I really admire people who make those ultra-realistic life-sized baby sculpts. As an artist myself, I can appreciate how much talent and skill it takes to do that kind of work. But in terms of aesthetics, I have always preferred figures that were slightly more stylized, and Debra Lynn delivers. No, that was not a baby pun. I wouldn’t do that. Really I wouldn’t.
Anyway, Debra Lynn’s babies are full of attitude and personality, while still being fairly realistic. Some of them wear fairy-like costumes, though their little faces and bodies are very human. Kind of the best of both worlds, if you ask me. Her work has been cast both for Creager Studios and Ashton Drake. Visit her website for many more pictures of these little cuties.
Something about ODACA artist Deanna Hogan’s work reminds me of the nostalgic South. She lives in the northwest, so maybe it’s just the power of suggestion, since she has made several dolls based on the antique Alabama Baby, but to me her chubby play dolls and nostalgic adult figures are reminiscent of folk music and rural life.
Although her dolls are technically cloth dolls, many of them have fabric faces glued over polymer clay masks. Pictured above on the left is one of her Alabama Baby-inspired dolls, Viola Ruth. Viola Ruth has a polymer clay mask and cranium joined by paperclay over a cloth stump. Then Hogan glues cloth over the whole unit, gessos and sands it and paints it with oil paints. She has a tutorial for her process on her Picturetrail account.
Although she isn’t preoccupied by fairies and wizards like so many of us, Hogan’s work is fantastical in its own way, reminding one of childhood toys and fairytales. The seated doll above is from a pattern she sells called Averill, and includes bead-joined knees and elbows and button-jointed limbs. I wonder how many of her patterns are purchased by grandmas to make for their lucky little granddaughters.
Some of Hogan’s adult dolls are just a little bit bluesy, as exemplified by her Bob Dylan portrait above, and Delta Dawn, who was inspired by a song about a woman who was left at the altar. As you can see, they’re full to the brim of character, and I just love her choice of fabrics for Dawn’s dress. Check out Hogan’s blog and her website for more pictures of her work.
Have a great weekend. I spent all week trying to move this blog over. Yikes, what a chore!
Ooh, a very talented young acquaintance of mine, Emily Jameson, has listed four life-sized sculpted babies on eBay. Check them out here: http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZemma*laurelQQhtZ-1.
(Edit: Her auction is over now, but she sent me some pictures to post so I can show them off. I expect some great things from Emily in the future.)