New items Coming to My Etsy store… Soon

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I have a load of new items that will be slowly trickling into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks. (I take a really long time to list items, they need to be properly photographed and documented). The influx of items is a result of an outdoor art show in The Bronx’s Little Italy area being a total washout! It was such a sad day, there was little to no foot traffic and there was at least one artist that I know of whose art was damaged by the rain. Thankfully there was a 99 cents store nearby where I was able to get a beach umbrella to shield the few pieces that I did choose to put out. No Melandollies were harmed in the making of that show. There may be a second or third date scheduled for it but in the mean time I’m putting my new pieces up for sale in my Etsy shop. Getting ready for the show made me realize a very important thing, I work much faster than I think I do. In about 3 months time, I cranked out 18 small wall pieces/ornaments, 9 dolls in frames, 2 busts and about 20 small people in bottles. There were plenty of late nights and events that I had to miss but in the end it made me realize my capabilities. At one time it would take me 3 months to create 2 dolls, boy have the tides turned! Well in the mean time, you can check out the few items that I currently have in my Etsy store.  I will keep you all posted when I add my new pieces to the shop, hang tight!

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The Northside Festival, Year 2

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I had another successful go at the Northside Festival with my larger works! This year it was for two days instead of one AND they offered free over night storage so I wouldn’t look like a crazy bag lady with my shopping cart on the train. There were less kids at the festival to play with the pieces as they did the year prior but the “adults” were taking selfies as usual, I found a few uploaded to Instagram 🙂

I’m looking forward to participating again next year!

My Finished Piece, “Women’s Troubles”

Art Dolls, Art Shows, Completed Dolls

For those who haven’t seen this piece named “Women’s Troubles” in its entirety on Facebook, Instagram etc., here it is completed. As I may have mentioned before, this piece explores the problems that women face in the workplace and at home. At work, women face issues such as being overlooked for promotions, unequal pay and sexual harassment, while at home they are to assumed to take on all of the domestic duties. Our roles have changed drastically but society still views us as being less than that of our male counterparts, making it very difficult for us to succeed in the workplace.

The Evolution of Feet

Art Shows, Completed Dolls

With this last piece that I’ve worked on for Innuendos, I found myself sculpting a couple of things for the first time. The most challenging out of them all were the eight arms hands down (no pun intended!), but the most unusual out of my first time items were the feet. I never bother too much with sculpting feet on my dolls because I am very anxious to get to all of the other mundane tasks of doll making such as sanding, picking out fabric, the dreadful sewing, hair gluing, etc. I usually just paint some simple shoes on like a ballerina slipper or a sock and get on with it. It came natural to me to create them, I just found it unnecessary to focus on them for my characters, just like ears. (There’s only one Melandolly that I’ve created with ears lol!). This time I felt the need to have actual feet. I wanted to have one foot bare with toes and everything and the other in a high heel. The bare foot is on the domestic housewife side of the piece while the heel is on the career woman half of it. I wanted to play up the “barefoot in the kitchen” phrase and also create the ideal vision of a business woman in heels.

Want to see more? Come see the finished piece at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452 from March 6th through April 1st!

The opening is this Friday from 5:30-9:30pm, hope to see you there!

Innuendos: A Collection of Work by Ten Women Artists From The Bronx

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I am very proud to be a part of this upcoming show with the Bronx Arts Factory. The show is curated by Yolanda and Yelaine Rodriguez and they wanted to choose 10 female artists to connect you to the female form and the struggles that women face. I am still working on my pieces but I wanted to share a few of my work in progress shots. The name of this piece is “Women’s Troubles”. I wanted to illustrate the changing roles of women and the problems that they face as they make an attempt to live up to society’s expectations of them along with trying to balance their work and home lives. The show will be at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10452 from March 6th through April 1st

Holiday Pressure!

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Every year I plan on making some holiday themed dolls and ornaments and I never get around to it. After going on Facebook and seeing what my fellow dolly friends are making,  I decided to give it a shot. At the moment I have a table full of dolls and doll parts but no finished pieces. I think I’m going to try to scale back and try to work on one maybe 3 pieces at a time, wish me luck guys!

Fare Well Soho!

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I must say it was a wonderful experience to have a two person show in Soho. Not many artists can claim that so I am extremely thankful. It was still bittersweet having to pack up my dolls and stuff them into boxes and then finally into a rolling bag. In my usual fashion, I broke a few pieces along the way. They can easily be fixed but I’ll wait till I’m good and ready, I’m taking a rest form having shows back to back.

My Huge Installation show at BWAC-Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition

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I initially answered the open call to BWAC’s Installation art show in June with little hope that I would get called back. I had one and a half art installations under my belt at the time and the only thing that I could provide was a sketch of what I planned on doing and a photo from the art festival that I was in a few weeks prior.

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Surprisingly in August I received a response from the organizer saying that he was interested in my proposal and that I had a spot in the show. As I’ve done on numerous occasions before, I panicked. I had the standing figures done already but I had proposed to create wall masks to complete the environment that I didn’t fully flesh out at the time. I had to do tons of research to figure out the best way to create them since I haven’t done them before this project. I normally use paper clay for my sculpting but I didn’t do it this time because it would be rather costly creating something so large with it. I decided to go with paper mache and ended up finding a few gurus during my research. One was Jonni Good from ultimatepapermache.com and the other was Dan the Monster Man from http://www.gourmetpapermache.com/. I used techniques from both, one was using fabric instead of newspaper strips from Dan’s site and the other was creating paper mache clay with toilet tissue from Jonni Good’s site. The fabric strip technique was used to create realistic looking folds for eyelids and skin. The paper mache clay was used to cut down on cost and to add strength to the pieces. Prior to the paper mache clay I was creating the masks with traditional newspaper and flour paste. It took a very long time to wait for the layers of newspapers to dry and when I tried to speed it up by adding more layers, I ended up with mold growing on one of my masks. It is very important to make sure that all layers dry before you add new layers to a piece, I can’t stress that enough. I was able to save the mask by scrapping out the wet inner layers of newspaper and spraying the rest of it with rubbing alcohol. Kills mold dead! When I first showed up at BWAC to get a feel of the space, I was in complete shock. I was given the best spot in the house which was right at the entrance with about 35 feet of space to fill. I wasn’t exactly sure of what to do with all of the space but I knew I would come up with something. I ended up winning first place for the Installation, I really didn’t see that coming! The show runs up until October 26th at 499 Van Brunt Street in Redhook Brooklyn. The hours are from 2-6pm on the weekends only

Big Bronx Art Space Show this Saturday August 2nd 5:30-9pm

Art Shows, Publicity

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This Saturday will be my first time showing at the Bronx Art Space which is located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. I dropped off a few  pieces there yesterday and was able to get a peek at some of the other artwork that will be featured. It really blew my mind, there were so many wonderful and interesting pieces and most of them will be under $300. I am super excited to be a part of this show. I was surprised to see some of the names on the bill, I’m honored to be able to participate in the same show as them!