklace. Like I said before, it was a necklace/choker, which belonged to my mother. She purchased it at a drugstore, back in the 1980s, I think. Over the years, it broke and some of the charms got lost. I had always loved it, when I was a little girl and I used to try it on, constantly. She gave it to me, a few years back. I was glad to have it, but I knew that I would have to spruce it up!
The very first thing I did to it, was polish it. It was terribly rusty and it actually, got the rest of the costume jewelry dirty, in the plastic bag where I was storing it! A friend of mine, lent me some cleaner/polish, which worked like magic, literally! When I dipped it, it instantly started shining and all of the gunk that was on it, disappeared. Later, I used some of my own jewelry polish on it, for a second run. I wanted it to be extra clean! Judging by the photo above, it’s probably hard to believe, it was ever that dirty! I should have taken a “before and after” photo!
Since I knew, it was missing some charms, I decided I would add some, myself. That is, ones which I thought, would work with the Valentine’s Day theme and the style of this necklace. I did remember, that I had a clear, three-dimensional heart gemstone, which I then realized, had fallen off this necklace. So, I searched for it and found it, and glued it to the spot, where it had fallen off. The glue I used, is specifically for jewelry pieces, and I knew it would work well. However, the only problem, is that some of the glue, got onto the gemstone. I was unable to get it off, after trying at least two solutions, after researching the process. It isn’t overly noticeable, though. It’s cloudy, but until I find another way to clean it, I’m just going to have to leave it, for now.
I had purchased an oval-shaped gold bezel, with ruby-shaped stones, forming a border around it, from a vintage market. It has a thicker ring at the top, which meant I wouldn’t have to use a jump ring, to attach it to the chain. This worked out, because I didn’t think a jump ring would look right, on the chain, but I did have to use one of my jewelry tools, to open up the chain, to attach it. I selected an image of the 1982 Mattel doll, Dream Date P.J., which I found on the internet, because I think she is a gorgeous doll and very glamorous. I would love to find her one day, to add to my doll collection, but that’s another story! I think she looks great, in the bezel and again, I used ice resin, which worked very well. I used a wooden craftstick, to guide the resin into the bezel, since there wasn’t much room. This technique works very well, too. No dust particles got into the resin, except for one tiny, speck of glitter, which I can handle! I also, wanted to add a cupid/cherub charm, but I couldn’t find one, anywhere! However, my mother gave me, a very small cherub charm, from her craft collection, and it is perfect! I polished it, then added it, to the necklace. I have a distinct memory of a cupid/cherub charm being on the necklace, so, I definitely wanted to add a “new” one. Plus, it goes with the Valentine’s Day theme.
If I find any other charms that are appropriate, in the future, I may add them, but for now, I think the necklace is complete. I had to turn some of the original charms around, and adjust the jump rings, because they kept “twirling” around.
The only other things that had to be added, were a lobster claw clasp and a chain extension. Unfortunately, the original clasps were missing, from this necklace, and I wasn’t sure what type of clasp to use. I finally decided, that a larger, lobster claw clasp and a chain extension, would work best. The necklace is actually, more like a choker, and the chain extension, gives it more room, for adjustments, as it should. I knew if I didn’t purchase a chain extension, it would be too tight.
I think this necklace could be worn for other occasions, besides Valentine’s Day. It was an enjoyable process, gathering all of the materials, for this one.
This is basically a necklace, I revamped. The plastic “candies” featured, actually were tied and knotted from a sparkly cord, as you can see in the first photo, above. It was originally a garland, intended to decorate a Christmas tree, but I thought, it would make a really cute and fun necklace to wear with a Christmas outfit, or in recent years, an ugly Christmas sweater. I bought it from a Big Lots store, at least nine years ago. Before revamping it, I wore it just the way it was, and tied the end, in a small, knotted bow. I received quite a few compliments over the years, when I wore it.
While I liked it the way it was, I always felt it should have a chain, instead of a cord. However, as always, I knew it needed to have the right kind of chain. So, I decided I would try to find a chunky chain, since the plastic candies, are fair-sized. It’s certainly not what I would call, a delicate necklace. It’s flat-out gaudy, in my opinion! But, that’s what makes it eye-catching! Finally, I did find a nice, long silver chain. As “Goldilocks” thought in the story, The Three Bears, it was just right. It had an extra lobster claw catch on it, which I didn’t need, so I removed it.
Next, I untied the plastic candies, from the sparkly cord, which took some time. I selected some of my smaller, silver jump rings to attach them all, to the chain, which was the next job. Fortunately, the plastic candies have small holes, at the top of their wrappers. This made it easy, to attach the jump rings. I tried to create a rainbow pattern, with the order of the candies’ colors, so they wouldn’t look the same. However, there wasn’t an even number of the colors, so I had to improvise. I added the last candy, to the one in the middle. It balances it out, I think. As I added each candy to the chain, I counted up at least ten spots, or chain links, so there would be an even space, between each. I still have some space, on each side of the chain, but it still works, regardless. It’s the kind of chain, where you can adjust how long, you would like it to be.
I do hope this all makes sense. It’s kind of hard, to explain. The photographs may help, though. I know one thing, I will certainly be wearing this necklace, very soon! The Christmas holiday, is right around the corner!