Standing By Your Work

Last night was the Bangor Art Walk which is sponsored by the Bangor Arts Collaborative.  My sister, photographer Karen Littlefield, invited me to display my work in the space she and her husband were displaying at the Maine Discovery Museum.  Karen has mastered the art of pinhole photography, shown on page 50 of the Bangor Metro magazine.  

eyes closed, but oh well, this is the picture I have...

It was fun to experience the Bangor Art Walk as an artist. Usually I display my work online, but it's a whole different experience to stand by your work in person.  Some people were interested and asked questions and other people walked on by.   As a fine arts student 20+ years ago, I remember going to the Wenham Museum to write about folk art for a class and sniffing at the dolls a bit. And here I am 20+ years later, an artist who makes dolls.  Life is a funny thing.  

One of the highlights of my night was when these little girls visited my spot and loved on the dolls.    These girls were hilarious, wanting to change the dress because "the red looks better on her" and "please put a dress on the other doll so she won't feel bad about having no arms."     It was a little glimpse into what it might have been like back in the late 1850's with a little girl playing with original Izannah Walker dolls which are now prized folk art.   These little girls seemed interested in the idea that I had made these dolls with my hands.  

It was also fun that several family members came by to check out the work of my sister, my brother-in-law and myself. 

I've spent 5 years studying Izannah Walker dolls, and it has been an enriching experience for me.  It was interesting to stand by my work in a physical way - a testament to the 5 years of study and learning.  I'm still sorting all that out, but the fact the the dolls were engaging to these little girls was the cherry on top!

My husband said, "The full circle, from toy to antique to toy again."  

Yes, indeed.


McNally School said...

I love seeing the photos of the little girls playing with your Izannahs. They know what dolls are for!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Dixie - sweet little girlies playing with your dolls - the pictures and stories melt my heart! They are darling, and I'm sure your dollies delighted them. I love the picture of you, too! Thank you for sharing this experience, in picture and word, with us.


JDConwell said...

It is an enlightening thing to sit by your work as people either notice or ignore it, isn't it? The little girls are just about the best testament to the fundamental importance of dolls, not to mention they're little dolls themselves. :~)

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

I used to participate in an annual doll show at the San Diego Quilt Show. Most of the dollmakers were not present to man the booth, but I always did. It is very strange to stand there and watch people admire or ignore your work. I always pretended NOT to have made my own dolls, that way people looking at them wouldn't be compelled to compliment them falsely. Thankfully, no one ever said anything unpleasant about them! We had other dollmakers present who'd brag up their own work as though they were Da Vinci...but that's not something I am able to do.

Two of my sisters and I recently had dinner with our aunts, and my sister bragged up an absent sister who's very good friends with Jenny Oh, editor of many well known craft magazines. My sister is constantly featured in these magazines. I sat there and kept my mouth shut and didn't tell my aunts one single thing about what I do.

I am by nature a very shy person, so the internet is a godsend. Here I CAN play show and tell. I am blind to rolling eyes and bemused smirks, and deaf to unflattering comments. I'll never know if I am passed by without a thought. I like it that way. And I can do it in my pajamas.

Debra Dixon said...

Can you phone their moms and ask if those little girls can come to my house and play?

The Humble Stitcher said...

What a lovely post! It is really sweet to see those little girls playing with your dolls...your husband definitely said it right :)

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

John Wooden