Christmas Izzy

Here's a sneak peak at my newest doll. I'm calling her Christmas Izzy because I began her on Christmas Eve. She has been baking constantly since then. I add a layer of clay, bake her for a few hours, add another, etc.

I love when they're at this sleepy stage - they have a world of possibilities. The shape of a mouth, the tilt of an eyebrow, the size of a pupil - all of these will make a difference in who she is. I see some sculpting problems in terms of symmetry, but I'm saying I'm done after she has spent 3 days in the sculpting/baking stage. And we all have asymmetrical faces, anyway. AND, if you look at original Izannah Walker dolls, they're not symmetrical. There! I've convinced myself ;-)

The next steps are:
  • sand the head a bit
  • gesso the head
  • do an underpainting in monochromatic colors
  • restuff the body and add weight to her bottom
  • give her arms and legs
  • dress her - this is always a hard thing for me - I spend days draping the doll with various fabrics I have on hand. I have a lot of fabric on hand!
The doll in the red bonnet below is my inspiration doll. But at a certain point you have to let go of your inspiration picture and let them be what they want to be.

By the time I finish an Izannah inspired doll, I have usually put 70-100 hours of creation time into her. They are definitely a labor of love!


AND I've been tagged by Countryfolk Keepsakes to tell you

5 things about myself

1) I once planted over 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and was written up in an article that was in the New York Times. Here's the article. I think this must have been the inspiration of some of my tomato people portraits. I just read the article and realize that was 10 years ago when I was 35. Yikes, time goes by quickly.

2) I'm a songwriter. I have about 100 songs that I've written in my computer archives. They range from worship songs to acerbic country songs. I've sung a few of them in public, but haven't published any. I've always alternated music and visual arts in my life somehow. Usually I'm a bit more focused on one than the other, but both are always present.

3) I have two children, and my oldest has autism. It's been quite a journey. Being a parent changes everyone to a great degree, but parenting a child with special needs requires you to lay yourself aside in ways you never imagine. And yet I have seen beauty I would never have seen if my child wasn't autistic.

4) I wanted to be an architect when I was younger...but those pesky physics classes at university persuaded me otherwise. I have the design part in my head, but I really am not strong in math and science. I'm okay with that.

5) I have a little OCD in me. This is usually a good thing - it's what what drives me to plant 20 varieties of tomatoes, or to bake an Izannah inspired doll for 4 days. But it can come out in silly ways, too. When I have a lot of watchers on one of my items on Ebay I circle the number of watchers with the pointer of my mouse and say, "Bid, watchers, bid!" Silly Dixie. I know this doesn't make people bid, but it makes me feel good. :-)


Sylvia Anderson said...

Your new Izzy is looking great so far! I can't wait to see her all finished put so many hours into each one...amazing! A little OCD can be a good thing....I know I have a touch, as does my hubby and I think my son does too. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and Happy New Year to you!

Anonymous said...

can't wait to see her finished. So sorry to hear of Mary. May her family be well. Did you get your little locket ??? See ya later dear .


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Is it OCD or the patience of Job?

Jo James said...

Hiya Dixie!
I tagged you.
Peanut tagged me, so now you're it.
5 things about yourself.
Hugs- Joee

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden